March 17th has been a special day for us. With both of your parent’s families come from Ireland. You were brought up being green. I have no green Irish blood in me but the idea of leprechauns and other Irish magic along with an interesting history has engaged my imagination.
Since the children have been in our lives, we try to do something special on Saint Patrick’s Day each year. A few years ago, you made Irish lamb stew. Last year, I tried my hand at an Irish dinner, which included green milk for the children. The green milk seemed like a good idea at the time but apparently, it didn’t taste so good.
This year we all wore green. Quinn had given Tara a green top for her birthday and I had packed a green top to wear today. You and Quinn didn’t have any green clothes so yesterday we made a trip to the local Zellars and bought green t–shirts for you and Quinn. Quinn quite likes the idea that you are matching today.
We make a minor stir wherever we go because we are all in green. We get lots of comments about the green theme. Oh well, the children like it.
Your PT has plans for you. She wants you for a few more weeks … possibly four. She wants you to manage al sorts of transfers so that you can move safely from spot to spot with little risk of injury. She wants you to learn how the manage, not only stairs where there is a hand rail, but also curbs and other ‘everyday’ minor obstacles.
You have the advantage of being very athletic before your stroke. You used to have great balance. Your balancing skill is somewhat affected but some talent is still there and that has made the transition to stairs and the cane go fairly smoothly. You get a little excited at hearing this. “What about running?” You ask. I have to rein you in and remind you, “You have to walk before you run.”
After PT, the children and I leave you to your lunch and head off to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. We check out lighthouses, learn a little Morse code and see model boat builders at work. It’s a whirlwind visit because we have to be back at the NSRC for the psychologist appointment.
In the afternoon, the children hang out with a recreational therapist on the fourth floor while we meet with the couple and family psychologist again. It mostly a ‘checking in’ session. A lot less tears for both of us then the first meeting with him. He notes that we seem better today then before. I have to agree. I don’t want to discount what the psychologist did for us but I think that hanging out like a real family for the last five days was very therapeutic for us.
Dr Mountain says that it’s official – you are staying for another four more weeks the new tentative discharge date is April 22. This is because they feel that they can do a bit more with you. Independent transfers is the goal. This will enable you the actually go to the washroom by yourself. Something that most 45 year olds take for granted. This skill will be quite liberating for you and possibly the start of things to come.
After dinner, you call your mother to wish her a good green St Paddy’s Day. When I talk to her, she sounds tired. Dee Dee has been battling health issues ever since your journey began. It’s a quick call because we called with the cell phone. The children didn’t get to talk to her for long. They both miss their grandmother very much.
Quinn is in tears again at the dinner table. After some coaxing, he said, “I miss Dee Dee”. He said that he was embarrassed to say that was why. You share your feelings about embarrassment with Quinn. You have had a lot of embarrassing things happen to you over the past few months but you have found that no one can make you embarrassed. You wonder aloud if the children are embarrassed to be with you. Quinn and Tara protest loudly to this idea.
They have been counting down the days until they could come to Halifax and visit you. You have no idea how much they miss you. When we are at home and you are in Halifax, they talk about missing you all the time.