I know many of you come to this site to get a current update on Frank and how he is doing, and are often met with a tirade of my thoughts and rambling instead. I will do my best to ensure that updates still occur regularly, and maybe a little less freedom of speech on my part.
Frank continues in rehab two days a week now – one day for PT and OT, and two days for speech. He has extensive home programming to do each day, and along with the gym, he is very busy every day. He continues to make progress toward his goal of returning to work – what that means is that he works on lots of activities that support both work and home recovery.
At home, he has returned to many of his normal previous activities – laundry and mowing the lawn. Physically, he has increased his strength and endurance, and can tolerate more than in the past. There are still days he needs to sleep in the afternoon, but that is usually due to mental fatigue, not physical fatigue. He continues to complain about his right finger tips being numb, which he often forgets is an improvement from his right hand being numb. He still has a slight limp on the right side, but as he continues to run and work out, this will improve. He will also have his new glasses soon, which will help considerably with his eye fatigue.
The continued challenges we face truly revolve around the cognitive rehab – mostly surrounding memory and problem solving. He has great recollection of his past, and many recent events prior to the accident. Of the things he does not remember, he often just needs a reminder to prompt him, and then it is back in his memory bank.
The recollection of new memories is still an ongoing project – the daily schedule is being shifted to his phone, so he can manage it without continuously asking me where we need to be each day. He has alerts and reminders to prompt him, and we will increase this use until it becomes a new habit. The memory skill training is helping to move these skills into the “adequate” range – not where Frank wants to be, but certainly a level that will allow him to do more things that he deems “normal.” Where we struggle is working through what he knows is something simple, and not being able to figure it out. For example, changing the Internet setting on the computer to a new server. I can walk him through the process, and he can usually work it out with assistance, but this is frustrating to him. And to me.
I think I have buried my head in the sand a bit when it comes to where Frank functions some times. It is easy to do, when I am with him, and we laugh and joke around, it is easy to forget how much I still buffer the world around him. Comparison only comes when I am with other officers, and I see the difference in communication speed and thought process, and I start to worry. I know there is no need for comparison, no need to pit him against others, but I just can’t help it lately. I think it is hard when he is constantly pushing – and I know he is not ready, but we both want it to move forward. Maybe we are both getting impatient.
We have lots of daily challenges, some of them bigger than others. Days can be easy, and many days are still hard, and often sprinkled with sadness and worry. I keep those moments to myself, because it is hard for Frank to see the big picture, and my fear and sadness will not help his attitude. But that creates a heavy load, and today, I think it feels heavier than others. Normal, it happens, but sometimes it sits a little too long in our presence, and it gets noticed.