July 3 Mike Moving Forward: “One Of The Best Nights”

July 3, 2011

Family, Health, Mike

Really, Mike is so easy to please…he always was, but now is even easier.  Such simple things have always pleased him.

During the day Mike slept blissfully till about noon.  After the wandering of the night before and in the absence of scheduled appointments, this was what I expected and what usually gets him back on track until the next round of appointments on Tuesday.  He had some lunch and, since the kids and grands were outside weeding the endless crop of tenacious annual and perennial weeds we get (I swear, my yard gets weeds you have never seen before and are likely not to again!)  Mike wanted to help so he loaded the piles of pulled weeds into the wheelbarrow for disposal.    (Yes, there were three or four wheelbarrows full…I suspect some native perennials were also pulled and in there since there are no other “horticulturists”  besides me in the house…) I discovered a heap of metal shepherd’s hooks of all sizes tucked away behind the propane tank…things I had asked to dispose of every year for the past three or four.  Mike can’t get rid of anything so he hides these things from me so I won’t insist.  Well I found them and capitalized on the fact that he doesn’t remember that he hoards things.  The pile got pulled out and ready to go to the curb for garbage.  Or for whoever it is that scours people’s garbage and takes good stuff for re-use, re-purposing or re-cycling.  Welcome to it…they’re good poles!  Anyway…at one point he began to pick up some poles in each hand to take them to the curb with the boys.  Kristin started to  suggest he didn’t need to.  I insisted he’d be ok…we watched him carefully as he went down the stairs from the patio to curb and successfully contributed to the clean up.  He was thrilled to have done as much as he did.  He showered and rested again before going to Vespers at 5:00. 

Last night after dinner was quiet around our house.  Kristin and the boys were out and about at a local fair to watch the fireworks and had sleepover plans elsewhere.  Mikey was home…as was Mike and I.  Early in the evening it was apparent Mike was bored but not confused…a lot of sleep the night before, a nap and a restful day had helped.  We did a lot of cognitive therapy things.  Naming objects, sentence completion, filling in blanks etc.  I noticed after about 15 minutes that Mike was wringing his hands and asked if his brain was tired.  He said yes…we stopped.  He said it felt like his brain had racing around going on inside.  My theory is that as he is stimulated, the neurons in his brain scramble around to make the old connections that were there prior to the damage.  Without the usual connections maybe they are scrambling around looking for the information and for new connections…and that perhaps this is how the brain re-wiring process is accomplished.  In the absence of any other more scientific explanation, I like it.  Now the trick will be for me to be mindful of just the right amount of stimulation to not push that brain to the exhaustion and confusion point!  

Instead of brain games we watched some TV.  Well I did.  Mike rested.  I was (and have been) watching the old seasons of Army Wives on Netflix.  Mike is definitely not into soap operas but claimed he didn’t want to watch tv…he wanted to sleep so why not?  Mikey went out for some snacky stuff and milk…and I had him bring back lemonades, hummus, some baked and low sodium chips, a treat  for Mike. 

He reminded me the Vladmir Klitchko fight was on and dad might enjoy hearing the Ukrainian National Anthem when the fight started.  Goodbye Army Wives, hello heavyweight boxing.  I used to love it…but can’t really get into it since Mohammed Ali retired from the ring.  Anyway.  When he got back he took Mike upstairs to watch the fight with him and snack. 

Boredom set in pretty quickly and the fireworks had started.  They retired to the deck to watch the fireworks.  We are within about 1.5 miles of where they set them off and our deck is up very high so we have a birds eye view.  Complete with no crowds and traffic.  I joined them and when I went out on the deck Mike took my hand and said “Hey Memmy”, a nickname he used to use to affectionately torment me when Kristin started calling him Pappy and I followed suit.  I was rather surprised he remembered it.  We held hands and watched the fireworks together…something we used to love to do and have done every year since we dated.   

As the fireworks ended and we headed inside I was informed that Mike was going to watch Saving Private Ryan with Mikey.  I went to bed and dozed off an on for a while and then fell soundly asleep.  About ten of three the overhead lights went on and I woke to find Mike in the bedroom, ready to come to bed.  He told me Mikey had gone to bed.  Errrr….fallen asleep on the couch was what he really meant, so since the movie was over he had taken himself to the bathroom upstairs and was ready for bed himself.    Got himself ready, I woke Mikey and sent him to bed, took dogs out and crawled into bed myself.

As I bent over to kiss Mike good night I saw he had the most beatific and contented smile on his face.  I remarked that it seemed that he had a really good night..maybe the best since he’s home from the hospital.  He allowed as how “It was one of the best ones” and off he went to sleep.  No wandering, no wringing of the sheets, no confusion.  Just blissful rest.  It was a good night for all of us.

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2 Comments on “July 3 Mike Moving Forward: “One Of The Best Nights””

  1. Beckie Says:

    I am late to the computer today, but my RSS surprised me with your latest post. What a difference a day makes!


  2. Janet Arnold Says:

    Thank you Lord for…the best night you gave Mike and Robin. May God give you many more in consecutive days. Who would have believed that Mike would come this far. I hope you have an opportunity to see the original neurologist, maybe in a store or a restaurant so he can see Mike as he is today without having a co-pay. 🙂

    Janet…still praying


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