Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturday, March 7, 2009- 4th day at Craig

Today was another AWESOME day! I say awesome because it was incredible and because it is Christy's adjective of choice. We position Christy in bed & ask, how does that feel? she replies "awesome!" We give her some chocolate milkshake and we ask her how it tastes. She says "awesome!" And the awesome list goes on. It is awesome!

When I got up to the room today it was almost time for lunch. Christy was in bed resting after eating breakfast in the cafeteria. We are finally getting the hang of things and today instead of eating in Christy's room, we ate in the cafeteria. We ran into Dr.Schraa who is Christy's assigned Psychologist here. I saw him on the schedule yesterday, but Don and I missed him because we were at the apartment eating breakfast. He is very nice & was very happy with his talk with Christy yesterday. He also came around a second time while we were eating just to chit chat. For lunch Christy had chicken enchilada but didn't really like it. She at some sloppy joe from Don's lunch & a fortified strawberry milkshake. She had yogurt with fruit on the bottom, too. Christy got a little fustrated & sad not being able to do things she wanted. Don was encouraging Christy & suggested that she try to use the right hand more, and she felt sad that she would try but couldn't do it well. When Chrsity and I were on the skybridge today, she told me that when she's good at something its fun and she likes doing it. When she's not good at it it's junk & she dosen't want to do it. I was talking about snowboarding and skiing when we came to see alan last time. I was explaining that my fist hour back on the snowboard I was falling and fumbling. I was so fustrated, I didn't want to do it anymore & I was mad. I think that's how she felt today. Don gave her lots of love, hugs, and kisses, and the tears dissapeared. Christy is back in touch with her emotion. Since we've been up here at Craig, we've seen more emotion from her of all kinds!

The weekend are days off to rest and hang out. So we did a lot of talking and joking around. Chrsty is cracking us up constantly. Donald is an awesome caregiver. He drains her foley, dumps it and tells the tech the amounts! Christy can feel when her foley bag is getting heavy and warm because the bag is strappped to her leg & her sensation is unscathed. During the day the leg bag is connected & it hides under her pant leg and is strapped to the lower leg. This is so Christy can do her therapies and move around without worries. This is the same kind of bag that was used on the airplane. At night they switch the bag to the big collection so it's more comfortable and holds more. So imagine Chrsity tilted back in her chair (we have to alternate from back to upright every twenty minutes to avoid pressure ulcers- there is a timer on the back of her chair that is set to alarm). During conversation, Don asks her to try & lift her left leg (weaker leg) in the air. Chrisy was already fully extending the right leg and lifting it off the chair keeping the leg horisontal to the ground! Christy tries to lift the left leg and mentions how full and warm the foley feels. Donald is bent down draining the foley on her leg and asks her to stay still because if she moves, the she she is all over in Dons face. Chrsity jokingly taunted him "better whatch out"... and "I'm gonna move my leg" I'm laughing and Don is laughing but also pleading with her to not do it. Then Don is finished and telling Christy "U so funny!" And Christy comes back with "That sounded fake." We all laugh some more becuase Don is saying "No that wasn't, I was for real."

Don has also masterd transfering Chrsity from wheelchair to bed with the slide board (pictured right). The physical therapist gives tips and lessons on how to use the right techniques to move Christy into the right place & encourage good posture once in the chair. The slide board goes across the bed to the weheelchair & Christy's butt slides across it to which ever she is getting into! cool, huh?
For the first time today, Christy was holding the phone up to her ear and talking to people independently. Her speech is so much clearer and she is talking a lot. This picture of Chrsity & Don, she is in the middle of saying something and her eyes are closed (sorry Christy- you're still beautiful, always) , but it is just so cool to see her doing more and more every day. She is controlling her arm and holding it up so strongly! She is really herself when she talks. It's very exciting because her long term memory seems totally intact. Her short term memory is even good. She hardly asks things over and over again. She does ask how long is she going to be at Craig the most frequently. She wants to go home to her kids already.

Craig has such cool little systems and we learn about a new one every day. Today's cool gadget is this little GPS - intercom thingy. Makai, our evening tech showed us his. The intercom is set up so you can choose to call how you want. You can do a general call to the nurses station or you can call a specific person. So we tried it out today. You select "staff" on the intercom screen and it loads a list of staff members and gives their location. If you click their name, it will call to the intercom in the room that they are in so you can talk to them. Then they talk back & presto you have help! It's cool because it picks up any kind of talking in the room. you don't have to raise your voice for the other person to hear. It is very sensitive so if a patient dosen't have a strong voice its still ok. The intercom is in the middle of the room attached to the wall between the two patients.
Another cool little thing is the book/binder that Christy got yesterday. it holds many different categories of notes. The section it is turned to is the one with the names and pictures of the Doctors and Therapists (PT, OT, Speech, etc. ) It is where I got that picture of Dr. Schraa at the top. This is a picture of Dr. Ripley, Christy's main doctor. It's perfect beacause all of the names & pictures are at your fingertips. What a great idea. This way the family and patient can remember who is who and practice the names with the faces. The binder also has a calender section, and tells today's date and day. Another section in the front tells what Christy's schedule is like for the day. This little binder lives in the back pocket of risty's chair for convience.
We got a surprise visit from the Aunt and Uncle of Leani (a work friend of Donald). They were very sweet and brought Christy some gorgeous pink roses & a card! They live about a mile from Craig and dropped by because Leani had explained the situation and they came to deliver a "TLP"! That stands for Tender Loving Prayer (it was on their card :). The first thing they menitoned was how pretty Christy was! They were kind enough to leave their phone number just in case there may be something Christy & Don may need. How sweet. We thank you so much!
Tonight at Dinner Chrsity ate better (more) and was able to move the food around a little better with her tounge. When Don was comming in with the bites of food, Christy started to open her mouth right before it touched her mouth or got to her lips. Even the straw for her drink, she didn't have to be cued that it was a straw and to close her mouth every time. Donald could tell that she could SEE the food coming. He asked her, "you can see the food coming, can't you?" And she told us "TODAY IS THE BEST THAT I'VE SEEN SINCE I GOT HERE!" Holy smokes, we were so so happy!! Christy is seeing more and more. Her brain is making connections again to interpret what she is seeing more clearly. We don't know exactly what she sees or when. She makes sure to tell us "I'm not blind (stupid)" when we ask her what she sees and what she dosen't see.
Chrsity is still having trouble with leg cramping and the pain that is associated with that. She is still having "motor restlessness" at night. It wakes her from her sleeping. We discovered once again that motrin works better than lortab for her pain. So that has become her "drug of choice". Christy was having a lot of pain and tighness-spasms after dinner when she got back to the bed. Don is the master massuse & we have a little hard plastic massage tool with round balls at each end (4) that we use to massage her legs. Masage comforts her for the time being but the motrin relieves the pain so Christy can relax & strech out the legs more. So we called in the nurse to give her motrin & Christy was in a lot of pain. Our nurse has a lot of expereince & started in administration before being a floor nurse. Anyway, she came to give the meds to Christy and I can't remember the details of the conversation at the begining but Christy picked up on her "rough around the edges" deminor. As she was leaving Christy said "She's nails... I don't ever want her as my nurse again!" Don and I laughed. The nurse is smart and a good nurse (she said she worked here longer than any other nurse on this floor). Her personality is less gentle than others. A couple minutes after the nurse came in to deliver the Motrin, she came back in for something else & Christy asked "How long will it take to kick in?" Don repeated the question to the nurse in case she didn't understand Christy. the nurse replied "well, it's different for everyone, but at least it's crushed up and in her stomach." (I can't type this without bending over and laughin in my chair) Christy said "NAILS... BITCH" right before she left the room & "BITCH" was CLEAR as day. Don and I started to roll & Christy did too.... I almost fell over I was lauging so hard. Christy asked after if she heard or said anything back, but the nurse didn't seem to hear what Christy said, although it was very possible. She cracks us up constantly.
Christy dosen't want me to tell the funny ass phone conversation she had with Kelsen today. She dosen't want him to feel embarrassed. Christy was prodding him about his new girlfriend & telling him to make sure he's SMART or she's going to "kick his ass"! It was hilarious!! Alan and Luis were with us and we were all dying of laughter! When I walked out of the room to get eating utencils and drinks, you could hear the laughter all the way to the nurses station down the hall. We will be known as the loud, laughing, loving family!
I feel so blessed to be with Christy here & to talk story and care for her. She thanked me deeply for the blog today, and it brought me to tears. I am so happy that I can do something for her & everyone who loves her. Please keep praying for her. The prayers are working every day. Pray for her comfort from the spasms & for her continual progress with her vision. Pray for good rest and a good appetite. Pray for continued good spirits & happiness. Pray for the physicians & therapist, that they may think up the best ways for a sucessful rehabilition of Christy to bring her back to 100%! (We moved prayer to 11:00 am here, so we can keep on track with the morning prayers at 08:00am hawaii time.)
xoxo, gabby
p.s. don't know why the spell check isn't working but it isn't :( please excuse my spelling errors.

1 comment:

  1. It is SOOO cool to read the blog and laugh at the funny things being said and done. It is almost like we are right there with you guys. Thank you Gabby, for being so faithful in keeping us all updated. I look forward to reading everyday and am learning so much... not only about medical procedures, but about love, life, faith and dedication. Christy and Don are a reminder not to sweat the small stuff but to focus on what is really important in in life. Thank you!!