Yesterday he had another burn clinic appointment. He goes to physical therapy twice a week but since his wounds have healed, he only see Drs every 2 months now. The head burn Dr, who is notorious for being harsh in his assessment of the patients & their abilities, told Clifton that he had made more progress than any patient he has had in a very long time... maybe ever. And he did it w/ no release surgeries! (release surgeries are usually necessary for contracture. The scarred skin literally contracts up as it heals & scars, like a rubber band) Clifton works so hard @ stretching, despite the pain, that he breaks open (releases) the scar bands himself. Except for his right hand, he has full range of motion. That's hard to achieve & it usually takes a couple of years...especially w/ burns as severe as his. Clifton has done in it in less than 6 mos! Dr Gabriel also said (& I quote), "Mark this one down in the books...we've had a burn patient quit taking pain meds before they were refused them."
Yep, that's right! Clifton hasn't taken his pain meds in over a month. He says it makes him feel foggy & he doesn't want to be foggy around Noah (he cares for his baby Noah while Stacie is @ work...I'd be happy to do it of course but Clifton wants to do it himself...I do keep Noah 2 days a week though). I cannot tell you how proud I am of my son. He has undergone a tragedy that is beyond most of our comprehension, has pain that, according to his Drs, is the most horrific pain imaginable & he does it all w/ a wonderful, positive attitude & a smile on his face.
This is a picture of Clifton & Stacie taken @ Christmas this year. We were very fortunate that his face didn't scar much. That florid complexion he & I have (& hate!) came in handy for the burns. The Drs told us it kept blood flowing near the surface, which helped skin regeneration. There's a couple of small scars here & there but they'll fade w/ time & he's grown a goatee to cover the scars under his chin. He's still one handsome man, huh?
Here he is w/ his look-alike son, Noah...I call them Frick & Frack. *grins* I've neevr seen a man so bonded to his newborn. I'm sure it's because he is the primary care-giver. We used to tell Clifton, while he was in the hospital, that one good thing would come of his accident....he would get the gift of time w/ his son that most men never get. He takes full advantage of it.
If we all had just a bit of Clifton's strength of character, determination & positive outlook, the world wouldn't be in the mess it's in. He's always wanted to be a hero... I'm sure he imagined it to be a bit more glamorous but he got his wish for he is, indeed, my hero.