Month: September 2012

Gangnam Style

Janet was looking calm and rested and in pretty much the same position I left her in when I returned this afternoon. I guess I was only gone an hour and a half but it was like she never moved. She was a little warm as the sun was blasting in and is so low now that it hits her bed directly. Might have to close the blinds if she keeps getting too hot. A little stretch time and off we went to enjoy what is supposed to be the last “warm” day of the year. Janet did really well driving her chair down to the elevators and she nailed the elevator button on command with no assistance at all. High five! By the time we got to the beach she was sound asleep and I spent the next thirty minutes sitting beside her holding her head up as I wanted her to get some sun and fresh air. It paid off as when she awoke we went for a nice walk to Water St. and the highway then Janet set a speed record for driving down the Centennial Building hallway. High five!

Back in bed we read a chapter of Anne and watched some YouTube. I showed her the video Gangnam Style by Psy and I think she enjoyed it. Not sure how you can’t. I told her when she gets better we will learn that one. She definitely enjoyed the clip from Ellen where Psy comes out to teach Britney Spears the dance. Janet smiled twice during that! I tried a little iBlackboard with her but she was getting too tired to play. Not any less aware though as I told her she was cute after a large yawn and she raised her brow and I swear rolled her eyes at me like she would before all this happened if I complimented her and she wasn’t feeling it herself. Good to see.

While getting ready for bed Janet swabbed her mouth with the Nystatin and brushed her teeth with her new toothbrush. She managed to do the bottom molars on both sides this time so I think the new brush was worth the ninety nine cents. A pretty solid day leading into what could be a very interesting week. Praying for complete healing, restoration of the ability to communicate, wisdom in my decision making, strength and intelligence for me in this week’s meetings and wisdom and understanding for the medical team.

Clarity

Janet popped her eyes open after I gave her a kiss on the forehead this morning. She seemed well rested from the night but clearly needed some time to fully wake up. Her nurses came in to clean her up and get her dressed and by the time they were done Janet was reasonably bright. We had a little chat then started stretching. I’m pretty happy with how that went and see more and more how her flexibility is related to her relative state of calmness. If she is bothered by anything it’s much tougher to stretch her out. I let her do the Nystatin this morning and she continues to improve her technique. We chatted some more as I wanted her relaxed and ready for lying on her tummy. She had a real moment of clarity when I was telling her how well she was doing and how I want her to just get better and take her home. I was kneeling beside the bed with my face right up close to her and she reached out and started patting my shoulder then rubbing my hair for a long time. It felt like she was telling me she knows what’s happening and she wants to get better too.

I rolled her onto her tummy but couldn’t seem to get her comfortable enough to last more than fifteen minutes. Still good for her though. Next was sitting and standing and she gave a real strong effort at those and even reached out and touched her nose on command while sitting. A first for me.

Not sure if her workouts are harder on her or me, I was sweating after this morning’s session, mostly because my back was in the sun the whole time I guess. Janet had a little power nap afterwards and is about to start lunch so I’ll head out for mine and hope to get her outside before the sun is too low.

Thankful for the progress being made.

A Lull

Since I arrived for my afternoon shift early so I could go to church tonight Janet decided to sleep until almost three! Boring. That does help to explain the state she was in this morning, she must’ve been awake very early. Not a lot of energy even after she woke, hard to get a smile out of her but we went out for a walk anyways and that seemed to get her going and by the time we were back inside she was willing to drive her wheelchair down the big hallway and did so quite determinedly. Not much else to report as I left for church then stupidstore after getting her back into bed at 5:15.

Praying for a restful and healing night and an active day tomorrow.

Fresh

Houdieno had a big smile for me this morning when I walked into the room and had she ever been in action. One pillow on the floor, one strap off of her splint, one bed sheet completely off of her and kicked down to the foot of the bed and her blanket covering her hips and nothing else. She was lying on her right side trying to release the right upper bed rail but wasn’t able to pull up hard enough.

I managed to get her stretched out pretty well then gave her the chance to scrub her tongue with the Nystatin. She did really well, treating it more like a toothbrush and smiling too much while she did it but it was good. I would be interested to see how she did with swishing some of the liquid around in her mouth as she seems to know what it’s for now.

Knowing it was bath time around 10:30, I got her sitting up to do some exercises. She did really well leaning forward to touch her shins then getting herself back up, leaning back to almost forty five degrees and getting herself back up, leaning on her left arm way past forty five degrees and getting herself back up and leaning on her right arm to maybe twenty degrees and getting herself back up. We did a whole bunch of these moves and it was a good workout and she was clearly getting tired so I laid her down for a few minutes then the nurses came in to get her to the bath. Last time Janet sat in a shower chair that freaked her out and she was uncomfortable the whole time so this week we tried a bath chair that has nice padding on it and she did really really well. Came back all clean and smelling fresh and even gave a little smile as she came into the room. Ten minutes later she was sound asleep and I was off for my break.

Thanking Jesus for all we have been blessed with and looking forward to a fun afternoon.

Ain’t Misbehaven’

Janet was ready for action when I returned and after a little stretch I got her shoes on and sat her on the edge of the bed. As mentioned before, Janet takes a little while to loosen up and I noticed she was quite crooked when she sat up despite being very awake. One remedy I’ve found is by kneeling before her so I can stabilize her legs, putting one hand just above her chest and the other on the small of her back and pulling that hand toward me to straighten her back. That seems to help relax her everywhere else and she really perks up too. She got almost too perky as she put on a large mischievous smile the third or fourth time and attempted to pull my shirt right over my head. She thought it was hilarious and would not stop trying, each time with a large tooth filled grin. I didn’t let her go too far as that would be wrong. Wouldn’t it?

I finally got her into the wheelchair and off we drove to the beach. Interestingly she refused her eye glasses again today but happily put her sunglasses on as we went outside. I wonder if as she is becoming more aware she is realizing the deficiencies of her vision and that the glasses don’t help. Maybe they even make it worse? It was a little windy at the beach again, this time with some notable coolness to it. Things are changing dang it. We walked the sunniest route I could find stopping to let Janet touch flowers, grape vines and other plants. We saw two little dogs that came right up to Janet’s feet but they wouldn’t stop to let her pet them. She did notice them though and I think that’s a first. The farthest we got from KGH today was the corner of Water St. and Harvey. The traffic and noise did not seem to bother Janet at all and I thought it might be good to get a little jolt of the bustle of the city. Back in the Centennial lobby she battled me in not wanting to drive her wheelchair. I asked her if anything hurt and to show me where if so. She continued to hold onto her left pant leg so I massaged that leg a little and insisted she needs the exercise and it’s good practice for rehab. After the massage she agreed to drive and made it all the way down the hall with a really big push to get most of the way over this silly bump at the last doorway. I usually help her over that one but she did most of it herself today. She knew that was as far as she had to go and stopped immediately and shot me a look. I praised her and gave her a high five.

Back in the room she undid her seat belt as soon as I asked her and removed her hat as soon as I asked her and as I got ready to lift her into bed she would not let me until she had placed the seat belt well out of the way. No hesitation in laying down and she did so with a very relieved look on her face. She doesn’t seem uncomfortable in the wheelchair or in pain other than the leg moment. I wish she could tell me what’s bugging her.

We read a chapter of Anne after I started her dinner feed. We are real close to the end now and it was hard for me to stop at one chapter but it’s best for Janet to spread it out I think. We talked a little and I told her how Nash played in the hose while I was home this afternoon. That actually brought a smile to her face. First time for a stated fact like that I think. All other smiles have come from me greeting her or teasing her a little or a response to some laughter somewhere. Combine that with the self produced smile as she took my shirt off and I’d say Janet has reached a higher level of awareness. She was even aware enough to watch a sermon podcast on Goodness from Wayne on her iPad. You had her the whole time Wayne and she even smiled at the end when I told her all the ways she has demonstrated Goodness over the years.

I got her all set for bed and let her try to brush her teeth. She did fairly well but had a hard time turning the brush to hit all the different angles. She ended by pulling the brush out to study it then chomping on it and leaving it hanging from the left side of her mouth. She smiled as I laughed. She definitely gets the concept and I’m sure will get better at it with practice. She seemed a little anxious or bothered as I was about to leave and it’s difficult for me to deal with when she can’t tell me what the issue is. I told her I would be thinking of her tonight and how she tried to pull my shirt off. She smiled and that was a good cue to leave.

Praying for a restful and healing night, a restoration of the ability to talk and a fun day tomorrow.

Never Say Never

A slow start to the day as Janet slept till about nine and took a while to build energy after opening her eyes. She seemed well rested and calm though which is nice. We did a little stretching and I tried hunting down her nurses at the same time as I noticed Janet’s PJ top was gone and I could tell where a bunch of formula had been spilled overnight. The ward has been very busy the last couple days with lots of new admissions and thankfully others moving out. There are a few people in the hallway which makes me feel bad that Janet has her massive room all to herself. A case could be made for needing it though as I can really see the benefit of sleeping for her. I finally found Lesa and she told me Janet’s PJ top had been washed and was hanging in the bathroom. It was indeed. Lesa had no knowledge of how things got so messy. I let Janet try and scrub her tongue with the Nystatin swab and she did really well with it. Dr. Nodekopp gave permission to try a real toothbrush tonight. Yay!

The stretching went well with the left leg being as tight as ever. Tom stopped by to say he likely would not make it in to see Janet today as he had to work in the ER. We had a very interesting talk. He has requested an all department meeting regarding Janet and her outlook for rehab. He mentioned there are differing opinions out there as to her current state and potential for recovery. I agreed and told him I have a meeting with Dr. McCann Tuesday afternoon as I am concerned that not all information about Janet is getting to the right people. Tom said that Dr. McCann was apparently in to see Janet on the 18th and I gathered Tom didn’t agree with whatever Dr. McCann reported. I wasn’t aware of that visit and Tom may have it mixed up with last week’s visit. Bottom line is Tom is happy with Janet’s progress and is aiming for a trial in rehab as soon as possible. He is pleased with the way she handled the two sessions down there this week and feels she needs a more active approach to her recovery. He is not at all happy with the results from the Botox injections saying Janet should not be able to move her left leg at all and we should easily be able to manipulate it any way we want. We can’t and she can and does. Not that long ago I was thinking it was time to change from Tom. I may have been wrong. Should be an interesting coming week.

After Tom’s visit I rolled Janet over onto her tummy for half an hour. There is some soreness in her right shoulder that Tom says is normal for her condition and as long as we don’t force it into an extreme position Janet will be fine. Her legs stretched out really well and she was lifting and lowering her left lower leg on command repeatedly. After a short rest I had her sit herself up on the right side of the bed, she needed a little help, then we did some standing. She was very impressive with that today and I swear even asked me to do it again. She put her left hand on my shoulder and looked at me like “let’s go” and I could see her tense up ready to be lifted so up she went again and she stood probably the straightest yet.

Because the nurses were so busy I started Janet’s lunch feed just before noon then headed home for my lunch. Praying for some fun in the sun on this last official day of summer.

Contentment

Janet was awake and looking pretty calm and content when I got back this afternoon. After a little stretching we got ready to head for the sun. I sat Janet up and gave her time to loosen up a little more. She always seems to sit a little crooked at first. One nice hug later and it was into the wheelchair. I gave her her hat and she promptly put it on. I held out her eye glasses and asked her if she wanted to wear them. I’m pretty sure I saw a little head shake no and she made no motion for the glasses at all. When she does want them she’ll reach right out and take them so I put them away and off we went. The hallway was very busy when we left so I drove to the elevators and with some help Janet pushed the down button. On the main floor she did not want to drive at all so we headed straight for the beach. Again, Janet was very calmly enjoying the sun and the little kids playing on the beach. We left a little early though as the wind came up a bit and I couldn’t bare to watch as one mom was so distracted by her kid feeding a duck that she let her baby crawl right into the first few inches of the lake. She kept looking over to him from about fifty feet away but not doing anything and I was tempted to go get the kid but figured she knows what she’s doing so rather than watch in helpless horror I released Janet’s brakes and off we went. I’m sure Janet was cringing inside as she is the queen of “don’t go out too far”. I never used to be like that. What’s happening to me? Too much Anne of Green Gables?

We walked the route I tried yesterday and Janet stayed awake the whole time today. We went as far as the South Pandosy shopping area and I took Janet past our take out sushi place and the store we used to rent movies from. She did not seem to care about either place probably because they were in the shade. By the end of the trip she was getting a little restless in the wheelchair so I didn’t force any driving on her. She needed help with the up button and was very happy to be covered up in bed. We read a chapter of Anne and practiced on the iBlackboard and some of the preschool apps with nothing really exciting to report yet. In getting ready for bed she assisted me in scrubbing her tongue with the Nystatin and I let her brush her teeth but it’s a little awkward with the suction hose attached so I’m going to ask the Dr. if we can use a regular toothbrush from now on. I think she can handle it. Janet knows how challenged I am when it comes to taking off and putting on her shirts and PJ tops etc. and tonight she had a smirk on her face as I was clearly having trouble getting her PJ top lined up so I could button it. She found the first button and held it for me till I had the other side ready. All with a smirk. I know she was laughing at me and I told her so then the smirk turned into a smile. We said our goodnight prayer and I got my goodnight kiss and although she was eyes open I think she was close to sleeping and seemed very content as I reminded her what a good day she had.

Praying for a restful night of healing and a positive and fun day of learning tomorrow.