Valerie babysat last week and this week Marianne is on call for me tonight. Last week Valerie and I had a good talk about the some of the newer rehab therapies. A few years ago, her father had a severe stroke. He and Valerie’s mother have learned to live with his disabilities but it is hard on the whole family.
Other books, like Dr. Feltmate’s class mate, Dr Shawn Jennings’ description of his stroke and recovery, have been very helpful for me to get inside the mind of the stroke patient. Now my reading is directed at post stroke therapies. I want to be educated for the next stage of your marathon.
Today started off on the wrong foot at home. This morning there was no hot water and the pellet stove wouldn’t work so there was no heat either. A fire alarm was going off periodically all night for no reason and this morning Quinn was feeling queasy in his tummy. These problems were all identified by 7:30 am. By 7:30 pm I had almost all of them solved.
I felt I had a pretty good day considering the start.
I called you from work. I couldn’t wait to find out how the day went. You told me that you got the physiotherapist to use a TENS - like (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machine on your left arm. It made your muscle contract and pop up. You were pleased to see this. I don’t think that this machine has much to do with you therapy, I suspect she used it to show you that the wiring in your arm is still there. It was sort of a morale booster.
You found out that your cholesterol is too high. You are a little taken back by this news. This may mean the end to your guilty pleasure of Tim Horton 4X4’s. Far too much cream in that drink. There is 120 mg of cholesterol in one coffee. You probably should be consuming less then 200 mg a day. Two coffees exceeds the maximum daily intake in a day.
Tomorrow you will meet with the dietician and have your meals adjusted while at the rehab and you will start to learn how to control your intake of cholesterol for the rest of your life.
Tara and Quinn said good night to you on the phone tonight. Quinn is excited. Tomorrow is his ‘show and tell’ turn at school. When I asked him what he was going to take to show, there was a long pause. “I want to take two things. I want to take Daddy’s PEG tube but I also want to take the juggling balls that I got for Christmas. Maybe I’ll take both.” When he was tucked into bed he called down stairs “Mummy, can you put Daddy’s PEG tube in my backpack.” I am trying to imagine his teacher’s expression when she sees the tube.
You sounded tired tonight while on the phone. You expressed a little annoyance that you were expected to do as much as you can by yourself by the rehab staff. You have been a little institutionalized by the excellent care that you have received over that past 5 months. It spoiled you. You are frustrated with the demands put upon you now. I’m a little worried this is only the second real day of rehab. (Weekends don’t count.)
Just as I have challenges thrown at me at home with running the house and nurturing the children, you have your challenges at rehab. There will be good days and days that we’d sooner forget. But we will get through them one day and one challenge at a time.
Just put one foot in front of the other. The marathon continues.