Monday, January 19, 2009

No Breaks on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Today my mom forged on like any other day. They do not stop for anything at Elks. She had everything scheduled in. My dad needed to take care of some things at home so I headed in to Boise this morning with Heidi and spent a good portion of the day with her. Jeff had the day off which was nice, so he spent it with my dad this morning and Gunnar.

Elks was entirely different this morning. The parking lot was packed and there were people everywhere. Not the quiet weekend that we had started getting accustomed to. It was great and it signaled to me that great things were happening. My mom had occupational therapy before I got there. She met with the Speech Therapist, Camber for the first time. She was getting a feel for mom and most likely assessing what she knew and didn't know. We also met with Heidi the social services person. She works with the doctors and therapists to evaluate mom's progress for the insurance company. She was really nice and also told us that she was the go to person if we had a problem with anything. She told us that the team meets every Tuesday in the morning to discuss her condition and then she reports to us what was discussed. We also met with the dieticians because supposedly my mom said that she wanted to when she was admitted. Not sure about that one but it didn't hurt and they were nice. We met with Christine the recreational therapist. She was really nice and wanted to talk to mom about her goals and hobbies. She is hoping to work with mom and getting back into some of those. She seemed like a really fun person to work with. Both Camber and Heidi commented on mom's shoes and how much they liked them. We laugh about that. Just some funny side note things. Mom's physical therapist is Kristi and she spells it just like me and then Heidi the social services lady. Mindy lives between a Heidi and Kristi, way too funny.

Today was a lot of rest as well which my mom so desperately needed. She has been waking up before 7am everyday and working out (physically and mentally) throughout the day. She needed her rest. In the afternoon after my dad showed up, she had her last therapy of the day. It was speech therapy. I am always fascinated with her speech therapy. It really shows to me what my mom knows or is comprehending and what she is not. She can right her first name quite well for righting with her opposite hand. In the middle of her last name, if she messes up one letter it just throws her off for the rest of her name. That will improve over time. She can understand one directive phrases quite well such as 'point to the window' or 'scratch your arm'. When she was asked two things to do, such as 'use the pen to point to the notepad' she could not do it. She did not understand. Camber stated that these things were more complex and harder to comprehend. We were given the assignment to work on her automatics with her during some free time such as slowly counting to ten over and over again with her saying it with you at the same time. By doing this, it causes her to get into a rhythm and start getting some of the correct sounds out. Same thing with saying the days of the week and eventually the months of the year. A lot of this is just practice makes perfect. There is no other way around it. I am sure that a lot of her frustration stems around the fact that she is a good public speaker. She loves to do it and now she can't. Something funny did happen earlier. I asked her if she wanted her shoes on or off. I told her to tell me what one she wanted and waited for the response. I then pronounced on and off again. She very clearly said off. I was so proud of her because the f sound is hard for her to do. I then told her 'perfect' for what she did. She repeated after me and perfectly said 'perfect'. I was really proud of her. Camber told me that she was demonstrating great modeling. Some of the problem is that my mom's mind is trying to think so fast or ahead of what she is trying to say. When she slows down her thinking and really formulated in her mind what she wants to say, she can do it some of the time. Given time and practice, I believe that she will gain a great deal of her speech back. If not all of it.

Because my mom has been fairly immobile the last 3 days, all of us have had to do a lot of stretches to keep her right side from hurting. The PT in Sacramento told me that the blood will pool down at the lowest points of your body when not being moved. You and I would just move around when we are sleeping or shift our bodies in a chair. She can't do that, so the exercises really help this. Some do hurt her at first but then she pushes through knowing that she will feel much better afterwards. She is a real trooper. We are all so thankful that she is close to home. Only 30 minutes from our own beds. Now that is fantastic!

5 clever remarks:


I am so glad you are home and safe! That is a crack up over the names of the people who work there- Heidi and Kristi, - Are your arms getting toned from doing the exercizes? I would think so!

Brittney Josoff said...

Good to hear that the transition seems to be going smoothly. I love the people at Elks. I have never met anyone I didn't like or doesn't do a fantstic job. They hire fabulous people! Hope all continues to go well!

Megan and Greg said...

Wow, your Mom is so strong. And so are the rest of you!!! She has SO MUCH love and support! I'm glad she is having so much progress. What a comfort that is. Those pictures of her and your son are sooooo cute. Thanks for keeping up so much with this. You're all in our thoughts and prayers.

Megan and Greg said...

Oh yeah- I thinki that is SWEET yoiu sell things online! So cool!!! I tried to get Amy to sell stuff on Etsy but she didn't do it. Good for you, I think that's awesome!

The Woods said...

I'm glad that you made it there safely that she's closer to all of you now. Sounds like she is doing well. Hopefully, everthing continues to go well.