Friday, May 9, 2008

Update on Thomas Shibler's recovery; I'm getting ready to do my 15 mile pilgrimage-promise

It's been two weeks since Thomas has been home!  And his recovery is going so well, I am getting ready to fulfill the promise I made when he was on the verge of death -- a 15 mile walk to the minor basilica of the Sacred Heart in Conewago, Pennsylvania.

Thomas is making slow but steady progress! He's up and around physically although still has to be careful. He can't run or move too quickly yet. Of course, he still wears his helmet whenever he's not sitting or laying down.

His memory and repeating things improves even more slowly. But it's improving!

He goes to physical, emotional and speech therapy (I hope I'm not forgetting one) three times a week for 3 hours each. He can read, but he'll read a bit, and not understand it if there's much reading. All of these things are worked on in therapy.

Yesterday, he had an appointment with the brain surgeon. He told him, "Thomas, the last time I saw you, you were at the brink of death... I'm so happy to see you standing here in front of me, talking."

They had another MRI and the doctor was happy with the progress. He was telling Thomas the importance of therapy and the will to get better.

Thomas had a question for the doctor and after his Mom asked all of her questions, she said, "Thomas has a question for you." The doctor asked, "What's your question, Thomas?" "Ummm... I forgot..."

His Mom said, "No you didn't Thomas! Ask him your question." "I don't remember." Sure he didn't.

Then Thomas' Mom said "Well, Doctor, as you probably know, two weeks after Thomas' accident, while he was still in the hospital, he had a birthday..." "NO!" he said!

Then the doctor went on to explain to Thomas why he couldn't have alcoholic drinks yet - for a while. It has to do with thinning of the blood as well as something to do with seizures.

You're probably wondering how long he'll have to wear the helmet - when he'll have the piece of his skull put back in. Well, in three weeks, he has another appointment, and if all looks well, they'll schedule the appointment for him to have it put back in!

The plan is to put the original piece back in. it will be held in place with titanium brackets. If they can't use the original bone, the whole piece will be titanium.

His Mom asked the doctor what might make them decide not to use his piece of the skull. He said infection on the piece. She asked how they would know and he said there would be growth on it, and, therefore, risk of infection.

We still try to keep the number of people visiting down to a minimum at a time, because it's hard for him to follow too many conversations still, and he gets overwhelmed and tends to go into a type of depression if there's too much activity.

All in all, Thomas is in good spirits. He gets a little feisty at times - but then again, who does that surprise? Oh, just giving him a hard time. He's doing well though.

Please keep up the prayers - he still counts on them.

Thomas sends his love to all of you!

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