Hey all, Bob here, Riley’s dad. Thanks for stopping in and your obvious concern for him.
I am not going to sugar coat it. His injury is about as severe as it gets. No sensation from the nipples down after a major spinal trauma while not necessarily life threatening, is certainly life challenging. But all of our thoughts, energy, prayers if you are so inclined are working as far as I can tell.
Just got back in from night 4 at the SICU (Surgery Intensive Care Unit) here at the Albany medical center in frigid Albany NY. The first two nights here were not that easy on the boy but the last two have been much better. There was an issue the second night with a nurse on staff in that she was about as compassionate as a rock and number than a pounded thumb. At one point she asked me where Ri was from and I said Boulder, CO and she then asked where Maria and I were from and I replied Bellingham, WA and her response was “It must be nice to be so close.” as she thought that WA was next to CO. We all had similar impressions of her and got her removed from his case but it has caused a bit of stink eye in the ward for sure.
His new night nurse Jamie is a gem however. She is from the Philipines and has been here in the US for 3 years. Just the effort it has taken for her to achieve her goals and moving to a country far away without any support group says alot for her constitution. I wish her all the best with her career.
Anyway Riley has about a mile of tubes surrounding him and stuck in to various parts of his body and a tube stuck down his throat to facilitate getting oxygen in and fluids out that he can’t expel on his own. He is getting fed this pea soup looking stuff and sedated and whatever else is in all those bags and bottles that is so confusing to me that it makes me frustrated somewhat. But he is responding to their input so that is all that matters. When he comes around he opens his eyes and SEE’S, and nods his head yes and no to our questions. As all of you that know Ri know the very idea of anyone stuffing something down his throat and telling him what to do is going to agitate him and keeping him calm upon surfacing is something that we are getting better at and he is becoming more accepting of thankfully because he needs to stay still as possible at this time in order to let the healing process do its thing.
Just know that he is getting better by micro steps but needs to get to a place where he can breath on his own, which he has the capacity for because his diaphragm is working just fine, along as well as his shoulders and arms too. A few days ago he gave Katrina a huge smile and raised his arms to hug her in the manner to which he loves to do to not only her but all his friends and family. I am going to end this entry with that picture in your minds and let you feel the last time he gave you one? Time for some slumber as I am working on a pretty low count right now.
Thanks for looking in and will do my best along with the others here to keep you in the loop.