Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Monday, March 9, 2009- 6th day at Craig

I made it home safely, and am blogging from my own computer at home!  I'm sad to leave Christy but know that she is in good hands with Don & Alan at Craig.  I am comforted by the knowledge that the staff at Craig seems to be dedicated to giving quality care & rehab therapy. Craig will take good care of our Christy.  I loved the demeanor and compassion of Christy's tech this morning. She was gentle and caring, making sure Christy was comfortable and her privacy was preserved.

Before I left for the airport this morning Christy was visited by Occupational therapy.  Today's task was dressing herself and getting into her wheelchair.  Christy was able to help pull up her pants and lift her bottom to bring them up on her hips.  Christy's left arm was key in getting dressed because it has more range of motion and is more coordinated than the right arm & hand.   Once Christy was transferred to her chair she told the therapists "You guys have cool ways of doing things".  She's so right.  They really have the technique down.  It makes it so much easier to transfer when you know how to position yourself, where to move Chris, and using tools like the slide board.   OT gives direction but allows Christy to do as much as she can on her own.  The 
therapist handed Christy her shoes, and Christy was able to get her foot over the opposite knee with some help and a little discomfort.  Christy was able to help put on her shoes- we were impressed!  The therapist are always observing and evaluating.  At the end of the transfer & getting dressed, the therapist had a helpful hint. They told us that Christy does best with "automatic" actions.  This meant that instead of giving detailed instructions, it was better to just give her the shoe, for example, and let the auto-pilot help continue the action.  The therapist are always gathering information and evaluating things.  They said that Don would get more and more involved, but we are still the early stages.  They will teach Don how to be involved more but use techniques to help Christy become increasingly independent.

Christy also had her MRI today.  She had to skip breakfast this morning because of her test.  They were planning to sedate Chris a little so she could hold very still and rest during the MRI.  If she had a full breakfast, she would be laying down in the machine flat with a full stomach and be at risk for aspiration (food coming up and going down to the lungs).  All of the results will be presented at the family meeting.

Christy had a hearing test today, and passed with flying colors.  There hasn't been any issues with Christy's hearing-- it's perfect! Don was even
 saying he was listening to voice mail across the room and Christy could tell who it was that left a message!  
The speech therapist asked her all kinds of questions to test comprehension & memory (probably other stuff, too).  Questions were asked like where does she live, what's her middle name, etc.  Then they asked her some silly questions like.. "which is bigger, a dog or a horse."  Christy did very well answering them almost perfectly!

At lunch Christy decided that she was going to drink from the cup without any help.  She said that her depth perception was better.  She grabbed the drink right away with no problem!  She found it more difficult to get the straw to her mouth.  A little more every day with every little thing!  There is constant progress because of her will to do it.

When Physical therapy came to see Christy they wanted her to practice rolling side to side independently.  Some rolls were easier than others, but I'm sure Christy will get it down in no time.

Christy's eyes are still adjusting to the dryness of Denver.  She has eye drops, but tonight they should be trying lacri-lube in addition.  They think that Christy may be sleeping with her eyes
 slightly open at night.  Apparently, it's common.  The lacri-lube is thicker and will protect her eyes from drying out.   

Not sure if Don is moving into sleep at the apartment tonight or tomorrow, but the staff are continually encouraging him to get a good nights rest in the apartment. Now that I'm not sleeping there, they had him agree that by Tuesday he would go get a good nights rest in a bed.  They wanted to give us enough time to trust in them that they would take good care of Christy over night.  It's helpful that Christy seems to be getting into a more normal sleep pattern.  The Motrin seems to be keeping her spasms 
comfortable, too. This is a picture of the outside of the family apartment housing (right).  It is adjacent to the EAST wing of Craig Hospital. The cleaning person just cleaned yesterday (they come once a week), so its ready for Don anytime.  There has been no problem with Don sleeping on the pull out Chair (left) this week because luckily Christy has no roommate.  We've had the entire room to ourselves.  Christy knows that there is a potential for a roommate to move in.  She was saying "I don't want to sleep with a stranger."  We'll pray for a good roommate if she gets one!
I hope Christy and Don both get a restful sleep with sweet dreams!  It will rev them up for another day of rehab!


  1. one day at a time Christy - each day makes you stronger,each day gives you another power boost to learn what you have and what you have to work harder at. I remember when my mom had her stroke and could not feed herself - as simple as it sounds, I would make her lift the spoon from her dish to her mouth-that was hard for her at the time, but with coaxing and ecouragement that she was drawing strength in that arm - she finally realized that - altho' she said she was glad I didn't visit her ALL day everyday because I made her work too hard! Christy, you are truly amazing - I know that word has been used allot but there's no other word to express what you are. So keep it up, work hard and you'll be back home in no time. We are always so anxious to read Gabby's blog to see how much you accomplish each day.

    Take care
    The Pilayo's

  2. I am so happy that Don is able to get the time off work to stay with Christy!  I was wondering how long he is going to stay up there?  I am willing as are many of HAL employee's to give up FTPs (buddy pass')_ so don't hesitate to ask!AlohaJill

  3. Don't worry about not being able to get the drinking thing down. I tried to give Jillian a sippy cup and she can't manage it, yet.

    So, maybe if you get a roomate it will be a hot guy that is single. Nah, only joking, but it would be nice to have good scenery.

    Love you, Cathi

  4. Hi Poch,

    Keep up the good work.

    Take care and miss you lots,
    Bren and boys

  5. Wassup my cousin! We are excited with joy to hear your progress everyday. Jay and I are sad of how far you are, but happy to know that Craig is offering you the care you need to being the "new and improved Chris". We love you cuz, and can't wait to see you....Trish and Jay