Went and saw Ritch yesterday, and WOW what a visit!
Ritch was extremely interactive with me yesterday. When I arrived, he was sleeping, but gave me a huge smile when he woke up. Rithc wil smile when anyone comes in the room. I think he likes the company.
The real positive experience of this visit was Ritch initiating the interactions. His trach tube has been removed, and he was "talking" to me the the whole visit. I now have no doubt that he understands things. He kept saying "wow" and "oh man" and "umm". I said to Ritch "You have two months to get better until football starts Ritch". He smiled, and I said you'll be there, he shook his head no....I said "Don't give me that crap Ritch, you'll be there and I'm getting you a seat on the field right behind Bwaaaanaaaaa!" He laughed!!!! Hard! He understood that, otherwise why would he laugh?
I told Ritch he was even a bigger celebrity than he was before. He seemed amused by that. I told him people across the country were asking about him daily. Brian and Linda, Paul and Janna, Reider, Hoof, Joshua, MFOT and on an on. Everytime I said a name he nodded. I got more laughs when I told him there was a move to get Gumby out to see him. He said "I know!"
There are times when he gets confused. I asked him if he knew who I was. He nodded yes. I asked if my name was Brian, he wasn't sure about that. I asked him do you know who Orangeshoes is, he smiled and nodded. Then he got out the words "I'm not sure"....I just told him to keep trying that it wss all coming back...he smiled and nodded some more.
I showed him his Lions jersey and told him the Lions brought it for him, their number one fan. That again brought out a "wow". He seems geuninely moved by the attention he's getting. He lights right up when nurses come in the room. (Ritch knows how to throw on the charm).
From seeing Ritch when he was in a coma, to when he came out of the coma to now, I can tell you the improvements have been almost daily. There is still no movement on his left side, but he moves his right arm and leg often.
The whole time I was there, he talked. Near the end of the visit I asked if he was tired, and wanted to sleep. He nodded. I grabbed his hand and told him we were all proud of him, and to keep resting and getting better. He smiled, and nodded again.
And that was the end of the best visit yet!