“Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.” Khalil Gibran
The high point of Saturday’s dialysis visit was Vernon’s obvious interest in a book I’d brought him. It was written by a Traumatic Brain Injury survivor about his own recovery. For me, I haven’t always enjoyed reading about other tbi survivor’s stories, because each one is so very different, yet I can’t help but try to compare/contrast Vernon’s to theirs, and usually he ends up losing, with his multitude of problems and the length of time involved. To be honest, it’s usually either a depressing ‘struggle’ or else a ‘miracle,’ which tends to make me jealous. My mind is opening up here and there, and I find myself cautiously interested in more tbi survival stories. I guess it’s just the stage I’m in. But Vernon took the book with some enthusiasm, trying to read it himself. (His eyes are still too wonky—I’m thinking of experimenting with a patch.)
“This man had a brain injury and he wrote this book?” Vernon seemed inspired. It hadn’t occurred to me what a big deal it was for this man to write a book—a man who once might have been at the same recovery stage as Vernon. But it looked like a lightbulb had turned on. I knew he understood that he and the writer had something in common, and it seemed that alone gave him a moment of interested hope. Though I don’t often find other’s stories of brain recovery very relatable…it could very well be that does.
And yesterday, Vernon was a higher strung than I’d seen him all week, which was disappointing because I thought he’d had so many good days in a row. But Joe says he is still losing it at times with the staff, even his favorite CNAs (a somewhat alarming new development.) So that threw me off, of course. But the doctor prescribed his new medication only last week, so instead of fretting, I’ll share a good part of the day.
A new (to me) RNA named Laura, took him into the gym at the scheduled 1:30 time. I know when he is putting up a fight, he can easily be left behind, so I’m finding its important to be there for every session, so I can coax Vernon into going and hopefully help him relax so that he doesn’t lose his session, which is a patient’s privilege, rather than a right. He didn’t want to work because his body hurt so bad, but he managed to get a half hour in on the cycling contraption. He even asked if I’d take his picture!
Justine was the girl of his affections yesterday, since she was hanging around too. Putting on her best behavior, she sat in front of him and kept him focused as his arms and legs rotated. They did basic math problems together. I was so thankful because Vernon was easily annoyed with me and I wanted to show the RNA that he actually could tolerate the exercise.
As much as he shouted about it all in the beginning, I could see improvement since Monday’s session. His right elbow seemed much more extended than it had been, enough to hold onto the handle nearly the entire time. He couldn’t do that earlier in the week. Here is a peek:
Barbara gave a good report on his session this morning, but he did end up in the ER again today for…you guessed it: a replacement G-tube! Personally, I think he’s just so skinny and wiggly, those pesky tubes just can’t stay stuck.
Hoping for good things tomorrow. I’ll be there for both dialysis and exercise. We have to make sure these things happen.