Ben continues to live and learn at the neurorecovery center. Jim visited him this weekend. He and Ben went to the movies and enjoyed dinner at a local restaurant. Chicken fried steak has become Ben's favorite meal. Today staff members from the neurorecovery center took Ben to church. Our cousin, Elizabeth, then took Ben to lunch and to the park. Ben sent pictures from his iPad taken at the park. he is "clowning" around. It is a beautiful day. There is pure joy written all over his face.
Elizabeth told me later on the phone that she and her husband had taken Ben to lunch after church with their Sunday school class last week. During the meal she looked up and saw Ben heading toward the kitchen with a pile of dirty dishes. She quickly moved to intercept him, but was told that the owner and the waitstaff were in on it. Ben was working. Afterward the owner of the restaurant told Elizabeth that Ben could come to work there anytime. He was welcome to work or just talk to the patrons of the restaurant. He makes people smile. Many times over the last year I have asked for Ben to have his "joy" back. He not only has it back, he seems to be giving joy to others.
In therapy Ben is reading, writing essays, and doing math. He is practicing conversation and practicing socially appropriate behaviors. He enjoys music, computer word games and his iPad. Ben especially loves talking and texting friends and family. Ben's memory is still extremely impaired, especially his short term memory. Although he handles many necessary mundane tasks, like laundry and personal care, it will be a long time before he can be independent. This is a concern because we have received notice that Ben's discharge date is in 2 months. Once again, we are looking for care and praying for the next phase in Ben's life. He needs to learn and work. He needs to live in a safe place with as much independence as possible. I am following every suggestion and calling every referral, knowing that the right path WILL open for Ben. Even when circumstances looked bleak in the past, God came through with the answer each and every time. Hope is confident expectation. Please consider praying for the next phase in Ben's life. He knows that big changes are coming. It is hard dealing with the unknown once again but I know it will be good.
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.