So, Josh drove today. Seriously.

It’s been a while since we posted. Sometimes no news is good news! Josh’s recovery has made significant progress in the last couple months. We also got together with family and friends for the holidays, got some good news about our health care costs, and our awesome friends at PICA (the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art) set a date for their Josh event. On February 24, come downtown for music and an art sale, celebrating Josh’s continuing recovery. Thank you, PICA!

He was approved to work 10 hours a week beginning in January; his employer, Liquid Agency, has been very accommodating and supportive, as they have been to our whole family all these months. Josh is also approved to stay at home alone with our son Gusty for a couple hours at a time, which makes a big difference.

And a Providence program (that doesn’t put anyone behind the wheel, but does run ‘em through cognitive testing) approved him to start bicycling and even ease into driving. This all scares the heck out of me! Josh is cool with it, though, and biking to parks near our house is helping reduce his dizziness. Today we went driving in parking lots and on the city streets for a few slow, weekend industrial blocks. Thankfully Josh can parallel park, and back into dodgy, steep, narrow driveways a lot better than I can, so it all went great.

From my perspective it seems like Josh’s main recovery issues now are stamina/exhaustion and continuing to create compensatory strategies with his speech-language pathologist. He needs a lot of sleep and a lot of rest; it’s easy for other people to forget he’s still on a long road. When you’re having a great conversation about politics and the media with a smart guy, it’s hard to remember, “Oh yeah, he’s only 7 months into this recovery process.” Work and other responsibilities have to be done in short chunks with chill time in between.

His SLP guides him in making processes and systems, finding software and making lists, to keep track of things, prioritize what needs to be done, compensate for loss of memory, and the like. She also assigns Lumosity cognitive training and mental exercises that I help with—remembering strings of numbers and alphabetizing the words of, say, alliterative sentences. And he’s doing physical exercises to increase strength, balance, and physical stamina.

We have a heck of a lot to be thankful for around here. Thank you all for supporting us, being kind, reaching out, and all you’ve done for us. Love.

-Tiffany

Josh Extended Fam at Dinner in PDX

 

Josh’s family in Portland during the holidays: Tiffany, bro-in-law Dan, Josh, sister Andrea (she and Dan are, as of last week, the proud parents of Lily! yay), Josh’s mom Joan and her husband Steve, Josh’s daughter my stepdaughter Amelia, dad Ron, and official toddler of the event, Gustav.