While in Rehab, her time was filled with constant therapy, meals, and bit of time for rest. Therapy was her full-time job! She especially enjoyed being able to leave the rehab floor and get her therapy in the therapy center on the first floor and be able to eat her meals in the cafeteria or in the Healing Garden.
While in Rehab, she was able to maintain working with her Occupational Therapist and Language Therapist that she met when she woke up in the ICU. In addition, she began working with another Occupational Therapist that she can continue to work with as an outpatient.
Her stay in Rehab lasted 11 days and as expected, she continued to make progress. While her therapy was hard and she was pushed everyday, Language and Occupational Therapy were the most challenging and caused her the most distress. At her first physical therapy session out of the ICU the therapist took her outside. It was the first time she'd been outside since the stroke. As she walked herself out the door, she raised her hands in the air and our eyes filled with tears.
While in rehab, the most frustrating thing for her was not being able move around her room without calling the nurse. For the safety of the patients, there was an alarm on her bed and on her chair. Eventually the therapists and doctors said she was physically stable enough to not need nursing assistance when Cheri and I were there (which was nearly all the time), which made her very happy. At her discharge she told John she was looking forward to no more "bells and whistles" on the bed or the chairs.
At the conclusion of Rehab, the team held a family discharge meeting where her team all gave an update to her progress and how her care would be adjusted as an outpatient.
Doctor: His main concern is that the cause of the strokes are still unknown. While orignially they thought the cause of some of the stroke (one side) was a partially clogged carotid artery, he isn't convinced of that- especially since she had stokes on both sides of her brain. While in rehab, she was put on a heart monitor to see if the cause was atrial fibrillation, or an irregular heartbeat, which she wore for 2 weeks. She should have the results in about 2 weeks. She will follow-up with both her neurolgist from the ICU and her doctor from rehab, who is also a neurologist. She will see them in few weeks.
Physical Therapy: no ongoing therapy
Occupational Therapy: outpatient therapy 2-3 times a week for an hour each time.
Speech and Language Therapy: outpatient therapy 2-3 times a week for an hour each time. They will continue to work on Language retrieval and then move onto problem solving strategies which will help her be even more independent.
The team cautioned all of us to be aware of "the outside view" of mom and her current condition. That while her physical health is strong, she can carry on conversations and has made such amazing progress, it will be hard for people who only see her intermittently to understand the depth of her cognitive gaps and all of the hard work she still has ahead of her.
She continues to make progress daily and keep her amazing attituted towards continuous growth. She has home therapy practice to do for Occupational Therapy and Language Therapy.
She had her first of two evaluation sessions with a Neuro-Optometrist for vision therapy. She will attend this therapy in addition to Occupational Therapy and Language Therapy. We won't know how often she will have this therapy until her evalation is complete at the end of the month.
She has bouts of energy and strength and has found she that if she limits her "events" to ONE per day she feels better. An event may include: a visit or phone call with a friend or family member, a therapy appointment or doctor's appointment, or a trip to the store. This is hard for a woman who would cram all of these things and more into her day on a daily basis.
She continually tells us her goal is to continue to make progress and find the balance of pushing herself to grow and not push herself socially too far to impact her recovery.
Recent Milestones Mom is especially proud of:
- Taking her first "post-stroke" dance lesson at her studio
- Using her left arm and hand to grasp in daily activities
- Monitoring her fatigue and resting when she needs to
- Being a non-smoker
- Continuing to scan her surroundings without prompting
- Choosing a dance competition to work towards
- Continuing to monitor her fatigue and resting when she needs to
Using the phone and computer is still challenging for mom so they are off most of the time. While we check her messages often, the best way to get ahold of her is through me and Cheri. If you text us and we don't respond, feel free to text us again!
Mom wanted to add this message:
"A special thank you to all my friends and family who have reached out to me. The girls have read all of of the messages to me and it has all been very important to my healing. I have a few hours a day where I feel really good and energetic. The rest of the time I spend in therapy, healing, and rejuvinating. I just want to thank everyone."