Friday, September 16, 2011

Fran, September 16

I have missed a lot of days of blogging.  Fran's fall was a serious setback.  She spent a couple of days in the hospital and then was moved to the Rehabilitation Center as an inpatient.  It proved difficult to manage her pain, and she is still in constant pain.  In spite of the fractured pelvic bone, there are no restrictions on weight bearing.  Except for one, the pain. She can stand and move a couple of steps, but it is very difficult.

She was discharged from Rehab on Monday the 12th, and has been home all week.  She has lost a lot of independence, and her care is more challenging. She is improving gradually and the pain, though still severe, is considerably better.  Her courage and determination are still there and she will recover.

Our caregivers, Isela, Katerina, and Cindy have been wonderful, as has been the support of Fran's friends, especially Alice and Jerry Rost and Barbara and David Binns.  Marshall and Ana and Maliq and Rachel have been there for Fran as well.

I am pretty busy. I am doing an hour webinar on Tuesday, entitled Measuring Performance, Damned if You Do and Damned if You Don't, with a paid (not much) audience of about 75 around the world.  I am also taking a class in web design at Mira Costa College, and I am finding it to be a real challenge.



Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fran, August 31

A bigger setback than we thought.  Daughter-in-law Rachel, an experienced nurse, noted that Fran had excessive pain in the left hip.  She suspected a hip fracture and we took Fran to the Scripps Encinitas emergency room again.  Rachel was correct.  Fran has hairline fractures of the pelvic bone.  This does not require surgery, but she cannot put weight on it until it is healed.  She is hospitalized there in room 271. We are really not capable of caring for her at home at this time. By the way, they also discovered hairline rib fractures, which were missed on Monday. Her spirits are good, expecially after she got enough medication to knock down the severe pain.



Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fran, August 30

A temporary setback.  Fran fell yesterday, while getting up without calling for a spotter.  She hurt herself very badly, apparently landing on the buckle of her gate belt. Four and one half hours in the emergency room demonstrated no serious injury but she is in terrible pain and essentially can't move. Even breathing hurts. We expect rapid improvement, but at the present, she is very unhappy Of course, the quality that is driving her recovery, pushing the limits, sometimes puts her in jeopardy.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Fran, August 22

Sorry for the inactivity.  Anita Arkin finally goaded me into action.

Fran continues to improve, amazing the therapists who dealt with her in the early days.  I see two significant developments in the past month:

1.  The hospital bed is gone from our house. Fran now sleeps with me in our bed. I cannot tell you how much better the room feels when it does not contain a hospital bed! Perhaps hospitals would be more pleasant if...

2. Fran can walk with no assistance.  We still require that she have a spotter, but the spotter has never had to act.  She does not need the cane or anything else.

In the next few weeks Fran will be caring for grandson Miles while Maliq and Rachel attend a wedding out of town.  Fran, and many of her friends, are delirious about the prospect.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fran, July 26

Yesterday, Fran reached a real milestone.  Karen Salant was visiting from Oregon.  They announced that they were going to lunch at the Del Mar Plaza, sans wheelchair.  Karen helped Fran into the car, put Fran's cane in the trunk, and they set out.  They returned about 2 hours later.  According to Karen, they parked in the garage.  Fran walked from the garage to the sidewalk, and then up the ramp to The Breeze, where they had a leisurely lunch with a nice glass of Chardonnay.  Then they returned to the car on the same path and drove home. Fran was a bit tired and took a nice nap, but was extremely pleased with her demonstration of independence.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fran, July 14

Sorry for the absence of posting.  Progress is very gradual and we are very busy.  My thanks to Anita who called and suggested (emphatically) that it was time.

The process is very positive.  Fran walked about 200 feet in one stretch today with her quad cane and another 50 feet with no cane.  She is even beginning to get some use from her left arm.  I estimate that she will be relatively independent within six months.  In the meantime, my deepest gratitude goes to her friends, particularly (but not only) Alice, Barbara, and Deborah, and her caregivers, Isela, Katerina, and Cindy. Their love and support has made this possible. And most of all, I am grateful to Fran, who will not quit and who absolutely will succeed.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Fran, June 24

Fran began as an outpatient this week at Scripps Encinitas Rehab, where she had been an inpatient about a month ago. The staff members who had treated her as an inpatient were very impressed with her progress.  The goal of the current treatment is to make her independent, so she can get around the house without assistance. She is determined and I expect she will get there in the next couple of months.

Jerry and Alice turned me on to a wonderful book, My Stroke of Insight. It is the story of a relatively young (37) brain scientist, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, who had a severe left-brain stroke.  She recounts in great detail, her experience of the stroke and her process of recovery.  She achieved complete recovery over an 8 year period.

This book is a must read for anyone who is providing care or who has a close relationship with a stroke patient.  In an appendix she lists "the 40 things I needed the most," beginning with "I am not stupid, I am wounded.  Please respect me."

It is not only a must read, but also a good read.