So here we are back at Bryn Mawr Rehab. Arriving in Malvern gives Sylvia and myself a sense of comfort and security. Mason had some pretty rough times here, but also, this is where he came back to us with the help and stalwart faith from so many people. Of course our subsequent visits for therapy will challenge Mason to make more efforts towards his continued recovery. I wonder if he feels that same sense of security and insulation or does he think,”crap, looks like I’ve got to get back to work!”Mason talks about the nurses, therapists and friends at the hospital when he is home in Shepherdstown, so we know BMRH is a big part of his world.
Coming through the doors of the outpatient wing, the first person we see is Dr.Long. (The Doc in charge)Whenever we first see the good Doctor on one of our returns, he gets a quizzical look on his face. “There are are the Ellsworth’s again. Did I admit Mason? Is there an art show? Are they visiting? How does Mrs. Ellsworth do that?” Another minute into the hospital almost every person, “Hi Mason! Are you back? Hey Mason how have you been?” He responds completely and appropriately to all that greet him and you can see all of the people brighten up in his presence. One case manager said when she saw Mason, it “made her day”. Everybody was glad to see him, including the geese and the turtle that lives in the pond. He’s got that certain something that illuminates the universe around him. (Mason, not the turtle).
Rewind to October when Mason was admitted as an outpatient for therapy in the new neurorehab program at BMRH. He was too healthy for inpatient admittance. Though 3 days a week for 4 weeks, in Physical, Occupational and speech, was not as much as we would like, the intensity of the therapy realized great benefits for Mason. After his return home and the month of December progressed, we saw marked improvements in Mason’s ability to recall new and old information, improvements in leaps and bounds in his mathabilities, (my word) articulation and communication skills. These cognitive improvements are not just related to speech work. The physical and occupational work contributes in many subtle ways, just as listening to music, playing music, and expression through his painting translates towards his progress. Physical progress and breakthroughs are harder to realize, but I believe that “speech” therapy stimulates these improvements as well
Validating Mason’s progress from the last round is coded by the “Evals” (evaluations – hospital speak)) the therapists do these at the beginning of this new round of rehab. We did this on Monday .The therapists were very excited about Mason’s improvements from October, especially the speech therapist. “Amazing”! Were her exact words. The evaluations are used (by the insurance co.)to set how many visits Mason gets for PT, OT and speech. The insurance co. IS amazing too. They actually can determine exactly how many “visits” will benefit Mason, (this is like dolling out visits to your Granma on an allowance), without meeting him or visiting BMRH, and they can determine that he does NOT need a new wheelchair after 5 five years, even though the old one has 200,000. miles on it, no longer fits him and has no brakes. Just amazing aren't they?
Again we will stay with Mason, this time in a home we found that hosts families like ours, for 4 days a week. Sylvia takes Mason to the hospital for therapy 3 hours a day, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, then will come back home to Shepherdstown on Wednesday. Weather permitting.
This very nice house in Wayne, we found through and an organization called www.hospitalhosts.org. Our experience last time staying at the” Ritz” (no names, because we might need to stay there again) was….. okay, but we couldn’t really handle another 4 weeks of an “okay” experience there. The host house has a basement suite/apartment, with a ground level entrance for Mason. The house to the hospital trip is 25-minutes, opposite direction of Phillie. Bonus!…. also about two miles from one of our favorite restaurants where we have a regular table with Mason.
The family is very nice with a 2 -1/2 and a 14 year old.(children,not pets) It certainly beats the “Ritz”. Nice kitchen, 2 bedrooms and very clean. We have to make our own beds though.
Much of the work that will be done with Mason over the next 3 weeks will help to give us more tools to continue therapy once he comes home. Of course we have our homegrown, organic therapy that we practice in Shepherdstown. Music with Elaine, massage therapy and stretches with Lisa. Adam comes over once week for “Hypno therapy” with Mason. This is actually quite a serious approach to increasing Mason’s concentration on many different things.
The girls of the Noel family come over often for “giggle”therapy and have fun playing games including charades with Mason. Sue Kennedy is the instigator of “Thursday afternoon at the “B” Movies" therapy too!
Sylvia and Chris officially closed and are retired from the catering business of Ellsworth Caterers. The commitment to Mason requires much of her time, and we want to capitalize on the potential improvements we feel are just around the corner for him.
Saturday a week ago, they had a giveaway of the catering equipment with donations for Mason. Lot’s of old friends came to take away a bit Shepherdstown history with them.
As always, we could not walk this path by ourselves and are grateful to all that help us in any way. Not big and small, because they are all big to us.
Love and Peace To All!
P.S. We understand there are people that are not completely aware of Mason’s status. There are individuals that should at least have a clue though, especially if they are in the business.. For instance….
Sylvia called in a prescription for Mason at the pharmacy Wednesday and they work directly with Bryn Mawr Rehab (all of the time). The nice but uniformed person on the other end of the phone told her that she could not proceed with out authorization from the patient. Sylvia explained that he couldn’t and she had medical and legal power of attorney etc.. and all of that. Nonetheless, the nice but still uniformed lady said “ Sorry. Have to talk to the patient.” Alrighty then, Sylvia says to herself and hands Mason the phone. He says, “Hi” …… “how are you?” “Fine” she says. Uniformed Lady asks for his name, Mason tells her, She asks for his birthday, he gives it. “Your address?” He tells her. Then he says, “No Cavities either”. She asked for it. Now there is a really is good example of how well Mason is getting along!