Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Up to rehab he goes

Today was Bennett’s first full day of rehab.  It was an emotional day and he’s a tired boy.  Bennett moved up to the 7th floor yesterday evening.  We’ll have a better idea in the next few days how long he’ll be here and what he’ll be able to do when he leaves.  In all likelihood he still won’t be able to bare (sp?) weight on his right leg.  Each day Bennett will have 3 hours of rehab spread throughout the day and split between physical therapy and occupational therapy.   Bennett was happy to be doing the work today but frustrated with his weakness and complete lack of control over his right leg.  He was pretty low this afternoon after hearing his Plastic Surgeon describe to the Physical Therapist all of the injuries and muscle loss to the right leg.  He knows he can learn to compensate.  He knows that the second day he was here there was a discussion about amputating his leg amongst his various doctors and he’s grateful to still have it.  He also knows that so much of what he did and loved prior to the accident was based on having strong legs and good coordination.  He wants to be able to surf.  

The goal up here in rehab is to gain strength and independence.  He is so weak and will have to learn to function without the use of his right leg for now.  The prognosis for his right leg is not horrible, but it’s still too injured to do anything with and is causing him serious pain issues.  When he arrived up here yesterday he was weighed.  He’s not sure what he weighed coming in, but knows it was probably between 150 and 155 pounds.  He was already a thin guy.  Today he weighs 130.  I’m trying my best to put some meat back on his bones.  

We have a great view of the Denver skyline from his room on the 7th floor of St Anthony.  All of his other rooms were on the opposite side of the hospital looking west towards the mountains.  He’s now looking east.  We can also see the Flight for Life helicopters coming and going.  

The only IV drug he’s still on is the antibiotics.  I was looking at the bill today and each round of just one of his antibiotics is over $2200.00.  WOW.  He’s still on pain meds, meds for nerve sensitivity, and Coumadin, but they’re all oral.  He’s also taking supplements that will help him heal, increase vascular strength and bone density, fight infection, protect his liver and help him meet the nutritional demands of a broken body on the mend being pumped full of antibiotics and other drugs.  Thanks Peter and Janie!  

Last Sunday was the third time that Bennett had been out of bed.  (The second time he shuffled over on his walker and kissed his Mama!)  I suggested to the Physical Therapist that he might like to go outside, so instead of sitting in the recliner his PT rounded up a wheel chair and cut us loose.  Bennett wanted to see the hospital where he’s been confined for almost 2 months.  He wheeled himself to the elevator and down we went.  After a bit he got tired and I wheeled him to the south side of the hospital.  There’s a patio area that’s close to the cafeteria with some tables and chairs. When the sun is out, even on cold days, it always feels good there.  It’s set in a little bit from the rest of the hospital so it’s sheltered from wind and the sun hits it most of the day.  Out we went and Bennett took a deep breath.  I think I was holding mine. 

“It smells like winter…”  (silence)  ”…Is there an airport close by?”
“No, that’s a helicopter starting up.”
“Can I see?”  

So off we went to the middle of the parking lot, turned around and watched the Flight for Life take off.  It was an intense moment.  Later Bennett said that he could smell people’s fires.  It made him sad.    

Since my last post Bennett’s catheter (that had been with him since the day of the accident) came out.  The plumbing is working great.  He also was able to get rid of the Miami J (neck brace).  He’d been told that he may have to wear it up to 12 weeks.  Bennett was given a CT scan and the basilar skull fracture and C1 fracture are looking good.  When I arrived at the hospital on Sunday morning the collar was gone.  

Saturday Kate and Andrew stopped by on the way to the airport.  Kate had organized the Bennett-fit at the Whales Tale and Andrew had flown in from San Diego with the surfboard for the silent auction.  They were the high bidders on the board and brought it to Bennett!  It’s now in his hospital room and is beautiful.  Sweetness!

From the sounds of it the fundraiser at the Jinx was a big success and lots of fun!  Bennett was able to SKYPE for a few minutes with friends at the benefit and see the great turnout.  Thanks so much to all those who helped put this on and those that attended.  Bennett is so grateful for all the visitors, well wishes and good energy.   It keeps him going.

Much love and gratitude,



  1. The best blog YET! Each Day you get closer to that flight to Panama! You can do it! Love,light and hugs!

  2. Libby, I bet that was the sweetest kiss ever! I'm so happy to read about Bennett's amazing progress! Still sending tons of love and prayers for healing you.r way!

  3. It must have felt great to walk outside for the first time in so long. Go Bennett!

  4. What a journey from day one. So much progress being made and more on the way. If anyone can fatten Bennett up, it's his MAMA! Love & kisses to you both! Julie