Thursday, August 30, 2007

Big John's 30th Birthday Bash and News from rehab by longwinded biggs mama

As I arrived back at the entrance to Fanny Allen around noon yesterday, the ambulance attendants were wheeling in a precious bundle just as a week ago Biggie J was wheeled in, and that memory flashed before me. I'd been hearing multiple daily reports of Biggie's progress, and so was prepared to be dazzeled by his footwork and handiness and speech. And as usual, Biggie exceeded the reports. He continues to be a miracle in ridin high tee shirt and baggy sweat shorts. I truly believe in the power of prayer, and with so many praying for him... I have to ask... "who am I going to believe, the doctors or Biggie?" My bet is on the tow headed boy grown to a man! Not to say that he doesn't have a mountain to climb, but he is! Almost by the minute you can see the reconnections being made. It's frustrating for him to find the words... and some times they come out "turkey" or "what kind of car is that? to which he replies "an 86 tofurkey", but then he breaks through with a sentence and I burst my buttons.

Dr Knackle gave Pops and me a long detailed projection of John's recovery outlook, and trust me, it was not what I wanted to consider or believe. 80% was never a passing grade around our house, and still isn't. If he'd said 92% recovery... well maybe... but 80%... he can't be talking about our boy. He's already exceeded preliminary recovery projections, and I have no inclination to believe Biggie J will give an ounce less effort to his recovery than he does to anything else he sets his mind to.

Oh yeah it's true today he can't remember a story you told him an hour ago, and hears the story of his accident as if each time is the first time he's heard it. His short term memory is damaged, and will take a lot of work. But that's the kind of challenge John thrives on. At times he seems to realize where he is, but mostly he doesn't. Not Yet. He doesn't recognize that he can't get out of the bed without help, and we have to keep a steady hand on him or he'll fall out of the bed and hurt himself as he did the other night. Remember when you were a child and you thought you could fly? That's about where Biggie J is at, and it's up to all of us to protect him as he relearns everything.

It's also true the food there is less than appealing, so he is really enjoying the gourmet food that his friends are bringing in to him. Tonight he had a tasty meal from the new Thai restaurant in Winooski courtesy of Aaron. If you'd like to bring him lunch or dinner and spend some time with him, please call his cellphone so we can coordinate it. Seeing him and talking to him will lift your spirits more than you can imagine.

Now here's the idea Pops and I came up with this morning, and need all of you to pull it off. Lee from Higher Ground suggested we do another benefit for Big John in a month or so, and October 17th just happens to be his 30th Birthday. We would like to plan Big John's 30th Birthday Bash for that day. His projected discharge date from rehab is October 2nd, so he will be ready and eager to see all of you and listen to some good music. I've called Adam King, of the Mafia, and he's into it and will start making some calls. I'm putting it out there to all of you... will you help make Biggie's Birthday a Day to Remember?

And one more thing... Big John needs a place to call home when he's discharged. This is a topic that is keeping me and Pops up nights now, trying to figure out what will be best for John. We'd like to stay here at Russell street, it's wonderful in so many ways, but we do have some concerns about the long stairway and 2nd floor bathroom with the fantastic designer tub/shower. It would be easier for him if we could find a single story home (without stairs) that still offers easy access to the downtown area and his shop. Erik and Ana have been so generous in providing their home for our use these past two months, and we deeply appreciate the sacrifice it has been for them, especially given the robust Burlington rental housing market. If you can help us with this dilemma, please call John's phone, or place your comments here.

Thank you all for your prayers, your support and your devotion to Big John, he's coming back to us... SOONER than later.
Much Love and Gratitude from Biggie's Family.


Anonymous said...

Back home in Jersey preparing for a new school year wishing I could be more help to my little brother. I have such love, respect, and gratitude for all of John's friend- Thank you all! I have watched my brother take risks his whole life but have never seen him fight a greater challenge. My weekend visit with John brought me to a place where I can hope again. Though John and I have always been very different we recently began growing close in a new way and it seems we were able to pick right up where we left off. He still teases me and makes me smile! I look forward to celebrating his 30th Birthday with all his friends and family.
All the best!

pops said...

good post mama, but my recollection is that Dr Knakle said it was too early to tell what rebound plateau would be but gave a range of 80 to 95 percent and possible gradual increase over time. He did guarantee there would be limitations on John on release and did recommend one story living. When asked what area the likely long term damage would be he said it was also too early to tell but the brain pressure spikes when in the coma (during which the neuros used every trick in their book to reduce) added to the original damage in the accident. (We said yes we were well aware of them we sat through many of them}

home for weekend with my cat, chickens, scraggly garden, and water pump burned out. first rain shower here last eve in 3 weeks (southern NH) Maybe I will just install the hand water pump I keep in reserve though I would most like a double acting piston pump rigged up to a bicycle to pump a barrel full on my second floor as needed. If any of you have an extra old time double acting piston water pump around in good or rebuildable condition please advise. pops

PS first ever attack on my brussell sprout patch. deer??

Molly said...

I'll look some places up on for first floor apt's in burlington for john when he get's out.

Biggs Mama said...

Thanks so much Molly, just give us a call if you find something you think would be good for John. We'd really appreciate the help. biggs mama