Friday, November 21, 2008

Update, Nov. 21 - Paul Gets Closer to Home

Paul took his first trip back to Dallas last Saturday night on an outing to my sister Katie's house in North Dallas. It went great! He seemed to enjoy the drive and appreciate being back in familiar territory. Transporting him was easy as there is only one step to get into the house. From the car, he got in the wheelchair but when we got to the step, we helped him walk up the step, into the house, and to a chair in the living room.

Not everyone in my family was there but we still had 7 adults and 5 kids. We figure this is good practice for Thanksgiving, when the head count will double. It was a nice visit. He had a long conversation (via the letter board) with my sister about William Faulkner's "The Sound and the Fury." I'm not really sure how it came about, sometimes the topics he wants to cover come out of nowhere, but he definitely remembered reading the book and all the details and meanings behind the plot. Dinner went well too but shortly after we ate, the kids started to get a little rowdy and the noise level rose quite a bit. Paul let us know that he was ready to go.

As I've said before, he still gets confused and often spells out that he feels out of it, scrambled, or scared. The neuropsychologist at Pate has said that this is a good thing because Paul is moving toward comprehending the bigger picture, that something has happened and his life is out of whack. Apparently, many traumatic brain injury patients never even reach that point.

Little by little, Paul also seems to be getting his short-term memory back as well. For a while there, Paul would ask me every 15 minutes how long I would be staying at Pate that day. It actually got to be a little bit comical. He now seems to remember for the most part but he still acts a little surprised when I do say I am leaving. He also can forget what happened earlier in the day or that he had recent visitors. The doctor feels this should get better but may always be somewhat of a problem.

We are excited about Thanksgiving (Paul's mother will be here for a week) but we are even more excited (and nervous too) that Paul has been given a discharge date and will come home Dec. 12. However, his rehab will continue as he'll have out-patient therapy through February, if not longer. We are preparing the house for his arrival by renovating the bathroom to make the shower larger and by adding grab bars. We also are installing French doors in the front of the house that will allow Paul easier access into the house. We continue to be very hopeful and optimistic about Paul's walking but the reality is that, by December, he still will be using the wheelchair.

Both Paul and Buzz have countdown calendars to Paul's homecoming and we mark off the days as they pass. I cannot believe that five months ago I didn't know if Paul would ever be returning home and now he will be here for Christmas. What a wonderful gift for all of us.

Thank you again for following our story.



Brad said...

Very nice. Have a wonderful holiday with your family!

Sarah said...

Such good news!

Take care,
Sarah Pucci

Keri said...

Wonderful to hear about Paul's remarkable progress. Still praying!

Anonymous said...

love the potos
the Langes

Anonymous said...

Wow, wow, wow!! What a journey! This will be the most special Christmas you have ever had, without a doubt. And all the Christmases after this one will have special meaning, too.

God bless you guys,
Kathy Nichols

Alexa said...

Hooray, hooray, hooray!! Such great news. Enjoy Thanksgiving and time with family. And, may your sweet potato casserole be piled high with extra melted marshmallows. Big hugs all around!

Lolaudra said...

Hey Paul!

Just gave James a haircut just like yours. You look great! We're praying for you!
(He didn't tip the barber either - ;-)

Much love
Audrey and James Harrell

Michele A. said...

I'm so happy for you! Great news! God bless!

Kristine said...

Praise God!

I could say more, but I really think this sums it up.

Love to you Paul, Patty, Buzz and all the family. May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Anonymous said...

Hi Patty -- that's great news that Paul is coming home soon! We've been following along and it's wonderful news that he's made so much progress. Hope you and the whole family have a nice Thanksgiving. Love, Neal, Jacqueline, Iasmim and Ricardo

Joe said...

Wonderful news!! I've kept up with Paul's progress (like many others) for these months. I feel happy for you Patty and your and Paul's son Buzz. What a blessed gift on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Miracles are alive and well. :-)

Happy Thanksgiving ...

Grace and peace -- Joe

Anonymous said...

I have never met you, but I think of you every time I cycle across the Mockingbird Causeway (now with some trepidation...) --Perhaps I have said all this already?
I am so glad you are making great strides! All the best, Beth from Team in Training (and resident of East Dallas).

Anonymous said...

Hallelujah! Paul's going home. That's the best news ever. Hope to see you when I come home for Christmas.

Much Love,


Wheat said...

That is wonderful wonderful news!! Paul is coming home.
God bless

Anonymous said...

What wonderful news! Giddy Up.

Judit said...

What wonderful news!

dpatrick said...

just thinking of you guys today and wanted to say hello. hope everything is progressing and paul, i hope you're in good spirits.

a-townblog said...

Paul, Patty, and Buzz-

What good news...a discharge date on the calendar. And SOON! I look forward to hearing how the Dynavox is working out.

Enjoy your Christmas together.
love- Amy (and the Anderson fam)