Libby Lehman's Journal
Written Feb 28, 2014 12:01pm by Sarah DavisWe have just discovered that Libby's email account has been hacked. Until we can completely research please pass along this warning. Do not open any emails from email@example.com. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Thursday - Back on Track in Therapy!
Written Feb 27, 2014 6:13pm by Ellen AskeyTiffany and Lester reported that Libby had a good day in therapy, and two of her therapists said it was "much better than earlier in the week." What a relief- sounds like the Libby train is back on track!
In PT Libby walked and stood, doing various exercises, such as putting different sizes of balls in a shopping cart from the standing position, for the better part of an hour. Way to go Libby! Tiffany said Libby is doing better in OT at dressing and undressing herself, but continues to need work on her left side deficit. At home Tiffany and the other caregivers are encouraging Libby to do almost all of her dressing by herself, with only a little help.
Crystal, the speech therapist told Lester that she was trying some alternative methods with Libby to help her overcome the left side problem, and Libby responded very well. She was one of the therapists who said today Libby's speech was much better than Monday.
Lester received a new two-days-a-week schedule for Libby's therapies, which goes all the way until Thursday (3-20-14), provided Libby continues to improve. He was excited and thankful for the extension of the therapy schedule, as we all are!
After Libby's therapy "work-outs" this afternoon, Tiffany told me Libby was pampered with the spa treatment at Bora Bora where she got a manicure and pedicure, with all the extras. As we spoke on the phone, Tiffany said Libby was tired but did not care to lie down on the couch. Instead Libby was snacking on fruit, practicing her writing, and waiting for her show, "Wheel of Fortune." Sounds like a cozy scene with a kind caregiver and loving hubby, after a very good day at therapy. Thank God and Amen to that!
Tuesday - Good and Not-so-Good News
Written Feb 25, 2014 4:51pm by Ellen AskeyFirst -the Not-so-Good News:
Yesterday Libby was not having her best day and unfortunately, it was evaluation day at TIRR for a progress report to Medicare which determines whether Medicare will continue financial support and approval for more therapy sessions. Libby did pretty well in the tests for PT and Speech, but not as well in OT. For example, she was unable to button a blouse, and sorted only 14 of the wooden pegs, including only the yellow ones, instead of her personal best of 26 assorted colored pegs.
Lester suggested that maybe Libby was under-performing because she was a little frustrated with the need to be tested again, and it didn't help that the Evaluator was an occupational therapist who had never seen or worked with Libby before. Libby was not being her usual cooperative or enthusiastic self, and her inability to focus on the left continues to slow her down in most activities. She has an appointment with a neuro-opthamologist on Monday to see if something can be done to help overcome this left side deficit.
The physical therapist at TIRR yesterday had worked with Libby many times, so she was more familiar with Libby's capabilities. Since Libby did not walk with her walker as far as usual yesterday, she suggested that Libby be re-tested later in the week when perhaps Libby might not be experiencing an "off day" - we all have them!
As a consequence of Libby's test results, the TIRR staff decided to reduce her therapy time at TIRR to two days a week instead of three, but extended her scheduled sessions another week, into the second week of March. She will be re-tested periodically, hopefully to record some progress on every front. In the meantime, each of the three therapists are giving Libby more "homework" with pages of exercises to be done a home, under the supervision of family and/or the contract caregivers.
Now - the Good News:
When my hubby Bill and I arrived to visit Libby today, she was busy practicing her writing, which is much less shaky and much improved since our last visit! Her caregiver Tiffany even pointed out that Libby is picking up the pen now with her left hand but still moves it to her right hand to proceed. Libby looked darling in her new, shorter but stylish hairdo. She can't wait to show Ricky and Justin her "salt and pepper" hair when they visit on Friday.
Lester said Libby was sleepy and not anxious to get up this morning, and she actually fell back to sleep while Tiffany was helping Libby with the stretching exercises for her arms and legs. However, Tiffany said that Libby's favorite thing to do is to pick out her clothes and jewelry each day, and Libby is doing more and more each week in dressing herself and putting on her own makeup.
Today Libby perked up after breakfast, and seemed to later enjoy the lunch of grilled cheese and tomato soup which Les made for her. Her menfolk are still trying to get her to eat more so that she can level off in her weight loss and improve her strength and stamina. Their excellent cooking and catering to her tastes seems to be tempting her to eat a little more, so Good Work Guys!
Lester also reported that Libby was speaking more clearly, with longer phrases or sentences sometimes, especially when visiting with friends. We found this to be true as we talked with Libby today, and we are trying to schedule more social outings or visits in the coming weeks. Libby surprised us when she told us she has decided to try to read a whole novel and is going to start with one of John Grisham's books. Sounds like a plan, perhaps an ambitious one, but certainly one worth letting her give it a Try!
Today we also made a schedule for Libby's daily activities, based on the new TIRR schedule, the need to do her "homework" exercises, and some new "chores". These chores will be thinly disguised therapy exercises, such as unloading the dishwasher to stacks on the kitchen counter (to be put in the shelves later by a helper) or folding the kitchen towels and small bathroom towels. Libby read the schedule thoroughly, corrected the spelling of my abbreviation for "Wednesday", and gave the regime her stamp of approval.
As Libby's first attempt at a "chore" activity Les pushed her outside in her wheelchair and headed her in the direction of the communal mailboxes, three houses down from their house. She used her arms to push and her legs to "walk" Franklin towards her goal. It wasn't exactly a smooth sail or straight line, but she made it! We all cheered as if she had completed the first leg of a Pony Express run, and her smile looked like she thought so too. It was a good start to meeting some new challenges!
Humbly submitted, Ellen