Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A beautiful way to recover

This is Dan,

We are so fortunate to be recovering in such an amazing place. Motivated by amazing scenery and gorgeous beaches Jess has been persistent with her multiple daily walks. Her coordination is ever increasing and she is getting faster and faster. To a passerby, she would probably appear as a normal person casually taking a slow stroll. What you would not see is her focus and determination to go just slightly farther then she did the day before. The home that we were so gracefully allowed to occupy feels like something created by Jess herself. It exudes happiness and surrounds us in a calm demeanor. Jess's speech is slowly improving through normal conversation, and at times surprises me with complex ideas or elaborate vocabulary. On the same hand, once her stamina runs out, and she starts to fatigue, her words and pronunciation quickly deteriorate. Her ability to identify written words or letters is still her biggest deficit. She is taking it in stride because she knows some things take longer then others, but still has frustration at her inability to write her own name. On our morning walk we were discussing the differences between the last two brain surgeries. The most recent surgery left her with a better handle on verbal communication, compared to written communication. The previous surgery left her with a better ability to write then to speak. She used the blog as a way to express herself, because her verbal communication was lacking. Its interesting to contemplate the brain and how stress or trauma in different areas can affect someone so differently. 

Thanks to the kindness of our surgeons assistant, all our Dr appointments are scheduled for next week. It is odd to wait so long to hear any information or to have a Dr evaluate Jess, but it is a relief to have an entire week to allow Jess to heal and get her bearings. As always, she is eager to push herself and to accomplish the next task. I am finding myself in the familiar position of continually pulling her reins in. I do have to admit that she has a better understanding of pacing herself then she has ever had before, but still, it is Jess we are talking about. Just this morning she asked me to look into some hikes that are close by. I told her I would but reminded her that pushing it too hard always comes back to haunt us later. Push too far in the morning and it is back to bed for most of the remaining day, push too hard at lunch and it is a bad headache when she's trying to sleep. It is a difficult balance between moving forward and getting better and over-doing it.

Sorry it has taken a little while to post. It took a few days to get into our routine and get everything squared away. Jess is on a large regiment of pills to help her heal from the surgery. She is taking 66 pills a day with no break between pills longer then three hours. The pharmacist essentially just went over what pill did what, then handed us a bag full of 14 different bottles. Some are every three hours, some every eight, others twice daily, some need to be taken with breakfast or dinner, others are not scheduled and only need to be taken as needed...ect. We have created a daily regiment that seems to be working as best as it could. Jess has recently been finding herself awake and alert at night for a few hours but we have yet to determine what is causing that and if there would even be anything we could do about it. I feel that as long as she is getting enough rest overall then it is not terribly detrimental. When you mix this regiment of pills with rehabilitation then add a normal days activities, time can get away from you pretty quick. I will attempt to keep everyone up to date from here on out.


Took advantage of some morning mist to escape to the beach.



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Some People have asked to see Jessica's scar from the operation, if you do not want to see the scar then do not scroll down any further 😀







16 comments:

  1. Such good news Dan...sending my love to both of you! Becki Day

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  2. That scar is badass! It also kind of looks like a cool braid. Every update I read I am in awe of your strength and determination. I imagined you walking on the beach going further everyday and smiled. I wish I was there to hold your hand and walk with you! I love you and you freaking inspire me to be a better version of myself. I know, I know it sounds so cheesy, BUT it is true. I LOVE YOU, I MISS YOU, I LOVE YOU, I MISS YOU!!! XOXOXOXOOX Julia

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  3. We are always holding you and family in our thoughts and hearts !! So happy to see you are up and going for it- and at a rate you feel comfortable in doing so !You have a wonderful man,family and friends >>>love you little Jess ! Donnarae and Raymond Caldwell

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  4. Thanks for the update. You are so thoughtful to keep us in the loop. Dan, you are doing such a good job! Jess, YOU are doing such a good job! What incredible progress in such a short amount of time. Absolutely astonishing, really. We are all so grateful for both of you, and so impressed. Thank you for the inspiration and daily reminders to live life fully, while giving ourselves grace at the same time. You both are definitely leaving your mark on this world. Wow! Blessings and prayers for continued healing. xoxo

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  5. Jessica, you are so beautiful and strong! Keep up the good work, and by that, I mean taking it easy! Dan, great job taking care of her! Thinking of and praying for you guys every day. Joni & Alex

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  6. I am so humbled by the way Jess pushes forward. I don't personally know you but my kids do, and I am rooting for you both.
    Thank you for sharing this story and know that you and Jess have made an impact on many lives.
    I have had some health issues, and reading your story makes me just want to do better.It makes a world of difference to have a person like you there for support.
    Thank you and God bless you and your family

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  7. So happy to hear about your progress Jess!

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  8. Jess is so BEAUTIFUL! I don't know you guys, but have been following your story since I saw you on my last days. You are both an inspiration to so many and I love that we get to follow along with you. I'm an ICU nurse and I try to use the things you've written about to help me be a better nurse. Thanks for sharing your life with us!

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  9. Been thinking of and praying for Jessica and you, Dan & family. So glad to hear things are coming along and you are keeping a rein on Jessica. How wonderful to walk on the beach and see the ocean, hear the waves and feel the breeze :-) What beautiful pictures of you both at the beach. The scar does not surprise us as my husband has a 9" scar up the back of his head. His being bald he gets asked a lot of questions as its quite obvious. To us his scar is beautiful as it represents life.
    Love, Thoughts, Prayers & Blessings !!!! Mind your sweet Dan, Jessica :-) :-) :-)

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  10. Wendy (Pemberton) EastMarch 14, 2017 at 7:04 PM

    Jessica is such a warrior. And what a blessed warrior she is to have Dan as her help mate, husband, protector and lover. These blogs bring tears to my eyes every time, you both are such a testament to the strength of LOVE and the strength of the human spirit. Jess, please know that you are an icon of inspiration to so many of us - you inspire us to quit focusing on the mundane daily irritations, and focus on the grand picture, which is LOVE and JOY. xoxoxo

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  11. How is it that Jess almost makes brain surgery look en vogue? Beautiful lady! Sending you warm recovery wishes from a new blog fan. I hope my thinking of you isn't too terribly weird. God bless and am lifting y'all both up!

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  12. You're both such an inspiration, bless you, praying for speedy recovery!

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  13. You guys are both so amazing! I think of you guys every day and love hearing these updates! Especially that Jess is so eager to get out and start hiking already! What a gift that you are able to heal in a place so nourishing , relaxing, and surrounded by love and nature. Hang in there and know that there are countless people out there rooting for y'all!

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  14. #relationshipgoals you guys. SERIOUSLY. Your love makes me believe in love.

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  15. Your story is amazing, I hope your latest surgery has gone well. I do have a question. Did UCLA save the tumor they removed so it can be used to get you on DC-Vax if/when it gets FDA approval? Dr. Liau is the best there is. Good luck, and I will continue to follow your blog for a very long time.

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  16. We continue to send our love and best wishes to you all. We also pray for the doctors and nurses who are taking care of you. You two are inspiring to us all. love from Debbie and Bill Creeden

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