Friday, April 06, 2007

April 6, 2007 - Mack's Progress

Group picture in the nursing home courtyard at Mack's birthday party on March 11th, 2007.



Standing from left to right: Diane and Henry Manor; Carol Sue and Kevin Bennett with Kaitlyn and JJ, her boyfriend; Kim and Ronnie Grubb; Richard & Ruth Manor and Terry Grubb on the right.

Down in the front row are: Belinda Morales; Mack in the chair; Mack's close friends, Jason Bailey and Kristen Reibsamen. Mack's friend and former neighbor, John, had to work and wasn't able to join us in person but he sent a card and gift for Mack through Belinda.


Doesn't Mack look "kool" wearing Jason's sunglasses? The swimsuit edition magazine is one of Mack's favorite birthday presents as it has Beonce' on the cover.

UPDATE: Mack has been eating about 2 regular meals a day and tries to mostly feed himself. Richard takes food like fruit, cookies, homemade beef stew, string cheese sticks, and chocolate pudding for Mack to eat when he goes to visit him during the week. Mack sometimes misses his mouth when feeding himself and will use the napkin in his right hand to wipe his mouth. If he missed a spot, Richard will tell him to do it again or get the other side of his mouth and Mack does it. Last Tuesday Mack deliberately folded the napkin in half and used the folded napkin to wipe his mouth again. That's something he hasn't done before. He also puts his chapstick on his lips himself when told to. He usually puts it on his upper lip and we have to remind him to put it on his bottom lip too - and he does.


Last Sunday we took Mack out into the courtyard since the weather was warm, fed him and afterward, gave him his mini keyboard to see what he would do with it. He took it from my hand with his right hand and started playing a key or two with his right thumb. After pushing the auto-play on it so that he could hear some of the songs, we encouraged him to do it. After a few tries, he finally took his little finger and his thumb and started pushing keys deliberately with those two fingers without any assistance. I reminded him that he used to be play and that he could do it again, that he just needs to keep trying.


Richard and I try to stimulate Mack by telling him what's been going on at home and engage him with some type of activities whenever we visit with him to keep him interested and hopefully, progressing. Sometimes he is tired and doesn't want to cooperate, so Richard tells him a joke or a little limerick and gets him smiling, then, most of the time, he will humor us and try to do what we ask him to do. Mack is showing emotions again. If he gets angry or frustrated, he will grab you and hold on really tight to let you know that he's had enough. That's happened to us a couple of times in the past three weeks. One particular time he looked like he was upset as tears started welling in his eyes. I tried to figure out why, but I really don't know what triggered it.

We've noticed that Mack has been moving his mouth like he is trying to say something and sometimes it comes out as a very light whisper or even a slight whistle, but we can't understand him yet. Every now and then he will even make a single loud grunting sound, but that's not often. The key is to keep talking to him and asking him questions to make him want to communicate. He has a resident friend named Shirley at the nursing home who talks to him frequently. She told us that the reason she does it is that one day he may want to tell her to "shut up". Richard told her to call us if that happened.


Easter is almost here. Holidays always make me think of our entire, wonderful family - those that are living near us and also those who live further away. We want to thank each of you for the love and support you have shown through e-mails, cards and letters. We want you all to kow how much we appreciate having such a big, wonderful caring family. Also, a huge thank you to all of our friends, neighbors and co-workers who have given us their caring support. We love you all and wish you a wonderful, Happy Easter.


All our love to all,
Richard and Ruth

1 Comments:

Anonymous Jenny, Macks Little Sister said...

Wow, Mack is doing so good lately. The last few times I have gone to see Mack, which is about one to two times a week, not only has he smiled for me, but actually laughed. On Thursday, I had him going so good, he actually groaned and make a couple of other sounds too. Of course, because we always picked and made fum of each other, I started mocking him, which made him laugh more. It was so funny. The other day, as my mom I wheeled him to the courtyard, we put the baby (14 mo) on the chair with him, to our surprise, mack actually put his arm around the baby as if he were protecting him. Of course, the one time I dont have the camera. Please try to keep in mind Macks sense of humor. He obviously hasnt lost that. I know this might sound wierd, however, the more volgur you get, the more he laughs. Luckly I had 3 brothers with mouths of a sailor, so I can get him laughing. He really thinks Nick, his brother, is halarious.

Mack and Ruth,
Would you two happen to have Magic? I think Mack would really enjoy seeing him again. I feel like he needs to be surrounded by some of his things that he had before the accident. So if you would, the next time you go to visit, please try to bring Magic and leave it in his room. Thanks so much.

Jenny

11:27 PM  

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