Libby Lehman's Journal
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
Monday, Feb. 24 - Soul of a Quilter
Written Feb 24, 2014 8:12pm by Cathy ArnoldToday in the mail Libby received a check for a very significant amount from Jim West of Sew Many Places for Libby's Medical Fund! The funds were raised on the Sew Many Places' "Libby Lehman Soul of a Quilter" Cruise and a seminar by Jinny Beyer right after the cruise. Wow! How wonderful! The check was accompanied by a letter from Jim. It was so nice that I want to share parts of it with you:
Hello my sweet friend! As I write this letter to you, I am overjoyed with the results of our fundraising cruise that we held in your honor a few weeks ago. In addition to the donation from Sew Many Places, funds were raised with the onboard silent auction, the sale of Carol Moellers' Aurifil thread packs, and the 2-day workshop that Jinny Beyer hosted right after the cruise.
Jinny Beyer was so lovely in that she donated her time, paid for her flight to Florida and made special quilt blocks to auction off, all in an effort to help toward your medical expenses. Between what Jinny raised with her class and the money Carol Moellers made with the thread boxes, 27% of the total collected was generated from their efforts.
Everyone who participated on our Soul of a Quilter cruise was very generous, especially the teachers, Sheila Frampton Cooper, Pam Holland, Dana Lynch and Carol Moellers.
Libby, you were a teacher on our first Sew Many Places' cruise and I will always remember how lovely you were to me and everyone who participated. You are one of the classiest people I have ever met, and by far, one of the most inspirational quilters in the industry.
Hugs and lots of love, Jim West
When I told Libby, she was thrilled and said she was "overwhelmed!" If ever a group has Soul, it is Quilters! Kudos and love to Jim, Jinny, Sheila, Pam, Dana, Carol, and everyone else who went on this cruise and contributed to this fundraising effort. You are all amazing! Thank you,
Written Feb 23, 2014 5:19pm by Sarah DavisToday Libby had a great afternoon visiting with three old high school friends. Susan Gartner, Linda Gorman and Patty Giles came over. They have all stayed in touch since their Memorial High days and actively participate with a great group planning their reunions. I'm sure the trip down memory lane was filled with lots of grins and giggles.
Lester reported that the trip to the beauty parlor went well and when I spoke with Libby on the phone she said she was now "hopeful" about her hair. I assured her it's looking good and that we all love the color. Even with all her set backs, our Libby looks as beautiful as ever.
Les has got the routine of counting and separating all her pills down to an organized routine. And what a trooper to chauffeur her to her pedicures, hair cuts and therapy. We are so thankful she has two great guys in her life to help her. Super big thank yous to Lester & Les! Gratefully yours - Sarah