John has begun getting into a chair for brief periods of time. He has also started the long process of ordering a permanent motorized chair. There are many decisions to be made and a great deal of paper work. The wounds have not completely healed, but transitions to the chair have not seemed to cause anything to get worse. With the assistance of some friends and his new loner chair, John has been able to move into his new Bachelors’ Pad with Corey. The house is located just a couple of miles from his mom so that trips back and forth will be possible. John is working on getting a second bed so that he can be at his mom’s for Charlie visits, where she has oh so many toys and her Mini Mouse bed. The Boy’s house still needs a little work, but with John there to supervise, things should get finished up. His computer system is partially hooked up so he is able to get emails.
John had his Trach removed today. We have the opening covered with a bandage, to prevent air loss, until it closes up on its own. This should just take a week or so. We seem to have reached another plateau in the wound healing process. We are working on things to try next. We are still using the Snail cream and light therapy, but are looking for more things to try.
The wound healing is continuing to progress slowly. If things continue to progress, we are hoping to start sit up trials in the Spring. John’s grandma, Dee Kirkpatrick did past away on February 1st. Here is what John wrote to be read at her service:
“Hello everyone, I’m sorry I can’t be there and that I haven’t been there lately. I miss everybody tremendously. My grandparents have always had a great influence on my life. Grandma teaching me happiness, playfulness, art, integrity, and how it is possible to wear an orange hunting jacket for any occasion. Grandpa taught me that anything can be accomplished with some work and a lot of ingenuity. He was a model husband, father, and man. Together they represent love; not only for how long they loved each other, but how much they loved each other all the way to the end. I am forever grateful to be a member of this family!”
It turns out that the trip to Portland, to see John’s wound doctor, caused stress to his wounds. For a couple of weeks it seemed as if they were getting worse. The wound nurses were considering labeling them chronic wounds. This is very bad because insurance does not pay for Home Health Care nurses to treat chronic wounds. We started a few alternative internal supplements, full spectrum light treatments when dressings are being changed, and a naturopathic cream primarily made from an extract derived from Chilean Garden Snails. You can cringe, but it seems to be working. We started the cream on one area, but are now putting it on all of John’s wounds, because there is a measurable improvement. Having Charlie here for Christmas made it a wonderful time. We have two new home health workers spending time here with John, making everyone feel more cared for. John is upset that he will not be able to visit Grandma Kirkpatrick, who has just been put on Hospice care, but we are hoping to set up some “facetime” for them.
Stacy from VIBRA, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve lost your contact information.
This past Thursday, John was transported to Portland for an appointment with his wound doctor. The transportation company said that they specialize in transportation not lifting, so we had to call the local fire department to help move John from the bed to the van, while keeping John flat. The drive was uneventful other than some hail and a great deal of rain. The doctor said that all of the wounds look clean but there was little change in the past few months. He put in an order for another new wound treatment, but feels that the main reason that John’s wounds are not healing is due to the spinal injury making it impossible for his brain to send the correct signals to the body to repair the wounds. We are increasing his protein intake and going to try mild electric stimulation therapy near the wound sites. John remains confined to lying flat. The doctor did put in a new stomach tube button and said that it looked like John had gained some weight.
I know that there has been a great deal of time between posts. There has simply been no new developments. John is still limited to lying completely flat, as things continue to heal very slowly. The wound nurses visit three times a week and with the doctor’s input, they try new wound protocols every few weeks. Corey is now one of John’s care providers along with Teresa who works nights. John can now project anything that he sees on his computer onto the TV. This makes for an entertaining time as John and Charlie try to decide between watching Yo Gabba Gabba and football. Charlie usually wins.
John and Charlie really appreciated the Minions and goodies from Aunt Holly and the workout gear from Aunt Fran. Thank you! Packages always brighten the day. John purchased a new muscle simulator and has begun to use it with the physical therapist. We are hoping that it will help prevent contractures or muscle shortening from taking place in his arms. The wounds continue to heal slowly. We are eager for a future day when sit up trials can begin again. Laying flat is no fun. Football season and Corey visits have helped break up the boring daily routines. Corey is in the application process to become one of John’s care givers. He has relocated to Newport and lives with his dog Ellie in a house just a couple of miles from the B&B. Bob and Myrna were able to spend a few days with us and help with the B&B business. Visitors are always welcome.
Sorry that it has been so long since the last post. Life has been busy here. The task of finding dependable home health care helpers has proven harder than we originally thought. After some successes and failures we have one very good LPN working with us five days a week and a night time person starting on September 3rd. The Samaritan home health nurses now come Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to change wound dressing. The healing in progressing very slowly, but it is progressing. A physical Therapist has met with John and also given us exercises to do at home. We have hired a massage therapist to work with John once a week to help keep his shoulders from getting sore. Corey is planning to move to Newport to spend some time with John. We are trying to work out everyone’s living arrangements. John is still confined to lying flat on his back and continues to receive most of his nourishment via peg tube, but he has started to eat more by mouth. April and Joe purchased an “NFL Ticket” for John, so he is excited about the upcoming football season. John’s computer is all set up, so John can receive emails and surf the web.
John’s Aunt Terri has been helping with the B&B while I take care of John and set up In-Home- Helper interviews. Terri has decided that she definitely prefers nursing over Innkeeping. We just set up help for weekday mornings and afternoons until 6pm. We are trying to find weekend and late night help. John needs to be turned every two hours or so to keep pressure off of the wounds. It would be nice to have someone help with this. The wounds do seem to be healing at a slightly faster rate since we have been home. I have just started to use some herbal poultices on the days that I do wound care. The home health care nurses do wound care twice a week. John’s cousins, Marcy & Kristy, along with Seagal, Jude, and Benicio have been visiting for a couple of days so there is plenty of excitement.
John is back home in Newport. He was transported by medical transport this past Friday. We did get a modified dolphin type of air mattress at home. We are working to set up in home helpers and local nurse visits. We think that we can get his wounds healed and keep him healthy so that we can get him sitting up and onto a rehabilitation program. It just might take a little while. John is concerned that he will feel isolated, so it is a good time to visit if you were considering it.