Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Little Darlin, PT day 37 by David

We have been at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta for about 24 hours.  My little darlin is a Ranchos Los Amigos Level IV.  Google Ranchos Los Amigos and you will understand what I have been seeing in Jan for the past few days.  She is confused and does get agitated but she does call me by name if she so desires.  You can not take anything she says personally.   She will have moments of clarity but they are short lived.  She did get to drink milk today and the first thing out of her mouth after was "that sucks".  She has started eating some food but it is not a priority for her and she still needs the tube feeding to receive adequate nutrition.  She has worked with physical therapists, speech therapists and occupational therapists throughout today.  About 3 hours of therapy evaluation have worn her out.  It will only get harder for her and TIGT.  They have had her sitting up on the side of the bed and or in a wheel chair for a large part of the day.  She can not hold her self up.  I am not certain if it is because of her brain injury or weakness from being down for so long or both.   I suspect both.  She has frequently and loudly expressed her displeasure about todays activities.  Sean and I watched through the day as the therapists did what they do.  This will change after a couple of days and we (I) will not be involved for a while.  There will be education however given to me regarding her care and injury.   She did tell me once today she did not want to do another Ironman Triathlon.  I do not know if that was a moment of clarity or confusion.  I guess it depends on your point of view.   The staff here are excellent and all seem to enjoy what they are doing and care for their patients.   I am very happy she is now where she is.  I do not know how long it is going to take and do not think anyone does but I do think she is in the right place to give her the best odds for recovery.

This evening she was brought a tray of food.  It was ground beef with gravy, mushrooms and spinach. She took one bite of the meat and would take no more.  She would not try the mushrooms or spinach (adamantly refused actually).  She would not eat her brownie either, now I really know she has a ways to go.  Remember the Ding Dong diet.  When I left her she was lying on her side and appeared as comfortable as I have seen in over a month.  She had fallen asleep so she was not rambling on in a confused manner as she has been doing.  It was nice to leave her like that.  Maybe that vision will allow me to get some peaceful sleep tonight.

The things that come out of Jan's mouth can make you smile and or laugh but It is truly sad seeing My Little Darlin like this because of a senseless act (two actually).   Seeing her the way she is now can be almost as hard as those first several days when this nightmare started and I was not sure if she was going to survive.  I keep hearing stories of people with similar traumatic histories and good outcomes.  It is a whole different story when you are living it and there is still that lingering uncertainty.  This is a hell of a lot harder than any ironman triathlon, medical school, board exams, etc and I would not wish this on anyone, not even the person that did this to Jan.  I hope that person learned something from this and is passing that lesson on.  Thank everyone for reading and caring about my Little Darlin.  Do not let what happened to Jan be in vain.

Please do not forget why she is here.  Do what you can to educate others about sharing the road.  Support Bike Walk Mississippi it is our organized advocacy group.  if you are not from Mississippi then support your local advocacy group.  There is power in numbers.   Put your cell phone away while you drive.  Even if it is hands free you can be totally distracted.   It takes only an instant to maim or kill someone and you do not want to live with that.  Hopefully the victim can live with it.  Jan and I are not yet sure how our life is going to be.  Get off the couch,  get out there on the road yourself.  Your health will benefit,  more people on the road make more people aware and you will be an example of healthy living that will influence others including your own family.


I love My Little Darlin, It is sad seeing her like this but we are in a good place where good things happen

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