I apologize, I haven't updated in quite a while. I hope that anyone interested has been checking Allison's CarePage (http://www.carepages.com/ search for DrAllison) . Connie has been doing a great job keeping that updated.
Real quick for those who have been counting on my correspondence only. Jon is home, he came home Thursday, March 5th. Allison is at Mary Free Bed rehabilation hospital, she went there on Wednesday, March 4th. Allison was moved into Jon's room and they were able to spend a (restless) night together, which was nice. Both Jon and Allison are doing better daily.
Jon. We have a huuuugggeee ass ramp in front of our house now. He came home Thursday and we've been staying with him since then. It took a bit of work to make a 2 story house into a 1 story studio apartment. With help, I helped move his bed, computer, dresser, desk, clothes, and anything else he needs down to the main floor. With a little re-arrangement of the living room furniture, everything is pretty neat here.
Jon is trying to do everything on his own. Like I said before, the only problem with his rehab is him trying to do too much. He's figured out that he can wheel up the ramp going backwards in his wheelchair (his good right foot has more power pushing away from his body). He wants to do everything on his own, but I think he's finally realizing that his rehab will take a long time and that he can't do everything and that he needs to take it easy sometimes (who would know opening a mouthwash bottle would be so hard with only one hand). The only thing not on the main floor for him right now is the shower, and he has taken two showers since he has gotten here. He wheels his chair up to the stairs, does a transfer onto the stairs, and then scoots up backwards (using his good left arm and right leg) one step at a time. I get him back into his chair, wheel him into the bathroom, then he transfers from chair, to toilet, to shower chair. He has a specifically designed shower chair that hangs over the side of the tub so he can get into it easy. It takes a while for him to shower completely, but I think its one of his favorite things to do.
When he was released, he had a meeting with a nurse on the orthopedic team that did his surgery. They were looking at his x-rays and counting plates and screws. It was surprising to learn that the surgeon didn't keep track of the hardware during surgery - I guess it was too much to count. The final count from some high-res x-rays are: Clavicle - 1 plate, 9 screws. Ankle - 2 plates (very rare apparently, according to the nurse), 9 screws. Elbow - 3 plates, (and at least) 13 screws. Grand total: 6 plates, 31+ screws.Even though Jon is now home, he still has very full days. He has appointments with in-home Occupational and Physical therapists, along with Speech therapists. He also has an assistant that comes in during the afternoon to help him out. I help him get up and ready in the morning, make breakfast, take his medication and shot, do his physical therapy, and make sure of his schedule and set-up for the day. He's taken care of for the day, then I come back to help hopefully with dinner. Definitely with his evening meds and shots and therapy. Jon is taking a long release Oxycontin, one in the morning and two at night. He takes a shot at 8am and 8pm of Lovenox, which is a blood thinner to help prevent blood clots due to his injuries (I pinch the skin, he shoots the shot. We are both not used to this yet). He also takes a stool softener, a multi-vitamin, and has both Valium and and instant release Oxycontin if he needs it (which he usually takes at night, he's still in a lot of pain, especially after we tweak his injuries in PT).
Despite the busy days, he's sometimes feeling lonely and bored. I think he'd love visitors or letters.
5555 Quest Dr. SW
Wyoming, MI 49418
You can call him at (616) 204 3450
Even if he doesn't answer (he's busy a lot with rehab) he's able to check the messages. You can also email him at email@example.com He has not been able to check that email since the accident, but now that I have set him up with internet access he is at least able to read messages. It will be hard for him to write back with only one hand but I told him I can help him type any of the longer responses he wants to make. If you don't get an immediate response though, he appreciates the messages.
Allison. WOW. She is amazing. I don't have a lot to say because I haven't been with her every day like I have been with Jon, but I can't believe the progess that she has made. For those not following the carepage, I'll start from the beginning.
Allison was transfered to Mary Free Bed on Wednesday, March 4th. Jon was still in MFB and Allison was put into his room. It was great to see them back together again. I was there that night, and I won't go into too many details but Allison was not herself. It was disturbing to see her talking about things in her fantasies and speaking in vulgarities (while Jon and I swear every now and then, Allison never does), but she was responding to us being there at times and wanted to be part of our conversation. We had a visit from a Nun from Aquinas, Sister Alice. She was amazing, and such a comfort to be there. I think we're all glad though that Allison was asleep at the time so she wouldn't have to hear Allie's mouth.
So, that was my impression of Allie until yesterday. I went to see her on Sunday, March 8th and WOW is she doing amazing. She can sit up in her wheelchair, eat on her own (although needs some privacy while eating, so she can concentrate on swallowing), and interact with everyone around her. She is having a much better time with both her long term and short term memory. She knows everyone, by name, that comes to visit her. Even though it may be a bit confusing, she now usually remembers the month, day, year, and even the nurses that come to see her (I know Connie said this in her blog, but that's better than I can do.)
I said this in a comment on the CarePage, but some of the most powerful things happened in my visit to Allison last night. She was sitting up with us and part of our conversation (Rene, Amanda (from Metro), Tim, Millie, thanks!) and it was great to see her with us. Sometimes she was a bit out-there, but it was always based in reality and she was trying to take part in the conversation, from what I could see. Anyway, it was amazing that toward the end of our pow-wow that someone told a joke and we were all laughing. Allison was smiling and laughing just as loud as the rest of us, it was great to see her happy and being the Allie I know. Also, when we were leaving, Jon and Allison gave one of the most tender and powerful embraces I have ever seen, despite all of their injuries. It was both heart-warming and heart-breaking at the same time -- very emotional. It will be a long road, but everything is positive.
I'm typing on the main floor with Jon passed out on Valium, I should go so I don't wake him up. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers.