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.