It seems hard to believe it has been only / already 3 weeks since Ted left Marion Joy’s rehabilitation hospital and moved from being an “in-patient” to an “out-patient”.
Out-patient continues to be an accurate description and Ted (and I) lead our busy lives – just a bit slower these days than in the past.
This week brought several changes including Ted’s brother Rick leaving on Thursday morning to go back home to Florida after first being in Nebraska for our youngest niece’s graduation and then straight to our house to be Ted’s driver and all around “home health care” provider. Thanks so much to Rick for all your help – we could not have made it this far without you!
Ted’s strength continues to improve and he continues to note things he could not do 3 weeks ago, a week ago and yesterday. Getting in and out of the car is much faster for him. When out and about and in the wheel chair, he leaves the cane in the car and walks the 3-4 steps from the chair to the car with no assistance other than the leg brace. For short distances, such as going into his favorite Starbucks location, he leaves the chair in the car and negotiates the journey via the leg brace and cane. Though I stay close by to lend an arm, he really doesn’t need it!
After Rick’s departure Ted was “Home Alone” on Thursday afternoon and Friday before getting a ride to his therapy session. He was justifiably proud of being able to get around the kitchen to get his lunch on Thursday and, on Friday, to get showered, dressed, put on his brace and shoes, get upstairs and deal with breakfast and lunch on his own on Friday!
Over the weekend we worked together in the kitchen to prepare various meals including yummy (and heart healthy) hash browns and grilled chicken. The stairs out to our patio are very similar to those into the house from the garage so getting outside to “man” the grill was not a huge new challenge.
Ted’s strength continues to build through his physical therapy work-outs. They use a treadmill, steps, a walker and various other tools to help build both left leg strength and to be sure Ted’s “gait” and follow through are correct. Drill Sergeant Sara would be so pleased. (We don’t want lingering hip problems down the road). On the occupational side, we see controlled motion returning in Ted’s thumb and the first two fingers of his left hand. Though he still cannot lift his arm without help from the right hand or play the piano yet we know it won’t be long until those other two fingers “wake up” and the whole gang is ready to sit down at the piano and re-learn those Broadway show tune bass lines.
The upcoming weekend brings a new challenge as Ted and I travel to Nebraska and South Dakota for our niece’s wedding (yes – the same one who just graduated from College). While the wheelchair is still a part of our lives, we are pleased that SW Airlines seems to have their act together re: how to check the chair, provide a “loaner” to get to and from the gate (and baggage claim). We (that would be Michelle) will also be learning how to drive an SUV (much bigger than our “normal” cars) – as the automobile of choice when traveling with a wheelchair.
When back from the wedding Ted is looking forward to beginning his “driver certification” to re-learn how to drive – pending approval by his new doctor.
If you happen to be in our neighborhood give a call and stop by. Ted has therapy on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons (though he will miss this week) but is generally available on Tuesday and Thursdays for visitors. (Afternoons are best – he is still not a morning person!)
As always, thanks to everyone for your prayers, your calls and emails, and all the support you provide us.
Ted and Michelle