Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tonight Chris was back on the ward after spending a couple of days in the onsite apartment suite. He told me that it was nice to have some privacy, but that he was sort of lonely being all by himself.

He of course was being constantly monitored, but he was left to fend for himself and discover what he'll need to be able to do for himself once he is discharged.
Chris said that he did appreciate the peace & quiet but after a while he felt all alone with nothing to do but watch his TV..
which was smaller than the TV in his ward room.

Chris told me that after he has finished his morning and afternoon therapy sessions that there is not much else to do but watch TV...and nap.

When I arrived he and a staff member were trying to get his TV headphones working. He was visibly annoyed because watching the Tube is a big part of his day.
I noticed that the wires on his headphone had been schmucked..
Chris said that they had been caught in his wheelchair as he
fiddled with the connection...
they were kaput.

Much to his surprise and delight I said a very bad word, grabbed them from him, tossed them in the garbage, and took out the "good headphones" from the bedside drawer, and
Ta-Da! The other headphones worked perfectly!

I repeat this story only to emphasize what an important device and distraction the TV has become.
Here is a Chris-Eye view..

he is fortunate to be beside a HUGE row of of which has a screened portal which I always crank open to let in some fresh air.

As I mentioned Chris was glad to return to the ward where there is commotion and routine...just not-so-much at this time of the day.

He said that there wasn't any "ambience" in the apartment and that it was lonely. This is something which we all need to pay attention to since his release is imminent.

I have not yet heard whether Chris will be moving on to the other Lifeskills facility for a few more months of training and rehab. If he isn't, in a few weeks he may be going "home" to his new apartment. For obvious reasons we're moving his residence from the burbs to a central location which is closer to the rest of his family...very, very, close.

What can I say, Chris was in a great mood, he asked me to help him start going online soon, and he spoke of his experimental overnights in his trademark practical, matter-of-fact fashion. I was encouraged that he spoke openly about the loneliness factor..he really seemed to pick up on that.

I drove home with all the windows was a gorgeous, warm, evening and I could not stop thinking that he may never be able to drive again.

We talked about that because I am guarding his car and I asked him what he wanted me to do with it. He said,"let's wait and see what happens. I may never drive again..pause..but who knows what could happen right?"
After hearing something like that I made sure that I appreciated every detail of the drive home. Imagine being able to spend your Life living in the moment?

He has these insightful moments. Even though his short term memory is still constantly "shorting-out" on him, Chris does talk about the "big picture"
That's why I feel so optimistic.


dinahmow said...

The updates keep getting brighter. Woo-hoo!
Give the Big Guy a hug.

Laurie said...

It looks like Chris has quite a view! It also seems as if Chris is doing quite a lot better and for that I am extremely thankful.

He's quite a guy, as you know, and I'm sure his realization that things may not go back to the way they were, isn't easy for any of you...but how like him to add the "but who knows what could happen right?".

Keep it up, Chris...I am sure you will keep astounding everyone around you, and quite possibly even yourself.

Big hugs and lots of love coming your way from the USA.

eroswings said...

I'm so glad that WW went forward, tried the apt thing, and figured he liked being back with other people and the noise. That means he is still a social creature who enjoys the human connection. That's a good thing.

I look forward to WW's return to blogging. But most of all, I look forward to hearing about his second chance at living life and moving forward. You're a brave and strong person, WW! And thanks, Donn, for all the updates.

savannah said...

that last pic is marvelous, sugar! wishing y'all all the best! xoxoxo

MJ said...

I suggest we all send our photos and Donn, you can stick them up on the ceiling.

And no, you can't play darts with mine.

tuti said...

yes, the big picture is important.
chris has come a long way.
sending a big hug across.

Anonymous said...

WHat about reading? And going online will surely be a good thing for him - the tube is a one-way-thing, the computer not.

Dodie said...

Hey Chris,
I've enjoyed reading your blog and all the up-dates on your miraculous defeats. You're doing great...I've also enjoyed seeing the pictures of your family and friends and of course the pictures of you. Sounds like you're doing well and facing the different/difficult challenges each day. I admire your courage and strength Chris.
Hope to see you blogging soon.

Love and Prayers,

angel said...

I love hearing about those moments! It makes my heart glad to hear some of the old Chris coming through in your posts!

TidalGrrl / Shelley said...

Hey, awesome apartment gig!!

I'm glad you're staying so positive. Easy to do with Donn around, hey?

Comb yer hair before you let people snap those pics!! LOL!!

Laura said...

Good to hear that Chris is staying positive.
I think its great also that Chris is able to talk about what is real for him, such as the "loneliness" he felt in the appartment.
I remember when I had my stroke, that there was an immense feeling of loneliness, not beacuse I was physically alone, but because I knew I was the only way going through exactly what I was going through at the time.
Also, its good that Chris can talk about possible losses, such as not being able to drive (although maybe he might!), as I think its almost like the acceptance of these things brings about a kind of healing in itself, and an ability to maybe move on.
Anyway sending Chris my love,and my thoughts are still with him.
I cannot wait until he can get on line again aswell, and write something!!!

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

I think it is also positive that he knows there are things he may never do again, but with that also realizes he doesn't know, he just might. Chris is a strong man, even if I didn't know it, I would after reading all this. It is wonderful to know he is moving towards some sort of normal life.

Chris, love you are strong and beautiful. I hope you know that and I send you my love and prayers always. Keep reaching...we all believe in you.

Ready for some more talking?

Soft love,

Cazzie!!! said...

Chris, one day at a time mate. Keeping positive is not always easy for some people but it looks as though you are doing just fine there.
Donn, thanks so much for keeping us updated. Alerting people to what matters..taking every moment as precious as it is NOW :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Donn-- thanks for posting the pictures of Chris in the apartment....I was wondering what it looked like. About your driving Chris' car, I thought the same thing when I was driving it for a week in Winnipeg last month. Learning the very basics all over again is what it's all about after a stroke, but the biggest challenge for Chris is not actually learning those things. The biggest challenge is orientation and, as our Dad used to always say, attitude. My wish for my brother is that he will come to realize this-- with our help.

All the best Donn,