Mike Day 89: (Almost) Out Of Exile

May 18, 2011

Family, Health, Mike

At last the exile that resulted from our very indulgent and unhealthy eating habits…which is all Mike’s heart attack is attributable to…is almost over.  

As discharge became a sooner rather than later reality bearing down on us, I began to feel kind of unsettled about some open items relative to Mike’s daily existence that I really felt needed work prior to discharge.  Thus, I wrote a lengthy email to his care manager and asked how to get these things accomplished!  I’ll tell you.  While I might not have been the biggest advocate of the communication path at the rehab up until now, I realize, that once identified to the care manager she gathered the necessary players together and we got things squared away.

What we ALSO got squared away is a discharge date!  Next Thursday, May 26, Mike is coming home!! That will be after 96 days of hospitalization in either Critical Care, Intensive Care, Open Heart or another Acute Care follow on facility.  (You don’t EVEN want to know what the medical bills are like….thank the Lord for good health care insurance!)  I cannot wait.  Mike, unfortunately, cannot fathom 7 days…or why he would need to wait 7 days…and repeatedly asks when we’re going home.  And why we must wait 7 days.  About every 5 minutes. 

I can’t WAIT for him to come home.  Sure.  There will be trying times and challenges.  It’s going to be like bringing home a very, very large, strong toddler in many senses.  One who has a taste of being a grown up.  And who is not able to be put into a play yard for safe keeping.  (and a break for the caregiver!)  Bottom line, we have a short time where we must prepare the house for his return and his safety.   The bedroom…which is the entire basement of our house…must be cleansed of all things that smack of weapon.  Guns, knives and the like, which the big guy collected, must be removed.  This will be a battle with my son.  They can be safely stored at my brothers.  They should not be here.  He doesn’t like that notion.  They are locked here, but still….easy to get at if Mike becomes determined enough. There are hosts of chemicals/cleaning products in the laundry area…all must be thrown out or locked up.  The bed will need to be pushed against the wall, I think, so he can sleep on wall side and would have to crawl OVER me to get out of bed.  Hopefully that would wake me up…. The kitchen needs an overhaul.   The back yard and side yards need policing…I guess I’ll put the kiddies to work there…and Cameron can scrub the basement and kitchen floors.  All of this is to transpire on Saturday…when all the kids are scheduled to descend to the basement, joined by my girlfriend Deb…and anybody else who wants to join in the cleansing fun!…to ream out the basement bedroom suite and rid it of all items of potential hazard.  If you don’t hear from us by Monday, send a search party!

We are also in need of a second hand railing on the stairs to the first floor from the basement, a grab bar in our shower, ideally a railing at the stairs from the driveway and the front porch needs repair to the stairs before I can think of taking him on those steps.  The railing to the first floor will have to wait till end of the month.  The grab bar sometime thereafter.  We’ll need to make do.  Mikey or Cameron will need to be the grab bar for showers for a bit.  Til the railing to upstairs goes in, we’ll use the deck stairs.  They are easier anyway, and already have two rails.  The front porch?  Well.  Who knows when I can do that!  But we can get in and out through the back so I’m not worrying too much.  Bottom line…he’s going to be home.  We will figure it out and handle it as we go. 

He’s got a yukky bedsore we must treat.  It’s getting better, but I’ll have to dress it daily.  Easier on somebody who is NOT your loved one, I can tell you that! So he’ll have to go to the Wound Care Center at Lehigh Valley, he’ll also have therapy 3 days a week (three hours per day), his doctor’s appointments (which I’ve already scheduled the first of), and whatever other appointments are required to deal with his illness.  I’m thinking Mike will be too busy to do the nap/tv time he envisages himself doing (exclusively) when he gets discharged!  But…underlining all….he’s alive.  He’s coming home.  YAY!

Today he has a new barium swallow to see if his swallowing has improved.  I hope it has and his diet can be upgraded.  He is not eating this pureed food!  If he could only swallow real food…not baby style food…he’d eat.  But trust me.  Baby food texture is giving him huge agita.  I have my fingers crossed. 

Meanwhile, the Vitamix arrived yesterday.  I’ve got protein powder coming later this week or early next.  They tell me he needs 150 grams of protein a day…a lot…for wound healing.  He’s not eating that much because of the diet.  Smoothies will be going in.  And he’ll get Smoothies at home.  Pureed/creamed soups.  All courtesy the vitamix.  I’ve also plotted, planned and researched.  Both Mike and I will be changing our diets radically…we’re going to be vegan.  The research is out there.  Animal products provide cholesterol, cholesterol provides heart disease.  Vegan diets (without saturated fats from the veggies, or oils, or nuts and seeds) have been shown to reverse the effects of coronary artery disease.  It may or may not do the job.  But it can’t hurt.  I’ll err on the side of caution.  I’ll take the chance it will help.  I expect as long as I give him good tasting stuff, that looks good, he’ll be ok with it.  Lord knows I will benefit.  Watch for our food/health adventures at the new blog I started…  Vita Eats …where I’ll be writing about our new lifestyle, food style, and more importantly, the changes to our health that result from it.  You’ll also find some links there to some excellent sites that will help you to revitalize your health through your diet if you are so inclined. 

Meanwhile, I’m starting some laundry and beginning to shovel under some of the mess in the basement from the last 3 months when all I did was sleep here once in a while.  There’s dust. There’s debris.  There’s piles.  UGH!  Time to get busy!!

Talk to you soon…

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One Comment on “Mike Day 89: (Almost) Out Of Exile”

  1. Dawn Wigfall Says:

    Robin have you inquires about any agency’s to help with repairs, ramps, and such for transitioning from hospital to home. My mom went through Liberty Resources of Allentown…but I think there are other grants and places that can help with the equipment and things Mike needs to help him when he’s back home.


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