Formerly "Neil Stone Updates"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Learning to Remember

Perhaps I sounded a bit hopeless and negative in my posting from last night. I apologize. I love to tell about the new feats Neil is able to accomplish, and share some of the things he says that show he's thinking. What I don't usually write about are the things that don't go so well. I don't want him to read this blog some day and be embarrassed. So if we sound discouraged when everything seems to be rosy, maybe everything isn't really rosy. That being said, things were actually pretty rosy today! Squirminess and inattention aside, Neil had some positive experiences we can share.

During therapy, he got to walk Sherman, the therapy dog with some assistance. Good thing Sherman is trained for what he does, because sometimes it's hard to remember to hang on to that leash. This afternoon the recreation therapy department hosted a yoga class which Scott took Neil to. He seemed to enjoy it and it helped him get some of his wiggles out. Of course everything was done with the patients in mind so they could stretch in their chairs.

And there may be some good news about his left arm. In PT they said he seemed to be able to bear some weight with it, Sherman's handler said he felt some resistance from that arm, and Scott saw it trembling a little bit at one point. That hand has always been cold; today it was warm. Neil's doctor says it still may take some time, but those are all good signs.

One of Neil's biggest challenges is going to be retraining his brain to make new memories. I'm not sure just how we do that, but we often ask him questions about current events in his life, like the day or month. We remind him about what he did in therapy and praise him on his efforts. We quiz him on his visitors after they leave. Please don't be offended if he doesn't remember that you came to see him. Just leave your name tag on the poster that his friends made so we can prove to him that you were there. His doctor assures us this is normal for a brain injured patient, but it's hard to imagine how he can forget simple things like that and yet remember Brett Lacey's swimming pool from our Sioux City days. Ah, what an interesting organ the brain is. He'll get this. He will.


Polly said...

Lori, We love all the posts you and Scott leave. Each day Neil makes progress, we readers, can feel it. If Sherman isn't much of a challenge, we can fly Millie out there for Neil. Just kidding!
God Bless you all. You are an awesome example to all of us.
Much love, The Roberg's

Molly said...

Neil's story is truly amazing. He is learning and doing more everyday. It is good to see the things that are easy for him as well as the difficulty, it helps us feel like we are there. Looking at this from our perspective, he is making huge strides. Keep up the hard work!

Meghan, Carson and the Girls said...

I've never heard of them doing yoga as therapy...although it makes perfect sense. His therapy all sounds like it is going well even though there are discouraging moments. I am continually amazed everyday when I read about it progress. Way to go Neil!

Shelly Elston said...

As a parent of a child with challenges I can appreciate your honesty and the frustrations that sometimes boil just below the surface. Please know that your family has a right to voice any and every emotion...negative and positive...because this is a difficult journey with many peaks and valleys and you can't really appreciate the peaks without experiencing and remembering the valleys. Don't feel like you need to apologize for or explain the posts you leave that may sound more "down" than other posts. You obviously have many friends and a large family that loves Neil. They are here for the long matter what. And all of you are doing an amazing job helping him to recover the part of himself that has been injured.

Lori and Scott - make sure you are getting some breaks and taking care of yourselves. You are doing such an awesome job of loving Neil back to himself and he needs you to be well.

The Lyda family is praying for continued progress and encouraging signs that are visible to you everyday.


Anonymous said...

This blog brings me to tears almost every time I read it, which is basically every day. I don't know Neil but I go to his school and some of my friends do know him. I pray for him every day, and it makes me so happy to hear of his progress. You seem like an amazing person and mother and he is so lucky to have such a wonderful family by his side through all of this. Your positivity and ability to share all of your experience on this blog amazes me. Thank you so much. We are all praying for Neil - everyone who knows him, and a huge amount of his peers like myself who don't know him but realize what a great person he is.

Polly said...

I agree with Anonymous, and Shelly Elston. You guys are amazing, and please do take care of yourselves during Neil's recovery time.We love you all!!!