A couple big accomplishments today:
Today while my doctor was in visiting him, my dad started screaming and getting very teary. My dad’s doctor was very confused and didn’t understand what was going on. While my dad’s doctor was talking, my dad had managed to flip his left hand over, as he has previously been able to do with the right. He had never done this before, and was extremely excited. After explaining this to my dad’s doctor, he himself got very excited and couldn’t believe it. In his probably 30+ years of being a doctor, he had never been present for a first such as this. He was so glad to be able to be present for such an event. He thinks my dad is making excellent progress, and moving surprisingly quickly.
Another first today, happened in occupational therapy earlier in the day. My dad’s occupational therapist put a band around my dad’s hand with a spoon attached, as he doesn’t yet have control of his fingers. They practiced bringing the spoon up to his mouth on his own. He then proceeded to feed himself a whole chocolate pudding.
Later that night, he was able to feed himself his whole dinner with this wrist spoon, with a little help as he was tiered from the whole day of physio.
He is making excellent progress! He gets so excited every time he gets to eat something. Because he is on a puree diet, and isn’t eating enough calories as of yet to support his body requirements, he’s still got the peg tube in his stomach providing nutrition. Once he is able to eat enough on his own, they will remove the peg tube from his stomach.
Message from Stewart:
Saturday marked another first; my first day eating food for 3 meals. With each meal, I am able to eat a few more teaspoonfuls. I can now eat up to 15-20 per meal. Progress is slow but steady.
Message from Stewart:
Last thursday was a very big day for me. In the afternoon, I had a swallow test with speach pathologist with Kevin Lindland. In the swallow test, you are fed small portions of food mixed with barrium which shows up on x-ray. First I was fed a bit of thickened liquid with barrium and successfully swallowed it. Next, I was fed a bit of fruit puree with barrium and successfully swallowed that. Thirdly, I was fed a bit of minced fruit with barrium and also swallowed that successfully. Lastly, I was fed a bit of bread with barrium butter and successfully swallowed that, although Kevin didn’t like the swallow pattern so much. He decided I had successfully passed the test, but should avoid bread-like food for now.
As previously reported by Ceara and recorded in video, thursday night I was fed some food for the first time since my accident. I only managed 7 teaspoonful of pureed beef and noodles but it sure tasted good!
Later that night I reflected on the importance of my eating achievement and was overcome with emotion. I wept tears of joy. Being able to eat is an enormous step forward and one that is fundamental for progress.
Suddenly, my tears of joy turned to tears of grief and I wept uncontrollably for several minutes before getting a grip. I realized that until now I had denied my feelings of loss of my previous lifestyle. I had been just trying to survive all of the medical procedures, and had never acknowledged my pain. I needed to let my feelings out in order to be able to let them go.
An hour later, another STARS helicopter landed at the hospital. Previously, I had seen many land, and only thought to myself “here comes another injured person like myself”. Now, suddenly, I found myself thinking that an injured person was arriving, someone with a family and friends affected by the injury, and needing compassion and support, and was overcome with emotion. Until I felt grief for my own situation, I could not feel compassion for the situation of other individuals.
My dad passed his swallowing test today!!!
He got to have his first bite of food in over 40 days! He was very excited.
He’s on a liquid diet for now, so only liquids, which he’s still very excited for!
Having food for the first time in 40 days!!
I was moved to a new room which unfortunately is right next to the elevator bay. The elevators beep every time someone gets to the floor. It’s like an alarm clock all night long. So I asked for my door to be kept shut. I woke at 3am to discover my night nurse had put my call bell out of reach. So I had no way of summoning help, and no one could hear me. It felt a little bit like being buried alive. While I didn’t have any problems, the thought that I couldn’t summon help kept me awake the rest of the night.
Too much stuff
I still have a private room, but I share a bathroom with a next door neighbour. Soon after being placed in the new room, my next door neighbour started complaining. There was too much stuff in the bathroom. What he meant was, he didn’t like my comode chair in “his” bathroom. I should mention my neighbour has a brain injury and has been in the hospital nearly 2 years. The easy solution was to put the comode chair in my room.
When you have an accident and die, all your friends gather around and say nice things about you after wards. But I had an accident and didn’t die, and all my friends have gathered around and said nice things. These kind words are giving me the strength to carry on. Thank-you for your love and affection.