Thursday, August 14, 2008

Update - Thursday, August 14

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.



anne said...

Ah, finally outside! Yay! I am sure that felt great for Paul to feel this balmy (ha!) weather on his face! Thanks for the update, Patty .... sounds as though you're as integral to the recovery as the doctors and therapists. Paul must surely be proud that you're standing there next to him.

Hugs and good wishes to you both ... and Buzz too!

Rrramone said...

Great to read all of this from out of town. Helps me to feel grounded again. :-) Paul is doing great, he even took the cap off my head and put it on his own head effortlessly. Amazing. I've know of Paul's great brain for a long time and I'm very optimistic about his progress.

Much love to him!! And to you Patty!! You are doing an amazing job.

Brent McMahan said...

Hang in there Patty. We are all still behind you and Paul and think of you guys every day.

Much love to you all,

Brent McMahan

Sarah said...

So happy to read an update! And so encouraged by everything I read! Loved reading the HOW article. I sent it off to John to read, since he is now a big Paul fan. Hey! There is a reason to wake up all the way! Paul needs to meet John! Those 2 would be hysterical together...such big personalities.

Best wishes to you all!

Sarah, John, Michael and Henry Pucci

Wendy Virtue said...

Thank you for keeping us updated! Patty your strength is amazing and it is great to hear of the progress Paul is making! You guys are always in my prayers!

Anonymous said...

So great to hear all of this wonderful news!! I think showing them the article is perfect. You are absolutely right...this is no ordinary patient and creative thinking is so important for him. So proud of're amazing Patty!!!!

See you soon,

wines said...

That’s encouraging news. And a very nice post. Thanks so much Patty for keeping us up to speed on Paul’s progress. I know for many of us, this blog has become an important fixture of our lives. Nice article on Paul. I remember a creative exercise he led at the shop years back, in which we all rode a DART bus, and recorded our experiences. At the time, I didn’t quite get the idea? Looking back, it was one of the truly memorable creative experiences of my career.

Our prayers continue to be with you – and are stronger than ever!

Get on the bus Paul!!!


Anonymous said...

paul/ patty-

apologies for belated visit... i'll be en route soon... just talked to john and got even more insight to how he's been doing. great to hear of all the progress and jill and i will see you both soon.


The Tart said...

Go Paul Go ... I see a Starbucks Latte Frappuccino in your future!!! Yummy.

So glad you are doing well. It was great to see you, the day Willie brought over the basketball.

Have a great weekend! Big hugs to Patty, Buzz & the whole family.

The Tart

PS. I am still jealous about Muffin's hamburger Thursday event. I know McDonalds is not your favorite ... But every so often ya gotta have one!!

Kristine said...

I shed tears reading this post. While this update on Paul is wonderful, and I feel honored to be witnessing his progress each week, this post was more about the love of a woman and a man.

How often do we take for granted “in sickness and in health”? Patty, Paul is blessed to call you his wife. As your Mom told me this week, she sees Paul’s face relax, and have a look of love when you’re around him. Truly a blessing and again, how honored I am to be a witness.

Jenny said...

Thanks for posting the HOW article.

I've never met Paul, and it was nice to get a glimpse of who he is.

Jenny (Beth's friend from Iowa)

Anonymous said...

Dr. Carlisle is wonderful! I worked on her team when I was a therapy tech at Baylor Rehab many years ago. What an amazing and brilliant physician! I bet the therapy seems rigorus at times, but Paul is in the best hands, and those folks know what they are doing. What a fantastic idea to pass that article out to the staff! I think I saw you at registration the other day - I wonder who Buzz's teacher will be. Abby is in Ms. Wright's class. We look forward to seeing you and Buzz this week at school. Take care,
Alison Wire (Abby's Mom)

Clint said...

I only recently heard the news. Please let me know if there is anything we can do to help. Thinking of you.

Steve Whiteside said...

Patty - I just learned about your husband's accident and the family's difficult recovery process. I feel great empathy for what you and your family are dealing with currently. My family will send many prayers your way!

Your friend always, Steve Whiteside