Month: September 2012

Hello

Houdieno had been hard at it while I was away. She was crammed in beside the right bed rail with no blankets on and snoring away. Didn’t think you could snore lying almost on your tummy but you can.

Janet woke up a few minutes later just before Chantelle came in as I had asked her to look at the splint. She thinks it may be time for a refit as there is no where near the swelling in Janet’s hand that there used to be and she has some deviation in her wrist. Chantelle recommended leaving the splint off tonight and she will consult the splint makers tomorrow. While Chantelle was in the room, Nicole from speech therapy arrived. She had visited Janet while I was away and had done some Oral Motor Interventions with her and wanted to show me so I could help. Janet was awake when Nicole was there and did really well for her. The exercises are pretty basic and meant to stimulate and trigger very bottom line responses. I explained that Janet is swallowing, coughing, brushing her teeth, swabbing with Nystatin, making a circle shape with her mouth, smiling and kissing. Nicole had no idea Janet was capable of those things so I asked Janet for a kiss and got a nice smile and a full pucker kiss. Nicole was pleased and seems really excited to work with Janet. I also had Janet demonstrate her tooth brushing technique. She did well at that but not as well as she can partly I think because who brushes their teeth at three o’clock in the afternoon? Based on what Nicole saw she is going to bring this tool up for Janet that is supposed to allow Janet to simulate the full range of actions needed for eating. Sounds like fun and exactly what Janet needs to be working on now. We talked a little about talking and Nicole was pleased I had been encouraging Janet to open her mouth and say aaa. Nicole tried and with a little prompting got Janet to open her mouth and appear to try and say something. Rehab is going to be fun.

After a little stretch it was time to call Mary/Gaga before heading out for some sunshine. Whenever we call someone I put the phone on speaker and hold it up to Janet’s left ear for the call. A couple times she’s shown an interest in holding the phone and this time she grabbed for it as soon as I told her it was her mom. I let her take it and she put it right up to her ear and held it there the entire ten minutes Mary/Gaga was talking. When goodbye was said she moved the phone in front of her and looked at the screen then handed the phone to me. Wow.

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Off we went to the beach and Janet drove most of the way there. In fact I had a hard time getting her to stop driving today. She was very strong and determined. We saw Carrie, Roger and their kids at the beach and had a really nice chat with them. Roger got the first smile from Janet then Carrie got one a few minutes later. Made me smile real big inside.

Janet gave the Centennial Building hallway a really strong effort today and got the two front wheels of her wheelchair over that crazy bump before I had to help with the back two. That’s as far as she had to go today but she kept on going right to the elevator. High five!

Back I the room I got on the bed beside her and read the last chapter of Anne. It wasn’t as sad as I was expecting, in fact Janet was kind of laughing as I finished. At me I’m sure, not the book. Anyone have suggestions for the next book to read with her? It’s going to be hard to beat that one.

As I left for the night Janet seemed a little restless and uncomfortable but I’m sure would soon be asleep. She had another awesome day.

Praying for a restful and healing night and another day of firsts tomorrow.

Be Prepared

Houdieno greeted me with a smile this morning as she played with the release button on the right side bed rail. She wasn’t trying to pull up on it to release it but was swiping across it repeatedly I think trying to figure it out. We had a little chat then her nurses came in to clean her up. They reported that she seemed a little bothered by the whole cleaning and changing process but did help them out quite a bit. I think maybe Janet is feeling some discomfort in her hips or pelvis and all the rolling around associated with the morning routine may have aggravated that. Just a thought.

I’m changing my tactic with the stretching routine a little. Both her legs were bent pretty tight this morning and I was able to straighten the right one with little effort. I decided since she can move the left one so she may as well move it to a straight position rather than me forcing it. Janet was able to get the angle reduced dramatically and I did the rest. She did show that there was some pain as I started on her hips with some leg raises but only at the start. In the end it was a pretty good stretching session and Tom arrived right at the end to do some shoulder work then lay Janet on her tummy. There is still some discomfort in the right shoulder but Janet hung in there nicely for about half an hour. Tom is excited Janet gets a trial in rehab and will try and see who her therapist will be down there so they can talk and make sure all the info gets past on. Sounds like my role and that of Team Save Janet will be diminished while she is in rehab. Stay tuned for more info on that.

After the tummy session I decided to try and keep Janet going and put her in the wheelchair. She responded well by wheeling very strongly out of her room and down the hall despite the hectic environment out there. Chantelle walked to the elevator with us and saw Janet reach out for the button on command. Unfortunately Janet was in a swiping mood and not a pushing one but the reach out was good. By the time we were on the main floor Janet was asleep and Monika happened by and suggested we go back up anyways as the Patient Care Coordinator for Rehab, Erica, is up there looking at Janet’s chart. We had a nice chat in Janet’s room and she is trying to get Janet down to rehab asap, maybe even today but doubt it. I would like a few days to prepare anyways. Erica is a no nonsense woman who likes CedarCreek Merlot. I think we can work with that. Janet woke up briefly while Erica was there and I put her to bed right after and then she was out for her mid day nap.

Praying for some fun in the sun this afternoon and lots of activity and learning from Janet.

On Trial

Janet was soundly sleeping when I returned and awoke just as I was ready to leave for my meeting with Dr. McCann. I took a few minutes to explain what was happening then off I went.

Dr. McCann surprised me by starting the meeting with “Before you say anything, I’m going to order a two week trial in rehab for Janet”. I think he felt I was coming in to get mad at him or something. I hid my excitement at his announcement and told him my concern about not all the information about Janet getting to him and others on the team and the fact that I spend more time than anyone with her but am not sure my voice is being heard. He agreed and listened to my list of recent accomplishments by Janet and summarized his feelings. He feels Janet deserves a chance at rehab and knows my concern about LTC and that I’m thinking of taking her home but wants to give her a shot before any of that happens. She’s not officially ready for rehab but he is hoping that the experience will trigger more progress for her. He hopes the routine and more active days will help bring her out of the fog more and spark more improvements. Dr. Miller talked to him this morning after seeing Janet, he’s the neuro psychologist and saw Janet very early this morning, and he feels Janet is showing signs of progress. Apparently she squeezed his hand this morning. Yippeee, welcome to the month of July Dr. Miller. Anyways, bottom line is Janet gets at least two weeks in rehab, more if she progresses, she will be put on “delay” for moving to LTC as soon as rehab accepts her onto their list which should be tomorrow. Janet could start in rehab in the next week or two. Dr. McCann is taking a risk here as Janet will be taking a bed from someone who truly qualifies and he will look bad if she doesn’t progress in the program but I feel he believes she has a chance at success and it would be worse if he didn’t give her a chance. I think Tom’s reports have been a big help in getting us here and in fact the whole team was excited today. Seems a little surreal but it is happening.

I told Janet the good news when I got back and I think she gets it. Dr. McCann said he would be up to see her right away and he showed up just after I told Janet to give him a big smile when he came in. She lifted her head and looked right at him and did give a little smile. High five! He chatted briefly and looked at each of her arms before leaving to write the order. It was getting kinda late so we headed out. Janet drove part way down the hall but it was pretty busy again so I took over. Wendy (social worker) met us a few feet from the elevators and talked to us as Janet pushed along. Janet nailed the elevator button with Wendy watching (secret high five) and did well driving on the main floor as Wendy continued her visit. Outside, Janet gave a great effort driving towards the beach but I took it easy on her and took over at the first big hill. The beach was beautiful today and we managed another nice tanning session. Janet drove quite a bit outside today and showed a real determination to move that chair especially when we got inside the Centennial Building. An unofficial speed record for down that big hallway and a real good attempt at that bump in the last doorway. Another direct hit on the elevator button and back to her room we went.

I let her get warm for a few minutes then started stretching her out for the night. She keeps wanting to bend that left leg up at the knee all the time and I got a little mad at her about it. Seemed to work as she kept it down the entire time we read Anne and watched some highlights of that ridiculous football game from last night. She still had it nice and straight when I said goodnight.

Thanking Jesus for all we have been blessed with and looking forward to an active day of learning tomorrow.

Stand Up and Be Counted

A warm welcome to the day as Janet was awake and smiling as I came into the room this morning. Her nurse was just about to clean her up and get her dressed so I stepped out to allow that to happen. May as well get our money’s worth. Janet seemed calm and well rested and we had a nice chat with me lying beside her on the bed. Tom came in to make sure OT had brought up The Rack, it arrived shortly after he did so I figured we better get Janet stretched out and ready. She was pretty tight this morning but loosened up nicely in about a half hour. The Rack is the same contraption Janet stood in down in OT last week. It now resides in her room so we can use it two or three times a week.

Tom returned just after nine with Leanne and they got Janet up and into The Rack. There is something about standing up that really appeals to Janet and she got up real nice and straight this morning with both feet flat on the ground. A first. The only time she was really bothered was when Leanne was working her right shoulder. Her vitals stayed steady and she was in good shape, even shifting her weight to her left leg a little, right to the end of the forty five minute session. We then went for an indoor wheelchair ride to see if she could keep going after a workout. Janet nailed the elevator button on command but I drove to the main floor then let her take over. She made it most of the way to the cafeteria before falling asleep. I put her to bed just before eleven after a very successful morning.

I made it home in time to meet with the guy from the mobility equipment company and I have to say I was underwhelmed. He is willing to work with me which is good but I don’t understand how you can be in that business and not be familiar with a product I found online easily and you even specialize in one of that company’s other products. Am I expecting too much from these people? I’m going to try another company while this guy does his homework. Janet’s nurse today has a son with Cerebral Palsy and they had an elevator put in their home. Two companies said it was impossible, the third did it without hesitation and after a number of years it still works great. I think I’ll give them a shot.

Praying for a productive meeting with Dr. McCann this afternoon and a continued bright day for Janet.

MNF

I really want to start this by talking about that crazy Monday Night Football game tonight but I won’t because this is a blog about Janet’s recovery.

Janet was snoozing when I returned and didn’t pop her eyes open till almost three. I could tell she was getting close to waking so I laid on the bed beside her and she put her arm around me and smiled and patted my shoulder for a bit. I’m getting lots of tender moments like this lately and I could not be happier about it.

I could have hung out like that for the entire afternoon but felt it was important to get Janet moving so a stretching we went then into the wheelchair for some sun and fresh air. The hallway on her ward was pretty chaotic so I drove quickly through there and let Janet drive on the main floor where she gave a solid performance. She was very impressive outside as she drove from the Strathcona entrance all the way to Abbott St. across from the beach. I had to help her over a few of the larger bumps and inclines, but still. High five! The beach was very quiet despite the nice warm day then we headed off for a short walk as I wanted to be back in time for dinner and the start of the football game. Janet drove a little more along Abbott St. and again on Long St. She is really gaining confidence with her wheelchair. She seemed uncomfortable once we got inside and refused to drive the long hallway but I convinced her to try the bump through the last doorway and from about twenty feet out she made an outstanding run at it. Her best attempt yet, making it about eighty percent of the way over. High five!

I just had time to get her into bed to relax and warm up a bit before starting her dinner feed then going down to the waiting room to watch a little football. I couldn’t tell if she really wanted to go or not but I put her Seahawks jersey on her and we headed down, feed pump and all. Once parked in front of the TV I asked her if she was ready for some football and she looked at me and smiled. She smiled again as the intro to the game started and it became very clear it was a Seahawks game we were watching. We stayed for the first quarter and I watched Janet from time to time and she was scanning the TV with her eyes and apparently trying to figure things out not just blankly sitting there like she would have been doing six weeks ago. Fun.

Back in the room it was time for me to get her all ready for bed before darkness set in and I thanked her repeatedly for going to the game with me. More smiles.Seahawks MNF As for the game. Holy crap! I’m really glad I saw it but NFL, please bring back the real refs. That was embarrassing.

Today was a really fun and encouraging day with Janet. She showed an ability to follow commands, determination to complete a task and a true awareness of things going on around her. Sets things up nicely for my chat with Dr. McCann tomorrow. Dr. Jones is the Hospitalist this week again and he stopped me in the hall to say he had been hearing good things about Janet and will talk to us tomorrow. Looking forward to it.

Praying for continued healing and a restful night for Janet as well as a fun and productive day tomorrow.

Workout

Janet was all nice and cleaned and dressed and awake when I arrived this morning. We had a nice little chat, I did all the talking again, then I got her to swab her mouth. This time she thought the swab was more a lolly pop and just held it in her mouth for a bit then pulled it out and had a look then put it back in and left it. At least she’s not scared of it anymore but she doesn’t like the taste of the Nystatin. I told her to start swallowing better then she wouldn’t need it. Simple.

Our morning stretch went well considering how tightly wound up Janet seemed. It took more than a half hour to get her limbered up. She had a brief nap after that which gave me time to go to OT and get new straps and sleeves for her splint as Janet had lost the top strap overnight and the sleeves were pretty tattered. I bumped into Cathryn while I was there and updated her on the home care situation and mentioned Tom’s idea of a trial run at rehab. She had received an email from Tom regarding that and from her body language I would say she’s not supportive and said that Tom should speak to Dr. McCann. There is a meeting in the works.

I read Pastor Tim’s newspaper column to Janet as the basis of it was bear safety and Janet is an expert on that from her preschool days. She followed along intently and there were a few slight smiles along the way. It was getting a little late and Tom had not been by so I decided to get Janet up and going. I raised the bed to about thirty five degrees and brought her right leg over to the right side of the bed. I asked her to move her left leg each time I moved the right and she did so. Once both legs were over the side of the bed she automatically started pushing herself up with her left arm. It took all of her strength but she made it to a nice sitting position all on her own. High five! We did some back stretching and standing then Tom showed up and put her through some transfer exercises using the wooden sliding board. Janet held her posture well and followed Tom’s commands very well as long as what was being asked made sense and wasn’t scary. She is a little scared sitting on the board still but today was better. Janet did a lot of weight shifting and repositioning on her own which seemed to make Tom happy.

That was a busy morning of workouts so it was back into bed and time for a late lunch for Janet and for me to head home for mine which was a very nice bowl of pea soup made and delivered by the best neighbors anyone could have. Thanks Barb and Gary! Looking forward to the casserole tomorrow.

Praying for some fun in the sun this afternoon and continuation of the progress being made.