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John is far from recovered. Feeling and movement is slowly coming back. He is in a good bit of discomfort because of the nerves regrowing. Sometimes he feels like he has extra limbs or that his arm is asleep or that someone is pulling on it or touching him.
He can move his head, blink his eyes, and swallow.
He can speak pretty clearly. Speech therapy is working with him on volume as he has a teeny voice sometimes.
He can shrug his shoulders and this week was able to raise his arms up to shoulder level. He’s not able to keep them up very long.
He can move his right index finger but not in a way that would be helpful. It’s more of a twitch.
He can with the help of a wrist brace and special stylus stab at his phone for a few minutes.
What this means
He can’t feed himself.
He can’t brush his teeth or take care of his toilet needs.
He needs someone to position him in bed and then turn him regularly to prevent pressure sores (aka bed sores).
When he’s in his chair, he has to tilt the chair back to 90 degrees every 30 minutes or so. He can do this on his own with special switches next to his head. Doing this “weight shift” also prevents pressure sores.
He can’t get himself bathed, dressed, or out of bed. I use a manual Hoyer lift to get him out of bed and into the power chair and back again.
He can’t answer the phone or call 911 so he can’t be alone.
He has special mouse glasses that allows him to surf the internet or type an email. But it’s 1 letter at a time and very slow.
He still tires very easily. Occupational therapy got him sitting up on the side of the bed Monday and it wiped out his energy and made him very sore.
I don’t tell folks this to make them feel bad. I tell them because I will celebrate every little victory even picking his own nose.
There were folks at Shepherd Center who will NEVER recover to the point John has. There are people who’ll go to the ICU in Macon and will lose the battle and never see their family in this world again.
Today and everyday is a victory for my husband. And I get a front row seat.