Friday, March 8, 2013

Update and Pictures of the Week

    Forrest continues to work hard to regain his strength and endurance from his recent surgery.  The incisions and graft sites are healing well, but are very closely monitored by Rae, Kent, the nurses from the Medical Team and his doctors.  Forrest is still wearing his sporty turban to protect the vulnerable areas on his scalp and is also getting antibiotics through his PICC line in his upper arm. 
Forrest still has moments where it seems like everything on his body hurts.  His voice comes out very clearly to communicate “ouch!” and his frustration is evident on his face as he works through the pain and works to form a sentence to communicate what is wrong.  It is difficult to see him so uncomfortable, but what a blessing it is that he is able to communicate it to us!  His nurses do an amazing job handling all of Forrest’s medical needs and his increased sensitivity to things like his stomach tube, graft sites and PICC line and they never waver in their diligent care, even when he is struggling to be comfortable.    
    We have continued to fill Forrest’s days with school, physical therapy, music therapy, memory exercises, speech therapy and occupational therapy and he is at pre-surgery levels of functioning.  These challenging therapies are all so important to his every day fight to grow stronger and he is so blessed to have all the amazing people on his team that work with him on the good days and the bad!  His voice is getting stronger every day, but he struggles with clarity and volume. With great effort, however, he can muster enough breath and force to yell a word across the room.  His words and thoughts often get jumbled and he continues to have issues with his short term memory and word selection.  He has great recollection of events from before his accident, but has to work really hard to remember things such as the current month, names and what he did during the day.  We do a lot of repetition and memory exercises to work on strengthening this area of functioning. 
    Physically, Forrest works hard every day to increase his strength and endurance.  His shoulders are tight, so reaching above his head takes a lot of effort as he fights to keep himself upright.  His balance is an important area we focus on and although he is beginning to stand and take small steps on his own, he is still quite “wobbly” when standing, so he requires a walker or people to help keep him steady and safe.
    Certainly Forrest's sense of humor remains and he enjoys joking with his Team.  Slow, steady progress and improvement following his latest surgery is the key!
    Earlier this week, Forrest ventured out into the snow with Tami, Gayle and Dad during the big March snow storm.  Snowball fights and a Team Forrest Snowman were the order of the day and Forrest enjoyed himself.  
    We will keep the faith with Forrest and keep assisting him in his struggle to return to himself.  Thanks for your support and prayers!

YouTube link of Forrest outside in the snow:

Sharing a moment before Mum left for a business trip
Forrest wrote this in his daily journal
Forrest and Pops standing tall with the Team 44 Snowman
Snowball fight!


  1. Hi Forrest! It looks like you've had quite a week, with fun outside in the snow. I'm sorry your Mum had to leave on a business trip, but I'm sure she'll be back home as soon as she can.

    I'm so glad things are still going well for you, and that you are doing so well with all of your therapy. Keep up the good work.

    We had lunch with your grandma Norma Lou last Sunday afternoon, and she's just as ornery as ever! She's a lot of fun to be with. Two other ladies, Naoma and Deanne, always go with us, too. We always have a good time!!

    Love and Prayers from Missouri,

    Wilbur and Joyce Ellis

  2. My daughter Sara was a year behind Forest at Highland and well remembers Forest's smile and humor. We have faithfully followed this blog since Forest's accident and prayed for his recovery, but I admit I have never been "brave" enough before today to leave a message here. Forest's journal entry for his "Mum" left me with tears in my eyes. What an incredible family you all are. Looking forward to the day when I read that Forest is accompanying his mom on one of her trips.
    Love and prayers,
    Lisa Cooper

  3. I apologize so much for spelling Forrest's name incorrectly. I should have checked that before hitting "publish." Please accept my apologies.

    Lisa Cooper

  4. Hey Forrest!! I miss you like crazy buddy. All those pictures of you in the snow made me smile, I heard you helped build the snowman and "destroy it" - your own words! Keep up the great work buddy. I'm sharing pictures and stories of you to everyone here with me. You're indomitable bro. Glad you're taking care of the aquariums, you know Dad needs the help with it!

    Love from Malaysia,

  5. It is fantastic to see you standing tall beside the snowman, Forrest, without slings, walkers, or the tilt table. That is a huge accomplishment! This post gave a good overview of your various therapies and we can tell that you have very full days. I love that you're journaling now, too. We're proud of you!
    Diane & Jay

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.