Paul has now graduated to pureed hospital food (not exactly Taco Diner but better than just tube feedings). We still are carefully watching to make sure that he swallows correctly. He gets three meals a day, which either I, or the nurse, help him eat. We also are working toward him holding the fork on his own but that will take some practice. At this point, he doesn't eat a lot so the tube still is in place in his stomach.
He continues his rigorous therapy sessions as well and is out of bed for most of the day. He can sit more comfortably in the wheelchair for long periods of time so, now that the weather has cooled off, I’ve taken him outside several times. I think he enjoys the fresh air and this morning put his head back on the headrest and dozed for about 15 minutes during a break between sessions.
His doctor here is Dr. Mary Carlile, who is very highly regarded in the field of traumatic brain injury recovery. She has prescribed several neuro-stimulus drugs so he is much more alert now and aware of his surroundings but still is not responding to commands consistently. It is hard enough for me to understand and even harder to explain, but Paul can put a baseball cap on and take it off; hold a cup and sip through a straw; and fluff his pillow under his head until he is comfortable but he still has not fully regained consciousness.
Something that I find difficult to handle is that the therapists, doctors, and nurses don’t get to see and appreciate Paul’s charismatic, and often very complicated, personality (anyone who knows him well will most likely agree). We have photos up throughout the room and also have displayed some of the professional work he has done. Today, I passed out to the staff a recent article from HOW magazine, in which Paul was interviewed about the creative jams (creative team-building sessions) held at MasonBaronet. I’ve always known that Paul’s brain was more complicated than most people’s (life with Paul is never boring) but want to share this information with everyone here. This is no generic patient they are dealing with and I want them to be creative when they are working with him as well.
As I’ve said so many times, please continue to pray for Paul and his recovery. I know that, once he fully regains consciousness, there will be nothing stopping him.