When Dr. Danish last saw him before we left Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, he wasn't terribly hopeful for Neil's future. Well, he didn't really say that to us, but we could tell by his reaction to Neil's progress today that that must have been the case. He was very impressed that three months out from the accident, Neil was already walking and talking. The good doctor wanted to do the cranioplasty surgery before he left on a trip, so he fast tracked all the lab work and the CT scan for us so that we could be all ready for Tuesday's operation. Because of the testing today that we weren't expecting, we had to postpone Neil's first therapies until tomorrow.
Since the doctor works out of Robert Wood Johnson, that's where we went for the testing. I wasn't prepared for the wave of emotion that I felt as we walked into the atrium that we had spent so much time in back in January and February. I can't quite tell you what that emotion was...maybe I was reliving the uncertainty, the grief and fear we felt so strongly then. We still have those feelings, though there is much relief and thankfulness for what we've already gained back.
As we move forward from here, we are all going to need a lot of patience. While Neil learns to be more independent, he will need patience with himself and his limitations, and patience with us as we try to fill his needs as well as our other responsibilities. We will need that patience as we try to deal with his short-term memory and his persistent, repetitive questions. I'm glad he's asking questions, though. It means he wants to know; he wants to fill in the holes in his memory; he wants to make sense of his new world. And that's a good sign.