|2023-03-10 (Friday) - "I'm done", then she got better.
- Came in and Melissa had a long night, no sleep, lots of pain (and the depression that goes with it), and the little fighter was ready to throw in the towel. She was like, "If you love me, take me home, let me sit in front of my lake, and take me out"... she was tired, in pain, and you get depression from that. And she "I'm done, and just want it to stop". This hit Mary a lot harder than me. I was more excited by how much her reasoning/communications had improved since just the night before.
- We just started going through how much progresss she had been making, and how she was over half way to having her old life back (and past the hardest parts), and what the next steps were, and her view kept improving. She doesn't remember more than a few days back, so can't see the progress, but when you explain it, give her context, and give he control over what's next, she starts to get hope. You start fix small problems (like I massaged out some of her foot pain), and it gets her back on a goal and seeing an end to this; and her world view improves dramatically. The little fighter was ready to go another round or two.
- I could understand how she's tired and in pain. But we talked about it, and tried to make her life better, one thing at a time.
- She's angry at the pain that hurts all over... but I started giving her a foot massage, and she was like, "OMG that feels SO good". 10 minutes on a foot, and she was a lot better. She can't localize pain, it's just all over. But you fix/improve the pain and her quality of life gets better.
- She doesn't like the hallucinations, but I point out they're temporary and happen more when she's tired, but that she can see the TV now, and me regularly (which was a problem a few days ago), and how much better she's getting.
- Her speech is so much better today, than just yesterday. Instead of over-annunciating, she's more mumbling a little, but all the syllables are coming out. She used to have problems with like TH, CH, SH in the second or third syllables. And now it's just a little mumbly, but no cadence problems or stalls, less starting over.
- I was talking about Rehab, and that she'd start that soon -- but that would help all her complaints; speech, mobility, etc., and it gave her hope. She'll 2-3 weeks of rehab and she could go home. Oh. It's not a lifetime of pergatory (or worse).
- She's angry at having strangers have to change her, but I could reason with her, give her context. She was standing, and as soon as she could more easily walk across the room, we could get her out of diapers and pooping on her own. She complained about the catheter, and I mentioned they were giving her drugs to strengthen her bladder, so they could remove that. Eliminating the indignity was a huge future win for her. (She does not like this, as none of us would).
- We talked about the pacemaker upgrade next week (now w/De-Fib) and she started getting that the light at the end of the tunnel is her life back with far more normalcy -- and she turned it around for the day. Did rehab, then passed out from the effort. Exhausted and less disattisfied.
- Her biggest fear is that she won't get her life back and is stuck in this forever. (Because her memory is mostly a few days, and she can't see improvement, only the helplessness). But as you convince her of the progress, this isn't "forever", and she recognizes there's an end, and her attitude gets much better.
- I was mentioning occupational therapy and things she might have lost but we have to try to find/fix like math. And she could multiplication, division, addition and subtraction. Proving she had a really good baseline. I think she was happy to hear how much she had. And how far she's come.
So after the rough start she did PT, ate like a baby bird, learned that she could hold and drink from a bottle, and feed herself if needed (She wasn't going to have to start from scratch). She was weak, but the basics weren't as far away as she thought.
- Melissa got her PT (Physical Therapy) stood up, did everything, crushed it, and was absolutely exhausted.
- Crashed, and took a 2 hour snore nap.
- Then when she got up was hungry, ate a bowl of chicken soup, then pudding, then Apple Sauce, then more soup, then a Shake/Malt made with Ensure and Ice Cream. She was telling the nurse, "stop pouring the pills into the Apple Sauce, just give them to me. And she swallowed them.
- There was a little whining about she was going to have to learn to feed herself and do all these things again. So I gave her a spoon and said "hit your mouth". Not quite the most direct hit -- but she was happy to discover that she wasn't that bad off. (She'd have worn a little of it, but could functionally shovel into her maw).
- And she was still thirsty, so I gave her a bottle of water, and she was able to grip it and drink on her own.
- Then Occupational Therapy came and got her sitting up, exercising, able to do coordination exercises, and so on.
- This changed the attitude massively, that she wasn't going to have to start from scratch.
- Mandy Visited Mary and I left her Girl Time with Mandy. They were chatting and doing hair (see picture of her getting her top knot out).
- Rehab is Tueday They could move her to rehab today (and were considering it), but the Docs decided to replace her pacemaker on tuesday (with one that does full De-Fib). That sucks because it slows her rehab as she can't use her left arm as much (for 2 weeks). But she had said "one and done", she didn't want to do rehab, then come back and get the pacemaker. So Melissa upgrade is coming, and I signed all the paperwork.