Our days work around visits with hospitals, doctors and therapists. Yesterday we had a follow up visit with the neurologist that treated Frank for so many weeks at North Memorial Hospital. Both Frank and I were looking forward to meeting with him again, as he had not seen Frank in many weeks, and we knew that Frank had gone through many changes in that time.
Upon arrival at the doctor’s office, we were sent into his private office. Frank sat across from his desk, however, I took a seat slightly behind the desk, not sitting next to Frank. It was the first time in a long time that I was not sitting next to him, and it gave me a new perspective on how he looks to others, and I must admit, he looks great. For a moment it was almost as if the accident didn’t happen. It is hard for me to not jump in, answer questions, be his advocate all of the time. I have been trying to step back from him, and allow him to do more on his own, but it is so hard to do after being the “voice” for him for so long.
As Frank answered questions, and occasionally struggled to find the words he needed, I was reminded that we are still living “after” the accident. But even the neurologist admits, Frank has had a miraculous recovery at this time. The doctor looked at Frank, and told him directly, that “you were in really bad shape, you look really good compared to where you were.” I am not sure that Frank understands how catastrophic this accident could have been. We had several questions for the doctor, the biggest from Frank being when and if he can drive again. The doctor turned to look at me, and I told him that I was in favor of letting Frank try the assessment, if he was okay with it. Frank continues to excel in many of the assessments which could lead him to being able to move forward with his goals.
One of Frank’s biggest goals is to be able to gain back that level of independence, and be able to drive himself around town. Frank was given the go ahead to schedule the assessment, and it was one of Frank’s happiest moments yet. It was another huge leap forward for Frank’s progress, another day of great pride and amazement at his recovery path. It is in these moments that I am so proud of him, his drive, his force, and his will to succeed.
I am glad that we continue to have forward progress, regardless of what that progress is. Life for him continues to make forward momentum – life for me feels questionable. I have established myself as the daily Frank scheduling assistant, which gives me some purpose each day. My transition home is still a struggle, not sure what to do with myself, and when I am checking things off of my list, I wonder at the frivolity of those items, as if they are not really important enough to check off to make myself feel better. No longer living moment to moment, we are now day to day. Feels better, but still like living along a line of nowhere, no destination, but we are trying to live again. As a family, together at home, very thankful to those around us, especially the City of Savage, the residents, the people that came to the benefit – our supporters and friends.