Formerly "Neil Stone Updates"

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mr. Nice Guy

Every brain injury is different, but there are usually certain phases that are common. For instance, patients often go through a period of confusion where they can be aggressive, rude, and inappropriate. Neil certainly gets confused, but I've never seen him more polite. He tells the nurse, "thank you," as she gives him a whole slew of humongous pills to swallow. When his speech therapist asks him questions about school and family to get him talking, he turns the questions around and asks about what she studied in school. He's very cooperative with all his therapists. One of them, on returning from a week-long vacation, told her colleagues the only patient she couldn't wait to get back to was Neil.

Neil's kind and thoughtful nature has made it easy for us to care for him (even though the time and distance involved is really tough.) He's a delight to be around. Apparently, this is a problem for us because, we've been doing too much for him. One of our goals right now is for him to be independent. I was surprised the other day when his occupational therapist told me how well he could put on his own shoes and socks. Oops! Guess I don't need to be kneeling on the floor doing that for him anymore. It's hard to stand back and watch him struggle with opening his milk carton, but if that's what we need to do to help him heal, we're on board. Maybe it would be a little easier for us to hold back if we taught him to bite and swear a bit... Don't worry, looks like Neil can only be Neil--thank goodness!


Polly said...

One thing that always stands out in your posts is just how sweet and polite Neil is. He has a very sweet soul!!!
As mothers, aren't we always trying to do more for our kids? We are mother hens.
I'm sure he wants to be as independent as possible. As his speech improves, maybe he'll be able to ask for help when he really needs it. I guess you take a step back, and see what he can do for himself each day.
Last nights dinner posts was very touching. And how nice for him and Scott to go to the occasion together, and again, Neil was so sweet and courteous.

Meredith said...

You know how some people just don't seem to have a mean bone in their body? I have always thought that about Neil. I am so glad that his injury didn't affect his personality in that way. His good nature and fun spirit has always been infectious. Spending so much time with all of you this summer made me realize even more that Neil is a truly genuine person - he seemed to be so at home playing with little cousins - these little cousins looked up to admired him so much. He is truly one of a kind - truly a hero of ours.

Joe G. said...

What this demonstrates is the great family structure of the Stones, and that rubbed off on Neil. Children are products of their environments, and Scott, Laurie, and his siblings set a high standard that we all should admire and strive to emulate. Neil here is emulating that environment. Be proud of Neil.

Polly said...

Joe G. RIGHT!!!!