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Mom’s Heart: Day 17-19

October 14, 2009

Shower, Bicycling & Walking

It has been a few days since reporting Evelyn’s updates. Dave & I were not down on days 17 &18. On day 19, all available hands traveled to Eugene for the progress conference at South Hills Rehab.

Highlights on day 17 must have been the shower. Evelyn finally felt well enough to go for it, with help from a night assistant. She called Kim to have her bring over a bar of special soap from home. The evening assistant, not as well versed in how to give showers to patients, ended up with shoes full of water. Poor guy! I think it was fairly early on his shift too.

She has been experiencing difficulty with regulating her pain medication. I’m still unclear about what went on, but it seems like she was asking for smaller doses of Tylenol that were unable to alleviate the discomfort. Sounded like the Oxycodon (codeine)was back in use on Tuesday. She did note that there was an increased circulation to her hands (warming effect) when she took the Tylenol. Now if she lived in China, they could be feeding her dog meat to increase her circulation….wait, she can’t eat yet and she doesn’t like meat!

The physical therapist started her on a cycling machine. None of us took a peek at the machine but we all guessed it to be a recumbent. She did 10 min of continuous cycling on Tuesday morning. Evelyn couldn’t believe she could do the workout and be talking at the same time. The sessions will continue until she is up to 30 min. Maybe she needs one for the coast? Might be better for her overall health than walking. (She is unable to walk distances due to unsolvable feet problems.)

Another big step Tuesday was her ability to get to the bathroom on her own! No more calling for assistance! She was a bit repulsed at the state of the toilet, then she realized it could have only been her.  She referred to it as the “poopy toilet”.  If housekeeping leaves behind any cleaning supplies, she would probably jump in to clean the mess.  I was surprised the cleaning crew didn’t perform a more through job daily, who knows, maybe they do! Evelyn also wanted to qualify that she never used to use the word “poopy” until the grandchildren came on the scene over 25 yrs ago.

On day 19 we had an 11 am progress conference with staff, father, siblings & patient.  This is the information from the meeting: The facility was going to contact Evelyn’s PCP via fax and request a PEG tube be inserted and the nasogastric tube removed. Evelyn was surprised this request had not gone through sooner. The family wants her to be able to eat before getting released. Evelyn has not participated in any activities at the facility. Is that a surprise? Our mother wouldn’t be caught dead singing karaoke or making cute projects. She is observing and recording mentally the events outside her window (squirrels, bird sightings, weather). The staff was quite surprised at how intelligent and well educated she is.  Guess they don’t always see that in their patients. She is one sharp cookie!  One bad thing Evelyn brought up was that an infection started on one of the leg incisions. The nursing staff was unaware. Evelyn is dreading taking a round of antibiotics. They don’t play nicely with her gut. All I can think of last year’s incident in March/April.

After the meeting and spending more time with her, it was off for lunch at the Glenwood on Willamette with Mike, Kim, Lee, Dave & I.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. jeul permalink
    October 14, 2009 8:24 am

    Thanks again for the update, The infection is a concern, that’s why I wish they had kept her at the hospital til the eating and wounds were healed, care centers don’t seem to catch even the obvious. Otherwise some good news. Peace, jean

    • paperstew permalink*
      October 14, 2009 2:25 pm

      Yes, the infection is a big concern. It could also pass along to her roommate Phyllis. Staphylococcus anyone? Dave’s mom certainly knows all about it and will have her leg amputated on November 4th (due to constant infections). Hopefully Evelyn will be able to kick-it, what ever IT is! The PT also mentioned that we might also keep the thought in our brains she might not learn to swallow. Knowing Evelyn, she will overcome this problem. Maybe we need a different PT!

  2. Cynthia Spencer permalink
    October 14, 2009 3:02 pm

    Unfortunately hospitals and care facilities are the worst places for infections, and am glad your mom was on her toes to notice it! So glad to hear your mom is up and about and exercising even.

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