Tomorrow morning Ray will be taken to the VA Hospital in Gainesville where he will stay until he can be moved to the Tampa VA rehab unit.
Ray has had an active week. Today marks the seventh night since he arrived at his mom’s home in St. Augustine from Erlanger. Ray has received visits from physical, occupational, and speech therapists. He responds very well to commands, and consistently. He is able to high five, say the days of the week, ask for some caffeine, as well as many other awesome things. The therapists all agree that he is ready for aggressive rehab, and his paperwork has been resubmitted to the Tamp VA. Our friend from U of St. A, Ryan, came by a few times to assist with therapy routines. On Saturday, Ryan and Tom brought Ray outside to practice throwing a ball, standing, walking, and working on leg exercises and range of motion. Later in the afternoon, Ray’s friends Carl and Joe W. stopped by and brought Ray outside for some sun and fun.
As we mentioned in our last post, Ray is at a level IV on the Rancho scale. TBI patients become agitated frequently at the level IV stage. Ray is talking frequently now, but it is often difficult to understand what he is saying. This agitates him even more, because he does not understand why you do not know what he is saying. It takes a few people to work with him to stay calm, especially at night between 6 and 8. Ray is progressing so quickly, and when he decides he is going to do something-get ready because he’s on the move. He loves to try to walk, go around in his wheelchair, go on the porch, sit on the couch. Due to the injury, Ray doesn’t fully grasp his limitations. He attempts to do all of these things on his own, but his motions are still unbalanced and less coordinated. In the past day, he has begun vocalizing his wishes, at times becoming demanding and impatient. Due to the level of care he requires at this stage, the Gainesville VA will be able to provide the best care. This transition should also make the eventual transfer to the TBI unit at Tampa more expedient.
Everyone’s willingness to support Ray during this time has been a huge blessing. The path to recovery will be a long one, and we are glad to have you all to support us along the way.