The Starfish Project

The combined effort of our whole family.

Mom’s Home From Rehab (2/20/09)

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Hi Everyone,

Mom is home from rehab now.  She came home yesterday afternoon (Thursday).  She has made great improvements during her rehab therapy and is definitely on the road to recovery.  On Monday she saw the vascular surgeon, Dr. Brink, and he removed the stitches from her arm (from when she had the blood clots removed).  He said her thumb looks good and wants her to see a hand doctor in a few weeks when she’s feeling better.  The pad on her thumb has turned very dark and is dry.  This is a good sign – as any weeping from it would be very bad.  We’re just believing that there is going to be wonderful new skin under that dark skin and the pad of her thumb will be completely restored.  At this point, we still just have to wait and see what’s under there.  So, your prayers for Mom’s thumb are still very appreciated.

On Tuesday she saw her Neurologist, Dr. Kumar, and he said all of her neural function was great.  He said she was a little weaker on her right side than her left (which is sort of strange since it was her left that was so much weaker before).  But, this is probably just due to the Decadron.

She is weaning down to her final dosages of the Decadron and should be completely off of it in eight days.  She’s only on 1mg twice  a day for three more days, then she’s dropped down to 1mg daily for five days.  After that, she’ll be done.  We’re so looking forward to that!

We’re just so happy to  have her home.  She can walk with the walker now and isn’t even using the wheelchair at home any longer.  We’ll just use that when we leave the house for doctor appointments until she doesn’t need it any longer.

We had a really nice afternoon and evening.  The whole family got together and I made a huge pot of posole soup (Mom’s favorite).  Mom came home around 3:00 PM and visited with Dad and Gretchen for a while.  Then, she took a nap while I made the soup.  Once it was ready, she came out into the living room around 7:30 PM and visited with everyone.  Then, we ate together.

Little David was playing with the box that Mom’s shower bench came in.  Sophia drew a race track on the box with a Sharpie and David ran his little hot wheels around the track the rest of the night.  It’s amazing how fun a box can be when you’re two years old!

One by one everyone started heading home and Mom, Dad and I watched a few of Mom’s TV shows she had TiVo’ed from Animal Planet.  They were really interesting.

Then, around 12:30 AM, Mom was ready for bed.  So, she used her walker and got herself down the hallway and into her very own bed.

As you can imagine, it’s wonderful having Mom home.  Although all of her nurses and doctors were really wonderful and treated her very well, there’s just nothing like being home.  She’s finally going to get some rest.  It’s difficult to get good rest when you’re in a hospital or rehab facility because it’s a constant parade of people through the room at all hours of the day and night.  Now, she can get caught up on her rest and continue to get stronger every day.

Her only complaint today was that her brace is a little uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.  She’s wearing a TLSO brace to stabilize her back after her vertebroplasty surgery.  I’m not sure how long she has to wear it.  I vaguely recall someone (maybe the physical therapist) saying she had to wear it for six weeks, but I’m really not sure.  But, when it got really uncomfortable, Dad adjusted it and it seemed to help quite a bit.

Considering how much pain and agony she was in just a few short weeks ago with her back, the small amount of discomfort from her back brace is really not that big of a deal.  The brace is in two parts and attaches with velcro on the sides in three places.  They call it a “turtle shell” brace becauses the way it goes together does resemble a turtle’s shell.  When she was in St. Joseph’s the company that makes them, Hanger, came to her hospital room and measured her for the brace.  So, it’s custom made for her.  Once she was at the rehab facility, she went to Hanger and had it adjusted because it was too long and would ride up under her chin – making her feel like she was choking.  It’s much better now, but still not the most comfortable thing in the world.

At this time, we’d like to ask all of Mom’s friends to please resist the urge to call her at home.  While she’s come a long way in her recovery, she’s still got a ways to go yet.  She sleeps at odd times throughout the day and she really needs to get her rest.  As she feels better, she’ll start making phone calls to chat with her friends.

She has definitely appreciated all the cards and letters you have been sending.  They make her day when she gets one in the mail.  On some of her particularly rough days, just knowing that she has people out there who are praying for her and who love her has really helped her get over the emotional hurdles of all this.

I’ll update when there’s any new news.  Her next goal is to be able to get back to Dr. Jason Porter’s office and resume her high dose Vitamin C IVs.  It’s been over a month since she’s had an IV and we’re anxious to get her going on them again.

Thank you all so much for everything!



Written by Tracey

February 20, 2009 at 1:35 am

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