Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June 1, 2010; mark it down as a tough day. Tough for Ray and tough for me.

It sounded like my honey woke up on the wrong side of the bed. More likely it was just the wrong bed; not our bed!
Once again I found him hanging out with the nurses, but not by choice. After a kiss he wheezed out "Get me out of here!" So I whisked him away and down the hall to his room. It was close to his therapy time, so there was not enough time to wander.
He seemed very somber and kept staring off seemingly in deep thought. After a brief time together where I shared the latest card and a few updates with him, it was time to head downstairs to OT and PT.
We had to hangout for a short bit and I saw Ray watching the other patients carefully. At one point he shook his head and whispered, "Old age." I reminded him that he was not there yet.
During OT he had to copy patterns using cubes that had a different print on each side. It was his job to find the correct print and then position it the same way as the one on the page. His hand shook and it took some time for him to get a cube in place.
The therapist then moved him onto sequencing. As he followed he was read three sentences that broke down a particular activity and had to determine the correct sequence of events. He took a moment to think it through, but came up with the right order each time!
Ray is having trouble with his eyes. The therapist told us that his eyes are not tracking. He also has trouble reading. The eyeglasses are new. He and his optician had been on an adventure long before the accident trying to find the perfect lenses for him. These are the latest attempt. I imagine that much of the current problems stem from his brain injuries.
I noticed that he was having trouble getting his right hand to respond to directives. When he was asked to hold his left arm so they could move him, he grabbed the therapist's arm and didn't realize his mistake.
PT involved Ray laying on a mat and trying to roll onto his side. He cannot do this alone, but is able to use his right leg for some leverage. His left leg has some movement, but it is very subtle.
At times, such as this, it saddens me to see how much my strong husband's muscles have atrophed. I am also reminded of this when I hold his arm or leg. There is no firmness. He always had such strong, firm legs and arms. How quickly our muscles lose definition!

As a child I would escape into fantasy and dreams as often as possible. This is how I got through life at our very dysfunctional home. The problem with such escapism is that when you come back to reality, everything is that much more harsh.
I no longer do that, but still have a tendency to hang onto the good experience without any thought that it might not last. Thus, I set myself up for this difficult day.
Yesterday I had my husband back and even a little bit new and improved! Today I was met by a stranger, definitely not the man that headed off on his motorcycle the evening of April 14th. Though I shouldn't have been surprised, I was. It hurt to feel disconnected once more.
Ray has had a tendency to fixate on something. Today he wanted to get back in bed after therapy. The nurses told me that he had not been up long enough. He needs to get the rest of the phlem up and laying down just will compound the problem. I went back to his room and explained this to him. He nodded and then waited five minutes to start asking where they were.
Shortly later the nurses changed shifts and the new nurse came in to say that he would be putting Ray in bed between 4:15 and 4:30. It was 4:00 and I told Ray that he had to wait until the promised time. Every three minutes or so Ray would wave his hand as if to say what is taking them so long. Once again I would explain.
Right before the nurse did appear (on time) I leaned over and kissed my husband and lightly rubbed his left arm. He grabbed my arm with his right hand and threw it from him. I asked him if that hurt, which it never did before. He nodded a curt yes. I wanted to cry and had to fight the tears. Thankfully the nurse walked into the room so I again kissed him and said goodbye. After leaving I realized I had left my refillable water bottle in the room. When I went back in I joked that his absent-minded wife was back. He would not look at me, nor respond in any way, but just stared at the wall.
Yes, it was a tough day. As I thought it all through I decided that I need to have more understanding of what to expect because of the brain injuries. I want a better grasp of what is happening in Ray's brain. I think that will help me to go with whatever comes along on this journey.
Tonight a group met in my home and the topic was 'choosing hope'. I am deeply grateful that the God that I hope in will never disappoint, neither will He ever leave me. I am going to go climb up into His lap now. You can too, as there is room for all!

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