Update Page for David Hanson - December 2012
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12/27/12 (Rachel Hanson) Christmas went as planned but it was very overwhelming for David even though family was very good about not trying to ask a lot of him. I guess it was a learning experience for both of us. I think David and I both thought it would go better than it did so we were a bit disappointed. But David is brave and determined and still gave a thumbs up for the day. :) David is becoming more aware of his handicaps which makes him somewhat depressed sometimes. Although he was tired, David did much better today.
I'm trying to find ways to make him feel like he is still the leader in our relationship, which is challenging. He is improving in his ability to make simple decisions like what food he wants to start out eating or what book and chapter he wants me to read to him out of the Bible that day. He wanted to hear the story of Jesus' birth foretold and asked me to read Luke 1. I am amazed at his appropriateness and discernment in choosing what to read. "With God nothing shall be impossible!" Luke 1:37 He is showing more emotion. He even smiled at a joke I made today. Yay, he still gets my lame jokes...or loves me enough to think they're funny even if they're not! :P
Everyone in the unit is impressed with David's progress and effort. He works so hard at everything he does!
The Lord is hearing our prayers about restoring the left side of his body. He is moving his left leg more and I saw him LIFT his left arm up a little when he was in the standing frame today! His left eye still really bothers him a lot. It gets really red and irritated because it dries out but I believe that will heal in time too.
I went back and read through the updates since the first one and am reminded again of God's loving kindness and mercy to us in preserving David's life and healing him one day at a time. There are so many things that could have gone wrong that didn't: no pneumonia, no pulmonary embolism, no DVT's, no contractures, ICPs remained within good ranges and his femoral artery was shut down to prevent bleeding to death.
12/25/12 (Rachel Hanson)
We are blessed to be able to spend our first Christmas together with Each other and with family and we are being allowed the privilege of getting out of the hospital for a few hours to spend time with some of my family. Whenever I mention it, David's thumb goes up. :)
David is progressing really well this week. He is gradually getting faster at eating his new texture of food so that leaves him with more energy and more time to do husband and wifey things like slipping down to the cafeteria for coffees and dreaming up baby girl names. I asked David if he had any ideas for a girl name...his thumb went up and then he whispered it in my ear. It took me a few times to understand what he was saying but then I got it: Isaiah. Lol needless to say, we'll have to keep working on that but I guess if the baby somehow ends up being a boy, we'll have a name! ;) we went outside today because it was nice and sunny and slurped on frosties until David turned into a frostie himself!
David has periods of extreme sleepiness and has a hard time getting through therapy sometimes like this morning and then he'll eat lunch, take a nap and excel in physical therapy. He is able to balance in sitting and tall kneeling by himself for a little bit now. His left leg is getting stronger and he is able to control it much better...including being able to advance it without facilitation when walking in the parallel bars. The doctors have been able to take out about 4 medications in the last couple weeks or so which I'm sure is helping with David's progress and clarity of mind. The occupational therapist wants to cast both hands for a couple days to give a good stretch on the finger flexors to hopefully increase his mobility and dexterity in his hands.
The doctor is going to reevaluate David mid-January. If he is still is making progress like he is currently, he will stay in the hospital longer. In some ways it almost seems counterintuitive but David has built a rapport with the staff there and it is a good thing if he can continue with the same team even though I want him home. Pray for us as we continue to search for a good fit for David as far as a post-acute facility. Annette and I have toured one so far and somehow didn't have peace about it. Who knows, maybe he'll get to just come straight home after the hospital.
Tonight, we read Genesis 24 together. Although David had his eyes closed the majority of the time, I think he was still listening because he gave a big smile and a thumbs up at the end. I think he really liked that chapter. :)
Since we've been here so long, we develop relationships with the staff, patients and families. As a therapist myself, I enjoy watching the progress of others there and try to encourage those who are just starting what we've been at for a few months now. I think we're the longest residents there. I could be disheartened that everyone seems to get to go home before David but we are actually blessed to get to stay. Some people have to leave before they are really ready because of insurance caps. Pray for our testimony here. Everyone knows we're Christians and are watching us. Pray for our marriage. People never write marriage counseling books for people like us but we still have the Author of Love just a prayer away. Thank you again for all your support and prayers.
12/19/12 (Rachel Hanson) Some days are frustrating. Today, thankfully, was not one of those days. :) There for a while, there was a lull in David's communication progress but I think he is resuming progress again. It's still not great but at least he using his voice a lot more to say simple words. Today, David did great in speech therapy and physical therapy even though he was tired. He did great recalling signs he'd learned and said quite a few words with his voice. Today was a hallmark day in physical therapy. He got to go in the parallel bars and was WALKING with quite a bit of assistance!!! I cannot wait to walk with David into his ICU doctor's office and show him what great things God can do!! I've noticed lately little expressions of the David I knew before coming back. It's really exciting to see. :)
I've also noticed in the past week that David is initiating independence more...leaning forward and reaching out to help with transfers, taking a cookie out of my hand to feed himself instead of me feeding him, helping dress himself... Yes, it seems like small things but initiation is huge. It means he WANTS to be independent and that will go a long way in his rehabilitation.
He is fascinated by C.S. Lewis' "The Silver Chair" on CD that his sister gave him for Christmas. His eyes were wide open in rapt attention when I turned it on. Speaking of Christmas, we are super excited to be able to go to my aunt's house for a few hours without supervision! :D
I was encouraged by the verse in Luke 21:13 today: "This will result in your being witnesses to them." The context of this is persecution but I cannot help but think David's life will be used as a witness to God's glory.
12/15/12 (Rachel Hanson) I have been incredibly busy this last week and feel like I haven't been able to be with David much but he seems to be progressing regardless of my presence. The traffic around here is horrendous especially with the added holiday shopper population on the roads. Sometimes my commutes take over 3 hours one-way, which is super frustrating when I wish I could just be with David.
David is still eating well but still taking a very long time to get it down. Annette and I toured a possible post-acute facility on Monday. The place is really nice but David needs to make some big progress in communication, eating time and endurance before he could transfer to a place like that. David surprised me last night at dinner and used his voice to say several things. :) The most exciting thing happened when I asked him if he wanted to go over and say hi to this kid named Andrew. I thought maybe he wouldn't do it or at best he would just mouth it, but instead he tipped his head down, took a deep breath, pinched his nose and said very audibly, "HI!" I guess his speech therapist taught him that trick to get his voice going but I was impressed that he remembered it when he needed it!! :)
In light of the horrible shooting in CT yesterday, it makes me so thankful for David's life and for the healthy little girl growing inside me. I wish everyone could experience the peace of God which passes all understanding in the dark times. When we banish God from our schools and lives, who is surprised when Satan walks in and makes havoc?
12/7/12 (Annette Hanson)We have wondered about David's lack of ability to speak. He rarely vocalizes his words. Yesterday he had a scope pushed up his nose and down his throat to check his vocal chords. All is well there, and the Dr. was very confident that David will regain his speech with time and strengthening of his "bellows."
The other evening, I was quoting some Scriptures to David from Psalm 95...Come let us worship and bow down,; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. I shared with David that I have those verses on the window above my sink at home because it makes me think of him and how wonderful it is to be the "sheep of His hand" held in the Lord's hand. David lifted up his arm and stretched out his hand (very hard for him to do) to reach around my neck and give me a hug. :) A very special time.
David has such a kind heart. He is often deep in thought and sometimes we can draw it out with questions. His tenderness and concern for Rachel is so clear and we are very grateful to God for the love and devotion between them. :)
12/3/12 (Annette Hanson) Tonight David spelled out a message for us: "Seek the Lord" :) It takes some work to tap into David's thoughts and is so encouraging when we can see the things he chooses to communicate!
12/2/12 (Rachel Hanson) This week had been a pretty good week for David. His parents arrived on Wednesday and had some friends visit us on Wednesday too. Several good changes happened in the last few days. David graduated to being tubeless! They took out the feeding tube and he is now able to take all medication by mouth and is on what they call "mechanical" food such as ground meat/vegetables, pasta, rice, bread etc... It opens the door for so many more food options. And David is HUNGRY...he eats tons but he needs to gain weight so it's good. I just don't know how he can pack it all in.
He also got another Phenol injection (nerve block) to help relax his left arm so the doctors can better assess his volitional movement. Today, I played catch with him with a soft baseball. I saw him move his left arm a TINY bi
t. I'm just hoping that once his arm is relaxed he can learn how to move it again. I'm starting to notice that his tone is improving slightly as well. He is able to control his left leg better. Instead of it being stuck straight all the time, he is able to maintain it in a normal position in his chair most of the time and can keep it bent in bed. We are also noticing some improvement in his left eye (less dilation in the pupil) and he says he has noticed improvement in his vision in that eye. This is a miracle as far as I know because I don't think blown pupils usually return to normal.
This afternoon, we got another glimpse into David's thoughts. We had a mini breaking of bread together in his room. His dad asked him if he had any verse, praise for the Lord, or thought he wanted to share. Thumbs up. His dad worked with him with our letter board to spell out what was on his mind: "Choose life over death." :) Amen! Then we asked him how we obtain life and he spelled out: "Christ" David definitely still has a relationship with his Savior and thinks about spiritual things often.
Even though progress seems slow when I see David almost every day, his progress is really comparatively very quick and amazing considering the severity of his injuries. He knows that he is going to be a father in less than 5 months and he is motivated to work hard to be able to be a dad for our baby. :) He signed "I love you" to baby tonight of his own accord. :)
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