Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday, December 23

Greetings from Atlanta!  We arrived at the Shepherd Center shortly before noon today and have both been busy settling in since then.  Bill spent most of the afternoon being poked, prodded, x-rayed, ultrasounded, and examined by at least half a dozen different people.  One of the primary concerns is a pressure sore that developed on his tailbone but the wound and skin specialist who examined it thinks that it will heal without surgery- truly a relief!  To avoid putting weight on that part of his body, they have been propping up one hip with pillows and switching to the other hip after a few hours.  Bill has been sure to tell anyone who examines him to reposition him so that his weight is not on that sore.

He is currently in the ICU here which came as a disappointment to him, but it's not clear how long he will stay there before moving to a regular room.  Ventilator weaning can occur anywhere, so the that part won't hold him back.  Certainly the pressure sore needs to improve and he also needs to increase his endurance for sitting upright before he can get into the full swing of rehabilitation.  It will come though.

I suspect that there will be a different approach to ventilator weaning here.  I'm not entirely sure yet how it will happen, but I gather that they use a different method.  I was also told that it was "aggressive" so I think Bill is in for a bit of a surprise.  The consensus seems to be that he will not be ventilator-dependent so I am looking forward to unloading that very heavy piece of hardware!

The Shepherd Center is truly remarkable and I'm encouraged by the small part I've seen already.  James Shepherd came by Bill's room today to welcome us and share his own story of recovering from a spinal cord injury.  The staff have all been compassionate and have wasted no time in determining Bill's needs.  In the days to come we will sit down with his medical team and set some goals for his rehabilitation.  It's still too soon to know anything for sure, but I have a good feeling about being here.  I was telling a friend a few weeks ago that I find myself dancing on that fine line between hope and denial and I'm never sure which side I will come down on next.

You can send him mail at the address below.  He can't talk yet and so he does not have access to a telephone, but when he does I will share that number with you.  The laptop will be part of his rehabilitation and we are waiting to see what sort of adaptive equipment will best suit his needs.  When we get that sorted out I will provide an email address where you can reach him.

Shepherd Center
Attn: Andrew Beck
2020 Peachtree Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30309

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sarah & Billy this is Sean Daves son here in atl Just got word about you making it down here. My email is you can reach me there and I will give you my ph number. Dont hesitate to ask. To us you are Family