Monday, December 8, 2008

Four More Days - Dec. 8 Update

The countdown continues as there are now only four more days until Paul comes home. Thanksgiving went well and, although I know it will be a huge adjustment from life at Pate, I think Paul is ready to be home and will be stimulated by being back in his real life.

Paul still is not verbal so we continue to communicate via the letter board. We don't have the Dynavox machine yet as there is paperwork involved because the machine, which is fairly expensive, is being provided by the state. (Thank you, everyone in Texas, for paying the universal service charge on your phone bill. Now you know where some of the money goes.) Right now, we have a Dynavox trial software program on my computer that we've been practicing with but since Paul is still adapting to using the keyboard and typing with only his left hand, it is slow and he prefers using the letter board. The letter board works fine, but is time consuming since you have to concentrate as he spells out each word. If you miss a letter, it gets very confusing. Of course, oftentimes, I can guess the word before he finishes spelling but sometimes I am wrong in my guess. For example, on Saturday a friend who we had not seen for some time even before Paul's accident was visiting. It was an emotional visit and I was teary eyed when Paul began spelling out, "C-R-Y..." Before he could finish, I said "Crying, yes, I was crying but don't worry about me, I am fine." Paul shook his head and continued spelling, "C-R-Y-S-T-A-L L-I-G-H-T." It turned out that he was not really concerned about me but just thirsty. The old Paul continues to shine through!

I expect that the actual Dynavox machine, which is touch-screen, will be easier for Paul to use. Again, he continues to work on his speech and I remain very hopeful that it will come easier in time.

Paul's other main focus still is his walking. He wants to practice all the time and often just tries to get up out of the wheelchair. I think when he gets home, his determination will multiply and we'll have to keep an eye on him until he has more control and balance.

The renovations on the house continue and, right now, it is a mess but I think most of it will be done by Friday and we'll be able to clean up the coat of dust that covers just about everything. We plan Paul's arrival home to be low key because we think he will be overwhelmed enough simply by being here. His coming home is just one more step forward on his journey to recovery. I've been doing some research on traumatic brain injuries and have read that, although much of the recovery takes place during the first year to two years, the brain can continue to heal and change throughout a lifetime. Right now, I believe he is far from done with his recovery and nowhere near where he'll be in a year.

That said, I'll continue to update the blog even after Paul's homecoming and perhaps, one day soon, Paul will be able to take part in updating the blog too.



Keri said...

Yes, please continue the blog and updates. Paul -and all of you- are continuously in my prayers and I look forward to hearing about more progress.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear a new chapter, "At Home" is almost ready to begin. I continue to lift you all in my prayers. You are a wonderful family and I am very happy that Paul will get to be home for Christmas.
Much Love, Lucinda

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful update. I check this board every day and am so glad to read your comments. I love the "crystal light" story. That is great!

I'm thrilled he'll be home soon and I just know he's going to continue to make great, great progress. I am very thankful that he'll be here for Christmas and we can all rejoice being together. God certainly has blessed us with his homecoming date.

I know the road continues to be a long one, but Paul has come so far in such a short time period.

We are all looking forward to coming to the Jerde house to check out the renovations and to see Paul.

With much love, Karen Hatfield

Anonymous said...

I am so excited for you but know it will be a huge transtition for all of you. Please let me know how I can help. I would be happy to do whatever you need.

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear the day of "coming home" has arrived. We have so appreciated the updates. We will continue to pray for you both as you begin the next stage of this journey.
Mike and Diane Taylor

Stephanie Linder said...

Wow! We are so happy for your family...I can only imagine how wonderful it will be for you all to be under the same roof! We were reminiscing about Paul just last night. He and Buzz were in our Indian Guides group with my husband Phillip and our twins Michael and Maddox. They went skating as a group last night and both of the boys were talking about Buzz's dad helping them skate last year. We still pray for you all often! I hope Paul can enjoy some Indian Guide activities with Buzz in the near future! Love, The Linder Family

annie said...

A touchscreen Dynavox??? Swwet! Paul's getting a giant iPhone!!

Awesome news, Patty ---- and reading the Crystal Light story made me think the lunch crew was back at Bueno sharing silly stories!

Hope to see you both when things settle in a bit. :)

Anonymous said...

You will all be in my thoughts tomorrow as Paul makes the move back home. I pray that the transition goes well and that you all have a blessed Christmas.
Mary Ellen

Dena said...

How wonderful to have the whole family home together in time for Christmas! Thinking of you each day, Dena

Mim said...

please keep the updates going, having had a friend with a traumatic brain injury I know what a long road it is. Took my friend over a year to really "wake up" if you know what I mean. He is fine now and doesn't remember the rehab home at all.

Patience...not easy is it?

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