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Rowan

Old 04-29-18, 04:53 AM
  #151  
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It sounds like some real progress. Slow, but lots of positive changes.
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Old 04-29-18, 06:14 AM
  #152  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Hang in there Machka. If this is like the TBIs I've witnessed, both as observer and participant (I was in Rowen's shoes), this is going to be a lot harder for you than Rowen for quite a while. (I got my first awareness of the severity when I came home to my parents and saw how haggard my mom was.) This will change very slowly as he comes well along in recovery and appears to be doing far better. You will be thinking the best but he will be slowly starting to put together just how much he has lost.

I will pray for both of you. Feel free to contact me anytime. jeffries at spiretech dot com. My spam catcher will not let it through so put a very obvious title on the email (unless your email name is machka). I check it every few days so don't hold your breath. Once I accept your mail, you're good and I will see it immediately.

Ben
Email sent.
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Old 04-29-18, 07:22 AM
  #153  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Email sent.
Help from those who have been through the same or very similar situation should be most helpful. Your description of a "5-million piece puzzle" could be underestimated and that is were the road to recovery is most difficult for Rowan and yourself. You remember the Rowan he was but he is now on a journey hopefully leading back to HIM and only time will hopefully get him back there.

You all are always on my mind.
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Old 04-29-18, 07:29 AM
  #154  
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Wow. Great progress — I hope. Still sending prayers your way.
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Old 04-30-18, 05:00 AM
  #155  
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Good day.

But long 12-hour day with 9.9 km of walking, university, meetings, work, and hospital.

Very tired!


And why was it a good day?

Rowan got his trach out! At long last!

And he was a bit chatty this morning (still mostly random phrases), so I asked him his name, and he kind of almost said it.

The nurse was standing there, and said to him, "OK, who is she? Introduce us" (and he pointed at me).

Rowan did a "This is" gesture with his hand and said, "She's my .... (and then he fought with it for a moment) ... my wife!"

Yes!!

But he didn't know my name. I guess if you're struggling with your own name, someone else's name might be a mystery too.

The trick will be whether or not he remembers all this tomorrow! But I'll take it for today.
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Old 04-30-18, 05:11 AM
  #156  
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Hello Machka,

glad to hear there's some early cognitive reconnection happening. The brain and mind are funny and interesting things, but when they are injured, it takes quite a while to regain function and memory. An area you might explore is music and visual stimulation because they are in completely different memory and learning centers from spoken and written words and language. Same for hand-eye-finger coordination and sensation.

if you or Rowan had some favorite well loved music, or music associated with events or memories, it might be useful to play that to him or in the background along with other of his favorite and familiar, instrumental or lyrical. You might be surprised how that stimulates his memory centers and may elicit short sing alongs or humming / tapping of the melody, beats, or other musical parts. Hopefully it may also be soothing or comforting. Of course, check with the doctors and therapists about how much and how long each day he could have this. A portable powered speaker and iPod or iPhone loaded with music, or even spoken word "letters" from familiar people would suffice at the beginning.

same applies to short video content, maybe like songs, concerts, or videos which combine music and music playing, or other familiar images like places, animals, or things he likes. Touch therapy, especially with familiar animals like therapy dogs and cats can be quite comforting and provide familiar tactile stimulation, much like holding your hand does. And of course, all of the above activities usually help make people feel better in general.

books with images may also help to reconnect thoughts and ideas with visual stimuli and then the language or feelings associated with the image content. Who knows, even gentle cycling or touring videos may bring out some recognition too.

just a few thoughts about helping the mind connections to grow stronger. Much of this helped my father who had a stroke, and also some patients whom I helped care for during my medical career.

Best wishes,

Bart
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Old 04-30-18, 06:03 AM
  #157  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Rowan did a "This is" gesture with his hand and said, "She's my .... (and then he fought with it for a moment) ... my wife!"

Yes!!

Awesome
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Old 04-30-18, 06:52 AM
  #158  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
... my wife!"
!!!
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Old 04-30-18, 07:20 AM
  #159  
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Originally Posted by mech986 View Post
Hello Machka,

glad to hear there's some early cognitive reconnection happening. The brain and mind are funny and interesting things, but when they are injured, it takes quite a while to regain function and memory. An area you might explore is music and visual stimulation because they are in completely different memory and learning centers from spoken and written words and language. Same for hand-eye-finger coordination and sensation.

if you or Rowan had some favorite well loved music, or music associated with events or memories, it might be useful to play that to him or in the background along with other of his favorite and familiar, instrumental or lyrical. You might be surprised how that stimulates his memory centers and may elicit short sing alongs or humming / tapping of the melody, beats, or other musical parts. Hopefully it may also be soothing or comforting. Of course, check with the doctors and therapists about how much and how long each day he could have this. A portable powered speaker and iPod or iPhone loaded with music, or even spoken word "letters" from familiar people would suffice at the beginning.

same applies to short video content, maybe like songs, concerts, or videos which combine music and music playing, or other familiar images like places, animals, or things he likes. Touch therapy, especially with familiar animals like therapy dogs and cats can be quite comforting and provide familiar tactile stimulation, much like holding your hand does. And of course, all of the above activities usually help make people feel better in general.

books with images may also help to reconnect thoughts and ideas with visual stimuli and then the language or feelings associated with the image content. Who knows, even gentle cycling or touring videos may bring out some recognition too.

just a few thoughts about helping the mind connections to grow stronger. Much of this helped my father who had a stroke, and also some patients whom I helped care for during my medical career.

Best wishes,

Bart
Yes ... I've been playing him music for a few weeks now, pretty much since they started reducing his sedation. I asked about that, and they encouraged it. He does seem to like it, and the last couple days he has started to show a tiny bit of recognition or something.

And he's been watching TV for a couple hours a day for about a week now. He used to be a journalist, and regularly follows the news. So I've noticed that he seems to find the news fascinating ... and documentary-type shows. He seemed fascinated by a gardening show the other night. Then last evening, I tried him on the Big Bang Theory just to see how he'd react (he gets very restless if he doesn't like a show, so I figured if he got restless, I'd change it) and that show set him off giggling all the way through. But he wasn't laughing at the dialogue, he was laughing at the actions and the unexpected. Still, I figured he was enjoying it.

I've been showing him photos, cycling magazines, and newspapers, and reading him some things. Sometimes they seem to interest him ... sometimes not.

I've brought him bicycle ornaments and awards we've received. Casual interest.

I got him a stuffed lion to pet and hold ... he seems to like that.

His therapist suggested a somewhat more conservative approach, but I figure that as long as he's relaxed or laughing, I'll keep it up.

Last edited by Machka; 04-30-18 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 04-30-18, 10:20 AM
  #160  
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Old 04-30-18, 02:48 PM
  #161  
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Fantastic news!

Continuing to pray for both of you...
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Old 04-30-18, 03:30 PM
  #162  
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Great news, Machka!

But be prepared for a long haul. As he progresses and as he starts to remember his past life, the part that will be very hard on you, both to understand and accept is that for Rowen, there will be his life now and his life before; completely separate. He is now an infant with some strange knowledge that seems to have been absorbed by his brain in the womb. The life before was lived by someone else and slowly the film of that life played by a character resembling Rowan will become accessible arts of his memory. The separation between my current life and my previous life has become quite blurred, but it has now been a full 40 years.

Your biggest challenge may well be accepting that Rowan is only what he is now. He will grow and change, just as a kid grows and changes, but he may never merge with the Rowan of his past. (This isn't entirely bad. He will have opportunities to do what is near impossible for most; to experience events that have happened before for the first time. So events that may have had traumatic consequences the first time can be re-experienced as a true first time with a much better outcome.)

Do your very best to not have any expectations and not project anything from what you have witnessed. This is a long journey. Celebrate the good when it happens. Also do all you can to develop a pool of support so you don't have to ear out key people. I'm prediction Rowan will recover to close to before with an added layer of humanity. iF yo ucan stick it out, you will be a winner also. But be prepared. This road is going to take years. You know how to get a hold of me. I'm not going away (even if I leave this forum).

I wrote this here rather than in an E-mail so others with TBI friends and relatives can see it.

Ben
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Old 04-30-18, 11:42 PM
  #163  
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Oh goodness. I looked away for several weeks and just now came upon this. The early posting had me in tears of sorrow; the latest updates have me crying with joy and hope. Like everyone, I dearly hope Rowan's recovery continues with as few hiccups as possible. I can't imagine how challenging this must be.
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Old 05-01-18, 02:05 PM
  #164  
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Progress, great to hear!
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Old 05-01-18, 02:42 PM
  #165  
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Old 05-01-18, 06:32 PM
  #166  
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Terrific Machka! Rely on your instincts!!!
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Old 05-01-18, 07:09 PM
  #167  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Yes ... I've been playing him music for a few weeks now, pretty much since they started reducing his sedation. I asked about that, and they encouraged it. He does seem to like it, and the last couple days he has started to show a tiny bit of recognition or something.

And he's been watching TV for a couple hours a day for about a week now. He used to be a journalist, and regularly follows the news. So I've noticed that he seems to find the news fascinating ... and documentary-type shows. He seemed fascinated by a gardening show the other night. Then last evening, I tried him on the Big Bang Theory just to see how he'd react (he gets very restless if he doesn't like a show, so I figured if he got restless, I'd change it) and that show set him off giggling all the way through. But he wasn't laughing at the dialogue, he was laughing at the actions and the unexpected. Still, I figured he was enjoying it.

I've been showing him photos, cycling magazines, and newspapers, and reading him some things. Sometimes they seem to interest him ... sometimes not.

I've brought him bicycle ornaments and awards we've received. Casual interest.

I got him a stuffed lion to pet and hold ... he seems to like that.

His therapist suggested a somewhat more conservative approach, but I figure that as long as he's relaxed or laughing, I'll keep it up.
How very hard, my heart truly goes out to you and Rowan.
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Old 05-02-18, 09:00 AM
  #168  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Yes ... I've been playing him music for a few weeks now, pretty much since they started reducing his sedation. I asked about that, and they encouraged it. He does seem to like it, and the last couple days he has started to show a tiny bit of recognition or something.

And he's been watching TV for a couple hours a day for about a week now. He used to be a journalist, and regularly follows the news. So I've noticed that he seems to find the news fascinating ... and documentary-type shows. He seemed fascinated by a gardening show the other night. Then last evening, I tried him on the Big Bang Theory just to see how he'd react (he gets very restless if he doesn't like a show, so I figured if he got restless, I'd change it) and that show set him off giggling all the way through. But he wasn't laughing at the dialogue, he was laughing at His therapist suggested a somewhat more conservative approach, but I figure that as long as he's relaxed or laughing, I'll keep it up.
As a music lover and amateur pianist, my bias is showing, but music is magical, particularly following brain injury or stroke. Keep that up!

I agree with the others who said for you to follow your own instincts, rather than the therapist's one-size-fits-all more conservative approach.

Keep the news coming -- all of us are rooting for you. (Cycling is magical, as well, not only in its impact on health, but also in bringing this group together on the Internet.)
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Old 05-02-18, 09:40 AM
  #169  
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Thanks for the update.
Thinking of you both.
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Old 05-02-18, 12:12 PM
  #170  
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Best wishes to both of you. In addition to music and visual cues, try various familiar smells. Smells can be one of the strongest memory links there are. Although professional testing equipment is quite expensive, I looked online for something simple and found this game with 30 unique, familiar smells in a game form. https://www.walmart.com/ip/SentoSphe...&wl13=&veh=sem
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Old 05-02-18, 02:07 PM
  #171  
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Great to hear about Rowan's steps to recovery! All the best to both of you.
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Old 05-03-18, 12:32 AM
  #172  
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I agree with Terex about the importance of smells to memory. I seem to recall from some long-ago reading that smell is the sense most strongly linked to memories. I don't know if that old hypothesis still holds water, but I have had many instances in my life in which a smell has pushed me down memory lane in a way that other stimuli haven't.
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Old 05-03-18, 07:28 AM
  #173  
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I agree with Terex about the importance of smells to memory. I seem to recall from some long-ago reading that smell is the sense most strongly linked to memories. I don't know if that old hypothesis still holds water, but I have had many instances in my life in which a smell has pushed me down memory lane in a way that other stimuli haven't.
I don't have any evidence of that, but I agree. I spent my early teens and 20s doing a lot of surfing. And nothing brings the memories back like the smell of coconut scented surfboard wax.
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Old 05-03-18, 02:50 PM
  #174  
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[QUOTE=Machka;20314381]Yes ... I've been playing him music for a few weeks now, pretty much since they started reducing his sedation. I asked about that, and they encouraged it. He does seem to like it, and the last couple days he has started to show a tiny bit of recognition or something.

Yes music is magic : keep on music he likes listening ; all my wishes for a prompt and full recovery for Rowan.
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Old 05-04-18, 07:54 AM
  #175  
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Your endurance and tenacity has always been impressive. Your sympathetic compassion is equally impressive. Take care of the care-giver as well. Prayers remain with you and yours.
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