Eye See?

Janet seemed like she had been a little restless while I was gone. She had removed her left sock as well as a pillow case and was lying basically across the bed. She smiled when I walked in and tried telling me she “didn’t do anything” when I asked her how the morning went. She realized she was wrong after I told her what she had done while I was with her and Moira then she said, “want to sleep”, so I let her rest.

That lasted less than five minutes then she was trying to sit up. I asked her if I could stretch her and she said no, I asked why, she said “it hurts”. We had a long chat about how important stretching is for her and one of the reasons it may hurt now is because she keeps her legs bent so much. No matter how much I tell her this she still defaults to either a curled up on her side position or on her back with the left leg bent up as high as possible. Instead of stretching I let her try to get up off the bed without help. It’s quite a workout for her and she does get good movement at the hips and legs so what the heck. She made three attempts, each time using a slightly different technique and I stepped in to help her finish the last one. As soon as she was up she was trying to stand but didn’t have much energy left to do that.

We headed out for a wheelchair drive around the inside of KGH. Janet did well, driving for a long way and really paying attention to all the movement going on around her in the various parts of the hospital. She even gave Monica from 4B a big smile when we saw her in the hallway. It was interesting to watch her watch others as we rested in the lobby. I remember sitting outside in the summer on Pandosy St. and being impressed every time she followed someone who walked by. Now she not only follows their movement, she is really watching them and trying to figure out who they are and what they are doing. Much much brighter.

Back at rehab we sat out in the dining area for a bit then headed back to the room. I sat Janet at the little workstation and asked her to write her name on the whiteboard. She actually did a pretty decent job of it. I asked her to try a few other words but that didn’t go so well then I made the mistake of asking her to tell me the colors of the pens she was using. For the first time she reacted as if she was truly insulted. She gestured with her arm and turned her head away then started crying. Through the tears she managed to ask me “what’s happening to me?” I explained the whole story to her again as she said she did not know what had happened or why she was here. She calmed right down as I explained it all, again, which tells me she does know but can’t always process it. She did not seem upset afterwards and in fact smiled as I talked about all the people who have been helping her. I noticed as she tried to deposit Kleenex number three into the garbage can that she didn’t appear to know where the garbage was. I asked her if she could see it and she shook her head no and the tears started again. I helped her with the Kleenex then held my hand in various positions in front of her asking if she could see it. I tried with my water bottle as well and got similar responses. As expected there were some no’s on the right side but also some on the left. I really think she was too upset to properly do a “test” like that and I’m certainly no doctor so I don’t know what her vision issues are but I feel that now that she can “talk” she could have an eye exam and I’ll ask Dr. McCann tomorrow. I told her this and that if we know what’s wrong maybe it can be fixed and that no one has done anything about it yet because she couldn’t tell anyone what she can and can’t see. She seemed content with that explanation and then asked to lay down in bed.

I was a little concerned about putting her to bed as Brenda was coming to visit soon and I was afraid she would fall asleep as I could see she was pretty worn out. I talked to her about the vocal exercises Connie had given her and tried to get her to do some but no luck. She did stay awake for Brenda though and they had a nice visit with Brenda trying some of the vocals with her and then starting to read the Gabby Giffords story to her. I walked in while they were reading and was surprised to see Janet awake still and listening intently. She loves reading, especially at that time of day, a nice way to wind down.

Brenda left at six which left me time to get a sleepy Janet dressed for bed, a little stretch on her legs, which I could do because she was eyes closed and nice and relaxed, then a goodnight prayer and lights out. It always amazes me how Janet can have busy active days filled with all kinds of emotion then close her eyes at night with a smile on her face. Sweet.

Praying for a restful, healing night and a day full of progress tomorrow.

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