It's been a busy 'ole week in tbi rehab land.
On Thursday the architects came back to draw up final plans for adaptations to Korving Towers and the spec has now been sent out to potential contractors for quotes. It will soon be time for the house to be covered in dust and the cats to hide in the bottom of the wardrobe again.
Also on Thursday the independent Case Manager and the NHS case manager both came to the house to stage an intervention; but more on that later.
On Friday Jake came home in my car for the first time, having only ever travelled that distance in the back of a taxi before. Mum came to help in case she was needed and she sat in the back behind Jake; I hadn't thought this through all that well as Jake's wheelchair is massive and our four seater cabriolet is not, which meant Mum was pinned in by the frame in a manner that was probably not all that safe! It went really well though and the journey back (minus a squashed parent) was very peaceful.
Friday was also the one year anniversary of Jake's accident. It may sound strange but I chose not to view this as a sad day, but rather a day worth celebrating; the day that Jake survived against all the odds. I'd much rather focus on the next 12 months.
On Saturday a consultant neurologist with a special interest in brain injury and neurological rehabilitation came to see us and he spent 3 hours going over the case history and assessing Jake for our civil case. He was really lovely and spent a lot of time looking at the detail to make sure he had the full picture. He also spent a lot of time listening to me and sharing his thoughts on how Jake's rehab may progress. They say that every rule needs an exception; well he appears to be the exceptional consultant that proves the rule that you have to have the bits of your brain that deal with empathy and humility removed when you become a consultant.
On Sunday Richard and Karen from the Imp Club came to meet Jake and look at the car. He was so happy and when we took them to see the car his aphasia practically disappeared. I am really hopeful that this project will have a significant impact on his rehab; it certainly will form a key element of 'Project Jake's Joy'. I'll tell you more about that in another blog.
Yesterday was fairly standard aside from the fact that Jake has started to get to grips with texting and commenting on Facebook. As with his spoken word the aphasia is still affecting the words, but the understanding and meaning is definitely coming through. In response to my "hello my love" text I received "hey darling". Bloody fantastic!
Today I have found a cleaner. This has nothing to do with tbi rehab, I just wanted to gloat.
So, back to the Case Manager duo's ambush last Thursday. We were due to meet with the weekend care providers for a routine review at 1:30pm, but the CM's wanted to meet an hour earlier. Well, the minute they walked through the door their tension and discomfort was palpable (am I really that scary?). We sat down in the lounge and there was much shuffling of papers and throat clearing. I finally begged them to say whatever it was that they were there to say and they finally told me; Jake is on the move again.
When I first heard this my overwhelming emotion was exasperation; he's only just got settled again since the last disastrously handled move and moving him again so soon seemed unthinkable. Fortunately I'm a very reasonable and adult individual (ahem) so I allowed them to explain.
The rehab focus is shifting to ensure Jake is ready to come home next year and that this return home is successful. So in December, assuming all stakeholders are in agreement, we will move from the Rehab Hotel to the student house (no really, that's exactly how it feels, right down to the labels on people's food cupboards!). The student house is a transitional living unit which is part of a larger Neuro Care Centre. The rationale behind this move is that the student house is less than 8 miles from home.
This will enable Jake to start connecting with the local Poole community, visiting the local gym / pool and accessing Headway rehab groups (swimming, gardening etc.), It will give us more flexibility in terms of coming home, so it feels less rigid and the occupational therapists can work with Jake in our home during the week which will make the rehab more meaningful.
Having got over the initial shock this feels like a good thing. Let's face it, it will be nice to not have to do 8 hours travelling back and forth from the rehab hotel every week!
As weeks go, it's been a corker!