I don’t know if the dogs were more restless then I today so we went to the dog park leaving Eric behind alone in the living room. He was busy any whey with reading a several page Survivor Guide for Brain Injury Survivors. At RIO they told me to never leave Eric unsupervised, and they also told me that Eric MIGHT be able to read short stories. Eric did just fine by himself for a half hour, he actually didn’t move from the couch and he was still reading when we came back. I can’t tell you how much he actually remembers from his reading but at least he’s reading and that’s great for him. This day has been out of control relaxing, Eric was so tired this morning so our daily schedule fell behind, instead of working hard with his therapy, we found ourselves spending quality time together next to the open fire. We have a pretty good routine down by now, which changes daily but we get at least one hour speech and one hour physical therapy done a day. I also try to have him focus on a game or a puzzle daily, which is working out fine. Outpatient rehab has started so we have a trip to the hospital scheduled almost daily. Some of our hard worked showed result yesterday when Eric walked 23 steps without any assistance. Woo Hoo!!
Besides learning how to walk and talk again, mental fatigue is a big struggle for Eric. Fatigue and TBI seam to go hand-in-hand, as it’s extremely common for a brain injury survivor to get fatigued in the afternoon; it’s like running out of energy and your body just shuts down. For Eric it’s the opposite (of course!), it’s very difficult for him to wake up, and his mornings are SO slow. His best time of the day starts around 2pm so I’ve made sure to get as much out of him then. This makes it extremely difficult to get enough things down. I’m worried long-term this might make it difficult for him to get a job, and short-term it makes it hard to sign him up for Day Treatment Programs specialized in TBI as these starts in the morning.
Being a Caregiver isn’t an easy job. I’m quite bad at it as a matter of fact. I thought managing a Production Department was stressful but this is a different stress. For example, it’s hard enough to make sure I’m drinking enough water throughout the day, and now I have to make sure we both drink enough, plus eating healthy food. Today is a celebration because Eric almost got all the 64 oz of water finished! The goal is to get him to actually drink the water so I don’t have to give it to him through the feeding tube, it sure would be nice to have the tub removed soon.