Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Finally Dessert

My dad and I arrived at 9:30am yesterday. Okay so that is not super early but it takes 1/2 hour just to get here and we are beat. My mom was happy with that. She was in speech therapy with Jennifer. They were practicing movements with her mouth. We were given an assignment of motions to practice with her. She is supposed to copy what we do and we can not move on until she accomplishes it. We are supposed to open our mouth wide, make kissy lips, and stick out our tongue with kissy type lips. This gives her mouth practice in the ways that the mouth moved to make words. Quite entertaining and mom and I both end in laughter most of the time. Mom was also supposed to finish this sentence in therapy, "Don't cry over spilled ______". Instead she said the sentence so well and couldn't really say milk. It was amazing.
We were trying to stick our tongues out but this tends to me more challenging for mom to do.
I won't really go into anymore bathroom stories except I didn't realize that I would ever get so excited over urine counts and bowel movements but we are. She has improved tremendously and dad and I have the system down pat. Dad even came in twice since I have been in the dining hall tonight to tell me that he helped my mom with the bathroom twice all by himself. I tell ya, that is how excited we are. That was all that he wanted me to know.
Eric, the physical therapists, told me that before speech therapy they were working on standing and she did pretty well. Now remember this is standing with help and someone there. My was then back to speech therapy with Jennifer where they worked at identifying common objects again. Mom did pretty well with the many exercises surrounding the objects until they got near the end of their time. Mom was struggling with what a cup was and its use. Weird because she was just fine with it moments before. Before lunch mom worked with the other PT, Todd, on balancing while reaching. They really work at getting her to reach forward and to the left. She feels very uncomfortable with that since her stroke is on the right side. She has to reach and then get back to center. Since her stroke was on the right, when she goes back to center, she doesn't really know where that it. She just keeps going. She has been doing so well and is becoming more aware of center now. For lunch, mom is always in the smaller group room where the speech therapist works with her on learning how to eat on her left side and being aware of things around her mouth on the right. She has gotten so much better. Today we were told that she will no longer has ground meats but will now have diced which will be bigger chunks. Yeah!
After her afternoon nap, she was able to talk to Gunnar. That kid can talk and it seems like he has gotten better since I have been gone. He cracks all of us up. My mom loves talking to him. During the conversation, she gave me this look like "What is he talking about?". I usually don't know myself. This afternoon I also noticed a difference in her smile on the right side. It is starting to appear more natural when she laughs. And doesn't appear to be so droopy. That makes me really happy. For dinner she got dessert! She never really gets dessert. Sitting on her tray was a big ol' piece of cheesecake. We were all so excited. I was also moving the table out of the way after dinner and she has to move her feet over the bottom part. I swear, she actually lifted her right foot for me by herself. She had no idea that she did it and I am pretty sure that she did it. We were all really excited about that too.
Our plan right now is that we will be heading home Friday. We are all so excited. It is a little sad since you start to gain relationships with the nursing staff and therapists but excited to be close to home. Friday will also mark the end of the Sacramento chapter of mom's stroke. Kind of sad because it marks so many memories for me. The time that I have been able to dedicate my time completely to my mom and dad and the time that I was able to spend with pretty much all of my family that long Christmas week. Several of you have asked where to send cards/packages. The best place would be my parent's house or my house. Email me for addresses. It is pointless to send them here. We would hate for them to be heading this direction to only be heading the opposite ourselves. Another challenge that we will face is figuring out visitors at Elks. We are first going to have to ask about the policy and then go from there. That will be discussed in depth closer to Friday because there are so many things to mention. Visiting with a stroke survivor is a lot different than visiting with the majority of patients. It can get very frustrating for both people. There will be more on that later.

1 clever remarks:

Adria Lewis (6th Ward) said...

I'm sorry I keep tossing my two cents in, but I thought it might be helpful...
There are no specific visiting hours at the Elk's, but the best times to visit are in the evenings from about 6-8 pm. The patients are in therapy on and off throughout the day and are done after 6 pm (generally). They usually do not have therapy on Sundays and a lighter schedules on Saturdays.