March 06, 2011

Sunday March 6, 2011 10:00pm

31 days ago Garren left for school an active, healthy, athletic 13 year old boy. As you know and as we repeat to him daily so he knows what is going on..."you had a headache at school, we came to the hospital, you had brain surgery, you are doing great now we just have to wait as your brain heals".

With this waiting we have settled into a bit of a routine here in rehab. Here is a picture of what rehab is like and what types of things Garren does even though he can't move on his own.

As I mentioned before, according to Dr. Wunderlich Garren doesn't show ‘typical’ response. As I understand it, at this stage they look for what they call contractions: straightening or bending of arms and legs in response to stimulus, reflexive response. Instead, Garren shows signs of intentional movement. This is good.

In occupational therapy this week, Tara had what looked like ‘swimmies’ on his arms. They were inflated to keep his elbows straight. Garren was positioned to sit with his legs crossed, with his arms back supporting most of his weight. Tara sat behind him on a big rubber ball. She held his head with her hands. I could see Garren turning his head, from left to right, in very small increments. It was very obvious that Garren was working, trying to turn his head. It’s just small movements, a little bit at a time, but he’s doing it.

In speech therapy, Wren rubs ice on Garren’s arms and hands to see if he will pull away, or react in any way. His left arm was more responsive this week. At one point, Wren held Garren’s left hand out, palm up. She rubbed a piece of ice in his hand, and Garren turned his hand over. He only did it once, but he did it. Wren is also trying to get Garren to swallow. She tries different smells and tastes in his mouth to get a swallow, or gag....or anything. Nothing yet.

Physical therapy is a little different. Emily doesn’t seem to be looking for response, at least not in the same way as the other two therapists. She has put Garren on the 'lift table’ several different times. She raises him from lying flat (0 degrees) to nearly standing (70 degrees). His blood pressure stayed steady which means that Garren is tolerating standing up, that his body, his heart, his lungs are all working to allow him to be upright. Another thing that Emily has done a couple of times with Garren is to get him on his stomach. This allows the fluids in his lungs to move. Laying in bed all the time allows these fluids to settle in the back of your lungs, and that’s not good. The other thing laying on his stomach does is it allows Emily to stretch muscles and tendons that cannot be stretched while laying in bed or sitting in a chair. She can easily stretch his hip flexors and his quads. That must feel so good.

So many little thing we do naturally and don't even think about what it takes to do them.

We are looking forward to another great week of work and seeing more progress from Garren.

My prayer lately has been for Garren to continue to gain strength, that he will continue to respond more and more to what he is doing in therapy. Each day we wonder if this will be the day Garren "wakes up" even more, and that we will see him progress from there.

Thank you for praying for us and with us for Garren. He is a tough, hard working kid. God is so good and we know he is right there with Garren.


Anonymous said...

REAL prayer, REAL answers

Rebecca Lloyd

Anonymous said...

We will also pray that you continue to see Garren wake up a little more each day. I hope he has a productive week ahead of him and I have no doubts he'll be working hard. Sounds like he's doing a tremendous is mom and dad! I pray that each one of you have a peaceful night. In for the long haul, The Sisk Family

Anonymous said...

We do take a lot for granted don't we? When you do things automatically as a reflex, then you have to think "how" to do those same things even like swallowing, it is hard to understand how the signals to the brain work when damaged. Our prayers are Garren will wake up completely soon and that he will be able to go through rehab in no time flat and be back to "normal". Don't give up or give in to discouragement, the best is yet to come. Donna Lochridge

Anonymous said...

Nancy, Geoffrey and family, I saw your mom at church today with her bright Garren bracelet; we already pause to remember you all several times a day already, but what a great little tool to make it even more of a constant reminder! We hope to be close on our place in Monroe this week (as the Lord wills), and work must be done before we can move in a couple of weeks, but hopefully we can be a helping hand with meals, driving kids, etc. soon. We love you, and are so appreciative of the updates.

The Randolphs-Terry, Dawn, Tia

Kitty @ Four Little Toms and a Mom said...

Thank you for explaining the details of his therapy. It answers so many questions for us and helps us to imagine what he's doing as we pray. Keeping the prayers constant.The Hinkles.

Anonymous said...

Praying constantly every day for his continued healing and improvement. Thanks for sharing these great baby steps.
- Chase Cutts

Anonymous said...

To GOD be the glory, GREAT things He is doing! The magnitude of HIS power and the way HE is allowing your sweet family to be used is an encouragement for those of us who face much lesser things in our daily lives. Thank you for the reminder of the things we take for granted. I ordered 6 bracelets!! I love that in those moments when I get busy there will be that reminder to be constantly in prayer for all of you! I love you! Sherry Winkler

Anonymous said...

I pray for strength for Garren and his family.


Anonymous said...

Standing with you in prayer for more alertness and reactive movement as you & Garren's therapists work with him. Praying that your stamina will continue as you do all that you do for your son while balancing your efforts, time and attention to your precious daughters. It is such a blessing to check your blog and read about everything Garren is doing, even though small at this point, he continues to move forward and that is so wonderful.
Chris & Rich C.