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Messages - frankw

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The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: February 10, 2011, 11:45:20 PM »
Jeff's had a great couple of weeks.  He's back to making small daily gains.

With regards to insurance, WBZ did a story on Jeff:

(Mod edit to fix url)

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: January 26, 2011, 11:06:42 PM »
A quick Jeff update.

Including the last update, Jeff has had 5 great days in a row.  Today was no exception.  He ate some of his Mom's pasta fagioli soup and some diced peaches.

The best news yet...with some assistance, Jeff stood up for the first time today!

Keep the positive thoughts, energy and prayers coming!

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: January 24, 2011, 01:17:54 AM »
Well we've finally got some good news to report.  I got a text on Thursday from his wife saying that Jeff was having a great day, almost as good a day as he was having just before Christmas.  I called her and she told me he had just had a good OT session, catching a ball that they were throwing to him.  Reaching out for the ball and having good movement and coordination in both arms.  He also had a good speech therapy session.  Answering most of the questions correctly and the ones he was unsure on, he quickly gave the correct answer with a a hint or two. They also brought him some stuff to eat.  Ground up London broil, which Jeff said was "horrible."  They also had some butternut squash, which was "gross."  And some mashed potatoes that were "OK."  The speech therapist also approved him to start eating soft foods, meaning anything you can cut with a fork.  So he can start having some real food now.

After speech therapy his wife took out the laptop and asked him if he wanted to look at some pictures.  She gave him the laptop and they started to look through them.  Jeff put his finger on the correct mouse button and clicked his way through the pictures.  his wife also said he identified most of the people in the pictures.

I don't know how yesterday went, but he had another great day today.  My phone rang a couple hours ago and it was was Jeff on the other end.  We had a quick conversation told him it looked like Green Bay was in and Jeff agreed and I then said I couldn't believe I'd be rooting for the Steelers later tonight, he replied "yeah, I know."  I had a hard time hearing/understand everything he said, but it was good to talk to him.

His brother went in to see him this morning and I guess they had a good visit.  Later when his wife arrived to visit she asked how his brother was, he replied "large and in charge," which definitely describes Jeff's brother.  

Please continue to keep Jeff in your thoughts and prayers and lets hope this is the start of a long series of positive news.

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: January 13, 2011, 10:58:46 PM »
Well,  Jeff is once again back at Rehab.  He went back to the hospital last week for some scheduled tests and he began vomiting while he was there.  They readmitted him and checked him out and found that he had another urinary tract infection, along with the other infection he had been fighting.  They've been treating him all week and his white blood cell and liver counts are back down to the normal range.  So they transferred him back to Rehab this afternoon.

He was actually very alert today and talking to his nurses and parents.

Let's all hope that this little slowdown is finally over and he'll quickly get back to making big some real progress in his rehab.


The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: January 06, 2011, 11:50:00 PM »
Jeff is once again back at Rehab.  They now believe one of his meds was causing the liver inflammation and elevated counts.  They're adjusting his meds to try and get things back to normal.  Apparently the gall stones are not causing any issues. 

Hopefully the med changes will get him back on track.  Thanks for the prayers and positive thoughts.  Keep 'em up.

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: January 05, 2011, 11:54:16 PM »
On Christmas Jeff came down with an infection and was returned to the hospital.  He was there for a few days and returned to rehab.  Well, he's back at the hospital again.  He has been fighting another infection and today his liver and white blood cell counts were up so they transferred him back.  He's got gall stones that are causing some issues with his gall bladder and they're trying to decide whether they're going to remove it or just remove/treat the stones.  

He had just about gotten back to where he was before he got the first infection, but the new one is really sapping his energy.

I think we need a new round of prayers and positive thoughts here, so please keep Jeff and his family on your mind.


The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: December 23, 2010, 10:01:08 PM »
A new update from our friend Brian:
Went over to see Jeff today.  They had Jeff down in the physical therapy room, between these parallel bars having him try to stand up. I had just missed it but they apparently got him to stand about 2/3rds of the way up by himself.... and he did that two or three times. I guess it was the first time they have tried to do this with him so it was yet another small step forward.

Jeff continues to have what I was calling "moments of clarity" where he will talk and make perfect sense and remember things reasonably well. Other times he talks a bit of gibberish and doesn't make a lot of sense. Jeff's father was there and he mentioned that the doctors said this is "normal" for what Jeff is going through. The doctors were saying that what is going on is that Jeff's brain is super active, trying to sort things out and every once in a while it is almost like he gets radio static in his brain and it comes out as gibberish.

As long as his "moments of clarity" continue to come more often and for longer periods of time (which they are) this is normal and good progress..

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: December 20, 2010, 05:23:34 PM »
A friend of Jeff and I asked me to forward this:

update 12/19

We had an awsome visit with Jeff yesterday. When we arrived he was in the soloriam sitting up in his wheelchair watching the colts game and looking around at the million dollar view of Boston and all the circling roadways and traffic.
Jeff was fully awake the whole time eyes wide open. He was very responsive to questions. He was very clear speaking some times, other times it was difficult to understand him. He was moving both arms and squeezing a pillow.
We talked about getting him better to go camping. He responded clearly (That would be good)
I asked him if he was looking forward to Christmas. He responded clearly (Next Year)
He told me he wants to go home.
At one point his nurse Nicole came in and Jeff tried to tell her something but it was not clear. She told him to take his time that she was listening. He repeated again but we still could not make it out.  When she left the room he said to Mamie and I very clearly (she can't hear anything ) in a frustrated funny sarcastic tone.  It made me see that good ole Jeff  still has his personality intact.  It was great to see.
The Therapists are working to gain strength in his legs. They gradually stand him upright and let his feet touch the floor to feel some weight. Working toward getting him to be strong enough to support his weight.
He seamed to be trying to move his right arm to get more motion out of it.
I told him it is hard work all the physical therapy. (he said yes)
I told him to keep up the good work.
Jeff was wide awake eyes open from when his parents and Maureen arrived in Am and still wanted to sit in his chair in his room when we left after the colts game after 4. We asked if he wanted to get into bed
to get some rest and he told us (No)
He said "bye" when we left
It was such a positive uplifting visit to see the improvements.
The prayers are working keep them up.   

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: December 15, 2010, 03:46:29 AM »
I had an awesome visit with Jeff today.  When I arrived he was sitting in a wheelchair and had just returned from Occupational Therapy.  His therapist said he did a great job and that he had Speech Therapy at 1 and Occupational Therapy at 2:00 PM.  He was awake and alert. I asked him how he was doing. He responded in a pretty loud voice with “pretty good.”  I got to spend the next hour and a half with him one on one.  We were able to have a real conversation.  I was able to hear and understand almost everything he was saying.  Although he had a couple times where either I couldn’t understand what he was saying or what he was saying didn’t quite fit into the conversation.  But overall he was doing great.

I told him I was dragging his ass to the National Homebrew Convention in June in San Diego.  I asked him if it was OK and he said. “Yeah that’s OK.”  So I told him he needed to brew something and enter it into the Nationals, and I said it would be great if he won it this time.  He said, “that would be nice.”

I asked him what we should brew. “Bass.”  I said, we should brew a Bass clone?  “Yeah, a Bass clone.”  What else should we brew I asked.  “Maybe a Porter or something like that.”  I said, maybe we should brew your Baltic Porter, that was a good one.  “Yeah, Baltic Porter sounds good.”  I told him that wouldn’t be a problem, but he had to keep up the hard work and himself the hell out of there.  “Yeah, I know.”

We talked a little more about the brew club and brewing.  Then his wife and her Dad showed up.  She asked Jeff to look and see who she had with her.  “Who’s this Jeff?”  He responded with “The brewmaster?”  “No Jeff, look at him, who is he?”  He said some other name which I didn’t understand.  Finally she told him it was her Dad.  She brought up a story about not knowing that her Dad swore until Jeff told her about them golfing together.  She asked if he remembered golfing with her Dad and he said, “a couple of times.”  Her Dad mentioned that he did it because golfing was a frustrating game.  Jeff smiled and nodded and said “these things happen.”

Then it was time for his Speech Therapy.  I don’t know why they call it that.  The therapist asked him a series of questions that she asks each day and they grade the responses on a scale.  Today he scored two points higher than yesterday.   She then fed him some ice chips, asked him some more questions and fed him some applesauce.  He did great with both of them.  Then she asked if he wanted to try feeding himself.  She asked if he was a righty or a lefty.  He responded, “righty, lefty, either way.”
He was able to feed himself with his left hand and need some help with the right.  She told hos wife that she would notify his nurses that she could feed him ice chips whenever he wanted.  She asked Jeff if he liked chocolate pudding, his response was calm, quiet, “yes.”  Then she asked if he liked mashed potatoes, a resounding “YES!” was his answer.  Looks like he’s only a few days away from real food.
All in all it was a great visit.  I’m really thrilled with his progress from just a few weeks ago.  Word is that he’s been green lighted to continue his rehab, at least for now.

I know the holiday season is in full swing and we all have a lot going on, but please take a little time to keep Jeff and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: December 08, 2010, 09:03:29 PM »
Update 12/8/2010

His wife called me this afternoon to report that Jeff's sarcasm muscle is fully functional.  He had her laughing.  She said to him today that she missed being able to really talk to him and she asked him if he missed talking to her.  His response, "Sort of."  This morning he had Speech Therapy and Physical Therapy and they decided to give him some time to rest before Occupational Therapy this afternoon.  They're cutting him some slack 'cause he's fighting a urinary tract infection right now and is on some antibiotics.  

His wife and the nurse were talking in his room and out comes a big "SHHHH!"
"Oh, I'm sorry are we keeping you awake?"
Nods his head, "yes"
"Want us to keep quiet so you can get to sleep?"

By the way, he got his tracheotomy tube removed the other day and that situation is working out well.  He's able to speak a bit better, but it's still pretty quiet.  He had a good speech therapy session and a good PT session.   They put an empty pint glass in front of him and asked him to pick up the "mug."  He shook his head, "no."  "Jeff pick up the mug."  Again shook his head.  Maureen interjected, "Jeff pick up the pint glass."  He did.

They also had him picking up one of his son's toy cars and one of his toy NASCAR guys.  They had him pick up a Dale Earnhardt Jr. guy a few times.  His wife asked him who it was.  Jeff thought for a while.  She asked "is it Jimmy Johnson?"  Jeff replied, "no...Junior."    

He continues to make daily progress and has had a few more visitors lately.  If you can fit it in, try and make it up to see him.  

Keep up the positive thoughts and prayers.  Our Jeff, the "real" Jeff is definitely emerging and can use all the help he can get.

Donate to Jeff via PayPal

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: December 04, 2010, 05:53:12 PM »
Another email from Brian.  Our brew club is on a pub crawl in Boston today and he went over beforehand to visit Jeff.  Kicking myself now for missing the crawl...

I just hung out with the big man for an hour.  He was sitting in a wheel chair when i walked in.  I woke his ass up and told him he needed to look at me and talk to me since I had come all the way in to see him on the train. 

He was awake almost the entire time and talking a lot.  The only problem is he still has a tracheotomy an it is brutally hard to hear and understand him. 

I asked him if he remembered my name and he nodded yes and said, "Brian". He was having trouble opening both eyes yesterday but had them both open today.  He tried to scratch his right ear and got his hand up to about his nose and he couldl't lift it anymore.  I asked him if he had an itch and he said "yes" and then he said "my right ear".  I scratched it for him and asked if I got it and he said "yes". 

His right hand is still a bit swollen from not being used (according to the therapist).  The therapist said to just move it for him so i kept opening and closing the hand and then made him lift his left hand and grip mine...  Which he was doing well. 

At the end i told him i had to go, "ok".

"i'll see you on monday".....   "ok"

"you gotta keep working. You have to keep moving your hands, arms, head and any other body part because the more you work the easier it is going to get". And he said "i will"

It was great because while i havent been to see him that many times, that was by far the longest he had his eyes open and he was looking right at me. It was also the most words i've heard him say...   And there were a ton of other words i couldn't hear/understand.

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: December 04, 2010, 01:53:43 PM »
This is an email from our friend and fellow Brew Club member,  Brian.  He has vowed to go visit Jeff almost daily, since he works so close by.   I will pass his emails on.

I was over to see Jeff today and got lucky as I was able to sit in for two of Jeff's one hour therapy sessions. The first hour was speech therapy and he was being a bit of a lazy bum. He really didn't want to stay awake too long BUT... the therapist was able to get him to whisper a few words: yes, no, Ben (his son's name)... and he was making sense with his answers. While he was being a lazy bum, the good thing was it was more than yesterday. He's only been there for two days so in their, that's progress... and that's what he needs to show them. So, in the end, it was a positive session.

The second hour was physical therapy and that was great. They use a hoist and a harness to get him out of bed and into a wheel chair. When they do that, it wakes him right up. I got to see him open his eyes completely and focus. He absolutely knew I was there and knew who I was. Per usual, I was busting his chops and got a couple good smiles out of him.

Sorry to be all sappy here... and I can't totally explain why, but I left today knowing HE is in there. It's HIM. He's just gotta get his damn body going!

So... the good news on physical therapy.... they had him sitting on a therapy table so his feet were on the ground and they had him sitting on the edge by himself. They would steady him and ask him to lean one way or the other and he was doing about 98% of it with very little help. Then he had to simply keep himself steady and upright for a 10-count... which he was able to do. Grip his left hand... he did great. Raise his left arm... raised it but not all of the way (but still better than yesterday). He's still struggling with movement in his right arm although he's getting decent movement in his right hand. The therapist then put a wet face cloth in his left hand and asked him to wipe his forehead. ALLLLMOST got it... wipe his nose... got it... wipe his chin.. needed a hair of help because I think his arm was getting tired. Then a really cool part was she had me sit on one side of him and harass him until he looked at me. He had his eyes wide open, turned his head almost all the way to the side and looked me right in the eyes.

The therapist was really happy with ALL of this though because she said all of it was more than he could do yesterday. Again, the really important thing is that he continue to make progress while at the new rehab and both of his therapists today felt like he had.

The therapist was saying for right now he seems, even though it has only been two days, that he is making good progress but they need to just get him stretched out. She said his neck was really stiff (not surprising being in bed 22 hours a day)... so she would push his head to stretch the muscles all the while asking him if it hurt and he would instantly shake his head no. "Are you ok", quick head shake yes. "can I keep going", quick head shake yes.

Anyway, sorry for the long email. Yeah, yeah... I write long emails. You'll live. Like Frank keeps saying, keep up the positive thoughts and prayers. I was really excited leaving there today and I think everyone's thoughts are working.

Donate to Jeff via PayPal

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: December 02, 2010, 01:07:27 AM »
Jeff is now at the rehab facility in Boston.  The insurance company has been giving them a hard time and he's there on a two week trial.  I won't get into this, it makes my blood boil.

He really needs to step up to the plate and make some serious progress. 

He could an extra dose of prayers and positive thoughts.


Donate to Jeff via PayPal

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: November 26, 2010, 06:45:18 PM »
Update 11/26/2010

We made it up to see Jeff yesterday. He wasn't very responsive most of the time we were there. He did come around for 15 minutes or so. We had the Pat's game on and he watched TV most of the time, although he did look at me when I was talking to him. He was doing this mostly with one eye open. And it stiil seemed he was struggling to keep his eyes open.

He's been making good progress with his therapy and he should be moving to to the new rehab center maybe Monday or Tuesday, if a bed is availalbe. They had his trach tube capped for several hours yesterday and he tolerated it well. His wife said he was talking a bit earlier in the day. They will keep increasing the amount of time his trach is capped and eventually they will remove tracheotomy tube all together.

Still slow and steady progress. Hopefully when he gets to the new rehab center the progress will begin to speed up with the additional physical, occupational and speach therapy.

Please keep up the positive thoughts and prayers for Jeff and his family, especially during this holiday season.

Donate to Jeff via PayPal

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: November 18, 2010, 12:16:35 AM »
A quick Jeff update.

Just got word today that the folks taking care of Jeff feel that he is ready to move on to a full service rehab facility.  He still needs insurance company approval. But it should happen in the next week or so.  While there he'll receive more aggressive physical, occupational and speech therapy. 

I'll keep you posted when I hear more details.

Donate to Jeff via PayPal

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