Update Page for David Hanson - September 2012
9/2/12 (Rachel Hanson) Sometimes I get discouraged because it seems like David is the same and hasn't progressed really, but when I sit down and write the things that have changed that day, I can come up with a decent list. Yesterday, David was able to sit in his wheelchair for a couple hours and held his head up in midline for a little bit. He opened and closed his eyes on command for the nurse. His right eye is reacting to light while his left eye isn't so I think he may have double vision or no vision out of the left eye. He tends to turn his head to the right to look at things and avoid the left so we are working on getting him to turn his head left. He is tolerating "bolus" feeding now (he was gettin
g fed by a "drip system" and now is able to be fed 3 "meals" a day-all at once). The is better because it prepares him to eat normally. I played the CD that his family had made of them singing and reading verses and he seemed to really respond - his heart rate jumped up, he stiffened his body, and his eyes were wide open just looking around the room. Not sure if he was like, "What is my whole family doing singing in my bed??" or what he was thinking. He was able to do well with being off the vent for 8 hours yesterday and today should be off for 10 hours. The goal is to get him as medically stable as possible and then he will be transferred to another unit for more intense therapies. If all goes well, I may get him home in a few months...and that's when you really need to pray. Thank you for your continued prayers for him and me...healing, peace and understanding for David and emotional and physical strength for me.
9/9/12 (Rachel Hanson) Update: David is doing really well off the ventilator. He is up to 22 hours off of it and is just on room air - no supplemental oxygen. They gave him a different trach today that will be better for him to breathe by himself. Today they capped it off for 1 hour so he could start getting used to breathing through his mouth and nose like normal. They will increase the time by 1 hour a day if he tolerates it well. He is tracking movement in the room with his eyes and moving his head much better. He gets to sit in his tilt chair for 2-3 hours a day and he is getting better at holding his head up by himself. He is much healthier than he was 2 weeks ago and so they want to move him to the next level of rehab sometime next week. :) His parents are, Lord willing, flying in next Wed. and I think they will be pleased at his progress. It's easier to see when you've been away for more than a day. I've been trying to teach him to smile again but so far he's holding out on me - only biting, swallowing, frowning and wrinkling his nose for now! :-/
9/12/12 (Rachel Hanson) David is coming back!!! Ok, so I was just a bit excited to see David's progress today. I talked with Dr. Huey (sp??) this morning about David. He said that David is moving forward and that he has progressed from a "vegetative state" to a "minimally conscious state" (which is a little better). On Monday, I saw David point his index finger all on his own a couple of times and today he progressed to scratching his beard (which is now gone due to my new-found beard-shaving skills! haha) and playing with his trach. He also "waved" on command for the OT by simultaneously lifting his 4th and 5th fingers. When they capped off his trach today, he started making noises like he was playing with his new voice he hasn't used in 5 weeks. He even opened his mouth and said, "Ahhh" for the nurse. Mom and I spruced him up for his parents by mom giving him a haircut and I did my first shave job. He was pretty snowed on narcotics for PT so he basically slept through the session and allowed them to bend him like Gumby. David's parents arrived safely and got to visit him tonight. :)
9/14/12 (Annette Hanson, arrived in CA again on 9/13/12) Just a quick note to say that our first full day with David has been a blessing, and we thank the Lord for His lovingkindness! The OTs, PTs and nurses are educating us on how we can work with David's arms, hands, legs and feet to help keep him "limber." He is still very strong and it is definitely work! We are also trying to help increase his awareness by talking with him, asking for responses, reading to him, singing, and praying with him. Sometimes he looks right in our eyes, and today he seemed like he was trying to smile and talk. He also moves his head back and forth from Joel to me, when we stand on either side of him. Rachel had to work today, and we are looking forward to some time learning from her tomorrow. :-)
9/14/12 (Rachel Hanson)"David smiled at me and gave me a kiss!!!!"
9/20/12 (Annette Hanson) David moved to a new unit today, which means he is improving. This has been a big day for him. He went outside for the first time. There is a very nice patio on this unit and the weather is beautiful! He had quite a workout with the PTs. It seems like he was feeling a little stressed earlier with all of the changes, but he did really well for his PT, following instructions and moving his arms and legs! Now he's tuckered out. :-)
9/23/12 (Annette Hanson) David had a hard day when he was first moved last Thursday. But he has settled down a lot since then. He has been moved to a quieter room, and seems to like it. The other day, Dad and I came to visit and David was not in his room. We followed the sound of beautiful piano music and found David sitting in his wheel chair, watching and listening to Rachel playing hymns. It was so nice! David has been moving his arms and legs a little more of his own volition. When he is sleepy from his meds, which is much of the time, he isn't very responsive. When he is alert, usually in the evening, he is following instructions more and more....especially from Rachel. He even played thumb war with her and won three times. :-) he reached out for Dad's face and arm the other day, and reached up to touch my face. Talk about heart-melting!
9/24/12 (Annette Hanson) Some days with David end a little harder than others, and sometimes he seems troubled about things, yet unable to tell us what it is. Tonight was a happy night. David is improving in his ability to respond to questions with a "thumbs up" for "yes" and pointing his index finger to indicate "no." Rachel and the speech therapist worked carefully on this today.
This evening Joel was testing him with several questions. It went something like this: "Do you remember your house in Eau Claire?".....thumb up. "Do you remember your work as a lineman?".....thumb up. "Do you remember your wedding?".....thumb up. "Do you remember your honeymoon in Hawaii?".....thumb up. "Do you remember that Rachel is your wife?".....thumb up. "Am I your brother?"....point. "am I your father?".....thumb up. "Do you remember John 10:9?" (This is the Bible verse that opened the door of salvation for David) ....thumb up. "Do you know if you're saved?".....thumb up! :-) Needless to say, David understands a lot and is remembering some important things. He is not always so clear, and much of the time he is very sleepy or distant. We need to repeat things and remind him often, but it is truly a joy when he has a night like this one. Do we thank God?.....thumbs up!!
9/26/12 (Annette Hanson) David was pretty sleepy all day yesterday and didn't respond much to anyone. Today he was awake most of the day, with a few naps now and then. We were all surprised and delighted when he showed evidence of being able to read for the speech therapist!David has one eye that appears to be badly injured, and one that has vision. The ST held a calendar up to his good eye and asked several questions about the month, like "Does this say August?......Does this say December?....Does this say September? He was able to indicate no, no, and yes!His recognition of Rachel is so clear, and it is really sweet to see how tenderly he gazes at her. Maybe I shouldn't be looking. ;) Joel was talking with him later and expressing what a wonderful gift reading is, how we are praising God for this, and that this is worth a thumbs up. And up went David's thumb. :-)
9/30/12 (Rachel Hanson) I've haven't been able to see David very much the last few days because of work and a PT conference I needed to go to this weekend but I got to go in last night and see David for an hour or so. I'll spare you of all the mushy details but I'm thanking the Lord that the love we had before the accident has not been taken away with a severe brain injury. I guess love is deeper than a sea of neurons. One thing I've noticed as an improvement in the last couple days is David's spasticity in his arms seems much better. He was keeping his left arm hyperextended and internally rotated almost constantly and now he is bending it by himself and it looked much more relaxed.
As a side note, I have been getting a lot of cards. Although I may not write back right away or might forget (to be completely honest!), please know that I appreciate them very much and wish I could repay the kindness everyone has shown in some way. Please pass this sentiment on to those around you that may not have facebook but may have sent something. I have tons of support from family and friends and really have need of nothing but your continued petitions at the throne of grace for my husband.
To contact David Hanson's family, please use the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org