Cale and I went to church again today. The first song we sang was "Heaven Came Down and Glory Filled My Soul". The very first line made me hopeful that it was going to be a really good day, and it was! Thank you Jesus!
Cale hit a new record! Yeah! He stood for 5 minutes all by himself! Last time, he did 1 minute! That's a big jump!! I'm so proud of him! That was right after Mitch (PT) worked his legs really hard. His balance gets better everyday!
We had our FIRST outing!! We went with the Rebecca (RT) to a park near by that was right along a beautiful lake, and the bay. Cale did really well too! I had first pictured a quiet park with just the three of us, instead there were tons of people and sail boats :) It was good exercise too! We walked the whole time and I worked my legs pushing Cale's chair up hill...yep, I'm pretty strong ;) HA! It was crazy being in the car with him again!
Rebecca went to take the picture and Cale did a thumbs up! I joined him because this event deserved two thumbs up!
yes, I know, I'm picture crazy all the time. Cale once guessed what his anniversary gift was going to be, by saying it was something to do with a picture. I asked why he was guessing that, and he said "for every gift you give, there's at least a part of it that has something to do with pictures." Well, he guessed right for that one, because I had sent him a blanket with one of our funny pictures on it...What can I say? I love pictures! :)
We also had fun getting to visit TJ, Kristen, and Basil. I've heard so many times that it's really helpful in the recovery process for Cale to see people that he knows. With us being so far from everyone, it's been a little hard for that to be consistent. It's been a huge blessing for everyone that has been able to visit and so great that now we are so much closer to TJ! Cale sat with us outside, out of his wheelchair, just like he was chilling like always with friends :)
I've been asked a few questions of things that I should clarify, so rather than answer each person, I'm going to cheat and answer them on here!
Q. Is Cale talking?
A. Nope, not yet. He has made a few spontaneous sounds, but nothing purposeful. His communication right now is tapping with his hands, or nodding and shaking his head. Did you know that if he is trying to say no, that it's "shaking" not "nodding"?! This whole time I've been saying he's nodding no!
Q. Is Cale eating yet?
A. Nope again. I wish! He did take his first 3 big bites of pudding yesterday though! That's a start! So far he just spits everything out. We will get our date though! I guess that doesn't have to be out to eat...I do love food though!
Q. Does Cale know who you are?
A. Yes! In fact, the last couple days, when I come back from being gone, he is smiling when he sees me! Awe! That makes my heart so happy! He reaches out for me or waves at me too! He hates when I leave. The nurse said today (when I was only gone for 15 minutes!) that the whole time I was gone, Cale wouldn't move or let anyone touch him! He just waited where I said good bye near the nurse station. Poor guy!
Q. Have you tried a picture board/letter board?
A. I was going to bring it up to the staff because it had been suggested to me, but the they already had it in the works! So far, it's hasn't been successful. Cale hasn't reached the point that he can point to the correct picture that relates to what he is needing. If you ask him which one would he point to for sleep, he may point to the toilet. He will get there with time!
Q. How long will you be at that facility?
A. No idea ;)
Q. Cale seems to understand everything now, is that right?
A. No. It's hard for me to write details about what everything is like during the day. It's kind of one of those things, you just have to come and spend a day with us. He is still VERY confused about things and has a hard time with motor planning. Every time he goes to the bathroom, we go to the sink and wash his hands. We do this everyday, several times a day, and he still may not know where the sink is. If he does go to the sink, he may not know what to do when he's there. If I have him turn on the water, sometimes I have to show him how, or sometimes he just needs to be reminded that he needs to do it. This is the process with every part of his life right now. Some days are smoother than others, but everyday there is progress. One thing he never forgets is when I ask for a kiss, his lips are always ready! Heehee! As far as understanding whats said to him, for most of the time, I would say yes he does, but again, he's still very confused. Some of it might just be that he only hears part of what we say, so all the words aren't being processed.
Q. Is Cale walking on his own?
A. No, but when he gets to that point, trust me, there will be a video!!
Q. Is the tumor something from the accident?
A. We were told about it after the accident, but Cale has always had problems with his nose. For those of you who know him real well, you've probably noticed that he always sounds stuffed up, and he's had problems with nose bleeds-yep, it was because of the tumor!
Q. Is he out of the coma?
A. This has been the hardest question to answer. It's a long, slow, and confusing process. When we left Wake, he was coming to this facility in the "Emerging Consciousness Program" but, I think the trip here, with all the flights, and stimulation, Cale changed so much even before we got here. The first time Dr. Howe saw Caleb, she said "I would say he's not even in the EC program, he's already pass that." So, yes, Cale has emerged! Now, it's the part of the journey, where everything needs to reconnect, and reprogram. Not an easy thing to do...
Q. Is there anything you need?
A. Actually, I am so blessed! Thank you to everyone that has already been so helpful, and great about making sure I'm taken care of! I know that this answer doesn't satisfy a lot of you (so I've been told!!), but I am doing really great. For those of you that will roll your eyes at this answer and send me a lot more emails asking what you can do, I will make a list of things I like, but DON'T need. :)
* I love dark chocolate! There are these amazing dark chocolate covered almonds, from Whole Foods, that Amy's friends introduced me to, and after the first one in my mouth-I became addicted! Before those, and even now, I just love chocolate.
*Cards-I love mail (well, happy mail!), it cheers me up so much when I come back to my room, and have a card or package waiting for me :)
*Cookies :) Homemade cookies are the best! (kind of shows how I have a sweet tooth here...chocolate cookies, and if pie could be sent in the mail, I'd say that too!)
*Music. Through this journey so far, music has been the sunshine in so many hard days. God seems to swoop in and carry me to another world through the songs that he's anointed people with their writing and singing.
*For those that have asked about sending gift cards, there is a Target and Trader Joes, and Whole Foods near by. I know there are lots of other places, but those are the three that I've enjoyed so far :)
REMINDER These are just things I like and DON'T need! I'm doing great and am already so blessed.
God is the Shepard who guides, the Lord who provides, the Voice who brings peace in the storm.