Update Page for David Hanson - June 2013
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6/2/13 (Rachel Hanson)
I guess Jocelyn and I have come across pretty bedraggled lately because the nurse pulled me out in the hallway and urged me to stay home for a couple days. It didn't take a whole lot of convincing...I'm too spent and Jocelyn cries and eats all day so I'm not sure we're much of a motivating factor to David right now. I feel like all we do is keep him from resting properly, worry him, and distract him during therapy.
David is doing good. Thank you for praying about his headaches. They seem to be much better lately. He is more alert and is doing better with his head control.
We listened to an encouraging message today by Joe Reese: "5 elements to keep on going" on 2 Chronicles 7:14: "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." Both of us needed this message badly. We're both needing a stiff dose of motivation. Sometimes in comes in the form of fabulous friends who are giving me a couple days off. :)
David has an EEG scheduled on Tuesday. Im hoping for this to clear the way for decreasing some seizure meds.
6/6/13 (Rachel Hanson)
We got two days at home to rejuvenate. Yay! :) David had his EEG and it was clear of any abnormal spikes or seizure activity :) but...the staff and I have noticed periods when he spaces out for about 10 seconds. I want a longer EEG.
Today was good. Jocelyn behaved beautifully and just sat and watched me help the PT assist David in standing without the standing frame.
Speech and swallowing are status quo.
I'm hoping to get a vehicle that David can get into soon. I'm pretty excited to have a bigger vehicle and can't wait to be able to take David places. :)
David has a neuro optometry visit on Monday which will hopefully give us some better insight into his vision problems and hopefully solutions too!
6/11/13 (Rachel Hanson) David got to have ice cream a couple days ago "legally" for the first time in probably 6 or 7 months. I keep trying to tell them that he'll chow down almost anything if it tastes good! Maybe it will take him 10x longer than the rest of us but he won't choke on good food!!
I've realized that over the last couple months, David is communicating A LOT more and making a lot more decisions...not verbally but through our little spelling/thumbs up system. Through this, I've noticed he does have periods of confusion. Sometimes he'll spell out stuff that just doesn't make sense with the question I asked or he'll perseverate on one idea for several days. Usually, if I keep questioning him, he can work through it and start answering appropriately again. We've been doing stuff on the iPad but he fatigues really quickly. It seems to take a lot of brain energy to do the most simple things.
Yesterday, the neuro optometrist saw David. It was interesting how she could just peer into his eyes with her little instruments and figure things out. He does have some vision problems but they cannot be corrected by glasses or prisms. But he is supposed to work on focusing his eyes straight on objects because he sees much better that way. His peripheral vision was normal.
Sunday is our first anniversary. We get to go out on a date BY OURSELVES (no child, no therapists, NO ONE but us!!!!) for the first time in over 10 months!!! We're pretty excited! :D
6/15/13 (Annette Hanson) What a delight this morning to walk in to David's room, say "hi" to him, and have him spontaneously say "hi" back!! Then he also said "hi" to his dad! :) Such a simple thing, but we haven't heard him verbalize much for quite awhile.
We have to snatch the alert moments that we can with David, because he sleeps a lot more here than he did in the previous facility. Yesterday we were able to spend a little time outside, and a doe came walking right through the back area along the creek. We tried so hard to help David see her, but aren't sure he could focus through the trees.
Changes in his abilities are slow, but there seems to be potential for him to keep improving...for instance, he is now able to move his left arm up several inches. This is something he was not able to do before, so we are encouraged that he can keep making gains.
Tomorrow is a day of "firsts" for David. It will be his first Fathers Day, and it will be David and Rachel's first anniversary, and David has a secret plan up his sleeve....a surprise for Rachel. :) And Joel and I get to have the fun of spending some time with Jocelyn while Mom and Dad go on a date!!!
The other morning, after some Bible reading, David spelled out "good stuff - great stuff- read more." So Joel reads more...until David drops off to sleep. :)
Oh.... another neat thing that happened.... He had to spend some time on his belly the other day, and as he was lying there, he started to hum. He hummed several times...another indication of "potential!" We were all quite excited and hummed along with him: "Amazing Grace."
Truly God's grace is amazing and He gives as much as we need for each day.
6/17/13 (Annette Hanson) I don't know if I will "beat" Rachel in posting an update, but I want to share some things that I think she will be too modest to share.... Yesterday was a very nice "Fathers Day/Anniversary" in several ways. We were all able to meet with a very special group of believers in the morning to remember our Savior, then had a "potluck" lunch at the care facility where David is. Rachel wore a lovely white dress....which Jocelyn promptly changed the color of, so Rachel ended up in David's T-shirt and shorts....still looking pretty! ;) Grandma (me) got to snuggle down on the couch with little Jocelyn, and we spent a very exciting time napping through the afternoon while Mommy and Daddy went on their date. They seemed pretty happy when they returned. After awhile we gathered in David's room to remember the Lord again, this time with David. He really loves to have this time of focus on Jesus' love and forgiveness for us....healing for our souls! When Joel asked David if he would like to share a thought, he spelled out 'God is good.' Then Joel asked him if he had anything to add to that, so he spelled out 'Rachel is beautiful.' :) We thank the Lord for these special times.
6/18/13 (Rachel Hanson) Our anniversary was beautiful. It wasn't a fairy tale, happily-ever-after anniversary. Instead of wearing a nostalgic white dress and smelling like "Hawaiian Kiss", I was wearing my husband's T-shirt and gym shorts and smelled like recycled milk. Instead of sitting in a dimly lit restaurant with candles and roses eating steak and whispering sweet nothing's to each other, I struggled down the sidewalk in my recovering post-pregnancy body, pushing my 150 pound husband in his wheelchair to a loud coffee shop where I drank a coffee and David's brain went in circles from overstimulation.
But...we got to be together by ourselves. We enjoyed the refreshing smell of redwoods. We silently celebrated life. My dear husband whispered to me that I was beautiful and he encouraged and led me in faith in our Healer. I cried. He specially requested a dozen yellow roses, some sweet white wine and a "date in the woods".
What I've learned about marriage in my first year: you only need the most simple, primal things to have a satisfying marriage and still be madly in love and we have it. Christ is our center, unconditional love and respect is our motto and the rest doesn't matter. We don't have a lot but we have the best things.
6/23/13 (Rachel Hanson) We are so blessed by an amazing biological family and church family. We wouldn't be able to run this race without them! My mom has been tireless in coming almost every week to relieve me for a day or two with David so I can work on the home front. David's parents have come all the way from WI many times. My sister will help morning, night, and sometimes even in the middle of the night! My aunts have been there for me and my brothers and dad do things behind the scenes. David's siblings also visit and support behind the scenes. Then there are friends that fill in when needed. I cannot thank you all enough for these things.
David is starting to have another spurt of slow progress. When I came in yesterday, he was standing in the parallel bars for the first time in 6 months with some help from his PT and OT. When he isn't having a headache and on Vicodin, he is pretty alert and participates well in activities I do with him in the afternoon. He still quite frequently gets moderate to severe headaches. I've been working with him on the ipad getting his fine motor skills improved in his right hand. I still have to support his arm but he's getting faster at touching the screen in the right spots. His handwriting continues to improve. I had him sign his name on a going away card for another patient there and I was amazed at how well he did! I was just supporting his forearm but he did all the movements to make the letters himself and it looked pretty close to his old signature. I have to add though, that his endurance for writing is really low. It takes tons of energy just to write his first name. I was also able to do some cycling with him twice this week. He was able to do 5 revolutions on his own. I'm hoping that once he get his AFO's, they will help support his ankles when he bikes, stands, etc...
David is experiencing some emotions as he starts to address the trauma he's been through in his mind. Pray for him as he struggles through some deep waters.
It's easy to become downcast and discouraged. As I was reading in the Psalms this morning, I noticed how many times it says "lift up"...lift up your eyes, lift up your soul, etc... "He is not here, for he is risen!" Matthew 28:6 He is not wallowing in the dust of despair. He is exalted. "Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God." Psalms 42:11
"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace." --Helen H. Lemmel
6/26/13 (Rachel Hanson) Today was a day that filled me with hope again for more normalcy of a family life someday.
Monday was a bad day. David was confused, tired and had big problems with his memory.
Today, he was so much better that you would think he was a different person! The doctors are going to try slowly weaning him off Ritalin and see what happens. My mom helped me today so I was able to spend some time helping the PT with David standing at the edge of the mat and doing mini squats. He got to have vanilla ice cream today. He's mouthing a lot more words more precisely. This afternoon was lovely. We got outside for a little bit then came inside and I helped David on the bike. He was able to do 20 revolutions on his own today. :) the PT made the comment that he's getting pretty close to taking a few steps!! He got his fancy new AFO's today. David and I got a little alone time. I asked him where he wanted to read. He said Matthew 6...exactly where my mom had left off yesterday (he remembered!). I asked him if he had any comments or thoughts and he spelled out "good - I need to apply it (to my life)". We prayed together. The way we pray together is kind of unorthodox - he closes his eyes and silently prays. I wait til he opens his eyes - then I know he's done. Then he spells out a few things he prayed for, for my benefit (because I'm curious and I miss hearing him talk to God). He prayed for me and my spiritual growth and Jocelyn. We are so blessed with a sweet husband/daddy!
"Our Father which art in heaven...thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen." Matthew 6:9,13
To contact David Hanson's family, please use the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org