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December 25, 2005

a happy delay

Sam's doing great this morning, although he says he can't talk. He has managed a few words. Was trying to tell me something about the painting of the woman in reddish-pink and orange with her head slumped heavily in her hand, elbow on her knee....she looks either exhausted or frustrated or both. Heavy. I'm guessing this is Sam's morning ritual, to peruse his paintings and contemplate whatever they inspire.

We fiddled around with the communication board a little bit. Added "bitchin" as per Larry (talk about a big grin from Sam!), and "channel" to the tv portion. There are many detail questions Sam gets asked in the course of the day; I need more exposure to them to gather the pattern and imagine what might work on the board. Right now its rudimentary and folks don't seem to be using it. Instead there is a yes=one blink no=two blinks system - but it has difficulties too. First, you have to ask a simple yes/no question (no options!), then you have to wait, then ask another one. Sam's a puzzle sometimes: is he not answering because the question is so far away from what he wants that it doesn't even seem worth it? Is he still thinking if yes/no will get him closer to what he wants? Or is he so tired that he forgets to answer? Or feels he has exerted the effort to answer but it's not detectable to us?

Anyway. There was BIG Romance in the room last night, as a boyfriend of one of the nurse's aides' came by during her workshift and proposed, right here in Sammy's room! It was before I arrived, but the story is she planned to propose to him today, but he beat her to it. He said, "I know Sammy wants to marry you but I've got the ring." :-) Sam has always been a positive influence on couples, at least, he always brought out my better parts. One of Sam's gifts is that he gives permission to love and cultivates an environment or atmosphere for it.

I'll be heading out soon for the roadtrip. Sam's recovered, more or less, and isn't having any premonitions of his impending demise. There's a chance that this problem with his speech - which also affects his ability to swallow - might be the thing that does him in, but if he goes while choking we agreed the only way anyone's going to get here is by Scotty beaming us in. Too bad transporter technology is still only in the experimental stages. :-/

Long and short, all's well here in Eden Park on Christmas morn. Sam sends his love and season's greetings to all. He also asks you to feel free to email him directly (please understand that he only reads his email with help, and that usually means only when Steph visits, which varies):

achziger at adelphia.net

Don't forget to replace "at" with @

Posted by Steph at December 25, 2005 9:17 AM


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