Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday December 16th, 2011

This past week included some tough moments. It was both a
celebration of Josh making it through a year in recovery, and the
"anniversary" of the night of the accident. Bittersweet.

Josh also changed his Facebook status to single this weekend, which is
ok under current circumstances and everyone remains close friends.

Still we move forward. Sam and Dylan came for
dinner on Saturday night and lifted our spirits!

Josh had a great week in therapy. Keystone Mercy basically cut
him off for the last 2 weeks of the year, (to save money).
The angels at Bryn Mawr Rehab scholarshipped Josh in until
January 1st, when he automatically gets his benefits reset
for the new year.

Josh's new shoe modification has helped with standing and walking
and pool therapy continues to push him closer to functioning with less

If we don't get a chance to post again before the holidays,
please have yourselves a wonderful time! Hug and kiss your
loved ones.

We love and thank you all for your continued support!

The Bonjos

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tuesday December 6th, 2011

Josh had a minor operation last week on his foot. Everything
went great. He is continuing with lots of standing and walking
exercises and the 3 days of therapy each week have really made
a difference. A lift installed in his shoe has made a noticeable
difference in these activities. Josh is working very hard.
Unfortunately, this leaves him exhausted, but he has to do the
work now.

Josh's right arm is continuing to improve in strength and agility.
He can now eat about half of his meals with "Righty", as we call it.

We are coming up on 1 year since the accident. It's hard to believe.
I don't know how we will handle December 12th, 2011. I feel
anxious as the date approaches, reliving that night in 2010 in my mind.
Really, we should treat it like any other day now that we
have our son back with us. We should be hopeful and thankful
for the gift we have been given.

Love you all,
The Bonjos

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday November 23rd, 2011

Josh stood in therapy last week for 40 minutes
with minimal assistance during one of his PT sessions.
He stood today in the pool without assistance for short
periods of time. I can feel when I transfer him that he
is regaining his balance again.

He continues to fight walk on his own. This has proven to
be more difficult than we anticipated. However, we knew
this was going to be an uphill climb. Interestingly,
he is better climbing stairs and walking backward
than forward. Still he pushes on.

Josh is doing complex math in his head, surfing the
web and Facebook on his tablet computer and keeping
us all laughing with his dry wit. He is hilarious!

We can see a difference already, having therapy 3
days a week. Thank you.

So as we prepare for the holiday tomorrow, we are so
very thankful for our friends and family who
supported us through this most difficult year, and
of course to have Josh, happy and healthy,
at the dinner table with us again.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Enjoy your family and your Thanksgiving celebration!

Much Love,
The Bonjos

Friday, November 4, 2011

Josh turned 20 last weekend.

Despite the freak snow storm, loss of power
and Dad getting the flu, we were able to have
a small birthday celebration with those who
made it through the snow and around closed roads.
(No, the generator still will not start!)

It is a great gift and a blessing that we were able
to celebrate this birthday with Josh. There were times
11 months ago when I questioned if we would make it this far.
Josh has come a very long way.

After an initial denial and subsequent appeal, Josh was approved for
3 days a week of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy.
It was only a 6 week approval instead of 8, but we will take it!
He is starting to use a walker now in therapy. Things are coming together.

Sometimes we lose sight of the forest for the trees as things
move so slowly. We were looking at Josh's work book yesterday and
all of the sudden had to ask ourselves why we still had a list of
"Josh's Important Questions" in there. Well 4 months ago, Josh had a
list of very important things he had trouble remembering. In that moment
of realization, I remembered that he had not needed to ask any of those
questions in a very long time. This is how the healing happens.

Thanks to everyone who made it to the party and thanks
for your continued support!

The Bonjos

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday October 19th, 2011

More Pictures

Josh turns 20 next Friday.

He continues to work hard in therapy at Bryn Mawr.
We are doing lots of therapy at home as
the insurance will only approve the
most minimal amount of PT, which is just delaying
Josh's recovery.

Regardless, he pushes forward and will be back on his feet
no matter what it takes. Josh is our hero!

More later!

The Bonjos

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday September 19th, 2011

No More MAFOs!

Josh was cleared last week to walk, stand and transfer
without his MAFO braces. In fact, he will only use them
for walking long distances in therapy. This will make Josh
more comfortable and eliminate the need to put them on / take
them off 10 times a day...

Josh has regained a considerable range of motion in his right
arm and hand. We are now working on dexterity,
assembling LEGO models, using a tablet computer and working
on puzzles.

All else is on track and going well.

Pictures and more news later!

The Bonjos

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Saturday September 3, 2011

Despite the flooding, Rose made it to Brattleboro, VT and Darling
is on the way home. Her apartment and studio are on a hill on the
way out of town. So, no damage there.

I spent the week in therapy with Josh. Taggart joined us also on
Thursday. I trained to walk side by side with Josh. It is taxing,
on me, but satisfying.

The insurance company cut Josh back from 3 days a week to 2 as
"Speech is not medically necessary." Josh's communication skills
are excellent. However, speech therapy is more than that. It includes
memory exercise and cognition. So we will pick up the slack at home.

It won't be long before Josh can walk back into the ICU at Paoli
to meet his old friends again. We are so looking forward to that!

We see that many of you are still following Josh's blog. Thanks!

The Bonjo's

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday August 26th, 2011

Rose and Darling leave for VT next week, so Josh and I will be going
to day treatment together. The hospital will take advantage of me
being there and train me to walk one on one with Josh so we can walk
outside of therapy.

Josh has been doing very well. He stood this week, unassisted, on several
occasions. He walked further than he has before with the aid of his therapist;
and he walked very strong on the Locomat treadmill. Things are coming together.

After 6 months, Josh was finally approved for the PA Independence Program
that will provide assistance to help him with home modifications or an aid
for the day if we need someone. It is nice just to have the program, even if we don't yet need it.

Thanks for anyone who continues to check in and thanks to all
of you who have been visiting Josh.

The Bonjos

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday August 17th, 2011

Josh continues to work hard in therapy,
walking further, stronger and with less and
less assistance each week. Pool therapy provides
a different type of relearning experience and a
diversion from the weekly grind.

Here is a picture of what they do to him when
he corrects his doctor's grammar or his therapist's
math mistakes. Mentally, he is spot on!

Rose leaves for VT in 2 weeks, so Josh and I will be
bach'in it for 4 days. His Aunt and Uncle from Florida
will be visiting shortly therafter. It will be an eventful
end to an uneventful but busy summer.

Josh would love you to visit!

The Bonjos

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thursday August 4th, 2011

Josh continues to work hard in therapy.
Walking is still a struggle. However, yesterday
he walked about 50 steps with very little assistance
from his therapist at his side.

After therapy, Darling and I met to transfer Josh from
her car to mine so I could take him home. It is usually
a car to wheelchair then wheelchair to car transfer.
This time, we stood Josh up, then walking between the two of us,
he took about 6 steps to my car and then transferred in.
This is a first!

Josh is in the pool today at Bryn Mawr. He hates it,
but it is doing him some good.

Josh's middle name is Daniel, for my Uncle Dan who passed
shortly before Josh was born. In the picture above, Josh
is wearing a Dan's leather vest. Dan hand made the buttons
from silver coins. His wife and family gifted this to Josh just recently
and he loves it! Thank you!

More good stories as they happen!

The Bonjos

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

July 20th, 2011

Josh passed the EEG with flying colors. We had hoped to
visit the ICU at Paoli after the test but we were delayed
almost 2 hours due to an unrelated emergency in the testing area.
We look forward to contacting the ICU to determine what would be the best
way and time to "visit."

So, Josh is off the anti-seizure meds now which should help his
memory and his energy level. We are starting to see a noticeable
improvement in his memory retention from one day to the next. His sense
of humor is recovered in full form. I was apparently nagging him
about something the other day and he said, "I'm not deaf. I only
have a brain injury." Yes our teenager is back.

We will try to keep up the blog with major events
and good pictures from time to time.

We want to again thank everyone from Paoli Hospital,
Bryn Mawr Rehab, Caln Police Department, the First Responders,
our family and friends and everyone who has helped Josh or is following
him on his journey back to health. Thank you for your support!

The Bonjos

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday July 10, 2011

Josh went back to Paoli for his EEG workup. Everything appears
to be within parameters to discontinue his anti-seizure medication.
This would eliminate a medication which among the side effects include
drowsiness and forgetfulness, 2 issues we are already battling with the TBI.
However, we will wait until the neurologist reads the report and
we meet with Josh's Dr. next Wednesday.

Josh's memory continues to improve in surprising ways. He remembers
interesting conversations and events and forgets the mundane. Maybe that is a blessing for now.

Here is an interesting article on a TBI survivor.

Until next time...

The Bonjos

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27th, 2011 Summer Begins!

Graduation is just a memory as of today.

We had beautiful weather for Rose's graduation
party Saturday. Warm but not hot, with a nice breeze.
Josh lasted until 10:00 PM before he headed to bed.

A good time was had by all!

The MAFOs are helping Josh with his walking. With the help of
his therapist, he climbed up and down 3 stairs and walked about
50 steps last Thursday.

This week: Pool Therapy!

The B's

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Boots Are Off!

Josh got his CAM boots off last night.
He is now in MAFOs and sneakers. (Molded ankle foot orthotics)
Back to the doctor in 4 weeks for further instructions.

Josh's right arm has really made progress in the last week.
He has a pretty full and strong range of motion. They will
continue to work on it OT.

Josh was cleared for pool therapy yesterday. Should be interesting!
We all know how much Josh likes the pool!

More pics this weekend after Rose's party.

The Bonjos

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Josh Returns to Upattinas for Rose's Graduation

It has been a busy 2 weeks now that Josh is home.
We are very happy to have him here! Josh's memories
from Bryn Mawr are starting to fade, but he still remembers
the special people that cared for him.

Josh is walking with an aide in day therapy, working
on his short term memory issues so common with TBI,
and continuing to see improved mobility in his right arm.
He is at his best in the early part of the morning
and afternoon and then begins to tire as it gets late .
Overall, his recovery has been described as remarkable
for only 6 months out. His long term memory, his intellect, and
his sense of humor are all very much intact, despite the fact that
he may not remember what he had for lunch.

Thank you all for your prayers and support. Josh will have his
cam boots off in 10 days and then the fun really starts!

The Bonjos

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Good to be home!

Everything is going well!
We are settling in and Josh's
new day therapists are great!

Does anyone have video of Upattinas'
2010 Graduation Ceremonies? (Josh graduating.)

It would be very helpful for us!

Our Prayers tonight are with Melanie Stewart, a close family
friend, who has an extensive body infection. Please include
her in your thoughts and prayers.

The Bonjos

Monday, May 23, 2011

And then there was one!

One more day until Josh comes home!
We can't wait.

Thanks to Keith, Zach, Scott, Brad, JB, and Sam
for helping to install the ramp this weekend.
More photos later.

The Bonjos

Thursday, May 19, 2011

4 More Days!

Darling and I have been training this week to bring Josh home.
The biggest thing is transferring him from chair to bed, chair
to chair, chair to car etc.

We are installing a wheelchair ramp on Saturday and then
we are ready to roll. Josh will be home Tuesday and then
gets his casts off on Thursday. We can't wait.

Thanks to everyone! We will keep you posted as we are able!

The Bonjos

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Blue Suede Shoes

Lots going on this week!

Josh revisited his surgeon for a follow up.
Dr. Ruggiero was very pleased with Josh's ankles.
They recast him with a bit more room for comfort and in blue.
May 31st, the casts come off for good.

Well, it finally happened. Josh was transferred to a different
wing of the hospital for patients who require less critical care.
Within hours, the room that had been our home away from home for
several months was cleaned and repopulated by another large
family who may be there for months as we were.
Although this is a step closer to discharge, the rooms are much smaller
and the patient to nurse ratio is much higher... We did luck out in several
ways: Josh got an "end of hall room" which is about 25% bigger than the
other rooms, he got the window side of the room which includes all
the storage space on the sill, and instead of the patient who yells
all night, Josh's new roommate is Race Car Driver Tim who was in with
us in the other wing and has a wonderful family and support system.
The best bonus is that Nick, who went to the overnight shift 2 months ago,
had to transfer to our wing to make the shift change. He knows Josh
and is top notch in every way. So despite our worst fears, I think we can
make this work for a few more weeks, as long as the insurance company cooperates.

Josh will be discharged to a 5 day program in the next few weeks. He will
be home in the evenings and on weekends and will continue rehab at Bryn Mawr
on week days.

Our thanks and love to you all!

The Bonjos

Friday, April 29, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Jobeaux on the Move!

Josh is standing and walking with several different
methods of assistance. His therapists continue to say
he is the hardest working patient in the gym.

Josh goes back for a follow up with his surgeon next Thursday.
We hope and pray that he will take his casts and splints off
for good and he can really get to work!

We really believe that Josh will be home in May.

Thanks to everyone for your support! Thanks
for following the blog. To date, you all have
visited this site over 21,000 times. Pretty amazing!
Josh is now begining to read the posts and is trying
to grasp the enormity of what has happened over the past 5 months.
It has now become a tool for him to use to catch up.

Of course, thanks again to Anna and Keith for setting this up!

The Bonjos

Friday, April 22, 2011

Paging Dr. Jobeaux

Josh stood and walked with assistance in therapy on
his first day back. His surgery was so successful,
he didn't even need stitches, just skin glue. He has
virtually no pain.

We plan to hunt Easter eggs on the ward on Sunday.

We are counting the days now!

Enjoy your Holiday!

The Bonjos

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Josh had a very successful day in surgery yesterday. The procedure
went better than planned, he was casted the way we had hoped, and
we got to go back to Bryn Mawr after he was done.

We left Bryn Mawr about 9 AM. He was very calm, cool and collected.
Josh was in surgery by 12:00 and out by 2:00. The doctor released
his tendons and his ankles relaxed right into place. He may be up
and walking in his short casts today. His biggest complaint was that
he was not being fed before or after the anesthesia.

By 6:00 last night, he was completely awake, in bed, watching
SciFy at Bryn Mawr. As an added bonus on the day, the insurance
company refused to pay for Josh's stay over night at Paoli, so
we were able to leave after recovery, which was our preference anyway.
We fed him a light snack and headed home about 7:30.
When I called to check on him last night, the nurse told
me he had pulled his bedside table over to the bed and ransacked
all the food we had left for him to be rationed by the nurse during the
night. (They wanted to get him slowly back on solid food after
anesthesia.) By the time the nurses noticed what he was up to,
they found him licking the tin foil from the muffin that was on the
table. He was still so hungry, they made him a vege burger!

We expect the next few weeks to include many changes. The most obvious
will be the change in Josh's mobility. We also feel this shift in his recovery
will trigger changes on a cognitive level. If the research is accurate,
this comes at a time when theoretically, Josh's amnesia should start to dissipate.
We are getting very close to the time when Josh will be discharged to home
and continue rehab on an outpatient basis. That may come before the end of May.

Thanks for the prayers, the cards and letters, the inspiring stories,
the Internet research, and just for following Josh on his journey.

The Bonjos

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hello Dear Friends,

Josh continues to improve in small ways. His memory issues persist but often he surprises himself by actually remembering what he just did in therapy or how a visit with a friend went.

Once tired though, usually around dinner time, Josh's memory of the basic facts of his situation escape him and he will ask repeatedly "What happened to me? What year is it? etc. These five or six questions reverberate for him and he seeks these answers even when he knows that he has asked for them many times. He will apologize for asking so many questions and then ask them all over again.

We have seen changes in his behavior since the introduction of Aricept, small but subtle changes in conversation, mannerisms, and retention. This off-label use for TBI patients is fascinating and hopeful.

In physical therapy, Josh is practicing standing and even a little walking. He has been fairly successful pulling himself up to a standing position and we have hopes that his drive to walk will pay of as soon as he is able to stand with more stability. He will travel to Paoli Hospital Wednesday morning for the partial tendon release in his Achilles. This small surgical procedure will hopefully jump start his physical progress and it won't be a moment too soon. As it is, we are hoping Josh can make it through the next 5 days. He is chomping at the bit to stand and walk independently and will insist that he is already able. This expression of will and drive is heartening, but trying to reason with him about the reality of this situation is challenging.

He is playing Wii bowling in Recreational Therapy and getting a better score every time. He is also teaching Sue, his therapist, to navigate around inside the game.
He played Frogger on Zach C.'s old school Gameboy and requested his DS handheld game. He is playing word games like Taboo and Bananagrams in therapy and with Mike in the evenings with no problems in creative thinking or vocabulary. His ability to mentally focus is growing and he is able to approach the computer keyboard without being lost and frustrated as he was two weeks ago.

He is enjoying all of the mail he is receiving. Thanks to everyone who has sent him so many beautiful cards, letters, artwork, and packages. They brighten those tired afternoons when he all he seems to think about are all the things he cannot remember from the day.

Josh is reading the blog entries and the comments made by you, dear readers. So if you have a message for Josh you would like to post here, please know that he will receive and appreciate it.

Much love and thanks to all,

The Bonjos

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday April 12th, 2011

4 months since the accident, today.

Josh will have tendon release surgery next Weds.
He should be up on his feet within a few days.

Josh started on "Aricept" yesterday to help his memory,
until the natural healing process is complete. It has
already kicked in, as we see improvements in less
than 24 hours.

Onward and upward!

The Bonjos

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday April 8th, 2011

Josh switched over to a wheelchair this week which requires him
to support much more of his own posture and torso. We can see it
strengthening his core and neck already. It also has hand rails
so he can begin to slowly propel himself around the ward.

Josh will have tendon release surgery in his ankles in the next few
weeks. This will enable him to stand on his own and begin to walk again.

Josh is standing in PT (on his toes) as his ankles have limited flexure.
We think once he is up on his feet, he will have another accelerated
functional gain.

Thanks for all the cards, emails and prayers.

The Bonjos

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday April 5th, 2011

Everyone has been enjoying Josh's pictures and quotes.
His dream last week where he recalled that
he was "almost addicted to grapes" seems to have
tickled everyone's funny bone. Thanks to the Geeseys
for their light hearted contribution to the blog above!

Josh is still working hard, making steady progress.

Enjoy the pictures!

The Bonjos