"It's been a long December and there's reason to believe that maybe next year will be better than the last.The smell of hospitals in winter and the feeling that it's all a lot of oysters but no pearls."
Words from a song
We have spent Thanksgiving, his Birthday and Christmas doing emergency surgeries on Forrest. No one is more tired of it than Forrest. But he always has a smile and a funny comment for you when you walk in the room.
This has been a rugged holiday season for Team 44. While we have lost the third lid and it is certainly devastating and very concerning on how we go forward, we also have to admit that he is doing much better than he ever was prior to and after the previous cranioplasty removals.
There are concerns on the infection, what future cranioplasty will have to done and what skin transplantation will have to be done to try and assure a more successful outcome. We worry about the PICC line, suture breakdown and side effects from the antibiotics. We are monitoring the effects atmospheric pressure will have on his brain without the protection of a cranial cover. It will be some months before the infection is completely under control. After that the appropriate skin procedure can be done and the appropriate cranioplasty repair will be reselected. There will be more research and discussions and visiting with experts in this area. Forrest has entered a rarified few that have lost their cranioplasty this many times. He also is one of the few that have come so far and made so much progress. We are determined not to lose that progress. We are dedicated to making sure the next cranioplasty will be the last one.
On the positive side we are grateful that he had a great party with his friends and enjoyed it immensely. He is strong and healthy, eating on his own and walking and talking. He is still the Forrest we know and love and he makes a huge effort every day to make forward strides, both physically and intellectually.
With any luck we are checking out of the hospital and going home. He is anxious to have dad's cooking instead of hospital food. But this afternoon he was quite happy to have a slice of pepperoni pizza as a substitute.
He continues to have a great attitude and approach to rehabilitation even though he is certainly tired of being operated upon and told what to do constantly. He has smiles for those around him and an enduring optimism that few of us who have been through anything remotely similar can match. He is certainly forgiven the odd cross word that comes with the pain he deals with on his part. He is being watched carefully by those around him and we continue to make progress in many different areas of rehabilitation even without the cranium.
So we continue to hang on to the hope that next year will be better than the last. We know this in our hearts and we continue to make it happen with words prayers and actions around Forrest and with him. Thank you, Team 44, friends, family and well wishers. We will make 2014 better.
Up and walking the hall together