Monday, October 30, 2006


:) ^_^

Ahhhhhh. Nice.

The final meeting at Pate was Fri. after lunch. Mom's neuro condition is superior to many people who are out walking the streets and working - especially the age 65+ persons. The Pate doctor gave her some homework, and joked that she and Dad could do it together, to see who did better.

Mom has zero neuro restrictions vis a vis staying home alone, or travelling around on her own. She is cleared to begin working, if she wants to.

She is not quite ready to drive. Her reaction time, and her peripheral perception, are not quite where they need to be. These conditions will likely resolve themselves over the next 6 to 12 weeks.

Mom does need, temporarily, to keep an eye on her balance. It is decent, but not excellent.

Leaving Pate was both sweet, and bittersweet. Pate has an outstanding staff of employees. We are friends with them, we love them, and we will miss them. Same with the residents.

The Pate doctor said that, during the last weeks of Mom's stay, she had become a de facto counselor for other residents. I observed the same dynamic vis a vis some of the staff. Mom is clearly back to herself, and ready to resume her normal life.

I am grateful.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Date Certain: Discharge on Oct. 27

In another 10 days, Mom will have blown through every level of neuro-cognitive care which Pate provides. The head of Pate's neuro rehab says she is "a star" in the Rehab Building.

Pate has a four part program for regaining driving skills. Mom has now passed two of the four parts. Each part has approximately 10-13 sections. All sections in a part must be passed consecutively; without failing any section. Mom spent 5-6 weeks trying to get through Part I. She needed only one week to get through Part II. Momentum.

Mom's physical therapist is ready to move her off of a quad cane, and onto a regular cane. After leaving Pate, Mom will continue physical therapy for another 2-3 ish months, mostly to finish her recovery from hip surgery.

Angiogram To Be Scheduled

Within the next 10 days, or so, Mom will have an angiogram to:

1. Check on the two aneurysm which were coiled in April - to be certain they are not leaking blood into her brain. It is a routine check.

2. Take a close look at Mom's third aneurysm. It was discovered in April, but was too small to do anything with at that time.

The procedure will be done at Baylor Hospital. It is unlikely, but not impossible, that Baylor doctors will do any further coiling, or anything surgical, in the near future.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Don't Step on the Lead

I was going to share a couple of anecdotes. Instead, let's have this stand alone:

Mom will likely be coming home on Friday, Oct. 27.

The discharge decision - yea or nay - will be made next week.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Hollywood Smiles; "Shoot"

Above is Rachel, of Flagstaff; and Doc, also of Flagstaff. Rachel and Doc are giving Austin, Max, and Kacy a strong challenge in the "Most Wholesome Photo" category. A horse always helps. And a Hollywood starlet smile. And mountains in the background. Rachel is a renowned horse-woman (within the family, at least!) She is Mom's grand-niece(?).

This is Lynn and Sam. Lynn is Rachel's Mom, and Nancy's niece. It's hard to say who is happier in this photo: Lynn, or Sam. You're welcome to vote in the comments. Lynn sent these pictures for Mom's collage of family photos. They are so nice, I decided to put them up here.

I do notice that Rachel's horse is standing still in the top photo, yet Rachel nevertheless wears a protective helmet. Lynn, in full "over age 29" flight, wears no protective helmet. Of all subjects in these photos - Rachel, Doc, Lynn, Sam - who is in greatest need of a helmet?

Mom's blood pressure is still highish. However, her systolic is consistently below 200, which is a relief. Dr. Johnson continues to diligently jigger with her medication dosages, in an ongoing effort to bring her blood pressure into a consistently normal range. I send him a list of her blood pressures every week, and he is very loyal about studying them.

I asked Dr. Johnson if we would ever know what caused Mom's blood pressure to rise. He evaded my question, and hustled me off his phone. I take that to mean we will never know - and only a foolish/bothersome layperson would ever ask such a question.

Mom understands her neurologic circumstances very well - and how close she came to a less exciting outcome. She is proud of her progress, and is determined to make a full recovery. She gets frustrated because, so often, she seems to be extremely recovered - only to be reminded, by something innocuous, that she still has a ways to go. She gets her confidence and hopes up - only to be exasperated by a simple neuro-mistake.

I spend the night with Mom sometimes. I got up one night when I heard her moving out of the bathroom. I asked if she felt comfortable and safe moving around in the dark.

Nancy: (confidently and declaratively) "I do, because I am very careful about my movements."

Nancy and Greg: (spend a moment silently marvelling at her progress)

Nancy: (Surveying her empty bed) "Where's Vachel?"

Greg: "He's not here."

Nancy: "Yes he is. He was just here last night!"

Greg: "Well, it's 4:00 AM. He hasn't been here after midnight. And he wasn't here before midnight, either."

Nancy: (takes a silent moment to realize she has dreamed/become confused about Vachel's presence. Takes a second silent moment to become exasperatedly angry with herself for becoming confused.) "Shoot!"

It was the most emphatic epithet she could reach for.