February 16, 2012
It’s tough to top yesterday’s news and excitement! In more good news, Elaine slept really well last night attaining her longest stretch of sleep since her stroke. The therapists took Elaine’s sling off last night making her much more comfortable. She was even able to lose those super tight white socks (that she wore to prevent swelling). Her left leg is still pretty swollen, but she is taking diuretics to help.
Taylor and Staci spent most of the morning and afternoon with her and it was quite a humbling day for both of them. The morning started with a shower. However, this time Elaine had to figure out how to not only bathe herself but also to dress herself. We aren’t sure how she managed, but she did it. Staci kept trying to help, but each time the nurse would get mad reminding her that Elaine’s goal was to regain independence, and this was the only way to she will learn.
It really is incredible the things we take for granted: the ease with which we put on our shirt, or pull up our pants, or brush our hair. We challenge you to try and do anything without the assistance of your left side (and it being a dead weight to boot). To make it work, you need to hold that arm and push it through the sleeve. We watched it today, and sat there in awe of Elaine’s determination and patience. We can’t imagine how frustrating it must be. Elaine still has immense pride and religiously puts on her face creams every morning and every night. She is also a stickler for putting on her makeup. She always looks beautiful, no matter how she feels. Today, Taylor held Elaine’s makeup while she put it on, and gave Taylor a makeover in the process.
Fred and Elaine’s friend Jim came by for a visit today. After that, Fred arranged a manicure and pedicure in her room that made her feel really good. Hopefully, she is going to get a massage tomorrow, as her back is full of knots.
Elaine started a new form of therapy for Little Darlin’ today. They are using STEM to stimulate the nerves in order to retrain her brain to grab and extend her fingers. Her fingers are getting better, and it was really neat to watch her fingers expand and get long today. One of her biggest challenges is to release after she has gripped something. They are going to try STEM therapy for the next few days and see if it helps. We always remind her that her hand will be the last thing to come back, but that it will over the next several weeks and months through rehab and spontaneous recovery.
Taylor helped Elaine in her therapy today. She was so sweet and gentle. It was really cute to watch. Most days, the kids stop by for an hour or so, but today Taylor spent hours there and now Christi is requesting a turn to be the nurse. They both asked if they could stay the night with Nammie one night. The kids have been so loving to her throughout this difficult time.