Another great weekend spent with Ray. He was a bit more in the fog of PTA this time for us but we were still able to sit with him for several hours and have conversations about the past and present. At times Ray appears very aware of what is going on and can even joke around a bit with those with him. Other times he is very distant and may say things that make no sense to what is currently going on around him. Distinguishing between real and not-real is still an ongoing challenge, but he seems to eventually be able to determine the difference. Nightmares and problems with sleep still haunt his nights, which lead into waking moments and confusion. Medication is being used to help treat the sleep problem and with time he should be able to have more restful nights. A side-effect of the sleep medicine may be grogginess and disorientation. It may be a few weeks before the right med and dose can be determined. Cognitively Ray appears to be doing about the same. It has been an off and on type of awareness with him that is different each day. Progress is happening, but at a slow rate. This is typical of a TBI.
Physically Ray is doing better. Upper body muscular control and range of motion have improved through therapy. Weighted utensils and other daily use items are being introduced to help Ray do things on his own. Today he was able to brush his teeth on his own. The use of weighed items is to help with tremors, which are still in the process of being treated more effectively. His left arm and head are affected by these, causing him to shake without control of the motion. It is important for Ray to start doing more things for himself and to make use of both of his hands. One thing that we have been doing that seems to be helpful and fun at the same time is to play catch with a small, soft ball. He is not allowed to walk outside of PT at this time due to him still being a fall risk. He has become good at maneuvering around his floor in his wheelchair though. Currently he is receiving an hour of PT a day during the week and two hours on Monday and Wednesday. The daily one hour session is dedicated to mobility in his wheelchair and strength training for his legs. Various activities are used during his sessions including the use of a weighted walker. The additional two sessions a week are for the locomotor clinic where four therapists assist Ray with walking on a treadmill, each supporting a different portion of his body. Until Ray moves beyond being a fall risk, he will need to be restricted to his wheel chair.
Now that Ray is able to swallow honey-thick food, he has been able to eat pureed food. He receives three pureed meals a day in addition to snacks of yogurt, pudding, and thickened juice. You’d be amazed at what they can puree! His lunch Saturday consisted of pork and corn, and his dinner Saturday consisted of lasagna and green beans. His diet remains strict due to him still silently aspirating, meaning that food can flow into his lungs if not properly controlled, which can lead to choking or pneumonia. Until Ray is able to swallow more controllably, he will remain on this diet. It is very important that visitors comply with his care team’s guidelines. As those that know Ray well, he is very serious about food and will try to get people to sneak him anything. Do not fall for his tricks. Instead, make use of the diet forms below:
Stay tuned for more to come soon. Thank you for following and supporting Ray on his healing journey. As the holidays approach, please take time to give thanks for all the positive in your life. We are thankful for our Ray, and for the overwhelming support of his fans. 🙂
If you are around on November 16th, check out the Pray 4 Ray Event in St. Augustine.