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Update on Josh...3/13/17

Guest Post from my wife Kelsey:

John Michael and I had the opportunity to spend some time with Josh this past weekend. It was a wonderful and hard experience. This was the first time we’ve been back to San Antonio since Christmas, so naturally there was a great amount of excitement, expectation and hope. Each time we come back to San Antonio it is overwhelming. When we are in Northwest Arkansas, at work, seeing friends, and in our daily routine, it is easy to compartmentalize and be somewhat desensitized to the gravity of the situation. Don’t get me wrong, Josh is making progress, but each time we see him, we have great anticipation for dramatic changes – and the reality is that he is still not fully restored to us yet. Mike explained it well, we are going through a grieving process with Josh, but the grieving is not complete (thankfully), so we live with the greatest expectations of recovery and yet have to cloak that in the sobering reality.

While John Michael and I were there, we were able to participate to some extent in Josh’s daily routine. We were able to take him around the hospital campus and sit with him outside for a bit. It is hard to explain Josh’s condition without experiencing it for yourself. But it is easy to sense that Josh is very much present with us, that he understands the conversations and that he just can’t quite communicate with us. For example, Josh’s therapists are working on his swallow strength with the hopes that we can get him off his PEG tube. Periodically he will be forget to swallow, but when Kelly reminds him of the systematic process to swallow – close your mouth, push the spit to the back of your throat, then swallow – he does it, instantly. You can see him thinking through her three step instructions. It’s moments like this that you know and feel his awareness and understanding. He is having to train/remind his brain and body to do the things that we all take for granted.