It's hard to believe that we've been home from Thailand for 2 months already, the time has gone incredibly fast. Life has been busier than ever, it's becoming a little difficult to keep up with everything. Jerry is back in therapy at SCI-FIT in Pleasanton 2 days a week, he really is enjoying being back and working out with the trainers. Some of the trainers have mentioned that he seems stronger in his core as well as his legs seem to be responding differently when doing gait training. They've even mentioned how he seems so much more like the old Jerry before the brain damage. It's encouraging when other people notice the positive changes in Jerry's physical and mental health.
Jerry is also back in school at Cabrillo college 2 days a week taking the same class he was enrolled in prior to his brain injury, "Introduction to Programming, Java". Jerry had decided that he wants to develop a game controller for quadriplegics, setting this goal gave him a whole new outlook on life. He expressed how much better he felt having a goal to work toward, he's been struggling with what he's capable of accomplishing as a quad. After the first week in class, he again began to get very discouraged because it was so difficult for him with the brain injury. This was a class that he had breezed through before the coma and now he couldn't even figure out the most basic of things. I know how important it is for Jerry to get through this class, to boost his confidence and restore the hope that he can do anything he sets his mind to. I'm now in class learning right along with Jerry, so I can help him be successful and get through the class. It was so very overwhelming at first and each week is a challenge getting through the homework but we manage to get it done, many nights up til 1am doing homework but getting it done none the less. The teacher assigns 6 to 10 hours of homework per week however it takes Jerry twice as long as it takes others, it's not unusual for us to put in 16 hours a week on homework.
I received several responses to my request in last post about needing an acupuncturist, I appreciate everyone taking the time to respond. We found a great acupuncturist so Jerry is now also going to acupuncture once a week. Between SCI-FIT, acupuncture, school, and homework life can be a little overwhelming but it's good and we are doing well.
Jerry started weaning off all of his medication before leaving for Thailand and since has weaned off of 6 medications. Jerry is now only on a blood thinner to prevent blood clots and a low dose of Valium to help him sleep. This is the first time since he broke his neck he is off of all the bad meds. The doctors in Thailand said that it would take about 3 months to begin to notice any changes in Jerry form the stem cell treatment. It's been a little over 3 months since the first injection and there are some positive changes. About a month ago I noticed that Jerry's body seemed to be responding appropriately to what was going on at the moment. I compare it to driving, you go through the motion without having conscious thought process about it, you aren't constantly thinking break, turn, accelerate, you just do it. What's going on with Jerry is similar, when I'm putting Jerry's pants on he will arch his back and lift his butt to help, when I turn him he'll kick a leg, when I'm sitting him up to transfer him out of bed into the wheelchair he assists in sitting up. His core muscles are so much stronger, when I pull his arms to sit him up he practically does a sit up. The crazy thing is that if you ask him to do these things he can't but if he is not consciously thinking of them his body responds appropriately in helping with the task at hand. I pray that somehow he will be able to connect to this movement in a way that he can control it. A little over a week ago Jerry began to feel tingling in his body, in his right wrist and ankle at first and within 24 hours he felt the tingling over his whole body and to this day is still feeling it. A few days ago Jerry starting feeling a shocking sensation in one of his arms, yesterday he felt the same thing in his hamstrings and butt. I don't know what all this means, I don't know if it will turn into something more or give any mobility return but I'm so encouraged that something is happening and so hopeful for greater things to come.