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Friday, June 10, 2011

Update 12, May 17

this is a video of Rachel doing a cartwheel-----captures her exuberance and joy beautifully:-)
Greetings, Friends------
             I have to admit right up front that this week has been a blur for me.  Writing this will maybe help me get some perspective on it all.  You all remember that on Thursday, my first update had the sad news that Providence was going to send Stu back to Grants Pass because he wasn't responding to the therapy.  Then, later that same morning, I got a call that the team had decided to keep him.  Wow-----the power of prayer comes to mind! 

On Friday (May 13), Stu underwent a test in which the Speech Therapist passed a scope down his nasal passage in order to videotape his swallow.  She asked me to be there for moral support, and I was able to watch on the computer as the video was made.  Who knew??  What a complex action, and we take it for granted!  Once she got the results, she was confident that Stu could start taking some soft food, so since Friday, he has been feasting on mashed potatoes, pureed turkey and gravy, vanilla pudding, and other such delights.  Hey, it's progress.  We'll get some health food
 in there a.s.a.p.:-)

On Saturday, I'm afraid he caused a commotion by somehow managing to fall out of his wheelchair and banging his head.  Oy vey.  The staff was really concerned, and a CT scan was ordered to make sure there was no damage.  Once again, no harm done------this is his third fall!  He has a genius for moving impulsively.  There were friends visiting who got there right after it happened, and I know they were concerned.  Interestingly, it brought Dr. Branch to the hospital unexpectedly, and I had a great talk with him about Stu's case, which wouldn't have happened otherwise.  The rest of the weekend was blessedly uneventful.   Whew.

Every Tuesday morning there is a meeting of the team that works with Stu---this includes Dr. Branch, who is guiding the process, an Occupational Therapist (that involves the hands and upper body), a Physical Therapist (legs and lower body), and Speech Therapist (swallowing and cognition).  It is impressive to watch the combined intelligence and discipline of this team, and how they communicate with each other to minister to the patient.  When you add the nurses and CNA's, the amount of care that Stu is receiving is really phenomenal.   Dr. Branch commented this morning that the report this week is amazingly different than last Tuesday's-----in one short week, Stu's labs are all looking good, his urinary tract infection is cleared up, he's on his way to getting his feeding tube removed, and his spirits are much more gentle.  The staff is all telling me how much they enjoy his personality.  He is pretty funny, I have to say, and tender----although the tendency to lament is still with him.  One CNA, Antonio, told me they sing soul music together at night.  The two of them did a little demo for me while I was there.  I think they should go on the road.  This morning he told Heather, his O.T. that she was a "sweet note in his day", and complimented her on her pretty hair (it did look nice).  All this to say, it's a relief to see the Stu I remember, coming back, impaired though he may be.

He is still paralyzed on his left side (although he does perceive sensation).  He has trouble sitting up and keeping his balance.  He gets tired of being told "Stu, do this", and lets people know in no uncertain terms.  Sometimes nighttime is spooky for him (one nurse told me that in stroke patients this is very common, and there's a term for them----sundowners)   He is not sleeping as much during the daytime as he was in the first few weeks, thank God, and last night I'm told he slept well for 71/2 hours.  But when I asked when the team thought he might be able to get around a bit by himself, they shook their heads and said "Not for a  lo-o-ong time."   So far I am blessed that the medicaid and medicare are covering everything, and Stu qualifies for veteran's benefits, so I started that process this week.  My home church, Lumen Dei, is very supportive, financially, spiritually, emotionally-----I am blessed.  Not to mention the support from so many friends and my faithful family.   But life is never going to be the same, and I have some  hard things to face in the coming months.  I'd appreciate prayer for wisdom about what to do with my business, and where to place Stu when it's time to leave Providence.  Like everything else in this saga, I trust that doors will open exactly when they're supposed to-----and that my greatest strength will be my ability to wait on God.  He is, after all, pretty comprehensive in his provision.  Grin.  Why is that sometimes so hard to appreciate?????

Finally, tonight is my last night with Rachel Jacobson.  What a fast 18 days!  I will put her on a plane to Spokane tomorrow, probably with a few tears of joy that God brought such a beautiful example of young womanhood into my life at this time.  There is hope, folks.  God has planted the next generation richly, I think.  It's an honor to help out with some of the cultivation. 

Many blessings                     


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