January 31, 2012
WHAT A GREAT DAY! Today Elaine showed the entire staff at Hoag Hospital just what kind of person she is. She impressed all of her therapists with significant progress in just 24 hours! She sat up in a chair for about 45 minutes and she even STOOD UP! While doing therapy, the therapist was trying to get her to keep her hip and butt up. He was poking her in the butt and finally he started slapping her butt to get het brain to remember and she said, “Oh, I love it when a man slaps my butt.”
Every day, or even every few hours, one of the nurses comes in and asks a series of questions to test neurological and cognitive ability. The always ask her age. When she was in ICU she had a habit of telling the nurse that she is 40. Then she waits a beat and says that 60 is the new 40. The ICU nurse laughed, but warned her not to use that line when she moves to the regular hospital or they may throw her in the psychiatric ward!
Onto the positive clinical news. The neurologist was very impressed and surprised by her progress. It all started in the middle of last night when she was able to squeeze the nurse’s hand with her left hand. Then she moved her left leg – just a little – but she moved it. That alone was a HUGE improvement from the day before, and is a testament to Elaine’s determination.
We think she loves shoving it in the face of the naysayers. They are definitely getting a sense of the kind of person she is. They are learning quickly that she will defy their odds and continue to surprise them everyday. She truly is the most incredible person with an unbelievable spirit. If you are reading this, you know what kind of person she is and you remember how you loved her the instant you met her. We know that all of your prayers and love truly inspire her.
As far as the prognosis goes, the plan is still to do the biopsy on Thursday. As you (and we) now know, that could change, and hopefully we will have a better idea tomorrow. Today’s progress was VERY encouraging. We are convinced that attitude and will are the most important things. Elaine has those attributes in spades, and every doctor and therapist that walks into her room learns that fact right away.
We remain incredibly optimistic and continue to take it one day at a time. We suspect that there will be more great days ahead with a few not so great days mixed in. She can handle those days, too. So can we. We are most grateful that she is here to fight this fight. As Fred has said many times over the last few days, he can’t imagine his life without her. We all share his sentiment.
Therapy wasn’t the only thing on Elaine’s schedule today. She also had a stream of visitors from near and far. Her dear friend Linda came by and braided her hair – no easy task with Elaine’s hair.
We are also so fortunate that Richie and Julie are here as part of our team. We literally could not do this without them. They stepped in and stepped up right away to help take care of Elaine and to take care of us. This is not the first time we have called on them for help, and they have always come. We are so grateful for the way they dropped everything to be here.
A BIG thank you to Ashley and Lisa who helped us out with the blog by cleaning up the design and making it look so much better. Please click on the Choose Joy link to read about Ashley and her own inspirational story as she battles cancer! She is an inspiration to us and Elaine and Ashley are two of the most incredible women you will ever met and certainly two people that will inspire you, amaze you, and won’t take no for an answer.
Lastly, we want to share with you the signs of a stroke. The quick response by Tim and Kyle literally saved her life and we urge you all to remember these signs. Time is the most important thing and it is better to be safe than sorry.
Think FAST to stop a stroke:
Face- ask the person to smile and look for any sign of a droop
Arm- Ask the person to put their arms in the air
Speech- slurring or difficulty repeating a sentence
Time- Call 911 because every minute is valuable
Please “subscribe” to the blog and you will receive an email when it has been updated. Continue to send her emails and write on the blog. Your messages give Elaine much needed strength and inspiration.
We love you