Thursday, June 19, 2008

Reporting From Lake Woebegone and the Chatter Box Cafe

I think Vicky is doing very well; she doesn't always believe that. Her pneumonia is caused by food aspiration. Her throat nerves and muscles aren't in good shape thanks to all the tubes that were in there for so long. That means she doesn't realize that the food is going to her lungs not her stomach. So she's on antibiotics, a mushy diet so she won't aspirate and has an appointment with a swallow specialist so she can learn to overcome this. This means no more diet coke because everything she swallows must be thickened. It doesn't change the flavor but it does change the consistency. She's craving diet cokes.

Yesterday we made a list of the 30 things that she can do now that she couldn't do when she left the ICU. I think she was a little surprised at the length of the list. She has moments where the old Vicky kicks in. Yesterday we were going to go to the courtyard area to get some fresh air. As we approached the door she said, "let me see if I can roll myself over the bump." A few minutes before that she was definitely in the dumps. She did the same thing on the way in; she got over the bump both times. We added that to the list.

Went to physical therapy with her, and despite her protestations, she did very well. Today we are going to work with the physical therapist to set goals for her. For example, walk the length of the PT room twice with the walker, the safety belt held by the PT and the wheel chair behind her. Next would be not having the wheel chair behind her. She's a teacher by training and profession so I'm hoping this will work.

We've also made a list of what she wants to be able to do. We are going to put dates by those things today.

Today or tomorrow she will have a blood transfusion because her hemoglobin is low. That will really help because she has no energy. Unfortunately we have to take her to a hospital to get that accomplished. Today is the Farmer's Market in Elk River, the town where her facility is located. As soon as she heard that she said, "can I go?" I immediately placed a phone call to find out if the area of the market is paved. Haven't heard back yet, but the fact that she wants to go is wonderful.

She just called; the power is out at the facility; it's not the power company's fault. They are working to restore it. I'm just glad she doesn't need any power to keep her going.

So that's all from the Chatterbox Cafe. Thanks for all the movie suggestions. I read the cards you folks sent. Loved them and so did Vicky. I'll blog the new address tomorrow so you can think about sending another card. Blogauthor sent a Christmas card and said Vicky was getting her first card of the season. So think about getting ahead of the Christmas rush. Any card will work to cheer her up.


Danulai said...

A modified diet is hard, and taking those thickened liquids can be wearing. It's really bizarre to drink thickened water or thickened orange juice because the taste is there, but the consistency is all wrong. They can thicken almost any liquid with thickening powder, but I imagine a thickened Diet Coke wouldn't be refreshing. I hope she makes good progress during her swallowing therapy!

Rhonda said...

Your sister's recovery is amazing!
Now that is something to be thankful for...