Monday, January 19, 2009

Update - Jan. 19

Paul began his second week at the Pate facility in Dallas (near LBJ and Josey Lane) and things seem to be going well. Although he made great strides while in Anna, I think it is really good for him to be in a new environment with a different group of therapists that will mix things up a bit. A van comes to get him each morning around 8:15 and he is home by 4:00 and, although he still is tired at the end of the day, he doesn't seem as exhausted as after the nearly hour-long commute that he had.

The change to the new facility has reminded me in many different ways of how far Paul has come since he arrived in Anna back in September. At that time, he was extremely confused and scared and I don't think he understood where he was or knew, from day to day, whether or not I would be visiting. Everytime I arrived to see him, he got very emotional and wouldn't let go of me. Last week, Beth and I forgot to include Paul's letterboard with his things on his second day at the new facility so we drove over to drop it off. Paul glanced up, acknowledged us, and then completely turned his attention back to his occupational therapist, who was exercising his right arm. I felt a little bit slighted (after all I am his wife!) but, of course, recognized it as a great moment in his recovery. I also know that when Paul is focused on getting something done, he doesn't tolerate any outside distractions.

I also remember the first day at Pate in Anna, his group was playing Bingo and the therapists put a card in front of Paul. I thought there was no way that he could play Bingo, he seemed to barely know what was going on! He was able to recognize the numbers for awhile until once his card became cluttered with markers, then he started missing numbers. He became better and better at Bingo and other games such as Uno and dominos. Well, this weekend, a friend of Paul's, James Bland, stopped by and brought a Chess board and he and Paul played a few games. This is something they used to do together occasionally on their lunch hours. On Sunday, another friend, Pete Lacker, came by and they also played a few games of Chess. Again, I realized how far Paul has come in the past five months.

Paul, Beth, and I also went to see "The Wrestler" (Paul's choice although I have to say I did like it) this weekend. Paul was focused the entire movie and afterward we discussed it, via the letterboard. It was nice because going to the movies is one of our favorite things to do. We saw the movie at the Angelika in Dallas and realized that it was very easy to access by wheelchair and we will be going to see more movies there as Paul continues to work on his walking. (We went to see a movie with Buzz over the Christmas holidays at another theater and it was a production/fiasco getting Paul in and out of the theater. Again, this all opens my eyes to the many challenges faced by others in similar situations and how, although many people will go out of their way to assist you, others will not acknowledge you. I realize how important it is to help Paul maintain his dignity while he is going through this.)

As I said, Paul continues to work on his walking. We are looking into a medical procedure that might help and will know more about it at the end of the week. Paul also continues to work on his talking, which is very slow in coming but we do see progress so we continue to push him.

Thank you again, everyone, for your continued support.


annie said...

what a great update Patty!

Kristin Baxter said...

It makes me smile to see your family able to enjoy your life together again... even if it is a bit altered by the new adjustments. As you mentioned earlier, before you know it, these moments will be a distant memory and you'll have all the joys of Paul's "normal" antics to deal with daily! May you savor all the little moments of whatever "normal" is today as well.


Rrramone said...

Great update, I love that he was playing chess!

Paul also came and sat in his Thursday night men's group last week for the first time since his accident. He participated fully for the entire meeting from 6:30-9pm, which blew us all away.

I'm so proud of you Pablo!

Sarah said...

Go Paul!! Great news! Keep up the good, ad hard work!

Take care,
Sarah Pucci

Anonymous said...

Great update. Thanks for taking the time to write it. I'm sure a movie outing was just what Paul needed. Glad you found a theater that is accomodating. I love the Angelika! Paul, you keep working hard and we will see you soon. Sending good thoughts your way.....I love you! Karen Hatfield

dpatrick said...

thinking of you paul. glad to see you're making progress.

Kristine said...

Great news! Maybe Paul can teach me how to play chess, I've always wanted to learn.

Many blessings to you all.


Anonymous said...

Hi Patti,
It was so nice to run into you the other day at Albertsons. I am amazed at your strength and will continue to read about Paul's progress. He as come so far and I know he will continue to get better and better.

John G said...

Paul, this is awesome!! Hell, I have been trying to play chess for the last 20 years and still can't figure it out!!

Anonymous said...

Patty, that was a great update and the news from yesterday is wonderful! Paul, keep up the good work! I am learning new things about you all the time and admire you more than ever. I think of you, Patty and Buzz everyday. I love you. ~ Armoire' aka Amy

Anonymous said...

Hey Jerdes!

I'm so glad that Paul is home and able to engage in the leisure activities that make life super sweet.

Keep on keepin' on PJ!

Big Hugs,

Dena said...

Patty, thank you for continuing to update this blog. What a wonderful entry! Our love, the Bufords

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