Friday, October 20, 2006

Keeps on tickin'

Here they are in all their glory: Mom and Joe-Honey.

This photo was taken in Mom's room in St. Charles' rehab facility. The window looks out on a little alcove with trees and tons of adorable little birds. Pine siskins, I think. Here's another look at M&J. You can see the remnants of Mom's black eye. She fractured her orbit (eye socket) when she had the stroke and fell, but it's healing well.

Below are a couple more pictures of her rehab room:. She had a roommate, but they moved that woman out a few days ago, so now Mom has a private space.

Looking down the hall... even though the rehab place is "homey," you're still most definitely in a hospital.

The rehab facility has private rooms, nursing spaces, offices (for the social workers, therapists, etc.), and lots of "gym space." Mom spends up to 4 hours a day in active therapy right now, but in reality, every aspect of her day-- eating, dressing, using the bathroom, etc.-- has a rehab motive. She has rest periods throughout the day, but in between she's really busy. Here's a look into one side of the main gym. Mom and her therapist are in the parallel bars, while Joe watches.

Some closer looks (note that the gym looks out on a courtyard.... trees, plants, more birds, horseshoe pit, etc.):

Right now, one thing they do with her is put her in this standy-uppy-thing. It starts out as a chair, and gradually stands and stretches the patient (does this sound kind of like a vertical rack, or is it just me?) until they're standing. This helps circulation and strength, and helps the body remember what it's like to be upright.

Official "Barny Caption Contest." Barny is thinking.... " __________________."

More therapy. (We're not sure about the dart board. They also have a set of boxing gloves in one cupboard. One therapist reassured us that these were only used for staff meetings.) The therapist put the foam blocks down on the floor and had Mom pick them up and toss them into the plastic tub. Joe said that her free-throw average made her better than any of the current Trailblazers. (nyuk nyuk)

Here Mom is working on posture and shoulder-shrugging. Therapy is often done in front of the mirror, so that the patient can see how their body is working.

Here the therapist has her paralyzed arm strapped to a kind of skateboard, and she's asking Mom to work to move the arm across the table. Mom was actually able to move it a bit, which is progress!

She practices writing, too. Left-handed. The therapists believe that Mom's abilities to speak, write, and read were all tangled up by the stroke. So a good part of her treatment is helping all of this sort itself out again. In this session, the therapist first had Mom trace, then copy, and then generate her own letters. It was really interesting. Mom works really hard and (amazingly!) doesn't seem frustrated.

Here, the therapist is helping her stretch her leg muscles so that they don't tighten up. He had her lay on her back, knees bent and feet flat on the mattress, then asked her to move her legs/knees from side to side. And she could do it! In other words, she could move her paralyzed leg! This was great news....

Driving back and forth between Portland and Bend or between Eagle Crest and Bend, I was always guided by Mom's mountains-- The Three Sisters. According to Mom, Grandpa Joe (her dad) gave her these mountains when she was a little girl.

For me, it's helped to see the mountains, and the forests, and the animals on those long drives to Bend and back. No matter what else is happening in our lives, these things endure. It comforts me.


Anonymous said...

In regards to the Gammie Caption Contest, I'm pretty sure she is thinking "Stop taking my picture and get me my god damn drink."

But maybe that is just me.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear that she is making such progress! I think about Gammie daily and wonder how she's doing and know that if anyone can make it through... she can!

I'd also like to say that I agree with Erin on the contest!

:o) The Jessica