Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tuesday December 1 - Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze?

I had a great sleep with good dreams and a good morning. Tara had a bad dream about you dying and bad guys chasing us and then I die and it’s just her and Quinn on their own against the bad guys. It’s a pretty revealing dream – I think. She rallies once she is really awake and starts her day with enthusiasm.

When I get in to see you today, You are finishing off a good breakfast. Your appetite has been good. I’m sure you have gained some more weight. We will have to watch the food input now. You have been spoiled with chocolate bars, ice cream and Tim’s 4X4 coffees. A lot of empty calories as well as nutritious calories from the meals and the liquid food via the tube at night. Dr. Feltmate is going to check with the dietician about your night feedings. They may stop the night feedings for a week and see what happens to your weight. I can’t help but think that the night feedings have contributed to your gut irregularities.

“Is the juice worth the squeeze?” This is a phrase you have been saying a lot of lately. It’s a line from a movie. I don’t think it was an award winning quote or even a very good movie, but that line has captured you imagination. You discuss this concept with Dr. Feltmate. You suggest that this question could be asked about any undertaking.

“Is the juice worth the squeeze?” You explain to Dr. Feltmate that if one puts a lot of work into something, one must decide if the results were worth the effort. You make an example, - a puzzle that is unfinished but gets wrecked and you must re-do it. Sometimes, you point out, the process of learning is the ‘real juice’ not the resulting end product (a finished puzzle). The learning that went into the puzzle so far will help you solve it again.

You make an excellent point - The act of learning, or in your case the act of re-learning is the juice.

You said today, out of the blue, “My left hand doesn’t work”. You said this with a hint of irritation. This is the first time I have heard actually acknowledge your left hand verbally … even thought it was a rather negative thought. (You wondered why we keep it around. “Let’s just cut it of and throw it in the trash bin.”) Later, you went on to say while I was rubbing you feet, that you could feel a tickle sensation in your left leg! This certainly is progress. As little ago as last week you talked about your wedding ring being on someone else’s hand. This is progress.

We learn that you have an appointment for the NSRC via tele-health for next Tuesday. We are both excited about this. The Barthel score initially when done at the QE2 was 4%, last week it skyrocketed to 17%! This qualifies you for admittance to the NSRC but you must be re-evaluated again. You are not happy with 17%. Although you were never an over achiever, you are not pleased with 17%. I point out to you to focus on the improvement, not the actual score. 4 to 17% is a 425% increase.

You had a good physio session and the physio team designed a letter search game. Five letters were hidden at various spots along the hall. You had to wheel down the hall and search the walls for the letters. Three letters were on the left and two letters were on the right. The left, of course, is your weak area. You found four of the five letters. … 80 % … that’s better then 17% I point out to you. The letters you spotted were C H I S, you missed R. I think Tara and Quinn would like to play this game with you. Maybe on Thursday, which is an in-service day.

We met up with Joan, a fellow patient at the hospital, on the way back from the word search. We talk for a little while then you get talking with the ladies at the nurses’ station. Getting out and talking with people helps pass the time.

It is a good day. You are doing so well. You will have your stuck days, but you will have to remember that there are good days too and the next day may be better. When you are stuck, you are not stuck forever, just for now … you will get unstuck.

I have noticed that it’s difficult for the nursing staff to stand by you and just talk you through the process of changing your shirt. An efficient, yet, rushed nurse would have difficulty letting you take the time to do this yourself. On the days that I’m with you I try to encourage this sort of activity.

Today you received a wrist band blood pressure monitor in the mail from your parents. We try it out. After a little experimenting, we get it going. It is liberating, knowing that you can watch for problems before they are problems.

Tara, Quinn and I get our flu shots this evening. The children were a little apprehensive but they did it. Quinn volunteered to go first. Once he is in position to get the needle, I distracted him by asking him to spell his name backwards. He didn’t even notice the needle. Tara went next. She spelled ‘Truro’ backwards. She felt her needle more. I was last. Not to be outdone by the children, the nurse, who is getting on to the idea of how to distract, asked me to spell ‘Musquodoboit’ backwards! Well that stumped me – I could hardly spell that word forwards on a good day. We were told to move our arms around after the needle. So I started to hum the chicken dance – but only Quinn took me up on it. I think that I embarrassed Tara.

By the time we got back to your room with pizza for dinner, Tara’s arm was quite sore but strangely, it didn’t affect her appetite. She wanted three pieces of pizza! I think she felt the juice was worth the squeeze.

I wonder how you will feel about rehab … Will the juice be worth the squeeze?

No comments:

Post a Comment