We have had the pleasure of visiting Jeremy this weekend. The kids and I arrived Friday evening and will leave tomorrow morning. Jeremy's schedule is a bit lighter on the weekends so we were able to spend a lot of time with him. I was impressed to see how far he had come in just a week at this facility. He is beginning to regain his filter and knowledge of what is appropriate in social situations. He no longer blows kisses at the nurses and doesn't talk about how pretty they are anymore. He still wants to come home but is more appropriate with his requests and understands why he can't go home. He even said, I appreciate what this place is doing for me and am not in a rush to go home, I just want to be home. From the behaviors we are seeing, it appears he is around level 6 of recovery from a TBI. The doctors haven't mentioned where he is on the continuum as their main focus is what his deficits are and teaching him how to work around them.
It is interesting to see where the holes are or, more accurately, what information he is no longer able to access. He still has a vast knowledge and understanding of the workings of the body, brain, and psychology as that was his area of focus and study in school. He was even talking about one of his medicines, saying it was a serotonin reuptake inbibitor. He remembers a lot of facts about music and musicians. He remembers past memories up until New Year's Day which was the day before his accident. Surpringly he has been regaining his short term memory and can remember events that occurred earlier in the present day and the day before.
With everything he remembers and is able to do it is surprising to encounter a deficit which seems to be something much less complicated and difficult to understand. Carter has been fake sneezing quite a bit and Jeremy will tell him, "Cover your mouth, Carter." I can tell he's not just playing along, he really doesn't understand Carter is pretending. One day my parents took him down to the store and he couldn't understand that it was closed so he couldn't buy what he wanted. The most noticeable deficits have been in social skills. In a group therapy session they were playing Trivial Pursuit and Jeremy would jump in and answer other people's questions and then go into long explanations as to why his answer was correct.
We know his story doesn't end here and there are more gains to be made. It is my hope that as he makes the transition back into society, people are understanding of his differences. There is a lack of understanding about TBI in the public in general. I didn't know much about them until experiencing one first hand with Jeremy. I hope people will be able to understand that he is not trying to be rude or mean. He is just relearning a lot of skills. I'm hopeful people will be open and welcoming to him. We have been amazed with outpouring of love and support for Jeremy over the past, almost, 2 months and I hope that is the case even with people he does not know. The plan remains for him to transfer to an outpatient facility next week. That is exciting and scary for us and we are unsure of what to expect! I think at the end of the day all any of us wants is for the ones we love to be loved and accepted by others. That is my hope for Jeremy as he moves forward with the next phase of recovery.