An amazing neurologist, Silvia Talavera, (part British!) donated her time and expertise to come in with Denise and check up on the Willster and give us her analysis of what is going on.
She had a look at the scans from just before leaving the hospital and as a quick overview she says that he will get better. According to her, he does have sensation in his body, as the area in his brain that governs that hasn’t been affected. The affected area is the frontal lobe which is more to do with the personality and comprehension, so we can still expect him to be different from the Will we all used to know.
His paralysis is not total, although his right side is more responsive than the left, so we need to focus on physio to attend to the left side more. She also said that his trunk/body has not been affected by the brain injury, so it is time to get him training to strengthen his core and sit him up. She recommended and then called one of her colleagues to do this.
I had noted on my visits down that his left elbow wouldn’t go beyond 90 degrees and has asked the hospital doctors to check if it was broken. They assured me it wasn’t but when Denise asked Silvia to check that out for me, she said it definitely looked dislocated, so this will need to be addressed. I hope it can be put back so he has full range of motion again but I am annoyed the doctors didn’t believe me!
A tracheostomy only lasts 4-6 months, so we were approaching the time when it was either needing to be renewed or removed. Silvia is recommending for it to be removed, which can be done without moving him, as it will help him in his recovery to start him breathing through his nose again – important not only for filtering inhalation but engaging the brain. (If you have done any form of meditation you will know how important it is to breathe through the nose to awaken the brain). It will help stave off any recurring infection to the chest as there is no filtration on the open tracheostomy at the moment.
Silvia took his blood saturation levels and said he is OK so it would be fine to do the reversal.
His diet is being adjusted to 1,800cc to help the kidneys and liver as 2,000cc was deemed too much for them to process. Another one of Silvia’s friends will come in and work with Elisabeth on the nutrition levels and make recommendations for any adjustment in supplements. he is still on the Omega 3’s and I will be sending more down with one of the care team who is coming to visit San Francisco in early August – much safer than sending through Air Mail!
Overall, he is being looked after very well, she said, with no bed sores and excellent hygiene, so muchas gracias to Elisabeth and her assistants. Elisabeth told Silvia that Will is awake more during the night and sleeping through the day so Silvia made recommendations on how to stimulate him more during the day so he can sleep during the night.
Silvia said that of all the care homes she has been in, this one is being run really well and she can sense that Elisabeth really cares about her patients.
In the midst of so much horrific news from around the world, I continue to be immensely humbled by the kindness and dedication of others and the countless hours they have invested in their knowledge and expertise, which has been so freely given. It seems that there is truth in the saying “there are no strangers in this world, just friends we haven’t met yet”.
All encouraging news and once we start training him to sit up and have the reversal of the tracheostomy completed, we can get closer still to our goal of getting him on a flight back home.