Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Update - Oct. 14

Paul took his first official outing from Pate on Sunday and it went great. My sister, Mary, Willie Baronet, Pete Lacker, and I all accompanied Paul to a Mexican food restaurant in "downtown" Anna. We were able to go as Paul now has daily two-hour passes that allow him to leave the Pate compound. I was a little nervous because I wasn't sure how Paul would react (prior to this we had driven around and gone to Sonic but never actually taken him out of the car). He is getting stronger every day so transferring him from the wheelchair to the car was very easy. I think he was a little nervous but we got to the restaurant early so we were the only customers, the service was quick, and the food was good. He was in a great mood and laughing as we talked. I think he was sad to have to go back to Pate but, eventually, the passes will be for longer and, when he is ready, we can bring him home for visits. I hesitate to do that now because I think going back to rehab would be really hard for him. In time, I expect that he'll have a better understanding of why it is important that he stays there and continues to work hard.

Although his ability to speak is slow in coming, Paul has gotten better about spelling out words on a laminated letter board and by writing on a dry erase board, both of which we keep with us at all times. He doesn't always spell correctly but so far has communicated with the board both by spelling out one word or whole sentences. On Thursday, Beth was visiting with him, they were sitting outside, and he spelled out "jacket" to let her know that he was cold. On Friday, he spelled out, "How long will you be..." and before he could finish, I guessed the last word was "staying." I was so happy (for both of us) that he was able to communicate because I can't imagine how trapped and scared he must feel. In fact, he has spelled out "fear" when we've asked how he is feeling. He still is sad a lot though he also, more and more, gets that determined look on his face, makes a fist, and seems ready to take on the world. In addition to walking in his daily physical therapy sessions, the staff at the house helps him practice walking every night. This seems to ease his agitation, calm him down, and boost his confidence. Each time, after he walks, he insists on giving everyone involved a big hug and seems very proud.

We also constantly give Paul pep talks to keep him focused on what he can do and on what he will do, instead of what he can't do. Please keep praying for him and thank you all for your support.



annie said...

wow. just wow.

keep up the awesome work, paul. you're amazing to all of us.

Sarah said...

awesome!!! please give a hug from the pucci clan. he is doing great!

take care,
sarah moriarty pucci

Anonymous said...

Incredible!!!! You are doing fabulous, Paul. Keep up the hard work!
The Taylors

Anonymous said...

keep pushing my friend. we're all very proud of you!

Erin said...

Sounds like you are making great strides! Please know you have a gaggle of cheerleaders rooting you on! Keep it up!

Erin Thomas

ksassz said...

Hey Big Boy!

I'm guessing that was some pretty awesome Mexican food. Wish I could have been there. I would have ordered a burrito, or maybe fajitas. Mmmm. I love Mexican food.

Keep on keepin on. Big Hugs.


Anonymous said...

Hey Paul,

Just wanted to say that it sounds like you are doing great. Sometimes I feel kinda weird, like I’m intruding on here because, although, I was in the comm design program in the same time frame as you (graduated in 95), we rarely had classes together. But I did see you occasionally in the halls and I do remember the suitcase full of stock photo books, and I think we may have had one class together. But anyway, just my way of saying that a fellow UNT-er that only knew you in passing is still thinking of you and keeping the good thought out for you. Keep pushing, you’ll get where you want to be.

Chuck Hodges

TommyB said...

Hey Jerde Clan!

I think annie summed it up for me "wow.just wow.

I have not written in a while, but I am still praying for Paul's complete recovery and for you guys to experience grace and mercy.

Tommy from spin class

Ashley Barron Mattocks said...


Sonic and Mexican food....two great inspirations! But still not as inspiring as the Jerde family. Know that you and yours are in our hearts and on our minds daily. And we are looking forward to treating you to margaritas (or chili cheese tater tots - your pick) soon!

Ashley Mattocks & David Carter Design

Anonymous said...

All good news!!! Wonderful to everyone on Saturday. His progress is amazing. You guys both have so much spirit and love. And its really good that he's laughing...It's incredibly important. Fear is understandable. Please tell him I'm proud that he's so strong... he's doing amazing.


Andy said...

This update has me sitting at my desk, crying. My heart goes out to you and Paul. I know I have only a tiny glimpse of he's going through, but his expression of "fear" hit me so hard. I can't imagine what it's like for a father and breadwinner to be in such a position. The thought alone give me fear.

We continue to pray that God gives you strength and peace. And that everyday you feel His love and healing power.

- The Roths

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful news. I know this is an incredible commitment from your entire family, and it's great to hear about good times. We continue to keep all of you in our prayers. Hey, is Paul wearing the tacky crocheted slippers yet?

Jan from RSW

Anonymous said...

Patty, Paul, Buzzz....love you, thinking about you, praying for you. Thank you for keeping us all updated on Paul's progress.

Anonymous said...

Patty, Paul, Buzzz....love you, thinking about you, praying for you. Thank you for keeping us all updated on Paul's progress.

Dana Fay

Anonymous said...

GREAT news Patty! Keep up the good work Paul!

Luv ya,

Joe said...

Paul -- You keep on walking. You are an incredible man and father. You are an inspiration.

Grace and peace,

Joe (friend of Willie Baronet's)

Kathy Nichols said...

More good news about Paul ... Praise God, Praise God, Praise God!! God's help, a faithful family, and an enduring spirit such as "... that determined look on his face, makes a fist, and seems ready to take on the world" reminds me so much of when they told my Daddy that he wouldn't survive, much less walk again. Well, he showed them, just like you are. I'm so inspired and touched every time I read the latest news on Paul. And Patty, your strength and grace is, as always, something most of us only aspire to. Thank you for sharing your personal journey ... you are blessing all of us so richly. Keep shaking that fist, Paul! It's working for you, brother! Patty, keep doing what you're doing. Clearly, you're doing it exactly right. Love to Buzz. xo

Love you guys,
Kathy Nichols

Orchid Tobacco said...

I feel a lot more people need to read this, very good info!......
Cigarette Manufacturers