Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Christy had a phenomenal day today!!! So many incredible things have been happening for Chris and it's all because of your prayers and love and God's blessings. Christy is a tough tough Portagee with a huge desire to get better right now! Christy's will is amazing.
The Occupational therapist put her in the standing chair today for ten minutes! That alone is a huge accomplishment for Christy! Yay! After standing, the Occupational therapist asked Don if he would like to put Christy in a wheelchair & take her around the unit!
So they put her in the wheelchair and Donald took her exploring all around the 9th floor. The wheelchair is a bit of a challenging form of transportation due to the placement of the foot and leg rests (picture right). They are attached to the chair in a wider stance than Christy's legs likes to rest. Christy prefers to keep her legs and feet closer together. This causes her feet and legs to slip off the foot/leg rest and could be a potentially dangerous safety issue. She was not injured, as her husband is a extreme -wheelchair pusher guy! And I'm sure she enjoyed exploring her area and seeing everyone and everything outside of her room! It was her first field trip (not counting sitting outside)!!
After her wheelchair excursion, Christy had a date with the Cardiac Chair. She got in the chair and Kimo, Sherie & Kai were visiting. Christy started to have one of those mad fits that she's been having, and Don has definitely linked it to her being uncomfortable and wanting to go to the bathroom. I think what makes it worse, is that Christy is becoming more aware, and she doesn't want to go in a diaper or in the bed or chair. Donald really had the feeling that she wanted to get to the actual toilet inside her bathroom. So, Donald carried her over to the bathroom, and less than two minutes later, she had success! After Christy was done, the nurse and Donald were discussing standing Chris up so that the nurse could clean her before going back to bed. The plan was for Donald to lift her up and for the nurse to clean Christy's bum. Christy was obviously listening & following their entire conversation because when they counted for Donald to lift her.... 1 2 3, Christy stood on her own!!!!! She stood a little more than 3/4 of the way up, but she had her gown holding her back. Her gown, to get it out of the way of things, was tied to the handicap stainless steel hand bar next to the toilet. Maybe if she hadn't been prevented from full extension of her legs, she would have stood up all the way--independently!!! Wowzers!!! So Christy is now back sitting on the throne again, and they try to do the same thing again, and Christy stands AGAIN!!! She is so amazing. This is way more than we expected her to be doing right now!!!
So Christy has been doing a lot of therapy, using her muscles. Another super duper cool thing is that they closed her trach for about four hours. They closed up the hole and allowed her to breathe through her mouth and nose!
We weren't sure if they were going to do this so soon, but we're so thankful. Christy did fine. Donald was even witnessing her trying to talk. He noticed that Christy was making a "huahhhhh" sound and opening her mouth. She was probably trying out the vocal cords after over a month of not talking.... that must be interesting and maybe scary? for her. It is so wonderful that she is can make attempts to hear her voice or say something. Reversing the trach is a weaning process at first, so we'll just take it slow, day by day, and try a little more as Christy tolerates the treatment!!!! The respiratory therapist [the person that used to come to change the ventilator (respirator) settings and suction inside the lungs] came into Christy's room. Christy was coughing a bit and they allowed her to try the speaking valve instead of keeping it capped. With the speaking valve in, (see illustration to the left) it works as a one way valve. One way valve means that Christy could take breaths in, and when she exhaled, the air could go through the vocal cords & make sound out of her mouth. Christy is so so blessed that all your prayers and friends, and co-worker's prayers, prayer groups, and family's prayers are healing her daily. It is such a strong, powerful thing, it can will anything to happen.
Dr. Maher, the brain doctor came to visit today. He stayed for 15-20 minutes, talked, joked and answered questions. He feels strongly that Christy needs to go to Craig. A ?nurse? from the Rehab of the Pacific came to assess Christy more today. That nurse didn't feel that Christy was at the right stage for her to go Rehab of the Pacific. That's just fine, because we're going to Craig. Dr. Maher tried to explain what Craig could offer to Christy. He wanted us to know that Craig is the place to be for people with head injury. Dr. Maher was comparing the rehab facilities to restaurants. He said Rehab of the Pacific is like going to Zippy's. He then said that going to Craig, is like going to John Dominis. Although J.D. isn't my favorite restaurant, you get the idea! Chrsity has to go to Craig. Dr. Maher was also explaining that Christy is going to remember long long term things first then work her way up to the most recent events. Christy's short term memory may forever be impaired-- we can't tell at this point. Short term memory loss includes things like not remembering what you had for breakfast, or even where you were eating breakfast.
Dr. Maher's visit ended because Christy started to do her mad Dodo fit again. Dr. Maher
witnessed Donald asking Christy if she had to go to the bathroom again & she smiled for "yes". Dr. Maher turned to Donald and gave him the big "Ok" sign with a smile! That translated to "Christy is doing excellent and we're very happy". Dr. Maher tried to explain that Christy's personal pride and will to hold herself to a higher standard (she wants to poop in the toilet, not in a diaper in bed) meant she would set goals for herself and push herself to get there. He was very pleased that she wanted to get out of bed and was able to communicate that she wants to use the bathroom like regular people do! He said it was her sense of inner pride and dignity that she maintained, and that's what would bring her back to be herself once again! Dr. Maher seemed confident in Christy's recovery, and that is very comforting.
So Christy wanted to go back to the toilet, so Donald carried her there. This time Mom Gail was there to help instead of the nurse. Donald stayed with Christy, with her chin resting on his shoulders, and her arms around him in a resting hug. She was hugging Don and rubbing his back. He kept asking her if she wanted to go back to bed, and she kept saying "no". He thought it was a long time without success, but Christy insisted on staying on the throne. About 20 minutes went by and Christy finally had some good success. Christy made the mad fit face and fidget and dropped some kids off at the pool! Every time she has a successful trip to the bathroom, she felt so much better. When she got back to bed, she was able to rest and sleep comfortably for a while. She had a pretty good rest last night, and a decent nap today. She was still awake off and on, and smiling and very responsive to Keli'i tonight. Keli'i is sleeping with her tonight.
Today marks the exact TEN year Anniversary of the day Christy and Donald met. One of the very sweetest things Donald told me about today's events was their first kiss. Today, Donald was telling Chrsity "Happy Anniversary", and reminding her that it was the anniversary of the day they first met each other. Donald then went to kiss Christy on the lips and Christy puckered up her lips and MUAH! kissed Donald!!! How amazing is that! And Christy kissed him again a second time too! That was the best anniversary gift ever!
I love all the progress-- its so super exciting!!! THANK you for all of the continued love you give, positive energy and prayer that heals Christy day by day!