Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fast Progress

I am always surprised at how well Mom looks and how well she is functioning every time I walk into her room in the morning.  The progress is happening so quickly that even I forget her surgery was just one short week ago. 

Mom's therapists and doctors met today to discuss her progress to this point.  They are all so impressed with how well she is doing that they have decided an appropriate discharge date is Saturday October 22nd.  This is very exciting news because Mom is starting to get some cabin fever just sitting in her tiny hospital room all day.  She is anxious to move on with her road to recovery.  She won't have therapy on the date of discharge, which means tomorrow is her last day of therapy. I am amazed at what just three days of therapy has done for her and I am so thankful she had the opportunity to learn all that she has in this short amount of time.  I know everything we have learned during the therapy sessions (I've attended most of the sessions with Mom) will help me to help her recover at home, so I am thankful to have had this opportunity as well.

Today occupational therapy consisted of learning her way around the kitchen. Mom was presented with the task of making tea for herself. She had to get around the therapy kitchen with her walker while getting all the supplies she needed (tea, mug and tea kettle) to make her tea.  It was very interesting to note how many things had to be modified just to make a cup of tea.  It is expected that Mom won't be required to use a walker around the house once she is discharged, but it is good to practice with in case she wants to use it for balance or so she feels more secure.  She seems to have a habit of reaching across her body to pick things up, which is something she needs to focus on changing because that simple action leads to the twisting of her torso. Mom also had to attend a disaster preparedness class so she could learn about the modifications needed for her in a disaster situation. This class was informative but somewhat redundent since Mom use to teach a disaster preparedness class for the Red Cross.

After her OT, Mom and I got to enjoy lunch at the Plaza Cafe because the Doctors gave her "Plaza priveleges", which means a family member can take her down to the Plaza level as long as she remains in a wheel chair. This was the first time Mom got to have a meal outside of her room since she entered the hospital on Monday October 10th.  Her stomach still isn't feeling great at all, so she didn't eat much, but it was nice for her to get out of her room and experience other parts of the hospital.

Mom got to enjoy a nice nap after lunch before having some more PT.  We went outside on the Plaza level for PT so that she could practice walking in more crowded areas and learn tips on what she should be looking for when going out in public in terms of places she can rest.  There are small things like looking for a bench with armrests to assist her with sitting or thinking about how to repurpose an outdoor object to better suit her needs.  Something else you might not immediately think about having to modify is opening a door.  First, the door may be too heavy for her at this point (the one at the hospital is definitely too heavy) and the simple act of opening the door usually causes you to twist your torso. Again, all things we take for granted in our every day lives.

Another notable accomplishment for today is that Mom was able to put her brace on all by herself. She has learned how to reach around back and thread the straps and pull them taught.  She learned how to do this all on her own, which is very impressive because even the person who delivered the brace says most patients have trouble doing this even when he teaches them how to do it. He joked that she should be the one teaching them how to do it. This is another example where Mom is absolutely exceeding expectations.

I feel that today was a great day of progress and I have the sweet taste of lemonade lingering on my lips.  Mom is an inspiration to me each day and I can't wait to witness her continued improvement in a more familiar environment - home sweet home :).


  1. Thanks, Julie, for your update. Your mom is a quick study, as evidenced by your remarks. It sounds like a big challenge will be undoing her motor memory. She's fortunate you have been able to participate in her therapy sessions. You will make a great coach.
    More lemonade, please.
    Kathy apRoberts

  2. Wonderful progress with surgery just a week ago! We are sooo proud of you, Lettice! Have a BIG glass of lemonade when you get home!