Friday, September 21, 2012

Dad update

I went to see Dad on Tuesday this week... or was it Monday? Who knows, all I know is that one day in the last seven, I went to see Dad when Mom had gone that morning to "witness" his rehab and learn what we can do to help.  How we position, etc.  So, mom had been there all morning and I went in the afternoon to sit, chat and catch up.  I had kid stuff in the afternoon, so I was a bit later than dinner, so I missed most of that, he was finished with the turkey from his turkey salad - and all the goodies that were in the salad were gone along with the fruit and juices and the nurses commented he would be considered 100% with all that he did eat.  Yay Dad!!

That being said, we chatted about this and that and I got to meet Dr. Speigle, and I say "meet" very loosely as he breezed in with a "hi" and went to talk with Dad.  He asked him to move his foot, to which the answer was "I can't"... he encouraged Dad to TRY to move his foot and noted that Dad has "tone" in his leg when he's instructing it to move, however, just not enough strength in it to lift it off the sheets... so there you go - connections are coming back, slowly, but coming back.

Fast forward to today, I went a bit early as I had Angela out for her Dr's appointment - go down until you see the update on her height!   She's going to outgrow her sister for sure because she has a few more years of growing to go yet!!  Go Angela Go!!

Anyway, I got done with Angela later than I thought due to an 11am visit with the Dr and I'm thinking he was the only one in the clinic still... but we were seen before noon, but then had to sit in the waiting area at the pharmacy to pick up some meds before heading out.  Nothing serious, just "maintenance stuff"  Anyway, we then went to lunch - sorry, you get drug out to the Dr's you get a good lunch to boot.  So we went to Dai Itchi's for lunch - yum, I hadn't been there in a long while!
Back home, looked at the clock and through "I have a few minutes to lay down"  (35 to be exact), but the phone rang, it was Mom asking some questions and asking if I was coming out today.  Well of course, M/W/F are my days...along with Saturday afternoons.  Anyway - I decided to head on up so I could catch some of the rehab and see what Dad was up to.

Well, he has a good amount of "tone" in his left leg.  You can see his knee flexing, so I'm sure in time, he'll have full use again, it's just a matter of making him use it, walk, walk, walk... He still favors his left arm and forgets to bring it forward when walking on the bar... but I'm sure that will come too as the whole left side is improved 100% from the original stroke.  He'll still need an AFO (Ankle Foot Orthotic - brace for his ankle)... you know I knew what it was from all the preemie boards, but NEVER looked up why it was called and AFO until now...some 14 years later.  How funny is that?  Anyway, he'll be fit with his own to keep control of his ankle. 

In addition to that and a few other "aids" he'll get, He and mom have made the decision after talking with the physical therapist to keep him in a few more days.  He was to go home next Tuesday the 24th - instead, he'll come home on the 28th or the 29th.  Because when he goes home his therapy will drop from 5+ days a week to 3x a week, they feel that these extra days will really give him a big boost in his recovery.  Who are we to argue?  Well, we could... and we could come up with exercises to work when he gets home to push him and get him working the muscles he needs to work.  I'm still surprised that when you ask the PT folks what practical daily things can we encourage him to DO that would exercises these same areas not one can look you in the eye and say " putting things on the left side of his chair on the floor to encourage reaching down there"  When it was obvious from his movements that would move the same sets of muscles.  Sigh.  They don't think in practicalities... they think in terms of their gym and what they have there to work him on - not what is around a house.  Weirdness.

So, folks if you want a future business, there it is... teach people practical ways to exercises after injury in their own home that will help them with recovery better.  such as, when rolling over on the bed, roll over from one side to the other so you can do sit ups to both sides of your body - sleep on xx side of the bed to encourage sitting up and pulling with the non-dominant muscle to help build it.  Drink with only your left hand for a 1/2 day to encourage hand/eye coordination.  Go to the grocery store and be the "high shelf" reach-er to encourage over head movements.  Practice doing this with left hand going cross body, grabbing a can at shoulder height and placing it nicely in the cart.  Silly things that would be the same as sliding a silly ring from one side of an arch to the other... come on folks, these people are going back to the real world, give'm something to work with!  And how about a partial car IN the rehab building that would allow a person to PRACTICE getting into a car with lots of helping hands...where it padded for the "ah crap" moment when you THINK you have your head low enough...   Maybe I'm just dreaming... and I'm sure in more affluent neighborhoods/cities, there are such things.  Just not in this town.  Sigh.

OK, I'm off my soap box. 

Suffice to say that Dad is making major improvements daily.  I see in in how he's got more confidence to stand up and readjust his seat in the wheel chair, I see it in just sitting period - he doesn't slouch nearly as bad. That's not to say he doesn't still "lean" to once side or the other.. but it's really not as BAD as it was in the beginning.

Next up - Carpet and waking in a walker on carpet.
Oh, and he's on a full walker too - so he's got enough stregth in his left hand te encourage them to use the full walker rather than the hemi walker - that says a lot too.

1 comment:

gomikie said...

Donna. Good update. I share your frustrations about continuing rehap at home. Felt the same thing when Karen was doing rehab with her back a while back. Many of the things oriented to the machines could have been translated to home methods but no joy. And the brochures are the samo-samo, one size fits all. Some of the suggestions you mention are right on and I think you are approaching the issues head on. Keep thinking that way and something similar will hopefully come to mind. You mentioned cribbage the other day. Solitare would be another opportunity to focus the control of individual cards. One of Karen's exercises was standing close to a wall and reaching up with either hand/arm repeatedly ... booorrring. One thing comes to mind. Standing in front of the kitchen cabinet ( or sitting in a chair next to it) Martin could take down cups ( light plastic at first) and stack them in order on the counter. Then put them back. As control and strength increase switch to canned goods .... campbell soup size, then regular size, and then spagettii sauce size. Multiple times a day but not so repetitive at one time. Vary it by taking them from one shelf and moving to another, thus forcing a walk, even if just a couple of steps and eventually more. My dad had a lapboard to play solitare and that would be ok at first but maybe eventually Martin would have to get up and walk to the dining table to play solitare. I know he is as frustrated as you are so I'm sure he will be ameniable to doing more for himself. Another thought is shelling pecans for both strength and fine movements... just don't let him eat any! Not knowing what his PT actually entails, these are just some thoughts. Mike