Sunday, January 25, 2009

"Don, turn on the #@!& Lights!"

This last Thursday, Gunnar, Heidi, my dad and I rode into Boise together. Heidi left her car at Elks the night before so she had her car to get to work. The three of us girls were going to join in on my mom's speech therapy that morning with Camber. She went through my mom's exercises and taught us what we can do to help along the way. She has compiled a notebook of things to work with my mom on. She has homework that she has to do every night. All of this is only to make her stronger and better. Her speech is slowly improving day by day which is exciting. It is fun to hear what comes out. For example, the night before my dad was with her. She had just woken up from a nap and was going to get ready for dinner. He could not figure out what she wanted. Playing 20 questions didn't work so he decided to move onto something else. All of a sudden my mom yelled out, "Don, turn on the damn lights!" Okay...so that is what she wanted but couldn't say earlier. They just looked at each other laughing. It still has all of us laughing. When actual words come out, sometimes she doesn't even know that it happened or she does but it took her by suprise too.

Heidi then left for work and Mindy stuck around for Occupational Therapy until she too had to go to work. During OT, the therapist used the Bioness system on her arm (they used it on her leg the day before). This brace thingy is quite cool. It emits electrical stimulation to help in getting my mom's hand to work again. The therapist was just trying to get it set to the right levels but she wasn't really getting results that she wanted so she needed to try another time. It is supposed to cause her hand to jerkily open and shut but we didn't see that. She did however show us a therapuetic massage for my mom's hand to help keep swelling down. That is something we can definately do.Thursday was so packed full of therapy. She was constantly doing something so it seemed. With her 30 minute breaks in between it never felt like enough. During those times she would still need to go the bathroom, take meds, etc so she never really got rest. She was such a trooper. You may ask where Gunnar was during all of this. My dad had some errands to run so Gunnar tagged along and loved it. He loves being with his grandpa and had a great day. He even went to the bathroom for him 3 times on a big person toilet (not in his pullup). That was exciting. In a later post I will have to show you his insentive.

The Rec therapist met with my mom and had a huge suprise for her. She wouldn't tell her what it was until we got there. However she was trying to fit a sling on my mom's arm and gave up the suprise. She was going to ride an adult trike. Okay so we really didn't believe her and she really didn't go on and on about it so we just went with the flow. She pushed my mom into the hall right next to an adult trike and left to look for her assistant to help. I excitedly told my mom that I was pretty sure that this was the suprise. My mom still didn't believe it and indicated that there was no way she was going to do it. I assured her that it looked fun and that she would enjoy it. She still was not up for it. Christine showed up with Jaime (a guy) and told her that this was it. It was actually quite easy to get my mom up there and they had her safety in mind. They were prepared. Christine had her right side and Jaime had her rear. Christine was hoping that she would go half of a lap but oh no my mom went two FULL laps around the floor. She was going quite fast and loved it. It was the greatest thing ever. The 4 of us were racing around the place just laughing and all of the nurses or patients just watched us having a great time. It was so incredibly fun. Some background information about my mom...she knows how to ride a bike but doesn't even own one and never really got into it. Hence the reason she doesn't own one. She enjoyed this so much and wants to do it again. I was so proud of her.
After the super fun bike ride, they played catch for a few minutes. Wouldn't you just love to have her job. You get to play all day long.My mom had physical therapy in the afternoon. The therapist's name is Kristi as well and spells it exactly like me. So cool! Anyway, they have been working on walking, balance, hip positioning...all of the many things it takes you and I to walk the way that we do. My mom has been doing sooo well. She still can not fully move or feel her leg but she is getting a little back in her hips. She is also getting better at putting weight on that leg. During one of the little breaks my mom was trying to tell us something. She was also making out the words pretty well. What she said was, "People here are fun" and then a little bit after that she said "I am having fun". It just made my day to know that she was having a great day.

I left shortly after this to pick up Gunnar from Heidi's work and head home for the night. I had a great Thursday and so did my mom.

We are headed to Elks in a little bit and I have not seen her since Thursday but from what I have been told, she is starting to talk a lot better. Friday during Rec therapy she got to sew a little bit. Heidi and Mindy did not believe her. They kept asking her if I brought her in something. They said the fabric was soooo old and it looked exactly like something that my mom has back at home. So much fun. We also learned within these last few days that my mom's visitor cutoff time is about 7pm. After this, she is so ready to have her me time. She has a show or two she likes to watch and then she is ready to sleep. She kicks everyone out of her and she is gone. The few family and very close friends visitors are about the right amount of people to visit. She is tired after every visit and it still is hard to communicate with her making it a little ackward at times if you are not familiar. I can't imagine many more visitors after such a long day of therapy.

I plan on spending pretty much all day Tuesday and Thursday with her. My great friend Shelly will be watching Gunnar this week. She is such an awesome friend and I love her so much. Next week, I will need to figure things out. So, I will continue to keep you posted as things happen.

7 clever remarks:

Sharon/mom said...

How cool!! I bet it felt so good to be mobile and helping to make herself mobile! It is amazing how much they work with her. I am so happy that she is doing so well and likes her new environment. Take care!

Betsy said...

Kristi, I am so glad she is doing so well. I am grateful to have someone so strong and brave as a friend.

Jeff and Sandy Gale said...

She's doing amazing, and having fun. What more could you ask for! I'm so happy for her, and all of you.

shellysanford said...

Kristi-
Your mom looks great!I am glad that she is doing well.

Brent and Noelle said...

Kristi...

Mom is looking so great! I can't believe she rode a stinkin' bike! That is AWESOME! She will be riding circles around you in no time! :-) Haha...well we love you guys a lot! Tell her that we love her and we'll be up to visit soon! Love you!

AMY AND MIKEY said...

That is so hilarious about her swearing! So i have a question: is she herself inside, as in her thoughts, but physically just can't do or say what she's thinking, because I was under the impression her understanding was like a child, but that sentence is so adult-like! Am i thinking that just because she swore, or is that she still thinks the same way as before?

AMY AND MIKEY said...

So I clicked on your "church" posts, that is hilarious about your shoes- that is so funny!!! I love it! But i really didn't notice, i looked at the picture and thought, "she's skinny" is that what I'm supposed to notice? it wasn't until I read teh post that i realized, that is so funny.