Still in isolation, so many of David’s friends, co-workers and acquaintances came to visit but were unable to see him, yet shared with us a story or a prayer.
Eddy was on a daily mission. He would practice and have David show him 2 fingers, thumbs up, grab a ball, move his legs, stick his tongue out or blink his eyes. David’s response was very slow and significantly delayed. It was obvious he was having trouble thinking what he was supposed to do. Regardless, Eddy was resilient and kept drilling the fact that he had to be able to consistently respond quickly to these commands in order for the doctors to approve the acute rehab that would follow as so many other patients were doing.
We continued to learn new terms. The Glasgow Coma Scale is a neurological scale which identifies the conscious state of a person in three areas: eye, verbal and motor response. The lowest possible sum is 3 which would be a person on a deep coma and 15 is the highest sum which is for the fully awake person. The Rancho Scale, which is an assessment tool or scale based on observing the patient’s response to stimuli, helped explain the stages of progress. The scale from Level 1 of (No Response: Total Assistance) to Level 10 of (Purposeful, Appropriate: Modified Independent) provided us an outline of what behaviors to expect and explained possible psychological and emotional conditions in which David would go through during his rehabilitation process. These assessments would be considered to determine David’s path of recovery.
We incorporated classical music, Break dancing videos, TV programs and various activities to stimulate his brain. Our focus was the hospital’s acute rehab which had the reputation of one of the best in the Nation. That became for us the absolute right path to recovery and our anticipation grew stronger every day.
New routines were in place: doctors’ 6:00 a.m. rounds, bed baths, shaving, respiratory therapies, legs and arms exercises. Special heated caps which generated steam were placed on David’s head to clean his hair. For as long as I remember, David methodically scheduled his haircut every 2 weeks. After 4 weeks, Jorge took courage and gave him a hair cut which we called the St. Francis cut and made the promise that we would never let him do it again. I became proficient and less nervous at shaving and we continued to pray and wait in faith.
In the meantime, I thought often on how my father was doing back home and how much I missed talking and laughing with him. Shortly after my father moved with us, Jorge, dad and I would drive to downtown Winter Park after work to enjoy a fun conversation over wine and cheese at the beautiful picturesque sidewalks of Park Avenue. The three of us looked forward to our “date” every Friday. Even though at this time he couldn’t go to Winter Park, my sisters spoiled him cooking his favorite dinners, watching his favorite movies, specially “Independence Day” which he named “La Constitucion”, eating Bar-B-Que at Bubbalou’s or ice cream at Cornerstone. He enjoyed having his son and daughters around him and grandchildren visit him. He was also on a path to recovery. Due to poor leg circulation, he started receiving physical therapy at home. Once in a while he would tell my sisters that he was planning on dressing up, renting a car, walking out of the house and going to Winter Park. He would do anything for a fine cup of wine!
(Sirach 6: 32-33)