Much silence and little great moments all at the same time here at the hospital. Todd is quietly recovering from his surgery which went well. The cat scan produced the results we have been looking for. For the first time since this horrible accident, Todd’s brain is centered within his skull, without the excessive CSF fluid pushing it to the side. The weeks of bed rest have really frozen up his left arm, with his shoulders have also been tightening heavily. We have done our regular massage and movements but the tensioned had built itself up nonetheless. His doctor gave him botox in the muscles directly affected this morning! I have been teasing him about having more pouty lips! Now, it is hard to say whether it is the release of pressure from his surgery, the botox (which is supposed to take 4 days), or the “special love project” that we have in action but we have seen something we have not seen in weeks to speak of!! Todd moved his left arm up to his mouth and before that his left fingers in response to his sisters! How great is that!
The head neurosurgeon stopped by this evening and gave his the account of the surgery and the projected outlook and next few steps….it looks like we will not be going home as soon as we thought. Todd is not medically stable at the moment and there may be another procedure as soon as next week. That said we cannot get ahead of ourselves and the next few days will provide us with some very important cues as to what may lie ahead. We will most certainly keep you updated.
Aunt Jane brought up some questions…… that I have yet to touch upon. (It is hard to stay ahead of you guys!) Yes, there was a special chair ordered for him and we have been waiting for it all week. It has arrived and this weekend (as soon as the drain is removed) Todd will be sitting up. Sitting up brings with it so many great and simple new moments. Todd will have a shower, eating will be a new and grand territory (swallowing improved with the position), stimulation of muscles as he moves from bed to chair. This position should be a great relief to the building shoulder tension which is a result of extended bed stay. I have a session scheduled on Tuesday with Todd’s physical therapist who seems him daily. The goal in this meeting is to up the training I have in order to improve the amount of stimulation he receives daily, be more involved basically. It is important that what we do, supports their efforts to retrain his muscles, etc.…..the nurses tease me that they will give me a degree at the end of our stay. As Amy would say (and others) “Information is POWER”. The more we know and learn, the more we can do….. and the better off our dear Todd is. As requested I now give you the sisters……
Jaime and Julie here – we are sorry to those of you who were disappointed by us not updating the blog as others had before us. Alex has already provided all our excuses and now we have worked out a system where we can also provide an update along with her.
As Alex has reported, we arrived safely on Tuesday and are beginning our 5th day. Nearly everyday when we arrive to see Todd we are greeted with a Todd smile. We arrive a few hours after Alex because she has special permission to visit before visiting hours. Since we have been here, we have experienced some ups (smiles, laughing, words and connections) and downs (fever, fluid build up, muscle stiffing). Ups and down which we learn to ride with grace and optimism. Alex has this down and we are learning much from her. Visiting is simple, the three of us sit on each side of Todd and at his feet and we coddle him and visit with him (sometimes just at him) when he is awake and either read or visit together when he is not. The extra fluid in the beginning of the week was noticeably uncomfortable for him, he seemed much more comfortable yesterday although he was pretty sleepy. Even though he was sleeping he did have a few comments to make: something the sisters said sounded, and I quote Todd, “exactly like something mom would say” and he told Jaime he “Loved IT” he said it so loud and clear that she forgot what they were talking about and the second thing he said, so when Alex and Julie came back with the coffee she was all giggles about the clarity of the voice but pretty skimpy on the content.
Family is strong and supportive and like a comfortable blanket so for now, we are all snuggled in here in Amsterdam. Warm although there is wind and sleet and sideways rain that accompanies us on our daily journey to and from the hospital. We are both very glad to be here to be with Todd and Alex. As you all either know personally or have figured out after reading along with this love story, the connection between Alex and Todd is beautiful and we are very thankful for that love and connection for both of their sakes, they are very lucky.
Before we close, words cannot say how much we appreciate all those in Todd and Alex’s community along with those in our own communities, who are giving, loving, helping, sharing, praying and supporting the two of them – a great big Thank You is not enough, but it will have to do until we meet in person. Thank you all.
Todd + Alex and Jaime & Julie