The last two nights Debbie has slept better than any other nights up to now. She needs the rest in order to maintain her very busy daily physical therapy schedule. It is also helpful in that those of us who spend the days and nights with her can get some much needed rest in order to be there to support her during this critical time in her recovery.
Her appetite has improved somewhat and that is encouraging. She needs the protein to complement her healing and therapy regiment. She is finally settling in to the Brooks scheduling policies and procedures after her first week there, but she is looking forward to going home, hopefully in a couple of weeks. We do not have a definitive timeframe for her release yet. After she is released from the hospital, she will begin a four day a week, all day physical therapy schedule at the Brooks outpatient therapy clinic. We are all very pleased with her progress.
Mama spent Thursday and Friday in full-day therapy sessions, and while the progress is slow, it is encouraging. They do lighter therapy on the weekends and then get back to it full force on Monday. She’s motivated to work hard in therapy, so that gives her a bit of an edge that will be good for her! The therapy is very strenuous and tiring, but her attitude has been good about that.
We’re still not sure how long she’s going to be at the rehabilitation center, but the therapists and doctors on her team are having a meeting on Tuesday to discuss a plan of action, so we may have a better idea at that time.
Due to the tiring nature of this intense therapy, they’d prefer Mama to rest when she’s not working, so they’d like to keep visitors to a minimum. Her room is also very short on counter space, and while Mama appreciates the flowers people have sent, we’ve run out of room already! She knows about this website and she knows people have been sending cards, so once her concentration improves a bit she wants to read all the lovely things people have been saying to her.
Today Mama spent the day getting settled into the rehabilitation center. She did have some light therapy this morning, but she mostly spent the day getting oriented to her new environment. The more intense therapy will begin in the morning, and she’ll do therapy for the full day everyday from this point forward.
Her appetite is starting to get a little better, and the anti-anxiety medication is helping her some. Mama is looking forward to doing whatever she needs to do to get better. Thank you so much to everyone for your continued prayers and comments. We’re going to start bringing the cards everyone has sent to her so that as she feels up to reading she’ll have some positive and encouraging things to read!
This afternoon Mama was transferred from Mayo Hospital to Brooks Rehabilitation. She will be doing in-patient rehabilitation for a while – typically patients with brain injuries remain in-patient for at least two weeks, depending on the individual. She still needs help with most everything (she can’t get out of bed without a nurse, she still needs help eating, etc.), so we’ve still got a ways to go, but she was thrilled to be leaving the hospital.
They removed the staples from her head yesterday and today she became IV-free, so it’s been a big day or so! However, she’s still very anxious, so we continue to pray for peace of mind and patience in her recovery.
Mama walked halfway down the hall and then walked back today, so she doubled her distance from yesterday. She’s glad to be in her new room, though she’s getting more anxious about being in the hospital. Mama’s frustrated by the effort it takes to do anything – get up, move around, eat . . . even just laying in the bed is a bit of an effort because she switches between hot and cold so often. The doctors have hinted that she may get to leave the hospital this week and move to Brooks Rehabilitation where she’ll likely be an in-patient for a while. She’s talking a LOT more and is having regular conversations with us now. She didn’t sleep much last night, so hopefully her anxiety will go down some so that she’ll be able to get some sleep!
Mama’s appetite has gotten a lot better today – she had about half of her pancakes and banana at breakfast, most of her turkey sandwich at lunch, and all of her Cheerios and half a piece of pie for supper! She’s also starting to feed herself some – if we cut up the food, she’s pretty good at getting it to her mouth. Mama walked halfway down the hallway again, and I think she could have walked back to her room if she hadn’t gotten dizzy from turning around.
She’s still quite restless, and she’s so sick of being in the hospital. She’s really ready to go home, and she was THRILLED when they released her from the SICU and moved her to a new, regular hospital room this evening. Now the nurses will check her vitals every 4 hours instead of every hour, so hopefully she’ll get more sleep than she’s been getting. They’re also removing some of the monitors from her, and since she hates all the beeping noises, she should be more comfortable now.
Sorry for the late update – yesterday I was at work all day and then I flew back to Jacksonville last night, so now is the first chance I’m having to update.
Yesterday they removed the feeding tube and she started eating some real food (though when we ask her how her food was, the answer is often “yuck”). Today they did a minor surgical procedure to remove the filter near her heart (to break up blood clots) that they had put in previously, and once she was finished with that she wanted a Coke so bad! She’s been doing very well with food so far.
Before she went into the surgery, she had a visit from both the physical therapist and the speech therapist. With the help of a walker and two physical therapist, she was actually able to walk halfway down the long hallway outside of her room, and her steps are getting more confident. After that, the speech therapist showed her some cards and asked her to read them, which she did very well. They asked her some questions and math problems, and she answered most of them correctly. Then they asked her to write some things, including her own name. While the handwriting is no where near her regular handwriting, she was able to write all the letters for both her first and last name just fine!
She’s resting a bit now, but she hasn’t really slept any during the day today, and she’s talking a lot more. She’s saying some sentences, but mostly she’s still just saying words and phrases. She’s starting to show more interest and wanting things, so that’s great!
Mama had a restless night last night. As her body becomes more aware, she is now realizing that she can’t find a good position in her bed, the leg massagers that help prevent blood clots are uncomfortable, etc. We’re so happy that her body is waking up all over, but we hate for her to be so agitated, and I know that she is feeling frustrated.
She’s really enjoying ice chips and yogurt right now. When I spoke with Daddy earlier he said that she was sitting in a chair, and they were going to be trying to get her to walk a bit more today. Her room is the last one on the hallway, and there’s a large window at the end of the hallway, so the goal today was to help her walk out of her room and down to the window.
As she’s starting to become more alert, she’s also a lot more aware of where she is and what is going on. Today she told both Bo and Daddy that she’s scared, so our newest challenge is trying to reassure her that she’s getting better and making great progress, so she doesn’t need to be afraid. Please pray not only for her continued progress but also for her to find some confidence in her abilities and some peace about her recovery. She’s doing so well and the doctors have been pleased every day.
It was a productive and busy morning. Early morning Debbie was moved to a chair in order for her to sit up more and to offer a change from the bed. She liked that. She was tested for her ability to swallow and can now be given ice chips and we can begin introducing light foods. The feeding tube will remain in place for at least a couple more days. Occupational therapy worked with her for muscle tone and exercise. We will continue with the exercises throughout the days. Physical therapy came later in the morning, and with their assistance she took about seven small steps. They were very pleased with her progress. Debbie’s voice has improved slightly but still can only put together a few words at a time.
Your prayers are being answered and are much appreciated by Debbie and our family. She is aware of your thoughts and prayers.
Mama was quiet for the majority of the day, with lots of resting and sleep. The neurosurgeon reviewed the cat scan results with Bo and Daddy, and it shows signs of improvement. The doctors are still encouraged by her progress. Today her voice has been slowly getting stronger. She’s still just saying words and short phrases, but she’s getting a little better about speaking louder.