Journal entry by Julia Lundman —
Yesterday was a good day. After a full nights rest, a healthy breakfast and more AMC, Jamie had a great session with his physical therapist. With some help, Jamie was able to stand for the first time since having his stroke – a pretty great feat for someone only ten days out from the event. However, not only was he able to stand, but he was also able to stand unassisted! This is a pretty big deal because it means the connections in his brain, even though still in “sleep” mode, are beginning to reconnect. It means that with therapy, Jamie will be able to walk.
Rivers of tears. Just rivers.
A lot of friends have been sending me messages about when they can visit. I had a long discussion with Jamie’s doctor today, who told me that visits from friends are still a bit too premature. The reason for this is because from very early in the morning until the evening, Jamie is on a pretty intense schedule for all sorts of rehabilitation activities. In between sessions, the doctor has asked the staff to let him sleep in bed for one hour so that his brain has time to process the previous rehab session. The doctor explained to me that sleeping in between rehab sessions is absolutely critical for allowing the brain to reconnect tissue. He felt that visitors might be disruptive to the current schedule.
However, please be assured that communication is coming through. I read Jamie every single message on this message board at the end of each evening before bed, marking it with a “heart” at the end of each entry to let you know I’ve read it to him. Jamie really gets a great deal of comfort in hearing these messages, and it often sparks conversation (Two Mules has been a pretty great topic so far). Jokes are great for lifting spirits, and messages from friends really make him smile. I have been told by a Physical Therapist here that visual reminders are very comforting to stroke patients. Right brain sensory perception becomes increased, the result being deeper empathy and increased connection to imagery.
Although, today when I asked how he felt his day went, he told me he thought his doctor was ‘a bit of a wanker,” and that the people in his stroke therapy group were “a really depressing bunch.” haha! If you would like to send cards, letters, drawings, odds and ends, here is our address. I will pin up EVERYTHING on the walls of his room so he can SEE and FEEL the love.
The hospital is:
California Pacific Medical Center
Acute Rab, Room 124
attention: James Baker
45 Castro Street
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
Thank you to everyone who has sent messages and e mailed me. This has been the most difficult time I could have ever imagined, while at the same time has been comforting to experience the love coming through from friends and family. While at times I have been an absolute basket case and utterly sleep deprived, I am calmed by the love coming from friends and family and I know for certain Jamie is too.
No man is an island.