(I was ready to stop the updates regarding Cole via this blog – this post is too good to stop… so… – greg)
Cole has had two consecutive nights of rest and two consecutive days of an amazing nurse…what a difference sleep and excellent care can make!
Yesterday morning we had our weekly ‘team conference’. Cole didn’t want to be there but he gave me some words to share on his behalf. Chiefly, “If it isn’t broke, don’t check it!”
…He asked me to let them all know that he is very aware of his bodily functions and dysfunctions and if he experiences anything concerning, they can be assured that he will alert them to the change. (Cole can’t stand the abbreviation, i.e., so I will do my best, out of respect for him, not to use it…at least today!) For example, Cole knew when he had a fever and had caught a new bug. He did not hesitate to inform the nurse, doctor, and therapists. I was able to relay that Cole wants to be an active participant in his health care and appreciates when the staff takes time to explain the, why and the wherefore, of every action. The team was very receptive to the input and appreciated having the additional insight I provided regarding Cole’s credentials and knowledge. They are “upping the ante” so to speak (keeping in line with my title here), by increasing his endurance exercises, and increasing the nutrition by mouth. Cole is on board and ready to go!
Please keep him in prayer today as they are planning to remove the Foley catheter this afternoon. We pray his bladder will function as it should once the Foley is removed, and we pray the extraction will be easy and pain free.
On another note:
We are beginning to have to cash in our chips. So if you have made an offer in the past that you really didn’t intend to have to follow through on, I suggest you take advice from Iron Maiden and “run to the hills, run for your life!” What I am saying is that my back went out on Monday afternoon. I sneezed and it decided to spasm. It is all the atrophy I now have from prolonged sitting (even though my cousin, Jonathan, says it is a result of being over 40…he has just been renounced). As a result, I had to cash in some chips with my dear friend, Marilyn, yesterday and Steve Katz last night–chaching; and my brother Aaron is flying in tonight to help with the next few days (more chips turned in). I will take the time to allow my back to heal as I don’t have time to be down…especially as the 29th is fast approaching (the tentative discharge date). I am also still fighting off some sort of respiratory/sinus bug, which Cole definitely does NOT need hanging around his room!
Our plan, after discharge, is to bring Cole home; utilize in home health therapy for as long as insurance allows which by then we are hoping Cole will qualify for a rehabilitation day program. To qualify, one needs to have the endurance to withstand 3-4 consecutive hours of therapy. And while today, Cole would not be up for the task, we base the rate of his progress from that of last week, and project it forward a month, which makes his capacity to endure look promising.
One more thing before I go ice and heat…
Cole’s attitude continues to be positive and enthusiastic. Over the last few days, within various conversational situations, Cole has expressed his understanding of the Lord’s perfect timing. He can’t imagine going through this challenge without having had the training and experience of the Marine Corps. He also doesn’t feel like he has been given a ‘bad lot in life’, or ‘bum rap’; he is so thankful for so much and he still feels this is a training toward being more effective in his life’s call. His life’s call, you ask? To help people. Seriously, I’m not emotionalizing this, Cole does not look at this ‘whole picture’ with any type of dismay at all. In fact, he told the neuro-physiologist yesterday that he didn’t require medication for depression. He acknowledged that he had needed medicinal help upon being medevaced out of Afghanistan, but those issues are no longer a presence for him. He said the only symptom of PTSD still present is that he is still on high alert. He is confident, however, that time will assuage even that.
It definitely feels as if we are on our way, one step at a time, toward rehabilitation candidate…hup two, three, four.