The Tooth Fairy
Standing Tall

 

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He’s the star of the show…he should have a decent haircut!

I believe someone on the trauma staff at Mission hospital staff shaved Vernon’s head the first night back in May, the big night of  surgeries, when they had to plug in all that head-hardware. And since then, he’s been letting his freak flag fly. But today his beloved hairdresser came to the rescue to tidy up his style.

Now Maila is one of those people who is just lovely to be around. She does a great job with scissors and comb, but its more than that: she is kind and gentle and pretty—and a good listener/conversationalist as well. I didn’t think Vernon would remember her immediately (and he didn’t) but he fell right back into a certain ease and trust with her.  In fact, when the speech therapist, Pilar, who was working with Vernon all through his haircut, asked: “Wouldn’t you like Alli to be your nurse?” Vernon shook his head no.  But when asked the same thing about Maila, he emphatically agreed.

I don’t take it personally. No way. I wouldn’t want me as a nurse either. I would definitely want Maila.

Vernon did his best to pay attention to his speech therapy session, while obviously enjoying his haircut.  I was amazed how well he was able to focus and answer most of the questions pretty clearly…all while having his hair combed and cut. Multi-sensory awareness has got to be a good challenge for the reconnection of the brain. Anyway, it was great to see him enjoying the cut and the attention of all the ladies. And he was sitting up so straight as well—I thought he looked stronger in the neck than ever.

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Looking good, Vern. Not sure about that fancy razor I bought you though. Hmmm….

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Speech Therapy with Pilar. She’s helping him work his wires around his cool new tee-shirt. Thank you, Montgomery Motorcycle Company.  I think tee-shirts make him feel more human, and he was thrilled to put this one on.

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Physical Therapy with Jaime.  Jaime is being as progressive with Vernon as possible, but  he is obviously disappointed with the loss of physical momentum that occurred when Vernon was away for those ‘lost’ two weeks at St. Judes. I could see it happening too. Now he is just working to get that troubling right side more flexible again, where it was before.  The cliche dance continues: Vernon can’t go forward two steps without going back a step somewhere else.  Maybe I should look at this whole process as learning to dance instead of learning to walk forward.

Now that you have seen all these photos above, have you noticed anything…missing?

Where are the blue plastic t-bars?  Or the long curling breathing tubes attached to his neck?

His trach has been CAPPED, at least temporarily.  The staff seems to think his lungs are strong and healthy enough to trial a few hours without it. He still needs oxygen help through nasal cannulas, but can go without for a little while.

So the trach may soon be gone!  The more that comes off him the better, I think. Its another sign that he is healing. He has been healing all along but these are the things that make us realize it too!

One more thing. Tomorrow, Vernon has a small surgery scheduled to have a permacath inserted. The dialysis catheter replaced at St. Jude’s two weeks ago was only a temporary placement.  So if he shows good signs of recovery from that procedure, they will continue to trial the capping of his trach.

Moving right along.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Tooth Fairy
Standing Tall