seventh accident update

Written by: Bobbye Jean Manzari

Hello All,
We are home! It has been 2 weeks since Matt was discharged from inpatient rehabilitation and it has been a whirlwind. We have been navigating different doctor appointments, figuring out where to begin Matt’s occupational and physical therapy, and setting up systems for all his medical supplies to be able to stay healthy at home. It is amazing to be home at the end of the day when we have completed all his medical tasks. We also just celebrated Matt’s birthday and no one could believe what a huge blessing this particular birthday was!

Matt is healing well and is a continuous miracle! The hyper-granulation is shrinking slowly and there are fewer open spots on his body. His sternum tissue is still healing over some parts of the bone and we are waiting for a few more weeks to see what they would like to do about grafting over it. Unfortunately, his ear grafts from his last surgery did not take. His ears remain a problem and we are waiting to find out what the physicians would like to do as we move forward. His forehead exit wound is healing slowly and moving in the right direction. His eye doctor said that the accident has given him cataracts and he will need corrective surgery in the next year. His scar tissue continues to pull inward and contract, making us work against it at every minute. Matt can move his right arm with decent motion, but after using it for a few minutes, he can no longer put it straight. His left arm can move with less motion and the scar bands are even stronger in that arm. His shoulders are both limited by the scar tissue in his armpits and chest and cause him to slouch forward constantly. His neck is the hardest for him to straighten and if he is not actively stretching it, he cannot look upward. His left wrist still has no lift in it and he has to wear a brace in order to use that hand. The constant stretching he must do to avoid his upper body freezing in one position causes extreme pain. He also is in constant nerve pain, and even with the medication, everything is sensitive and painful. His temperature regulation is altered in his body, which is very common in burn injuries, especially electrical burns. He can go from freezing one second to burning up the next. They do not have any kind of estimation of when or if this will dissipate. There have been moments of frustration or fear for him in regards to his weaknesses. He cannot do certain activities that seem like they should be easy, and it can be difficult to constantly need help. He still cannot get himself off of the ground if he were to sit down or if he were to fall and it is a hard adjustment for him to face. He handles it all well and doesn’t let his frustration bring him down on a consistent basis, but there are moments that he has sadness over his new reality. It breaks my heart to see him struggle in these moments.

We got a puppy to help Matt through his recovery. Her name is Tala and she is a huge blessing. Matt has so much pain in the mornings etc. and he has a hard time getting motivated to get up. I’ll put Tala on the bed and puppy kisses make it easier to wake up! She has been a great companion for him and it is good therapy for him to focus on playing with her, forcing him to use his arms and move around.

Thankfully, baby’s health has been going well and I have hit the 24 week benchmark! I am grateful that the baby has not hindered me from being Matt’s caretaker. I still cannot believe we are out of the hospital and it will hit me at different moments. I will be driving Matt somewhere near the hospital and think to myself, “Matt is in the car with me and not stuck in that building anymore.” Let’s just say I get emotional a lot these days. In order to avoid crying at every moment I jokingly say “Whatever” very fervently, as if I don’t care. It doesn’t really work, but at least I chuckle a little as I cry

This journey is continually teaching me how to navigate life. I contemplated as I looked at my “What to Expect When You Are Expecting” book, that this book could not have helped me expect what happened during my pregnancy. Where is the section about your husband almost dying while you have a little one growing inside you? I now realize that none of us can expect what is going to happen in our lives. This is mixed with the juxtaposition that we CAN always expect God to be good and evil to be bad. I am trying to look at life with great expectation of God, but no expectations of what His goodness will look like. This is because I don’t know what the circumstances of our life will look like and how His goodness will be displayed in those specifics.

You all have continued to reach out and bless us. We are still blown away by the daily love and support from those we know, and even complete strangers. God’s network is so far reaching and humbles us to our core. Thank you for helping us through this one day at a time.

Bobbye Jean Manzari

Matt Manzari