Monday, September 17, 2007

A Mother's View by biggs mama

4 weeks ago today I accompanied John from Fletcher Allen hospital to Fanny Allen Rehab, a hard fought for victory. On arrival he was awake to a small degree, but had little speech, no balance, no muscle tone. He was hoisted from bed to wheelchair and belted to hold him upright. 10 days later he scratched his first letters into his memory book, and memories began to form. He could shakily transfer from bed to wheelchair and was moved out of the room with the hoist. From then to now he has made progress at a breathtaking pace in true Big John style. He doesn't remember those first 10 days at Fanny Allen. His brain continues to wake more each day reflected in his speech, his stamina, his mobility and his attitude. I've had the uncanny opportunity to watch my son grow from newborn to teenager a second time, but at superspeed.

Big John always colored ouside the lines, challenging the "Laws of Nature" as he blazed his own path. These next two weeks will be the most excruciating difficult for him as he continues to wake up and clamours for freedom from the constraints of hospital rules and restrictions. Now more than ever he needs his friends to help. From 4-9 pm he needs visitors. During the day, texts and phone messages. And to soothe his worries about financing the next 6 months, donations to the JCV fund.

"You know how I go, Mama. Part of me can do this, but part of me can't. There's John who can skate. And John who can't." Being an impulsive determined being, John has moments when he really understands the work ahead to regain his full autonomy and life. He understands the things he can do to help his body and brain heal. Other times not. It is fascinating to watch this process and yet heartwrenching at the same time. I trust and envision him fully back to himself, with feelings somewhat reminiscent of watching him learn to ride his 2 wheeler at 4 yrs old. So hard to stand on the sidelines and see him crash time and time again until finally, shakily, but with a huge grin he pedaled down the street. "YeeHaw John (he learned in Texas) Watch out for cars!" There are just as many dangers facing him as he shakily progresses this time. He pleads to be released from the hospital. No one wants to stay in a hospital one minute longer than necessary. No one wants him to stay longer than what truly yields the greatest rewards. But he's only been awake 18 days...


Geoffrey said...

With each passing day and with each passing post on this blog, John surpasses everyones expectations. I for one, couldn't be more pleased! How could anyone, close or distant to John, refuse this as an exemplary reflection of who he is internally, a truly inspiring individual. As we all watch him fortify his strength and regain his solitude, we mustn't allow ourselves to lapse the course ahead, for us and for him. Years back, I experienced a very similar scenario with another close fiend of mine, who's cranial cavity became swiss-cheese to a tractor trailer load of industrial steel rods. Though he too, had such an extremely difficult touch-and-go struggle on a day by day basis in the initial admittance to professional care, he eventually came to. Looking-back at his recovery process, the absolute most difficult time for him, his friends and family, was the gradual nurturing of life and his freedoms outside the realm of professional care. This, more then ever, is when folks really need to step up and expose much love and commitment to the individual in need. Guidance and proper restrain will help nurture this tough guy back to completeness once again.



A Stealie for John, as interpreted by an eight year old.

"Every time that wheel turn round, bound to cover just a little more ground"

Anonymous said...

To John, You are doing great, keep truckin! I'll be calling you tonight:)
To Big John's Mama, Thank you so much for your extensive updates, they are truly so important to those who can't be in Burlington right now, Many thanks. Peace and love, Shawna