Formerly "Neil Stone Updates"

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Better To See You With

Not only do these "fab" colored glasses look cool, they help Neil exercise his eyes. He's still having some trouble getting them to work together. He can make one or the other look at you, but never both at the same time. He uses the glasses with a 3D chart to try to focus on two concentric circles. If he can make one circle look closer than the other, his eyes are cooperating. Believe it or not, it's tough work!

Right now, Neil is still wearing a prism lens on the left side. This forces the two eyes to work together until Neil can do it on his own. He's very anxious to be rid of the prism because he wants to wear his contact lenses again. The neuro-optometrist thinks it will be soon. In the mean time, it's practice, practice, practice.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Peace and Comfort

We're sending our thoughts and prayers to another BRHS family who is suffering tonight. God bless you.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Just Practicing

Spicy seasoned chicken, black beans, grilled onions and peppers, lettuce, salsa, and sour cream on a corn tortilla. A Tons of Tacos possibility!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Slán Laet Sarah

Although Neil has been watching his friends leave for college for the last month or so, Sarah's departure on Wednesday was especially painful. It's not just that she's been such a good friend for the last four years (and yes, she certainly has been!). It might have something to do with the fact that she's so far away now--Trinity College in Ireland! However much Neil will miss her, she's living out a dream and we are all happy for this opportunity she has. Thankfully, Neil and Sarah have worked out a way to keep in touch that won't break their respective communication budgets.

Go raimh maith agat!

Many thanks Sarah, for teaching Neil to snowboard, for being his listening ear, for your many visits to the hospital, and for starting his facebook page. Thanks for your countless acts of kindness and compassion. We love you and wish you all the best!

Maith thú!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hitting the Books

First day at BRHS for the boys. Everything went according to plan. Everyone was happy. Looks like Eric will have a good year as a Freshman with some challenging classes and marching band. Neil is starting with just two classes: Literature in a small class environment, and Computer Repair. He'll be adding a couple more classes as he becomes ready--maybe in a week or two. He's been assigned an aide to help him get to where he needs to be and to assist in class if he needs it. I have a feeling he won't be needing this kind of help for long. He seemed more than ready for the educational and social stimulation. Even though he'll only be at school for an hour and a half, it's going to be very good for both of us. Wonder how long it will take for me to get over my separation anxiety...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Food, Glorious Food

In Neil's pre-accident life eating was a social thing. He could down a lot of hamburgers if he were with friends and he thought it would make them laugh. At home it was a different story. He often forgot to eat and had to be reminded. Even then, he'd only eat if I made him something. Laziness was more important than nutrition.

It's funny what can change with damage to different parts of the brain. Food has become important to Neil almost to the point of obsession. One of the first things he asks every morning is, "What's for dinner tonight?" He doesn't mind eating the same current favorite at every meal--in fact, he prefers it. He loves to get in on planning the week's menu with his dad and never hesitates to come shopping at the grocery store. Along with the planning and the eating, he wants to be involved in the preparations.

After spending weeks researching which computer component he wanted for his birthday, someone suggested a George Foreman grill and it suddenly became obvious. Now he loves to cook for friends, family, and of course, himself. Though he still needs some supervision, it won't be long 'til he's grilling on his own. Fortunately for Neil, he's got the metabolism that can handle his new penchant for eating. He burns a lot of calories in his physical therapy.

A couple of weeks ago Neil came into my room at 3:45 in the morning. He had heard me coughing so assumed that meant I was awake. Apparently he'd been awake himself for a few hours just waiting to share an idea that had come to him in the middle of the night: Tons of Tacos--a food stand that would sell delicious tacos for a dollar a piece. Who could resist? Neil's got a dream now and I dare anyone to stand in his way. Chipotle--look out!