It's been a good day, and a day for patience. We've been waiting for Neil to show some affection, and he certainly does. He frequently reaches up to pat Scott or me on the back. Often he pulls us in close for a hug. Today Scott asked him for a kiss and leaned his cheek close to Neil's face. Sure enough, Neil's lips made a kissing sound. Of course we made sure we each got another kiss or two during the day! His sweet and tender ways help us to cope with another aspect of his condition--his repetitive ticks. This habit is called perseveration, and is fairly common in patients with a brain injury. Pretty sure it will go away as he progresses.
His therapists that have the patience and perseverance to deal with his short attention span have been rewarded with seeing his ever-expanding cognitive abilities. He knows what things are and what they're used for. He knows about his family (although he seems to think he has a dog instead of a cat!), and that he's a high school student. He knows he's in a hospital to help him get better. He seems to know and remember a lot. When he starts talking, we'll have a much better idea how much more he knows. The talking is coming along a bit slowly, but we were warned that might be the case by Dr. Danish, the neuro surgeon who performed his craniectomy.
Besides the kisses, today's highlight was our walks outside. We bundled Neil up and took him out to throw snowballs. We knew he enjoyed it because, as we came back in the building through a back door, we asked him to point the way we should go to get back to his room. He directed us correctly until we got to the elevator to go up. Instead of having us get on, he directed us out the front door again!
P.S. When you come for a visit, ask Neil to snap his fingers for you. It's his latest trick!