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Messages - frankw

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The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: February 14, 2012, 09:51:52 PM »
Sorry for not keeping up with the postings over the last several months, but I come today with the news we've all been waiting for.  After a year and a half battle, Jeff came home for good today!

Thank you all for all your support!

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: July 28, 2011, 01:08:57 AM »
Hey guys/gals.

Sorry for not keeping you updated lately.  July's been crazy.  I had a couple weeks vacation and then we just got back from a longer than expected hospital stay with my daughter.  Minor surgery to correct a problem she had.  We're back home now, she's good and things are returning to normal.

I haven't seen Jeff in a couple weeks either.  Talked to his wife last week and he's still making progress.  One highlight to report.  Two weeks ago our brew club had it's annual pig roast.   275 lb hog and 28 beers on tap.  Anyway, back to the important stuff.  Jeff showed up for a couple hours, much to the delight of all the club members and friends.  It was a bit torturous for him, not being cleared to start drinking.  He did have a good time though. Although, he managed to sneak a couple sips.  His first sip was a 12.7% Barley Wine that one of the members set down beside him.  I looked over to see him taking a sip and sort of shocked look came over his face, then he grimaced a bit.  I walked over and asked him how it was.  He smiled, and said "brutal."  Then we both laughed.   I guess he should have warmed up with something a bit lighter.

Here's a pic of him perusing

the beer list

I'll get over to see him tomorrow and report back.

Take care.


The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: June 29, 2011, 09:49:20 PM »
Jeff continues to make good steady progress.

Here's another followup article about him:

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: June 25, 2011, 02:02:52 AM »
Jeff is now at the Neuro-Rehab Center here in his home town.

I had an awesome visit with Jeff today.

I got there and his wife and son were there.  Jeff was assembling a little NASCAR car.  His son made me do one too.  Between my sausage fingers and my old man eyes, it wasn't easy.  Jeff was doing better than me.    After a little bit his wife mentioned that they had some cards.  I busted them out and started playing poker with Jeff.  He knew exactly what to do, no hesitation, no confusion.  Mind you, I'm pretty sure he hasn't played any poker since he got sick.  After a few hands, I shuffled the cards and handed them to him.  He dealt out 5 cards each.  His wife and I just looked at each other and smiled. The rest of the hands, I shuffled and he dealt.  We played for about a half an hour, he kicked my ass.

This afternoon at PT he walked 170 feet, rested for a few minutes.  Then he walked 130 feet then rested.  He followed that up with 20 minutes on the recumbent bike with resistance set at 8 out of 10. 

He's still having trouble finding the right words and gets frustrated by it.  Like, he couldn't always name the correct cards, but while playing, he knew which cards to hold and which to discard.   With continued speech therapy, this is something he should be able to overcome.

Keep up the positive thoughts and prayers.

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: June 07, 2011, 11:21:11 PM »

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: June 05, 2011, 01:12:12 PM »

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: May 25, 2011, 12:26:49 AM »
From the Million Strong for Jeff page.

Jeff's Dad took him out fishing today and he caught a bass!

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: May 20, 2011, 07:38:08 PM »
Jeff's been making some big improvements lately.  

Here's a quick video of Jeff.  His wife handed him the pole and he knew exactly what to do.

I got a text from his wife today.  Jeff called her to tell her that the Bruins won last night , 2-0.  ;D

It's a great day. Have a great weekend all.


The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: May 10, 2011, 09:59:54 PM »
Jeff's niece set up this Facebook page back when the insurance companies were giving Jeff a hard time.   The family updates it with news about Jeff and you'll find comments from friends, family and folks just concerned about Jeff.  

This slideshow video was recently posted.  This video was shown during Jeff's big fundraiser back in December.  It gives a little insight into the father, husband, family man and friend that Jeff is.

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: May 05, 2011, 11:24:56 PM »
Jeff had a great day today.  In OT they had him building shapes out of plastic pipes.  They'd show him a picture and he would build the shape.  He did pretty well.   They had him spelling words with some letter tiles.  And the highlight of the day, they put Jeff in a harness and had him on the walking machine.  Supported by the harness he was doing great job walking, putting one foot in front of the other.

He doesn't seem to have any after effects from the gall bladder surgery and is much more alert now that they've discontinued the pain killers they started giving him after the surgery.  But he is fighting yet another infection, although it doesn't seem to bee holding him back much. 

Overall he's making good progress lately.  His short term memory is improving as are his gross and fine motor skills.  He's still got a long way to go, but at least for the moment, things are looking a little brighter.

Please keep Jeff in your thoughts and prayers.  He still needs all our support.

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: April 23, 2011, 01:50:20 AM »
A quick update from our friend Brian:

Hi all,
Jeff had a really nice day today and I wanted to update folks. He's had some issues with his gall bladder recently and ended up having it removed on Tuesday. I know that doesn't sound like "good news" but he is recoverying from the surgery really well and actually had a physical therapy session today, less than 48 hours from the procedure. From what I saw today, he isn't showing any of the "set-back" that he's gone through with previous problems, which is a huge positive.

The big news is that Jeff has speech therapy once a day and during these sessions he gets, basically, a cognitive test to test his memory, logic, etc. He's been stuck at a certain level for a number of months but in this morning's test, his scores went up dramatically. His speech therapist was practically getting choked up telling Jeff's mom and me about it earlier today. This is huge news as it means that a bunch of additional switches in his brain basically clicked on.

I know they are clicking on because we webcasted the consecration brew this past Saturday and then I went in and saw him on Monday.

"hey... So you watched us make all of that beer huh?
"ya think we made enough with the 120 gallons"
"do you remember what kind of beer it was?"
"a group brew"
"yeah, but what kind of beer?"

These aren't answers he would have come out with even a few weeks ago so hopefully he is starting to break through and is going to start making some bigger leaps in progress.

Lastly..... THANK YOU again to the folks that sent pictures. The little "movie" that was put together was a hit so if anyone has any other pictures of club events or even just good pictures of club members, I'll put another slideshow together and get it to him. The more familiar faces he can lay eyes on, the better.... Especially now that he seems to be making strides.

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: April 05, 2011, 09:57:01 PM »
I got a call from Jeff's wife today.  She was excited to share some good news.  Jeff has had a great week.  His gall bladder infection is gone and they'll start to think about when the want to remove it soon.  

He's back to making small daily progress in speech, occupational and physical therapy.  In speech, he's now answering questions in more complete sentences.  Instead of answering the question "what are you doing" with "sitting."  He's now answering "I'm sitting in this chair."  Or when asked what he likes to make at home, "I like to make beer."   Another thing he's doing is, rather than just giving an answer that doesn't make sense, he's started to say, "I don't know, or "I don't remember."  They are also able to keep him engaged in speech therapy for much longer time periods now.  By the way, he's making all this progress without the heavy duty neural stimulant he was on, they've discontinued that one.   He is still taking a much milder stimulant, one that he's been on all along.

Today in PT they had him sitting up and they were essentially trying to push him over, trying to test his balance and upper body control.  He managed to stay upright.   Something he previously wans't so good at.  He's also back on the path toward eating real food again.

Something to note here.  With each of the infection related setbacks he's had, his progress in therapy has taken a pretty hard hit.  Each time it happens he has to work his way back to where he was.  So you may be thinking to yourself, gee I thought he was already doing that.   Well the answer is yes, he was already doing it.  Now the good news is that he is doing it again.    

It just goes to show you how much of a fighter Jeff really is.  

We're headed in the right direction again!  Keep up the positive thoughts and prayers.  I still have no doubt that Jeff will be back.

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: March 25, 2011, 04:34:10 PM »
Jeff has been back at Spaulding since last Thursday. The BCBS insurance fight should be over, as he's now being covered by another provider. So, he'll likely be at Spaulding until he's ready to leave or he stops making progress. That's good news.

They're still treating him for his gall bladder infection, but he's winning that battle. This whole thing has probably set him back a few weeks or so. Thankfully he's now back to his daily OT, PT and Speech Therapy sessions and back to making small daily progress.

If you're local and you can make some time, try and get over to see him. These setbacks are obviously frustrating to all of us, but they must be even more frustrating to Jeff. Visiting him is a great way to encourage him an show him how many people care for and are rooting for him.

As always, please keep Jeff and his family in your thoughts and prayers. And if its something you can manage, some new donations wouldn't hurt either.

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: March 09, 2011, 01:22:55 PM »
Sorry I haven't sent an update in a while. Jeff has been making slow and steady progress, he's eating real food now and feeding himself and his therapy has been going pretty well. I was kinda waiting for something big to report. Unfortunately I don't have anything like that to report right now.

At 2:00 AM Friday morning, Jeff's wife called to see if she could drop the kids off because Jeff had spiked a temperature and she was headed to MGH. Jeff's gall bladder was extremely inflamed and he was suffering from pancreatitis. They did a procedure to insert a drain in his gall bladder and they've removed a large amount if nasty fluid from it. He's starting to recover now from that infection. They'll likely remove his gall bladder when everything gets back to normal. And he'll remain at MGH for a little while. Where he goes after that is still to be decided. His time at Spaulding is likely through. Jeff's the family had been leaning towards a Neuro-Rehabilitation Center in Jeff's home town, but he needs to be medically stable to go to a facility like that. So, we'll have to wait and see.

On the up side, while at MGH they have stopped all of his meds except his anti-seizure meds. While the infection has him run down, he's still alert and talking, even without the neural stimulants they had him on.


More than ever, Jeff could use your positive thoughts and prayers.

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: February 24, 2011, 09:53:21 PM »
Sorry, I never got back to let you know about the BCBS issue.  They eventually approved him to stay until March 7th, this will be the end of his alloted 60 days of rehab.  The next step is still unclear at the moment.

But we had an update from our friend Brian today.

Hey All,
I just wanted to shoot out a quick note on Jeff as I went over to see him today.

He's still making progress although it continues to be very slow progress. According to Jeff's speech therapist, today was the first time Jeff has been able to read anything since he's been there. She was showing him peices of paper with his wife's and children's names on them. She was showing them to him upside down or sideways on purpose. He would take the paper, put it right-side up so he could read it... and then read the name out loud.

It continues to be baby steps.

He continues to make small progress in his PT. One small example is that he was able to help his therapists get him off a table and into his wheelchair today. Up until then, I've always seen them use a lift mounted in the ceiling to pick him up and place him in the chair. He was able to push up with his legs enough that they were able to kinda pick him up and slide him into his chair without the lift.

Again... it is little things like that.

On small kind of light-hearted moment... and I think you HAVE to laugh at least a little bit because the alternative is too depressing... but... whenever I go and see Jeff, I try to talk about ANYTHING that might click a light on in his head... any kind of memories I KNOW he has... so I was talking to him about the Jamboree this past summer. I kegged up another keg of my IIIPA last night and I was joking with Jeff saying, "You remember my IIIPA.. my AWARD WINNING IIIPA... the one that won the big award at the Jamboree"... and he scrunched up his face and said, "That was MY beer!".

"What??? That wasn't your beer!! You make the Dahkness... the black IPA! My triple IPA is waaaaaayyyy better than your Dahkness"

... and that got a nice smirk from him.

He continues to make very slow progress but they are still steps in the right direction.

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