February 12, 2012
Sunday is supposed to be the day of rest. No one told Elaine that, or her loving friends and family. After an awful night of no sleep and some pretty serious pain in her left side, Elaine started another day. It took a few minutes for Elaine and Vangie (her roommate last night) to shake the cobwebs.
Freddie and his family visited from Las Vegas today. It was quite a site with six kids (3 from Freddie and 3 Francois kids) in one hospital room. It is possible that, “SHHHHHH!!” has never been said more in a one-hour window. Elaine also had some adult visitors today. She was so happy to be able to spend time with Pat, PS, Beverly, and Cindy. Special thanks to Pat for bringing DELICIOUS soup.
It turns out that one of the side effects from the stroke is that Elaine has trouble multi-tasking. I am sure that you all remember that Elaine was the master of looking at you as you were speaking while simultaneously using one ear to listen to another conversation happening around her. For now, this skill has been diminished. That means that when she concentrates, she excels at the tasks presented by her therapists. However, when she gets her radar up to listen to other conversations, her performance suffers!!
She certainly had to concentrate today! They have her working to keep her left knee straight and her left foot in the right position. It is not easy and often frustrating, but she fights through it with a will that is amazing to see in person. That determination carries over to all of her exercises. At one point, she was asked to spend some time working the dexterity of her left hand by moving balls from one bucket to another – something that most of us take for granted. After moving most of the balls, the therapist told her that was enough. But she didn’t stop until she had completed the task. For Elaine, “good enough” is NEVER good enough.
After enjoying a home-cooked steak and potato dinner, Elaine and Fred settled in for the evening. In an attempt to loosen up a neck and back confined to a hospital bed for too long, Elaine tried out a new massager to shake things up a little.
Fred is once again staying with Elaine tonight. We could never overstate how awesome he has been through all of this. He is incredibly loving, incredibly patient, incredibly compassionate, incredibly supportive, and just plain incredible. Elaine is lucky to have him by her side! He not only attends all of her therapy sessions with her, but he also encourages her and practices her exercises with her!
Elaine is so brave and so courageous! She inspires us everyday. It is not possible for us to be any prouder of her than we are right now! She has had to endure so much throughout her life, and this just another challenge that she is determined to beat. After you read this, for just a few minutes, try not using the left side of your body. It is possible to cheat, we’ve tried. Remember that she can’t. That will give you a brief glimpse into Elaine’s reality. Exceptional, tough, and strong don’t do her justice. She is Mighty Mite and she is our hero!