Forrest has made the move to Pathways the outpatient facility. He is now on a different schedule and basically everything has changed. His routine is now waking up in the morning later and getting dressed and eating breakfast. Then he is going to the car for the ½ hour ride to Shepherd Pathways. We have been staying with him for lunch after he does his first hour of orientation. He takes his lunch which we make up for him. He then continues on for another 4 hours after lunch in various types of therapy. We then pick him up and bring him back to the residence apartments at Shepherd. He is generally tired and needs a nap. We try to get a snack in him beforehand (he has lost 40 lbs) and then give him a nap and then wake him up for some activity. Last night it was lacrosse in the park, with mini-sticks and short distances. Tonight it was a friend from Hill School, Montana who came to visit him as she was traveling in the area.
After that it is back to eating dinner and some entertainment, reading or TV or a game. Then a shower and dressed for bed. Night meds and bed are next. Forrest is sleeping in a hospital bed with his brother in a bed pushed up against his so if he needs to get up in the middle of the night he has help. Meals tend to be long drawn out affairs as he eats very slow now and is easily distracted or forgets what he is doing. We commonly remind him to finish eating and encouraging him to take all of his meds can be challenging.
In between times, Austin, Rae and Aunt Lynn (who has been here the last week) and Dad when he is there have to restock, cook, do the washing and cleaning and pick up meds and drive him back and forth (which is a two person job).
He is still wearing the brace for his L-1 fracture which is still healing. His incision for the cranioplasty is healing well but he does seem to have problems with initiating or starting activities since the procedure. We are trying to get the Dr.s to authorize another MRI to make sure his brain is handling the new lid put on it. We hope to have that scheduled tomorrow.
His physical progress continues to be nothing short of amazing with him being one of the most mobile guys in his group. He has troubles with micro-tremors still and they have slightly worsened since the procedure.
So here is where we are. He has made monster progress since this traumatic brain accident almost 10 weeks ago. He has made it from the dire prediction that he might never wake up to walking around an outpatient facility in just 10 weeks. He has made cognitive progress and has his language and his voice, however quiet it is at the moment.
On the reality side he has suffered a major brain injury and has and will continue to have lasting effects from it. As the Doctors and nurses who have worked tirelessly to help him have warned us that the hard part for us is when they turn his care back over to us. They were right, this is much harder and time consuming and you can’t turn your back on him for a second since he is so mobile. So if you have noticed some gaps in the frequency of the blog, you are likely to notice more. Mom, Dad and Austin will have a discussion as what to do about the blog in the future this weekend and decide how we can go forward. In the meantime we will continue on as best we can with our efforts obviously devoted to Forrest’s care.
Some people have commented that we have sugar coated the blog on occasion and they would be correct. Some of the ugliest, scariest and worse and depressing moments and discussions have never made it to the blog. That is because the blog was never meant and is not a clinical medical record. The blog was always meant to keep people informed of Forrest’s struggle for life and then surviving his various medical complications and also his victories and triumphs. He may read this one day and we want to let him know how many people were pulling for him. He will be impaired from his injury we know but he will continue to struggle and get better over time. We don’t know how much help he will need in the future but we will give him whatever help he needs to reach whatever goals he can. We appreciate your reading, support and comments in the blog. Many of you may not know or ever meet Forrest, but know that he is a remarkable young man. Through a lot of struggle and perseverance he will continue to be a remarkable young man, just different than before, but with a lifetime of relearning ahead of him. While it breaks our hearts to see him go through it, it makes us admire him that much more that he continues to try.
Much love to all,
Dad, Mom, Austin and this week, Aunt Lynn.
Montana comes to see Forrest