February 9, 2012
PROGRESS! Today was a HUGE day for Elaine. It was the first time in 13 days that she spent more time out of bed than she spent in it. The morning began with a 5AM blood draw, and there was not much downtime after that.
She was so happy to finally take a real shower and actually wash her hair. Fred the Stylist blew it dry and brushed it. There really is a first time for everything!
Elaine met with staff doctor. She had three one-hour therapy sessions: one each with an occupational therapist, a physical therapist, and a speech therapist. Elaine impressed all of them with her abilities and floored them with her attitude. In fact, the most common criticism from all three therapists was to SLOW DOWN. She always tries to do everything so quickly, or she tries to start and finish an exercise before they finish explaining it to her and are prepared to help her through it.
The therapists are working on explaining the value of patience in this process, and that there will be some good days and some tougher days. She has to retrain her brain, and understand how to work around her current limitations. She performed sensationally! Everyone at the center wants to work with her thanks to her attitude and her willingness and desire to get better. It is either her attitude or the fact that she has been a singer / songwriter over the past couple of days. Her new favorite is own version of “Rag Doll” which she sings about herself as she "dances" around.
Another nice thing about today was that Elaine was able to spend some time outside and enjoy what was really beautiful weather. Her body is used to the sun, and she was happy to soak in some Vitamin D.
Elaine also spent some time acclimating her internal clock to a more normal pattern. Two weeks in the hospital with someone waking you every hour with all kinds of questions would throw anyone off schedule. I am sure quite a few of you received emails or texts at 3 AM.
After her long day, Elaine was physically and emotionally exhausted. We are hopeful that she will get a well-deserved full night of sleep. We hope the same for Fred who we convinced to go home for a night. Vangie, who has been so helpful, is staying with her tonight. So far, Elaine still has a single room (no roommate yet). We are pretty sure that our gang would scare any potential roomies away. Someone is always with Elaine. Staci and her three kids show up with dinner every night – probably a little overwhelming for another guest.
Elaine’s spirit continues to shine through in every activity. At one point, the speech therapist was asking a series of questions to test her ability to retain and recall information. Then, they moved into questions about the seasons and the weather. There problem solving drills, too. They asked her to write any sentence she wanted. This what she wrote:
As Elaine was getting into bed tonight, the nurse couldn’t believe how much stronger she was since even the morning – and this was when she was exhausted with achy muscles. We will never get tired of writing about what an inspiration she is and how much we love her!
We continue to be humbled by the outpouring of love, prayers and support from all over. We thank you all and appreciate each and every call, text, email or card. So many have expressed interest in wanting to come and visit. We are so appreciative of that. She definitely wants to see you all, but we just need a little bit of time. She is working really hard, and it is very tiring for her and rest is very important in her recovery. Please bear with us as we get used to the new schedule, and don’t take it as a sign we don’t want to see you. We absolutely do and need you!