Benjamin is still residing at the neurorecovery center. Horticulture has been added to Ben's schedule. It is much more interesting than the classroom based activities which constitute most of Ben's day. Ben receives group therapy in memory, social skills, relaxation, and leisure in the classroom, but the time spent indoors has decreased. This is good and hopefully will tap into Ben's interests. Faye, the master gardener, who has been running the program for over 9 years is amazing. I have had much encouragement from her thoughts and observations of Ben and other's she has worked with in her many years of using plants to reach patients with traumatic brain injury. Her greenhouse is beautiful. Christian music blaring, helping the plants and the patients "bloom".
Benjamin has been dealing with the same issues as mentioned in previous updates. He has good days and bad. Impulsive behaviors and improper verbiage is still occurring, although less often. Ben still has significant problems with memory, attention, and language processing. I still hear amazing "flickers" from time to time...my Ben is THERE. Yesterday, after misbehaving, Ben sighed, looked at me and said,''I really don't want to be a Dufus". He hates to upset me and says thoughtful things often to the staff. Medications have not helped much. When the behavior improves, the memory worsens and sedation increases. I told the doctors to stop a medicine yesterday for another adverse reaction. Please pray for Ben's doctor to have wisdom with the next plan.
The battle to enrich Ben's world continues. When Ben was denied speech therapy and occupational therapy (He still receives physical therapy) because the professionals deemed it of little value for him, it was tough. Jim and I met the issue directly, but i still was frustrated, even angry. My devotional one day stated, "If our goals are blocked, we become angry. If we perceive our goals as impossible, we become depressed. The heart of depression is hopelessness. Can any God-given goal be blocked?" The answer is NO! God's hand has been in Ben's life from the beginning. My solutions may not be God's solutions so I have ceased that struggle. Instead, with friends, we have planted a garden, started bringing Ben's dog to the home, personalized flashcards for him working on memory, started using iPad programs for language retrieval and added as many activities as we can think of. The professional who makes therapy decisions has chosen 3 of the suggested areas to concentrate on in Ben's official therapy.This is progress. I also have full confidence that Ben's medications will be adjusted properly by his doctor. Please pray for Ben in this battle for his mind"s healing. Remembering how far we have come.......Ben could have had a far worse outcome. He talks. He smiles. He loves his family. He remembers much. Ben is also not finished improving. Look at the amazing photographs.
The purpose of this blog is to show how faith, my professional training and a healthy sense of humor taught me and continues to teach me that Jesus Christ is always in control. I am a fellow learner as this journey for my child unfolds. My wish is that Ben's legacy gives others hope where there seems to be none. It is also my desire that the information I have assimilated with my medical mind and filtered through a mother's heart gives practical ways to deal with this ever-changing chronic disease. Finally, for the many friends and family members who continue to follow Ben's life change after the injury, the story continues.