Lori is staying late tonight with Neil so it seemed like the right thing to offer to update the blog tonight. Back to your regularly scheduled (and no doubt preferred) programming tomorrow.
Today was a good day up at Kessler. As it was Saturday, Neil only had one session of PT but was able to go outside again for it. He and Kirk took a walk, climbed some stairs and even walked on some unlevel terrain. After that, they went back inside to the gym to work on balance. The therapists do such a great job and we are so appreciative of them. The two that Neil has worked the most with are rotating down to the spinal cord injury floor next week and we will surely miss them but are confident that their replacements will do a great job, also. A highlight tonight was that Neil was able to brush his teeth while standing at the sink in his room. Although tomorrow is Sunday, Neil has a full schedule of therapy to make up for some lost time during the week when we went to visit the ENT doctor.
Being up at Kessler most of every day, there is opportunity to greet and interact with the other patients that are on the same floor as Neil. Folks from all ages and walks of life find themselves in the situation of trying to recover from brain injury. Not surprisingly, I feel a very close connection to these people and my heart aches for them. Some have relatively minor injuries and they come and go quickly. Others with more serious issues stay longer. Some are awake, alert, and communicate. Others not so much. I often wonder what their lives were like before and when possible and appropriate, I try and get to know them. For example, in a sad bit of irony, there is a patient on Neil's floor currently who happens to be a rehabilitation physician. I pray for this man that he might be able to return to the great work he was doing. Another fellow, referred to as "Rock Star" by many (including me) was discharged recently to go home. Although he always told me "you look tired" (very accurate BTW), I looked forward to bantering with him a bit each day. I wonder what he did for a living before his injury and what his life was like and what it will now be like? I think of him often. Stepping into Kessler each day from a world where things that shouldn't matter much sometimes do, has taught me much and I hope I can carry with me some of the things I have learned about love, caring, hope, struggle, relativity, and the list could go on. Although I wish we had never had to go through this, the learning experience and more importantly the "feeling experience" has left me changed--hopefully not soon to be forgotten.