Sunday, August 19, 2012

Lynne's Healthcare Adventure – Part III

June 21 - “Tennis Anyone?”
Hi All,

Lynne is being truly inspirational. Today she and her PT, Mike, had me witness Lynne walking about 25 feet without the aid of a walker, and walking up a flight of stairs with a railing, and back down, twice! At first Mike shadowed her, then he taught me how to do it, exactly where and how to stand in case she needed help, and the most efficient ways to catch her should she fall. But neither of us touched her once. She did all of it independently.

Mike explained that he didn't want her to do more because, while her motor skills are clearly improving rapidly, she still needs to build up her endurance. She takes some pretty deep naps between sessions. Throughout the actual exercises, and while listening to Mike's explanations, Lynne's face was beaming. It's odd to say it, but she's having the time of her life.

At one point this afternoon I was talking with the OT trainee, a truly lovely, gracious young woman named Minnie. She that Lynne was “cooperative and motivated. It's nice to have patients like that.”
More later.


June 25 - “The Latest from LynneWatch 2012”
Hi Friends,

The plan is still for Lynne to be discharged on Friday. The main focus that remains is training her to walk properly on her right foot without benefit of much sensation in it. They can't really project to what degree or how fast those particular nerves will regenerate. In the meantime, they teach her to use other cues, like visual, or gauging the proper position of her foot by how her hip feels. Until they feel confident that she can consistently walk without endangering herself – and she makes great progress every day in physical therapy – they will keep her there. Once she does come home, she will still likely have regularly-scheduled outpatient sessions. We're holding the vision that her sensation will eventually come back completely, but we also understand that everything is speculation at this point. For sure she is thrilled that she can now sit without pain, something she couldn't do at all prior to the surgery.

Whether or not Lynne is discharged on Friday, we're aiming for her to be well enough for the hospital to allow me to take her to Lafayette on Thursday evening for the third session of a five-session course she and I have been taking there (Saying Yes to Pleasure - with Lab). She was originally only expected to miss the first session, and the school went out of its way to make sure two assistant teachers (who also happen to be our friends Dave and Millie) drove from Lafayette to San Leandro on Saturday with a laptop and DVD of Session #2 so she could catch up with the rest of us.  We're all hoping she'll be able to attend Session #3 in person.

That's the news from Lake Woebegone. Thanks for your constant good wishes.

Best to everyone,

July 2 - “Lady Liberty”
Dear Family,

Hallelujah! Lynne was discharged on Thursday, a day earlier than scheduled. Her therapy staff determined that, since they were clearing her to attend the course in Lafayette Thursday night, they might as well let her come home afterward, rather than insist that she return to the hospital that night, only to be released the next day.

It is wonderful for everyone, especially Lynne, to have her home. One friend told her that this is when the time of patience begins. Of all the qualities I love about Lynne, her lack of patience is one of her most endearing. Her recovery is proceeding according to schedule, but, to Lynne, that's way too slow. She may have to use a walker around the house, and there are many stairs, but she has quickly started expressing her independence. She tends to park the walker when she enters a room and then use the counter-tops and furniture to help her navigate. Her weekly outpatient PT sessions start next week, but this phase clearly won't last long. She already likes to show off by lifting her hands away from the walker as she moves, in order to prove she doesn't really need it.

Updates as they occur.

Love to you all,

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