Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Trial Run at Independence

Jason's mom and brother, who have been here in CA with us since the day after Jason's accident (8 weeks ago on Saturday!), flew back to Virginia last night. There can be no doubt that their presence made this process so much easier. Gail and Nick took care of Savannah and Sonja (our dog who, for those who don't know, is now on Prozac due to the shock of this situation...). This took a lot of pressure off of me, and allowed me to focus my attention on Jason and his recovery. My dad is flying in tomorrow and will be staying through the end of September, Jason's dad and stepmom are taking on October, and then my brother will be here indefinitely. We certainly have a tremendous support system!

But, for the first time since the accident, it was just the 4 of us at home last night. It has been good to see where we are in terms of being independent. We really want to get back to the point where people are coming to stay with us because they just want to see Savannah, not because we need them here in order to function. We're not quite there yet :) We can certainly manage for a few days, but we still need help, particularly in the mornings and evenings. The days aren't too bad at all, since Jason can do pretty much everything for himself. This brace, though, prevents him from being able to get in and out of bed on his own. He also still has 6 broken ribs that are not totally healed...

In brace news, he goes in for the X-ray on Thursday to see if the back is stable enough to take the brace off. The scans have to be mailed to Reno so that his neurosurgeon can approve this, since no neurosurgeon here in the bay area will work with another neurosurgeon's patient on follow-up care (rather annoying actually). Hopefully, he'll get the okay sometime early next week...so, keep your fingers crossed :)

Jason also started outpatient PT yesterday. It was a really great session. He was evaluated and then spent some time on stretches and trouble-shooting some issues he has with spasticity (his leg spasms are crazy at times). Spasticity is normal in SCI patients, though Jason seems to have stronger than normal spasms. At times, his legs seem to want to do what he would like them to. For example, when getting out of bed into his wheelchair, his legs will lift up on their own onto the foot plate. His therapist acted like she hadn't heard of something like that happening before, so I'm guessing that means we should be encouraged? He also got to use the standing frame for about 15-20 minutes. We're hoping to get one of these for the house, since it helps with digestion/circulation/swelling/muscle tone...it's just an all-around good piece of equipment. He has to use it a bit longer in PT before we can begin the process of asking insurance to pay for one.

Many thanks for all of the great suggestions for the sofa. I think we're going to try putting a piece of plywood under the cushion to give it a bit more firmness, as the main problem he's having is that the cushion is too soft to really give him any leverage to get off the sofa. I'll let y'all know how that works out.

Since we got so many great suggestions for that problem, I'll run another one by y'all. We've put down bamboo chair mats over our carpet, in order to make it easy for Jason to wheel around the house. They are very helpful, but we're having a hard time keeping them from moving all around due to wheelchair and foot traffic. We've tried taping them together and using the grip material you put under rugs, but haven't really had any luck. Any suggestions?

Love you all,


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