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.



Anonymous said...

I always love these updates and check this blog almost daily. As I try to get updates from Bobby, nothing compares to this.

I know Buzz had a great time with Uncle Bobby and Uncle John yesterday. Sounds like they all had a great time. I took advantage of Pat taking care of Bobby2 for a few hours.

Patty and Paul, you guys are such an inspiration to us all. I know it's made our family that much stronger and the rewards for our faith and of course, Paul's tremendous determination will pay off. I pray each night for a full recovery.

I know we've been talking about having the "dual" birthday celebration...and now it's just around the corner! Should be a great time and a very special birthday indeed.

Paul, keep up the hard work and know we think and talk about you all the time. We constantly remind Little Bobby who is he named after.

See you soon. We love you!

The Hatfields

annie said...

um, can I be on Paul's Trivial Pursuit team? 'Cause Ro and Corstiaan smoked me Friday night. Paul --- help!! :)

Awesome news and progress, just awesome.

Rob W. said...

Murray Hamilton (Mr. Robinson in "The Graduate" and the mayor in "Jaws") and William Daniels (who played Dustin Hoffman's father in "The Graduate") were powerhouse character actors in the '70's and '80's.

They both did a bucketload of TV as well.

Trivia Paul may also be interested in was that "The Graduate" was also Richard Dreyfuss' first film role! A careful eye can spot him in one scene, though I recall his entire body was not in the shot!

Keep hanging in there, Paul!

Meggan Webber said...

Patty, I went to college with Paul at UNT, and we've lost touch since I left Dallas around 2000. In interned at RSW when he was a designer there. I found out this weekend about his accident through a mutual friend. It took my breath away, to say the least. Thank you for posting to this blog. You are amazing. I will pray for Paul every day. Tell him Meggan Webber says hello.

Joe said...

Patty -- Thanks so much for keeping this blog going. I know Willie and a few other guys who are friends of Paul's. They are friends and brothers of mine, too. Tell Paul there are a lot of people praying for him to keep on gaining strength and persevering ... including myself.

Grace and peace -- Joe

Anonymous said...

Hello Jerde Family!

It's been way too long since i posted a comment, but i just want you to know that there's a lot of us out here that think and pray for you all the time. It's hard to believe that it's been almost a year since life changed so abruptly and dramatically for you all. I know that every day, Paul recovers a bit more.... It just seems hard to see the changes when you are watching so closely. But they are there. And I know how precious every moment together has now become. It's amazing how just playing a simple board game or watching a cartoon can lead to such joys! Patty, I am so thankful that Paul has such a wonderful partner during this treacherous part of his life's journey. Take care... and know there are still lots of prayers coming your way to help you guys through the days to come.

Kristin Baxter

Clint said...

Ever see the movie "Memento"? Great movie about a guy with short term memory loss and puts you in the position of the character, though I sure this stuff is a lot less amusing in real life. Great to hear of Paul's progress in this area. I know it can be hard to see the progress when your there everyday, but it's clear from you posts that things are getting better. Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Patty, you don't know me and neither does Paul. I don't even remember how I stumbled upon your blog, but I've been following it since shortly after the accident. I keep your family in my prayers and get excited over Paul's progress. You are obviously an amazing woman and you've touched a lot of people. I'll continue to pray for you and Paul and your family.


Wendy said...

Loved the crawfish photos. Buzz is a cutie pie! So glad to hear things are progressing. Paul can be on my TP team anyday.
xxoo, Wendy

The Smiths said...

Hi Patty and Paul, I am so excited to hear what great progress Paul is making! It is really awesome news and though I know it is slow going, it is also tremendous that he has had the recovery that he has. Reading this update is so exciting...Paul has come such a long way from when I worked with him at BIR last year. You all are always in my thoughts and prayers. Keep up all your hard work!

Erica Smith

Anonymous said...

It's so good to hear of all the progress Paul has made. Please know that we have continued to keep you in our prayers both at home and on our prayer list at church. Several times a month I will have someone ask me how my friend Mr. Jerde is doing.

Paul is looking great and I love seeing all the pics you all have posted.

I don't think I ever want to play Trivial Pursuit with Paul, he would beat me hands down.

Keep up the wonderful progress. All our best to you and all your family. Eleanor Day

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