May 30, 2016 The Captain Remembers Nussing!!!
Jonah said he remembers nothing about the accident. He doesn’t even remember long boarding on that fateful day, April 17, 2016! When Austin asked him what his most recent memory is, Jo says he remembers as far back as the last couple of days of being in the very last room he was in at the new DRMC campus. (His long term memory is excellent). As we were talking to him about how his mission president had come to visit him several times, Jo chimed in and said, “His wife came too!” The day we moved Jo to the Neuro-rehab center, President Holm had come to visit Jo. He told Jo how much he loved him and how he appreciated the hard worker Jonah was. He told him he appreciated his obedience and willingness to do all that was asked of him. President Holm told him he could count on him, and he told him that he had been coming to visit him all along this journey, sometimes coming with his wife. Jo had remembered this conversation!
Today was a great day visiting Jo! When we got to the hospital and checked in this afternoon, we were told he was wandering the hall in his electric wheel chair. Within a minute here came Jo with his CNA close beside him guiding him to the center of the hall as he would continually hug the right wall. I was so happy he was out of his room and doing something, instead of lying in his bed waiting for us to come. As he went around again, his nurse told us he had been able to eat mashed potatoes and gravy today at lunch, with his speech therapist present to watch his swallowing. Jo liked that! She also told us he had worked so hard in physical therapy today and didn’t throw up until the very end when his CNA had needed to pull him forward to get him seated. She told me he is such a good patient and is so obedient. His occupational therapist chimed in and told us that tomorrow Jo would eat his first meal, breakfast!! He is going to get eggs and oatmeal and juice!! I asked Jo if this was exciting to him. He raised his brows in response, which means, “Yes”. He still needs to be coaxed to talk more often than not and uses way more sign language than verbalizing. I can still hear air pass out of his trach hole, beneath the bandage, when he speaks, coughs and breathes. I left the conversation with the nurse to join Jo in his jaunt around and around the hall. I talked and he listened, mostly. I held his hand. I told him about my day today and kissed his cheeks a lot. Because he was up in the chair I could tickle his neck, upper back and his arms with my fingernails. Jo has always loved that. I am careful to ask if it “hurts” him for me to touch him. We were told that it could feel a little like a person who has autism. He assured me he was doing fine. We probably went around 10 more times before he was ready to return to his room. I had had so much fun and it was actually relaxing.
Tom volunteered to help the CNA get Jo into bed. Tom thought he was doing well, until Jo started vomiting. His head had fallen forward and vertigo set in. That poor kid threw up his toenails. We let him sit for a moment to settle down before we tried to change his clothes. He never once complained!!! He is such a trooper!!!
Once he was cleaned up and feeling calmer we asked him what he wanted to do. He asked me what car I brought. I told him I brought my car. He said, “I want to go home!” I told him I understand, but you can’t until you can walk and hold your head up. I had a long talk about how he had almost died and how serious his injury is and how we must follow this thing through to the end for the best outcome. I told him how I sat by his side for 37 days, holding his hand and praying for his healing. I told him how it scared me to death that I could lose him and that as hard as it is to have him in the hospital now with the limited visiting restriction, it is better than not having him at all. I told him I was too small to carry him or pick him up and I didn’t know how to do the physical therapy he needed. His response was, “I do! I know what to do!” He started to pull his blanket back and I asked him if he was too hot. He said, “No, I want to go with you!” I then talked to him about how quickly he was getting better and it wouldn’t be long before he was up and walking. I told him he was so strong and in great shape when he crashed and because his muscles were so toned before his accident, they would tone beautifully now because they have memory. Tom asked him what he needed to do to come home. Jo answered with the doctor’s answer, “I need to have control of my head and be able to walk”. I gave him kudos for working so hard as physical therapy even though it was hard and made him so sick.
I asked him if he was praying for help. He said he hadn’t prayed much. I told him how prayer had healed him to this point in his injury and that it was so powerful! I reminded him that Heavenly Father was listening to him and that he needed to call out to Him to help him. I encouraged him to be specific about what he needs and then watch as the Lord works on his behalf. I asked him if he wanted a blessing for the specific issue of his vertigo. He said he didn’t. I asked if we could pray together as a family right then and he agreed we should. Jo folded his arms and closed his eyes as I gave a prayer of gratitude for all of the miracles we have experienced and then prayed for more to come. I prayed specifically that whatever needed to come together or break down in order for his vertigo to be resolved, it would, so Jonah would be able to move forward, faster, to get home to his family. I ended the prayer and asked Jonah if he knew how much I loved him. He looked me right in the eye and said, “A LOT!”
Tom and I went home to feed everyone the Memorial Day barbeque food my sister and I had prepared most of the day. We watched Austin and Jon’s children while they went to visit Jo. We took the kids on a walk and ended up at the park. The kids ran through the splash park fountain and we sucked in the beautiful atmosphere and perfect temperature. What a tender mercy!! I talk to my clients about the need for micro vacations. Most of us don’t get to take off to a beach and meditate while sitting in warm sand, listening to the seagulls call and sipping an ice cold Pepsi each week for a couple days!! However, we need a break from the chaos of our lives. Good or bad stress is still stress and our mind and body react the same to both (Okay, there is some data that has come out that says good/happy stress is healthy.) Just as you take time out to bathe or use the bathroom, you need to take time out to take a mind/body vacation. When my kids were little, I would put them ALL down for a nap right after lunch. I made sure I was home from all errands and the kids were fed everyday by 12:00 noon because that was when I took my micro vacation that saw me through the rest of my day until I got some reprieve when Tom got home. I kept a stash of white chocolate chips in the freezer, soda in the back of the fridge and turned on Days of Our Lives and Another World or read a love story to get lost in someone else’s love, lies and life! Micro vacations are an essential to a healthy mind!
When Austin returned she told us that Jo had started to get bummed when she was getting ready to leave. She assured him that she would send mom and dad back. Jo asked if it would be another hour! Austin told him she would send us right over. As Austin was about to leave Jo’s besties should up and were asking if they could see Jo. His nurse told them they could and Jo’s eyes lit up when the boys walked in the room. He held out his arms to hug them and spoke the words, “I love you” to each one as he hugged them. The boys stayed until bedtime and then Tom and I went to tuck him in. Tom asked Jo if he wanted Tom to stay the night and Jo gave an emphatic, “Yes”.
I love this and I will share it with you:
Lean Into It
In life, we think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem. The real truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together for a time, and then they fall back apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that.
Personal discovery and growth come from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.
Suffering comes from wishing things were different. Misery is self-inflicted, when we are expecting the “ideal” to overcome the “actual,” or needing things (or people, or places) to be different for us so we can then be happy.
Let the hard things in life break you. Let them effect you. Let them change you. Let these hard moments inform you. Let this pain be your teacher. The experiences of your life are trying to tell you something about yourself. Don’t cop out on that. Don’t run away and hide under your covers. Lean into it.
What is the lesson in this wind? What is this storm trying to tell you? What will you learn if you face it with courage? With full honesty and –lean into it.
I am asking for your faith and prayers that Jonah’s vertigo and Nystagmus will end and that he can gain his equilibrium. I will be fasting for this, this week!! I LOVE MY BOY!!! #JustWakeUpJonah