Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009- 7th day at Craig

It snowed in Colorado today!!  First time Don is seeing snow FALL!  It was a chilly 25 degrees as well!  Burr!  This is a picture taken from the window in Christy's room.  It over looks this street, and across the street is Craig EAST side!  Thought I would've seen some snow while I was up there, but the sun shone bright!
It was a busy day for Christy today!  Speech was the first to come and visit Christy today.  Melea had Christy pronouncing some letters.  She had Christy say "la la la la la la" to exercise her tongue.  

Occupational Therapy had Christy in a room with a wall of letters & numbers on it.  They were Velcro and about 6 inches high.  They had Christy about 10 feet from the letters and were asking her what each one was.  Christy had difficulty reading the letters until she was about 3 feet away (maybe less).  Then she could start to recognize the letters.  The next exercise they did was with a light.  They dimmed the lights in the room and asked her to reach out and touch the light.  Christy could reach out and touch the light well when it was on her right side.  The left side she struggled with a little more.  This is sorta like the exercise we did before but on a different scale.  They had Christy follow the pencil with her eyes and it's the best that Don has seen her do ever.  Doctors had asked Christy to follow their finger before and it was very difficult for her.  I remember seeing it once at Queens.  This means that Christy is making improvements constantly!  Go Chris!!

Donald and Christy were hanging out on the bridge... and there is a bunch of caution tape up for this weeks "survivor week" competition.  There is a week long event where the teams try to earn points to win. 
The team captains are the Doctors, so Christy is on the Ripley Rockies!  As in the Colorado Rockies baseball team.  Craig does activities throughout the hospital and in the activities room.  Christy 
still needs to clear for a pass to go off the floor.  They did tie dye shirts on Monday, there was a field trip to go eat "smash burgers" (for those who can), there is going to be a "pimp my ride" competition (pimping out one wheelchair on the team for an obstacle course), decorating a float, and more.... Anyway, there is caution tape up right now along the bridge way (just for fun) to mark the area for decorating.  Don asked Christy if she could see it.  Christy said that she saw something yellow.  He asked her what it said, and she couldn't tell.  Don covered
 Christy's left eye just to see if it would help her to see it better, and she said "it says caution".  Christy's site is getting better every single day! And she can read. Yeeha!  The woman in my book who suffered brain damage from a stroke could type out a letter, but not read what it said.  Weird, huh?  The brain holds different functions all over the place!  Each function that remains untouched is a step in the right direction!! yay!

Speaking of Dr. Ripley, on his visit today he was talking about dealing with Christy's spasms in her legs and all of the tightness Christy is having trouble with.  He was saying that it would be helpful  to do a 3 phase x-ray of Christy's lower body.  They would use x-ray dye during the test to see more clearly.  With this test, it sounds like they would be able to identify any new bone growth. The reason I think they want to see if there is new bone growth, is that this means there was a fracture once and it is healing now.  Dr. Ripley wants to make sure that he can identify any lingering fractures so we can treat it wisely.  He told us at the beginning that we'd be shocked to know how many people don't have fractures identified until rehab. He discussed this with Physical therapy and they agreed that doing this test would be beneficial.  There is no set date for the test yet.  

Occupational therapy had another session with Christy this afternoon.  They were concentrating on sensation this time.  The first test was with a Q-tip swab.  They went from the face down to the arms and asked Christy if they were pressing light or hard.  They would alternate how hard they would press. Christy had good sensation everywhere except the right arm.  That is her weaker arm, too.  After the swab they took a safety pin and asked if it was sharp or not.  They poked with the needle edge for sharp, and used the rounded dull side for NOT sharp.  In the right arm Christy could distinguish each sensation in certain parts but not others.  It wasn't like she lost sensation from the elbow down, her sensation was sporadic.  They haven't explained well what everything means.  They are still collecting data to discuss the entire picture together as a team.

They have told Don that on March 19th, they will discuss in detail all of the test and assessments that have been going on.  They also told Don that they plan to have Christy in Rehab at Craig until May 13th.  Things can still change, but we want whatever is best for Christy.  We will wait and see the information unfolding as time goes on.

Physical therapy saw Christy again, and took her into the gym where the big exercise
 balls live.  They were trying to stretch her hips to get them to move more.  They had Christy on her back & rolled the exercise 
ball under her legs in a small range of motion to try and loosen her up.  They also tried her stretched over the ball with her knees on the floor to see if she could balance to stay on the ball.  Finally, they had her sitting up with her hand planted
 down to support her & had her stretch side to side.  This is a picture (left) of Christy and Jody, physical therapist,  stretching out the torso and hips.  The therapist get down on the mat with the patients and stretch with them and move around safely but effectively.  It's impressive! 

Christy enjoyed another shower and washed her hair again tonight.  It must feel so good to be taking real showers with real water and real "rinse out" shampoo.  The only thing they have to cover is her PICC line (IV) in the right arm so it doesn't get wet.  They just take a medical Ziploc bag, open the bottom, slip it over her PICC like a sleeve and tape it around the top and bottom against her skin.  Sometimes Christy wears the hospital gown to bed like a night gown because it's comfortable and non-restricting.  Luis,  Alena's boyfriend, is doing her hair in this picture (right).  Christy wanted a ceramic flat Iron for her birthday this year and Luis is going to get one for her so we can do her hair!

Off to work again tomorrow! Till the next blog!

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