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Late on Thursday October 4th, Diane fell down some stairs at home. We (Dena & Joe) had just said good night to her so we were down the stairs in 2 seconds. We pushed her life alert button and called 911. We came to the hospital ER & they immediately started treating her for a traumatic head injury, brain damage from the fall, a broken clavicle near her shoulder, and a temporal skull fracture. A few hours later they admitted her to the Trauma ICU where a neurosurgeon named Dr. Parry came and told us he could perform surgery on her brain bleed but that it would strictly be for life-savings measures and that she would never be able to speak, move her right side, etc. He then told us we had to make a decision immediately. We knew this wasn't the end of Didi's story so we authorized the brain surgery. It took about 4 and a half hours and they came back and told us that she was recovering nicely but she had extensive bleeding and swelling. They had to remove part of her skull to allow for her brain swelling to heal correctly, and she has drainage tubes now in her brain to continue with any excess drainage from her injury and surgery. Mom did start having some small and very minor seizures but not the kind most people think of when they picture seizures. Her seizures are mostly imperceptible while watching her but can be seen on an EEG. The neurologists then decided to put her on an EEG machine for close monitoring of the seizures.
After a few days in the Trauma ICU, we got moved to the neuro sciences ICU so that she can be on a constant EEG with real-time monitoring of her seizures. The 2nd day we were in, we got a visit from a care coordinator to start discussing her recovery and discharge from the hospital in a few weeks. To say that this is MIRACULOUS would be an understatement considering where we sat in terms of prognosis just a few days before that. We are now looking into options for what is called Long Term Acute Care Hospitals or LTACH for short. These places are like rehabilitation facilities but with extra medical care for patients who need rehab and medical attention. Mom will be in one of those facilities and after that, a traditional in-patient rehab facility with help relearning things or practicing actions that her mind or body may have forgotten. We are still trying to decide where would be best for Mom to go because all of the ones approved by Medicare are about an hour drive from us.