Drago’s at last.

Dad got to eat oysters at Drago’s. Erik and I had promised to take Dad to his favorite restaurant as soon as he was able to get out and go, and as soon as the three of us were all in town together to do it. Well, last night (Thursday) it happened. Erik and Dad and one of Erik’s friends, John (in town on business), and I had supper at Drago’s.

Like usual at Drago’s, Dad ate char-grilled oysters. Like usual at Drago’s, they were good. At least he said so. Personally, they are not that good. But that’s just me. Erik ate one or two. John ate a few, I think. Now that I think about it, I don’t remember him eating one. But of course, Dad ate plenty for all of us. Check out the pictures below. 

Erik and his wife and kids got into town around 5:00 yesterday evening (Thursday). Dad was super excited to see Erik’s four boys. I was, too. I absolutely love their smiles and energy and questions and red hair. They are super special. Erik will be with Mom and Dad over the weekend while I fly home again to see my family. I can’t wait to seem my beautiful wife, my amazing boy, and my enchanting girls. I will be back Sunday night.

Dad seemed like he had a good day yesterday. We awoke yesterday morning in time to make it to his Ortho appointment at the Ochsner Clinic. Great visit. They affirmed that Dad is making good progress. They affirmed that his left wrist is healing well. They affirmed that his right leg is handling weight well. They affirmed that Dad needs to get on with out-patient rehab and aggressively move forward in his occupational and physical therapy. 

What really excited Dad was when the doctor told him that he could begin to progressively put weight on his left leg (WHILE STILL IN A LEG BOOT, THOUGH) while he is walking with his walker. This was good news, and meant that his left leg is beginning to heal. One concern was the angle at which his ankles were healing. The doctor said it was too early to tell at this point, but he may need to address it later if it causes major pain in his ankles and knees when he walks. 

With regard to concerns,  the only one was Dad’s elbow. The doctor said the repair job that the University Hospital surgeons did was awesome, especially considering “the bag of bones” that his elbow and the lower part of his upper arm was (bag of bones was his exact words). He told Dad that it was definitely calcifying and healing, but part of it was coming together where it was not together before. That part was forming a “door stop” of sorts that hindered Dad’s extension and flexion. It will probably have to be surgically repaired in about 6 to 9 months. We will have to see.

After the appointment, Dad and I headed over to see Mom. She was really tired and unresponsive. Dad was discouraged. We sat down together in his room, and I tried to recount to Dad the pattern I had seen in Mom over these almost-seven weeks. I was discouraged, too, I told him, but there has definitely been a pattern of Mom being responsive for about 4 days, and then taking a day to rest. About every fourth or fifth day since she woke from the coma, she had done this – kind of hit the pause button to have a day of rest. If God needed one every seven, then someone with a traumatic brain injury needed one at least every four or five days. That’s what I figured, at least. I reminded him (and myself) that we have to take this a month at a time. Looking back over this past month, Mom has made progress. However, her infection and her fatigue definitely was a cause for rest.

We are trying to get Mom moving forward with treatment. The Brain Injury Rehab Center in Orlando is reviewing Mom’s files to determine whether they will accept her soon. A local hospital here is reviewing them, as well, to see if they will accept her as a transfer if the BIRC in Orlando is not ready for her. We will see. Please pray for wisdom for both those reviewing Mom’s records and for us as we make these decisions. 

After we left Mom’s place, we crossed the river and stopped at Super Wal-Mart to pick up a few items, and then headed to the Cafe in the Student Center on the Seminary campus. Dad enjoyed some Ethiopian Harrar coffee, and I enjoyed a white mocha. We also enjoyed hearing that the police report from the accident was finally descriptive of what actually happened. This will definitely help with logistics as we move ahead. Thanks so much to Chester Douglas and Jim Parker for all their hard work in pursuing truth with regard to the report. Y’all mean so much to us.

We sipped coffee and sat and talked for a few minutes with folks who walked up to offer welcome’s and get-well’s to Dad, while waiting for Erik and Erin and their kids to arrive. They did, and boy did Dad light up. They are the best medicine – his grandkids.

Joshua and James Christofer helped Dad exercise with his walker, walking around the atrium of the Student Center. It was fun to watch. Then, each of the four boys wanted a ride in Pop’s lap in his wheelchair, respectively. The older two took turns pushing. It was great to see them. I really love those nephews and my sister-in-law and my brother. 

After getting Erin and the boys settled into the apartment, Erik and Dad and I headed to Drago’s. It was special. Watching Dad gloat about how good his favorite restaurant’s oysters are. The only thing that would have made it better would have been Mom, who is a vegetarian, sitting there with us eating a baked potato or something. Smiling at her man enjoying oysters at Drago’s. 

That day will come. 

Tonight, I get to see my bride and kids. Speaking of Jen – she absolutely amazes me. She already did, even before all of this. My love and fondness grows daily as she loves on the kids and keeps things moving at home without me, without complaint, with a joyous heart. I love you, babe.

Erik and Dad and I just finished some coffee together, this morning. I am uploading this from the Cafe in the Student Center. We are about to upload him in the truck and head across the river to see Mom. I am hoping she makes Dad gloat this morning more than those oysters did last night. I am hoping he will be encouraged. 

Thanks for your continued prayers and your many notes. I AM TELLING YOU – THOSE NOTES GRIP DAD AND LIFE HIM UP. HE BRAGS ON THEM. Please keep them coming. He pulls them up, reads them, takes a break to wipe his eyes, and reads some more. You are encouraging him so much in that way. I am thankful for this site. 

Erik will probably post at you over the weekend. I will fly back in Sunday night and post at you Monday. Love y’all.

-jason

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