Mike Day 67: A Simply Lovely Day

April 26, 2011

Family, Health, Mike

Wow.  What huge progress Mike has made in a few short days at neuro rehab.  He walked 85 feet with the walker. It’s a bit clunky and he tires for sure…but I hearken back to February when we could barely get two eye blinks from him.  He walked with the assist of me and the nurse, no walker, and parked himself in the restroom twice.  Cognitively, there are deficits to be sure.  But from a confusion perspective, he has more and more moments of clarity.  Language remains something of an issue.  But he can usually make his needs/wants/requirements known…and can tell when we don’t understand and tries again.  Names of people in his life seem to be coming back.  Yesterday he was fixated on Cameron…our eldest grandson…and everybody was Cameron even though he recognized who we were and what our roles in his life were.  He was up in his chair from about 8:30 am till 8:30 pm…something the nurses tell me is a huge thing.  Well, they said 8 hours is a huge thing given how sick he’s been and that last week it was 2 hours-4 hours max. 

A cardiology consult is arranged for tomorrow, I’ll meet with him and discuss some specifics that are troubling me going forward because first and foremost, Mike has a looming cardiac issue and is a Cardiac Patient.  His new doc made a couple changes.  First, the tube feed that he had running 24×7 has been changed to 4 boluses a day.  More like 3 meals and a bedtime snack as his nurse characterized it.  This will more readily facilitate regular bathroom routines.    And we’ve begun that “potty training” already with regular trips to the restroom just to see.  He doesn’t like an audience, his bladder and bowel is shy…but somebody needs to stay for safety.  I asked him who he’d rather have observe such things…the nurse or me…his response, emphatically, “YOU!”  I was reminded of the for better or worse, in sickness and health as I smiled thinly thinking I had rather hoped he’d say the nurse for this one!  Then I remembered our wedding ceremony was entirely in Ukrainian and I could certainly have promised this or most anything since I speak/spoke no Ukrainian and have no idea what the promises entail. 

The best moments of all came late in the day.  About the time he ordinarily gets a little confused, he asked me “how’d we get here?”  and I reminded him where we were and of the events since February.  He took it all in.  I asked if he remembered any of those things I that I told him about and he said “some of them.”  We talked of our future, going home, what we looked forward to.  Of course, the majority of the verbalization was mine…but Mike was always a man of few words.  His grin told me my suggestions and plans were definitely agreeable to him.  We held hands and watched TV (the History Channel, his favorite, and my least.  Boy does he owe for that one!) and I let him doze in the chair for about 20 minutes. 

About 6:30 our daughters came.  He recognized both immediately and, since I had told him earlier they would be, he was looking forward to it.  He missed on the names at first but remembered with reminder.  He was affectionate with them.  Interactive.  He pulled them toward him for a hug and a kiss.  He tickled Lara and played with the pudge on the back of her arms as he used to do when gently (and not so gently ) reminding her she needed to watch what she ate.  He was obedient to Kristin when she put him in his place for the single grab at feeding tube and trach…he realizes she won’t be a pushover or debate it with him endlessly. We had a cool cloth on his head, Kristin refreshed it frequently.  He motioned he wanted to use it to wipe his mouth…she gave one to him which he immediately put in his mouth to suck the water from it.  We retrieved it, reminded him of swallowing deficit consequences, refreshed the cloth and went to put it on his head…he reached and we played games trying to keep it from him as he tried to catch it.  He had fun with it…and was smiling brightly.   He told them he loved them and looked lovingly at them.  He reached to me, took my face in his hands and brushed falling hair out of my face.  He tickled my neck and chin and stroked my face.  Yes, he was fidgety…but not confused as he has been and definitely not aggressive.  I found myself thinking of those rainbows…

Unfortunately, he also had a temp of 100.8 for no apparent reason…as he is wont to do lately…and I worried that this was going to become SOMETHING.  This morning his nurse tells me it is 98.8 and he slept a little more than half the night and had a good night overall. 

Best of all…my girls brought dinner for me when they came, left to get themselves some because I was snoring on Mike’s bed while they visited, and they determined I needed to go home and sleep.  They would stay till they got kicked out.  What a gift…both the rest, and my girls.  Thank you both…I know you were both tired, and I appreciated the break knowing he was safe in hands that loved him as much as I do.

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One Comment on “Mike Day 67: A Simply Lovely Day”

  1. Elvira Herring Says:

    Glad to read the good news— keep fighting, Mike.
    Hugs & Prayers, Cousin Elvira


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