Thursday, July 15, 2010

Greg is starting to eat!!!

This week has been a really good week for Greg. He has made so much progress in the (almost) 3 weeks that he has been at Casa Colina. Last Friday, during his speech therapy session, he ate a spoonful of vanilla pudding. I was sooooo proud of him and it was very neat for me to be there and see him do that. I love his speech therapist and the way that she interacts with him. Then on Monday, they stopped his tube feedings in hopes that he would get hungry enough to eat some real food. Also on Monday, the physical therapist put a cast on his right leg. The cast is the first of a series of casts. It's called serial casting. Greg has a lot of tightness in his right ankle and this will improve his range of motion. This cast will come off next Monday and a new cast will be put on. We were concerned that Greg would put up a bit of a fight when the cast was being applied. But, he actually did really well. He doesn't really like the cast. He says, "It sucks." It makes it harder for him to move his leg because it is so heavy, but he is doing just fine with it on. Tuesday was a big day....sort of a turning point! He ate a WHOLE cup of pudding during speech therapy! Now, remember I was excited when he took one bite? So, imagine how exciting it was to hear this! He not only ate the pudding, but he also fed it to himself. The speech therapist held the cup, and he scooped! Since Greg did this, the speech therapist decided to put him on a diet. He is now getting three meals a day...and tube feeding only at night. All his food has to be pureed and his liquids have to be nectar consistency. Someone has to be there while he is eating and we cannot just bring him food yet. Greg doesn't cough or show any other signs of aspiration (meaning the food/liquid is going into his lungs), but they are still taking precautions in case he is a silent aspirator (which I believe he is NOT!) On Wednesday, I got there at lunchtime and the nurses were struggling with getting him to eat. So, I said I would help him because I knew that he would do better with me. He ate a whole cup of pudding, a whole cup of orange juice, and half of the mashed potatoes on the plate. Today, I was also there during his lunch. He ate cut up strawberries with his speech therapist. He also ate all his pudding, some applesauce and about half of the pureed chicken. So, we are off to a good start with eating! He is still getting 50% of his calories from tube feeding at night.

Not only is he doing good eating, but yesterday during physical therapy, he did a great job walking! He used the walker and walked a good 20 feet, maybe more. It's always exciting for me to see this! The physical therapist said this was the best she's seen him walk because he kept his trunk straighter than before.

Greg is just so cute! He says the sweetest things! I love him soooo much! Ellie is not allowed inside the hospital (kids under 14 are not allowed) so we have to visit in the cafeteria or outside. So, she doesn't get to go with me everyday. Greg always tells me, "I miss that baby girl." This week he started telling me, "I thought she was going to be a boy, but she's a girl. That's a good thing!" Last week, I was able to bring her on Fri, Sat, and Sun, so Greg was really happy about that! He told me the other day, "I love you and Ellie together." One day, he didn't want to give the CNA his arm to take his blood pressure. So I had to tell him that he had to have it done. The nurse said, "Wow. You really listen to your wife." He said, "She's my wife." Then he said, "I have to listen to her. You can't be mean to your wife." Oh the things that he says just bring a smile to my face. He always says he want to marry me again and renew our vows. So I tell him that we'll go to Hawaii and do that!

Greg is such a sponge! He is relearning things at a fast rate. He copies things that are said and done, just like a child would do. It is so important to be careful about what you say and do around him. The nurses and therapists (and me too!) work hard at discouraging any bad behaviors or things that he should not be saying/doing. He has to learn what is appropriate. This is REALLY important to his recovery. But most of all he needs encouragement and positive reinforcement. He responds so well to a simple "You're doing good Greg!"

Although this has been a great week, I have been going through a lot of different emotions. Greg and I dated for 6 years before we got married. One of the things that I really looked forward to when we were about to be married was the fact that I would be able to wake up next to him every morning for the rest of my life. For the past 15 months, we have not been able to do that. Every day I miss him being by my side, but the other night as I was trying to sleep, I REALLY missed having him next to me. But, as my best friend told me, I have that to look forward to again. When you share every intimate detail of your life with someone, like Greg and I did, it's hard to suddenly not have that anymore. He was the first person I would talk to about everything and I was the first person that he'd talk to about everything. He is recovering and we will get back to that, but that doesn't make the mean time easier. So tonight as you fall asleep next to your husband or wife, thank God that you have him/her by your side!

By Jesus' stripes, Greg WAS healed! Greg has the mind of Christ!


  1. THIS IS SO SO SO WONDERFUL! I'm so happy! I miss you all so terribly and wish I could be there to witness this myself.

    So much love to you Contreras family!

  2. So, I just got into work and checked in for some updates. this is such a beautiful entry, it literally has made my day. (and the day has just begun yaaay!) We are all so greateful for the progress that Greg has made. Carrie, your strength, and faith inspire me in so many ways. Thank you for keeping us all updated!

  3. Going to visit with Greg tonight. So much improvement just since last week! I love it!!!