Message From Ray

It has been four years down this path with a brain injury and I appreciate all the people that have followed me along the way.  When I look back on my life I see it as a divine intervention.  If you guys knew why I had the accident it would amaze you.  Let’s just say that it has something to do with Jesus and reincarnation.  I have recovered considerably and have been able to read since last November.  My hope is to return to school soon.  God bless.

Coming Around

Looking back it is hard to believe that nearly a year and a half ago Ray was involved in a life-changing car accident that left him with a severe TBI. He has made such great progress from where he started at Glasgow level 1 to now being assessed on the Mayo-Portland index. While many of the ability index ratings remain the same from last month at moderate to severe problem rankings, Ray is still working hard and meeting his therapy goals. His participation in the NeuroRestorative program in Tampa has increased to near 100% with new tailored goals being developed to better engage and track his overall progress. As Ray continues to meet his therapy goals, we should see new ability ratings closer to a mild score.

Now that Ray has become well established in his new care plan, he has been able to attend follow-up VA appointments for behavior and speech therapy where a new swallow study was conducted. From these appointments his psychiatrist did not observe any behavioral problems that would require any change in his care plan and he was recently approved for a regular food diet, but he still cannot tolerate high amounts of thin liquids. This is great news for his recovery! Next month Ray has also been scheduled for a follow-up VA appointment with his neurologist where his tremor medicine, Keppra, and daily dosage will be examined. This was originally scheduled for this month but was pushed back. It will be extremely important that a proper evaluation be done soon to examine the best medicine and dosage for Ray’s condition. He continues to struggle daily with uncontrollable tremors that greatly impact his daily living activities.

Another great sign of Ray’s recovery is his ability to correspond with family and friends without behavioral outbursts. While impulse control will continue to be a problem for Ray due to his injury, frequent contact from family and friends will help him to work on this. We have also been able to start video chat sessions with him on his iPad that he seems to enjoy. This is another great way to stay in touch with Ray if people are unable to call or write. He can be contacted via FaceTime, email “pray4ray2012@gmail.com”, or Skype, ID “prayforray”. For now please keep the video chats to evenings after 5 to not conflict with Ray’s therapies. If you’d rather call or write, Ray’s updated contact info is below, please note the new extensions for when calling:

NeuroRestorative
Attn: Ray Brown
2411 Clement Rd
Lutz, FL 33549
813-948-3325 x3014 (Normal hours) x4 (After hours)

Ray during a recent FaceTime chat session.

Ray during a recent FaceTime chat session.

Thanks for all your continued support!

Team Ray

Getting There

Now that Ray has been at Neuro-Tampa for just over one month, the care team has been able to provide us with a clinical update.  Since he is in the post-acute phase (post hospital) he is being evaluated using the Mayo-Portland Adaptability Inventory (MPAI).   Using the MPAI form, Ray is assessed in many areas to rate his current ability.  The goal is for Ray to eventually reach 0 – 2 in all or most areas.  This is a proven indication that he would have the most success in going forward with an independent life once again.  For those unaware of this rating scheme, please take the time to familiarize yourself with this using the links above.  This will be the rating index used going forward.

From the evaluation report, Ray has been rated at mostly 4s and a few 3s in all areas.  To rate this on the Rancho scale, he would be at a level VI.  Chief among these items are his mobility, self-awareness, self-care, and decision making abilities.  Ray’s participation has improved since his transfer to the new location but he still refuses many of his sessions and requires constant reminders and cues from staff before engaging in the therapy provided.  The care team is working with Ray to come up with solutions to better gain his participation in the program.  This process may take a month or two to figure out before gains can be seen.  Given that Ray does not see himself as needing help, the team will have quite an obstacle to overcome.

Also indicated in the report is Ray’s difficulty with impulse control.  This has been observed through several behavioral physical and verbal outbursts both during and outside of therapy sessions.  Coordination between Neuro-Tampa and the VA continues in order to treat Ray for this problem.  As mentioned in previous posts, this behavior is not uncommon to brain injury, but it does pose an issue to the recovery process if not properly controlled.  The team has a good handle on the situation; this is just something everyone needs to consider when contacting Ray by phone or visiting in person.  We do encourage all to show Ray their support how they can.  Do not let his current behavior or situation prevent the support from happening.  He will continue to heal with time and our support does matter!

Thank you for all the continued support.

Team Ray