There is a certain freedom and discovery that comes with being home that can be found no place else. There are little pieces of Todd that he can find and recover around each and every corner. Many pieces are just there and come out piece by piece day by day when you least expect it. IN the conversations you find yourself amused by his creativity and then just by seeing him there. The matter of fact manner in which Todd tells you about something he is excited about. …. he is so eager to pick back up. No matter how much time and effort it takes he just keeps working towards the goal of getting back to working on stuff.
Time is the most elusive thing we find in our days. The therapists come in many a weekday and asking Todd what day it is. For us it is not really Monday through Friday etc. That time frame is almost irrelevant and yet I make sure we check the calender every morning if only to be able to answer that damn question correctly! Time flies and we are just trying to keep in step.
Some of you know and some do not so I will clarify. Todd is engaged in a program called Rehab Without Walls. Through this wonderful and fantastic alternative to traditional rehabilitation programs Todd is making the most amazing strides in his recovery. The program allows Todd to continue to receive therapy and flourish under the guidance of his skilled therapy team while we can begin to reconnect life outside the facility and engage in/with our community. This allows Todd to continue (and begin) his recovery at home among the familiar. We have seen an amazing outcome already and we are just out of the gate (so to speak)!
Todd’s weekday is full with therapy and naps, not much different than at Herrick except how all the in between time is spent. The therapists (same team as when we were in the rehabilitation: physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, neuropsychologist) come to our house on an individual schedule that fills the weekdays and Todd’s progress is wonderfully exciting. Here is a guy that a few months ago could barely hold his head up for an extended period of time. Now he is walking around the house…. Oh yeah and we already are ditching the walker. Nothing makes me happier than the smell and image of Todd cooking bacon in our kitchen! Delightful. Except perhaps seeing Todd make our coffee…. He still needs me close by but we are working hard towards independence for us both.
At home, our world and life is a sea of discovery…… with lots at your fingertips to draw upon. The benefits of Rehab Without Walls combined with being home are immeasurable. Although it is hard to address all the progress without acknowledging the wonderful foundation laid by our therapists at Herrick (where he built up his strength and stamina) and notably the shunt reconstruction surgical procedure……things are improving at a whole new pace. Todd is a Rokstar…or the energizer bunny. He just goes all day and lately all night. We are up sometimes 5-6 times a night……this can lead to some very tired pair of kids but it is all in the name of progress. Sometimes we are short on the required hours of sleep but we manage. The first few weeks of adjustment were, without a doubt the toughest and such a new equation. As we adjust we are surrounded with memories, friends, and best of all daily progress.! Todd remains in a fragile place in terms of his brain…it is a constant job to manage his energy to make sure we can go through our day and meet its demands.
Each day we encounter things that were not possible just weeks, months, days ago as I watch them realized before my eyes.
We have gone from a tall boy wheelchair to a standard (it took forever to make this transition) all red tape, what a pain!. Went from using a walker to “look hon, no hands!” Playing soccer in the house (kicking a ball for balance)! Cooking is by far my favorite time with Todd when we sit in the kitchen debating the evening’s menu and debate the approach for the preparation of the meal. Despite the injury he has managed to maintain his approach and love for cooking and his amazing disposition! Words and phrases have transformed themselves into conversations. Laughter. There is so much to share but most fundamentally is that Todd is improving at an all new steady clip. We are starting to get out, starting to see more of the world and friends…….it is overhwhelming how many folks we haven’t even seen yet.
Because of all the surgeries and virtually every complication under the sun. Todd is not really a year post injury as it is on the more literal level, but more like many months if your were trying to measure progress. So as you listen and watch to see how things are progressing keep this in mind. It is impossible to imagine where we will be in a few months but I look forward to getting there.
The most important thing I can convey is that we are in a wonderful place in Todd’s recovery looking forward to the future. It is a far from easy for either of us, but it IS enjoyable. I tell Todd each and everyday how amazed I am and proud.
It is without a doubt demanding time for us both (has been for the last year), but we are hard workers as Todd says. The best therapy for us both is to find something to smile about each day…….which is definitely a tall order at 3 in the morning!