Monday, August 24, 2009

Chris was in high spirits tonight.

photo from Gerry

I was there along with a sister & brother in law and we had an awesome visit. I haven't heard Chris laugh like that for some time...he had to tell us to keep it down a few times out of concern for his roomies.

I noticed that Chris was able to pull a few names out of the blue as we discussed a myriad of topics. It's both interesting and encouraging to see how his memory is mending. I noticed that he doesn't seem surprised when he recalls details either.

He commented on how strenuous his therapy has been and how much he enjoys his therapists. I'm writing this down because I don't want to lose the elation that I felt at seeing him laugh and forget about his predicament for a while.

He answered a few calls while we were there. I would like to encourage you to phone and just give Chris a quick hello if you have time.
I'm certain that Chris would love to hear from you even for a few minutes..just a little call about what you've been up to would make his day and keep those synaptic channels popping :).

It was great to hear Chris laugh and he had no problemo telling us when it was time to get settled in. I hope that he has "sweet dreams" and remembers how much fun we all had tonight.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I visited Christopher today and he said that he has not received many phone calls on his bedside bed. That email number DOES NOT WORK and nobody there can answer questions. You can email me and I can print your message or photo but Chris still doesn't read much. I tell him who said HI or left a comment.

I try to get him to read the "paper" and coax him to pick up the laptop, but he is not ready.

If you would like to have his phone number just email me . Keep in mind that Chris can only handle short calls..but that's fine. Just keep it brief and let him know that you are thinking of him. He does have therapy mid morning and afternoon.

Chris was moderately annoyed about being "institutionalized" as he put it, and just wants to get out, go home, and be with his kids.

It was yet another dreary, raining, night, and I felt equally depressed. This entire experience has been framed in this endless drizzly blah Summer...
I'll never forget it.

Not much change. Chris tells me that the physio therapy is quite a bit more intense and challenging. He wasn't as "bummed out" as he has been on other visits. He told me that it feels like a bad dream and hecan't believe that he doesn't just wake up..and it's over.

So having got that out of the way we sat back and watched some TV. He said that he was tired and he likes to watch a few shows before he falls asleep. Chris put his headphones on and smiled at me and we watched the Office. He would laugh out loud and luckily I've seen most of the episodes so I knew what he was laughing about. He took off the phones and apologised.."You can't hear this?"

I said, "that's OK, I've seen it before." Chris smiled and put the phones back on. I patted him on the shoulder and just sat there. It was nice just being there and listening to him laugh. :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Chris was a little down yesterday..but it was raining and grey. He did get moved by a window while I was there so hopefully that will cheer him up a little.

Sorry for the lull in reporting about his condition but I had been vacationing and to be honest I was a little nervous about having been away but Chris seemed forgiving.

I listened to him discuss his feelings of imprisonment and looked for clues about his current frame of mind. There were no signs of delusion or confusion..just an understandable longing to go home and be with his kids. His brief compilation of recent events was very touching and made it tough to try and maintain a brave front. There was a sadness in his eyes and all I could offer was a hug and some light hearted banter.

I asked him how the therapy was going and with a concentrated effort Chris raised his right arm for me. After getting him in a chair we took off and went exploring...we stopped at various spots and discussed the News of the day but truth be told he still doesn't seem to want to read anything.

Chris has a phone by his bed and I am conferring with his family about making his new phone number available. I told Chris that I was collecting numbers and that he should call people... but he seems overtly self conscious and hesitant. I tried to convince him that there were a lot of old friends who just want to say HI and chat for a few minutes.

Now the concern is that if everybody called at once or his phone rings off the hook for a few days it might totally overwhelm him... so ideally some sort of logistical procedure needs to be in least in the beginning..but I don't know how to organise that.

I'm inclined to just let the "Force" work that out.

Now he also has his laptop however operating it will take a little time. Obviously this will be a fantastic way for everyone to communicate with Chris and it will allow him to respond on his terms. He would feel a sense of accomplishment and some control over his environment which would be a huge boost.
Hopefully he will agree to work on rediscovering his cyber self but again I don't know whether we are supposed to wait for him to feel ready or just go-for-it and make it happen?

All of his sibs understand that hearing and seeing others would greatly lift his spirits and encourage him. We also know that he is quite concerned about how he presents himself and this seems to dampen his desire to meet & greet others.

You will soon make your own evaluations but as I reminded him, a few weeks ago we were happy to see his eyes open! I am betting that once he gets a few short calls under his belt and then a few brief visits, that he will realise that everyone just wants to be there for him. He doesn't need to worry about how he sounds or comes across.

Sometime this week I hope to be able to release his number and hopefully, somehow, Chris will not be overwhelmed and innundated with a flurry of calls.
Chris needs as much encouragement as possible to catch the next wave and keep on keepin' on.