Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A note from Dave Cowling (Paul's brother in law)


Hope all is well, I wanted to pass this along. I use getwellsoonpaul.blogspot.com as a sigline on a couple of blogs I visit. I received a note from someone who happened to go there and was moved to write. Feel free to include it in the blog if you like.

This is what they wrote;

"Wanted to Thank You for your sigline. I sat and read the whole blog. What an inspirational ongoing story of a man's recovery and those whom love him. Paul's wife Patty has become a hero to me this morning as I read the blog."

Just a quick note, but it illustrates the power of Patty and Paul's example and the blog itself.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Recent pix at crawfish boil!

Paul came to the annual new warrior crawfish boil a few weeks ago and I'm happy to report his appetite for crawfish has not suffered much at all. :-) Everyone was happy to see him there, of course, and Buzz, Patty and Beth too!

For the past few months Paul has been attending our weekly warrior men's group meetings and has been doing great. He still mostly spells out his input (which is typically very insightful), and does say an occasional word or two. It's great to have him back!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Update - Sunday, April 19

The good news is that, cognitively, Paul seems to be getting better and better each day. He is much less confused and his short-term memory is really improving. He remembers more day-to-day occurances, which makes life so much easier. We can now have a conversation, visit with someone, and watch a movie or television show and he'll remember most of it the next day and several days later. What a relief! I felt like I was constantly reminding him of things that I had just told him, which I didn't really mind. I was more frustrated when we would be with family or friends and something newsworthy would come up that Paul and I had talked about but Paul would just look shocked like he was hearing it for the first time. I had to keep defending myself that I was keeping Paul in the loop and Paul would just shake his head with a "no she isn't" look on his face. I am pretty sure that most people believed me but I sometimes wondered.

His long-term memory though almost seems better than it was before his accident. We played Trivial Pursuit one night a couple of weeks ago and he did great. (We had tried playing at Christmas and some of Paul's answers were pretty off-the-wall.) I couldn't believe how many answers he got right this time or at least how close he was. For instance, in 1973, what musical received more Oscars than The Godfather? It was Cabaret, and Paul got it right. I was surprised. I would not have guessed that he would have known that pre-accident. In fact, I wonder why he even knows that at all... it is curious. And one more movie trivia bit, last night, Beth, Paul, and I were watching The Graduate and discussing the actor playing Mr. Robinson when Paul pointed out that his name was Murray Hamilton and that he also was in Jaws. I think of myself as fairly knowledgeable about Hollywood and, although the actor seemed familiar, I had never heard his name before. Is it me or does anyone else know Murray Hamilton??

Now, if only his body could catch up with his cognitive recovery. He continues to slowly but surely recover his speech. And he works hard every day physically but still cannot walk on his own or even stand balancing for long. We will now see the doctor regularly to have his baclofen dosage increased. It is recommended that the dose only be increased by a certain percentage weekly so we'll be there every week until we start to see more dramatic changes. I know that Paul's determination can carry him far but I think he needs to see some progress soon to keep the momentum going, especially as he becomes more aware of the outside world. He continues to express interest in art, and, although clearly not ready, wants to begin designing again soon. This is all wonderful to hear because his passion is still there but he'll have to relearn the basics of the computer and design programs and it is going to much more challenging this time around. I have to say though, Paul continues to amaze me as I see more of the old Paul coming out, and, with each day, he makes me smile and laugh more and more. He even has become more cynical the past few months, which I guess is a good thing.

And, this week Paul will also getting Botox shots in his right arm. Although temporary, this should help the spasticity there as the baclofen pump primarily targets the baclofen to his trunk and leg. His occupational therapist continues to work hard with his arm and push him to use it whenever he can. More on that, and his baclofen, later.

Thank you, everyone, for sharing our story. I don't know how we could have gotten this far (almost a year!) without the support of everyone. And, I am thankful every day.