Today has been the first routine normal day at the Barrow Neurological
Institute Rehab center. Wes had about 3 hours of physical therapy, this
totally wiped him out. He did really well and the staff here was amazed at
how much progress he made in just one day. Some of the things he did, may
seem simple to us but for Wes and his injury he did extremely well. He did
things today that, patients who are here for similar type of injury take
two weeks to do.
The staff here have set a goal that by next week Wes will
be feeding himself 50% of the time, which seems amazing. Staff that come
to know Wes are really surprised that he is only 2 ½ weeks post injury.
Today Wes took his first ride in a motorized wheel chair. Tomorrow they
will give him his driver’s license for the chair and turn him loose. It
will really be nice to have some mobility. He has been in a bed for so
long that he is anxious to be a little independent. Imagine being 16 years
old and having your parents sleep in the same room with you for 2 ½ weeks.
That is enough to drive any sane teenager crazy. No wonder Wes keeps
telling his parents they need to spend some time away from the hospital.
Sounds like some wishful thinking on his part. Those of us who know Wes
really know that he is concerned for his parents. Karen and I have learned
to get by on just a few hours of interrupted sleep each night and for
right now at this time in our life this is just great.
We are blessed to sleep in the same room with Wes each night and when
there is an itch or cough we can help him with it. When he needs to be
moved or rolled we are there. We don’t know how comforting it is for Wes
to have us here but for Karen and I, it is very comforting to be so close.
Tonight Wesley’s Grandma Connie came to the hospital and gave him a facial
and massage which was very relaxing. She helped work out very sore muscles
which will help make tomorrow much easier when he starts a demanding day.
This will really help him to sleep better and more relaxed tonight.
His chest has been congested and the pulmonary people have been in to work
on him working around his therapy schedule. We hope to get his lungs
cleared out so he can sleep better at night. Last night he did sleep much
better, they got the pain killers just right along with a good sleeping
pill. I think it was his best nights’ sleep since the accident.
Tonight the Fordham family in Brittnee’s ward brought dinner by for us and
Britt and the kids also came by to share dinner with us. The hospital
staff constantly comes by to see all the posters, banners, cards,letters,
pictures and cactus in Wes’s room. They say they have never seen anything
like all the support and love coming Wesley’s way. Wes cannot wait to get
back home to Montana to be with everyone. We are enjoying our family and
friends in Arizona it is so nice to see everyone.
We were sad to see Ry leave she was such a pillar of strength to us during
this adventurous time. Special thanks to Ry’s husband Ben for sharing her
with us for the past 2 ½ weeks.
It's Ryanne again. Last night was a tough one for Wes. When he left Bozeman his lungs were strong and he was doing well. The week spent at the specialty select hospital made him regress. They did not do any breathing treatments with him. The pulmonary staff is now having to fix that now. They were with him most of the night.
Wesley drove his wheel chair today. I wish I could have seen him. They sure are working him hard. I spoke with my dad today and he said that as Wesley was working out it was easy to see the determination in his eyes. I also heard that he had some visitors observing his work out and his 9 month old nieces was smiling at him the whole time and Wes smiled right back at her.
Oh WOWZERS! Just now, as I am writing this, I received an e-mail from my dad about Wesley's Day today so I will go ahead and put that in here as well...
February 24, 2012
Wes had a terrible night last night his chest was filled with congestion
and we had the pulmonary specialist in to help with the buildup in his
lungs. He coughed and coughed and Karen and I helped him most all night.
His lungs started clearing this morning and he was much better as the day
went on. Tonight we had him in for more lung treatments and our hope is
that he gets some badly needed rest.
Wes had a full days of therapy and he is worn out. He comes back to the
room to rest and immediately falls off to a deep sleep. We wish he could
sleep like that at night for his sake and ours. It is really surprising
how quickly he is beginning to improve. He gains better use of his wrists,
forearms, and shoulders. He continues during each session to gain a little
more control of his muscles and strength. We remind ourselves to be
patient that this is going to take some time.
As we watched Wesley today struggle and fight for every bit of improvement
we could not help but admire his courage. As we looked into his face and
saw pain and more pain as he tried to give his very best and then some, we
realized what great inner strength he has. We were admiring his courage
when we looked around the room and saw a room full of courageous people
who all seemed to be doing their very best. For the first time in my life
I had a moment where I realized (I am ashamed to admit) all handicapped
people are courageous fighters and survivors. What physical or mental
limitations they have, they more than make up for in courage and spiritual
strength. The knowledge we have of the resurrection assures me that in a
short period of time all of us will be resurrected to bodies without
imperfections. Those who have handicaps have learned more than the rest of
us. They know what is truly important; they learn to be happy with less
and they have a strong purpose in life and an undying will to survive. As
I have been more observant in public I notice more handicapped people than
I ever noticed before. They are all around us and there is much we can
learn from their courage and examples of inner strength. This is a
wonderful lesson I am grateful I am learning.
Watch out! Wes is driving a motorized wheelchair, he started off a little
wobbly but he is making great improvements. Wes’s routine starts about
7:00am when he wakes up and eats breakfast. Then we help dress him and get
him ready for his first therapy about 8:00 or 8:30am. He has about an
hour for lunch at noon and then back to therapy. He is usually finished by
3:00pm. He now does all his therapy in a special gym for spinal cord
injuries with special equipment and great therapist that love their jobs
and their patience.
Wes is hoisted out of bed and onto his wheelchair with
a power lift that makes it easier for Wes. He does not like hospital food
and his regular breakfast is a bowl of Lucky Charms and that’s only
because they are magically delicious. Sometimes he will have a container
of peach yogurt and then off to a workout. He often skips lunch because he
is to tired and usually we convince him he has to eat something and he has
a few carrots with ranch dressing. We try to tell him he is not on a diet
since he has already lost 15 pounds but we think he is just too tired to
eat. When dinner comes around usually some amazing people come around with
a great meal and then he eats a decent dinner. We always send the
hospital tray back untouched because he does not like their food.
As for the rehab center it is top notch. The people who work here are
truly amazing. They are very patient, kind and caring people. After Wes’s
operation in Bozeman Dr. Speth the surgeon told us that he was not the
miracle worker, he said the miracle workers are the therapist who will
work with your son and help bring him back piece by piece. We think Dr.
Speth was right these are truly amazing people.
We continue to be so grateful for everyone who is praying for Wes. We
appreciate all the cards and best wishes that come through the internet.
Wesley insists on reading his own cards and emails and face book entries.
I think he prefers reading them because they often make his mother cry.
Thank you for making this miracle possible. Great things will happen
hundreds of lives will be changed including mine because of this challenge
and blessing in our life. Continue to pray for miracles but be sure to
keep your eyes open or you may miss the many that have already happened.
Wow, this has gotten to be a giant post. I won't take up much more of your time. Here are some pictures...
What a stud! Just relaxin' in the sling that transports him back to his chair.
If I was still wit him, I would have gotten a video of him cruising around in this bad boy. We just have to trust that somone in my family will do it. The minute I get that footage I will post it!
Wes and Nephew 1.
Well my friends, I am sorry it has taken me so long to update. You see, I got home on Wednesday and just wanted to spend all my time with Benny Boy (typing that made me laugh). My husband, Ben, has been wonderful. I missed him too much to stay any longer.