Location: Highway 509 RV Park (el. 275 ft); Mansfield, Louisiana
After getting new tires for Freedom on Monday, (7-13-15), I pulled out the following day and drove a little more than 500 miles to an RV park in Nevada, Missouri. It was conveniently located right along the interstate. I hitched back up at 2:00 a.m. and was rolling by 2:30 a.m. That is the first and hopefully last time I have to hitch up in the middle of the night. Lucky for me I've done it so many times, I guess I really can do it with my eyes closes, or in the dark. I arrived at the South Bossier Marina/RV park about 1:00 pm and after getting set up, made it to the hospital by 3:00. I spent the night at the hospital in my son's room Wednesday and Thursday so my x-wife could get some rest at home since she had been staying with him day and night for a few days.
Brandon's condition: He had a stroke and it was located in his brain stem. This is a bad location for a stoke since the 1/2 inch diameter brain stem controls so many functions such as breathing, heartbeat, blood pressure, speech, swallowing, hearing, eye movement, motor control for muscles. With a stoke in the brain stem, it can cause damage to any of those functions plus many more. If some of those functions are damaged, it can be fatal.
Brandon was very lucky and the doctors are surprised he survived. It appears the only symptoms he is having is the inability to move his right arm and right leg. It has been one week since the stroke and he is able to walk about 30 yards with a walker. He attended 3 days of Physical Therapy in the hospital and the PT's were very surprised about his progress. He was released from the hospital Friday afternoon and we have an appointment with a local Physical Therapy Group associated with the local hospital. One of the specialties is Stroke Rehab and we will be going to them for a while. For Rehab like this, there is a golden window of a few months or more where your muscles retain their memory on how to do things. During that time and while doing PT, your brain is re-wiring around the damaged parts, and making new connections. Those new connections between the brain and muscles are made faster if the muscle memory still exists. A good example of muscle memory is what Brandon calls his "yawn reflex". If he yawns, his right arm will automatically start to rise up to his mouth like it has down countless time over the years. It will actually move upward farther then if he tries to do it on his own. This means the next couple of months are critical in his recovery.
Although the doctors and PT's try to hedge their bets by not wanting to be very specific about his recovery, unofficially, they are all saying they will be surprised if he doesn't make a full recovery.
I'm posting this update quickly, and will proof read it and maybe edit it more in detail later but wanted to get it posted to update those people who were concerned.
Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers from everyone.
Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.