Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dispatch from Room 557

Rehab is a world unto itself.


I think it is the lack of privacy that is getting to me more than anything.  There is not one aspect of your existence that is not scrutinized and made fodder for casual discussion amongst the staff.  What is sacrosanct for you is routine for them.  And that is, after all, their job.  But because there is no Cone of Silence, you hear more about yourself and your co-inhabitants than you ever would have wanted to know in a million years.  I am horrified to hear my elderly roommate reporting intimate details about my body functions to her friends and relatives.  I can’t imagine they are all that thrilled either.  At least those who are under 80 and not demented.

All rooms are doubles and, from the sound of it, no match is an ideal one.  Everyone has an issue and I am no exception.  Sharing a room with a seriously ill 85 year old with mild dementia is in turns humbling and exasperating.  She is truly suffering, and whimpers a good part of the day.  It makes my heart break but it is also extremely upsetting to listen to.  She is up multiple times during the night and, as a result, so am I.  The television blasts even though she is not watching it and I have to ask for it be turned off from in front of her sleeping form.  She is experiencing significant, audible gastric distress and I, apparently, am particularly susceptible to the sounds, as queasiness is becoming a permanent condition for me.  If I have to use the bathroom, it never fails that the aide has gotten her there first, which will mean a wait of at least 45 minutes while she is taken care of and washed up.  She needs help with her tray that I am too weak to give her, which means I have to sit and listen to her struggle until the staff comes in to help her.  And then there was the panic when she was apparently dreaming and called the nurse to report there was something seriously wrong with her roommate (me).  I was sitting on the edge of the bed reading as I heard this transpire out of the corner of my consciousness and an entire team had rushed in to resuscitate me before I could say a word.  They looked at me and I looked at them while she insisted there was something substantially wrong with me.  Which there clearly wasn’t.  If nothing else, it got everyone’s heart rate up a bit.

But then in the night I hear her murmuring, offering thanks and praise to Jesus in gentle little whispers.  I am chastened by her simple expressions of faith in the face of such adversity and pain.  With gratitude, I silently join in.

Physical and occupational therapy is hard work but, I am pleased and surprised to find, effective.  I can feel some strength creeping back, although stamina is slower in returning.  The staff is no-nonsense but incredibly kind at the same time.  My fellow patients are a fascinating cross-section, but each individual is a study in courage and accomplishment.  Some have had strokes, some are simply weak from advanced age, some are recuperating from surgery.  It is awe-inspiring to see how hard they are working and how determined they are.  There are some exceptions, those who are frightened and confused, those who are resistant and at least one dirty old man, but most are valiantly giving it everything they have. 

There is another woman here with MS.  The first day of my admission I was cheerfully told by a few people that we would be introduced, that I would like her, that she was very nice.  Which I had no doubt of.  But it never fails to surprise me that people consider having MS to be some sort of choice or hobby that connects people who have it.  I have no more in common with someone with MS than with an average person.  If they had said they would introduce us because she was a writer too or was a movie buff or lived in Ocean Township, that would make sense, but not based on the disease we both have.  And when I see her in therapy my heart sinks.  She is very, very ill and extremely impaired cognitively and physically.  What were they thinking?

The second day I am here (hmmm, or maybe the first?; it is so easy to lose track), I am interviewed by the team neuro-psychologist.  The mini-mental exam is interesting, but not interesting enough for me to rise to the challenge.  I just cannot wrap my brain around eight (or maybe nine?) unrelated words she asks me to remember and repeat.  I ought to be embarrassed, but I just don’t care.   Considering how competitive I usually am intellectually I am astonished at myself, but it is no incentive.  I have no interest in those eight words and they just won’t stick.  We return to them maybe six or seven times before giving up.  I never do remember them all.  It is a pretty humbling experience.  But not one I am particularly upset about.  This is not a good sign.

My independence has slipped away over the past year as the lymphedema in my legs limited my mobility and my function.  I did not put up much of a fight, as I am just so weary.  It seemed as though I had hit that wall of accomplishment and was just through with everything.  Hard earned career was over and done with.  Weight gain had rendered me hideously unattractive and uncomfortable.  I no longer bothered with getting my hair and nails done.   I don’t wear jewelry anymore or wear nice clothes.  What’s the point?  Not yet 60, I could see no future.  But the therapy here has had such an impact in so short a time that I wonder, maybe I will drive again?  Maybe I will be able to get myself somewhere to meet a friend for lunch or go visit my dad?   One of the nurses (Becky, I just love her!) is chatting as she wraps my legs and says offhandedly “Miracles happen all the time, you never know.” 

Now those are eight words worth remembering.



Photobucket




Did you like what you read? Let others know. Thanks!

16 comments:

Patty Woodland said...

Hey, you almost sound like some goatherd I know in Montana.....

Stay positive. It's all you got

Jane Turley said...

Mind over matter, Marie:) You reached the bottom, now it's time to start climbing out:)The nurse is right - sometimes astonishing things happen:)

And, by the way, there's nothing wrong with your brain! This post is evidence of that:) You were just tired when you did those tests, that's all. It happens to everyone. I'm having about of insomnia tonight - tomorrow I will be a complete zombie:)

Webster said...

I wonder how you do it Marie. Throughout this post I was thinking, "Oh. My. God." then you wrap it up with those eight little words. Yes. Miracles do happen. Good luck and get well.

Muffie said...

I'll be praying for that miracle! In the meantime, I know you'll work hard at getting well enough to be sprung from rehab. Good luck with all you have to endure!
Peace,
Muff

Shorespinner said...

I am praying for you and your very own miracle. Please God it comes soon.

Anonymous said...

This does not mean, necessarily, letting down your guard and pouring your heart out about how much you love your grandmother. There is a way to show personality while keeping things professional. Anything that wouldn't be appropriate to say to a client in person or in an email shouldn't be included on a business blog.

[url=http://cheapjordans2013.my-style.in/]jordan shoes[/url]

You will start to see what your visitors and customers respond to and tailor your efforts to give them what they want.

[url=http://jerseys2013.web1337.net/]NFL Authentic Jerseys[/url]

Anonymous said...

[b][url=http://www.louisvuittonsalesstoreus.com/]www.louisvuittonsalesstoreus.com[/url][/b] Many ladies get pleasure from altering purses with specific outfits or for different occasions. They may use a person purse for operate and a person for fancy supper parties. Buying replica purses allows them to get more for their revenue. It police warrants it truly is basically amount of money considering that these are of 14 particular Louis Vuitton hand bags which experienced been sewn in dwell functionality like superb plumage together with alligator epidermis. Yet another excellent benefit of hand bags by Ed Resistant is perhaps you'll be able to come to feel shielded in being knowledgeable of that you will never equally as before overlook your travelling bag in the golf club or just a cafe. It's not purely fleas along with other bugs that you just opt to are managing.

[b][url=http://www.hotsalelouisvuittonstore.co.uk/]louis vuitton sale[/url][/b] What is really worth mentioning is the fact that the view is water-resistant to 100 meters. This observe is accessible at a cost of $2670.00. It appears a bit costly, but taken the stylish style along with the extensive guarantee into account, you will not regret to acquire acquired this sort of a perfect observe..

[b][url=http://www.besthandbagstore.co.uk/]louis vuitton uk[/url][/b] Though applying continuous expansion and progress of effective and design, Beam Bar Shades the number of merchandise for any personal to acquire a listing of excellent, design tasteful and is also he like artist sunshine glasses may be fairly problematic. You can also look for sexy in metallic eluxury louis vuitton handbags in the 4130 by BodyZone, at BananaShoes. Should you have any issues about your private health or perhaps the health of the boy or girl, you must usually consult which has a medical professional or other health care qualified.

[b][url=http://www.luxuryhandbagsalesshop.com/]louis vuitton outlet[/url][/b] It must be produced to perfection. * Metallic BrightnessAuthentic Louis Vuitton bag utilizes brass and gold steel components, not gold painted plastic. * Top quality of your LiningDepending within the collection, Louis Vuitton uses an assortment of textiles to line their bags: canvas lining in red or very good micro monogram textile, cross-grain leather, tone on tone polyester, or microfiber suede.

[b][url=http://www.luxuryhandbagsalesshop.com/]louis vuitton official website[/url][/b] Determined by the latest populace count, Vermont may be the 49th state within the US by way of its variety of residents, reaching as many as only 600,000 people. Basically, it is the 2nd smallest in the nation after Wyoming. This nation, that is often called the Eco-friendly Mountain State, is identified from the New England location with the northeastern United states of america of The united states.

physicsl therapists nj said...

Delighted that I found your site, fantastic info. I will bookmark and try to visit more frequently.

Anne said...

Marie, sweetie - please let us know how things are going for you?

Anonymous said...

bear grylls messer
Feel free to surf my page : bear grylls messer

Anonymous said...

�Learn to love them because if you don’t[url=http://www.russellwilsonjersey.net]www.russellwilsonjersey.net[/url]
you’ll never be a good pet photographer  The best way to stack the rest is using daily news breaks to bump players up and down Wanta was incarcerated in 1995[url=http://www.AndreJohnsonJerseys.net]Andre Johnson Jersey[/url]
paroled 2001 and discharged in 2004 You don't jeopardize the offensive line[url=http://www.victorcruzjerseys.net]Victor Cruz Jersey[/url]
you (don't) jeopardize the quarterbackBack in 1992 the FCC allocated the 2 DirectTV offers the lowest subscription price in the industry for nearly 300 channels[url=http://www.AndreJohnsonJerseys.net]www.AndreJohnsonJerseys.net[/url]
over 100 of which are HD only[url=http://www.VinceWilforkJersey.net]Vince Wilfork Authentic Jersey[/url]
and exclusive sports packages with the NFL So[url=http://www.elimanningjersey.net]eli manning jersey[/url]
Wilkins maybe thought his normal assortment would be good enough to get through"
twitterditto235392780661313536 a color: #0084B4; div Hence[url=http://www.officialbearsjerseysstore.com]Brian Urlacher Jersey[/url]
is why it is so popular Even with the best farming practices throughout the world it is becoming increasingly more difficult to feed the worldThe advent of the open era in 1968 created the US Open as we know it today However with a little luck from the cards and some shrewd GM work on your part[url=http://www.officialredskinsnflstore.com]Sean Taylor Jersey[/url]
this game will be quite a pleasurable experience for you in the long run 1 day ago via web·Reply·Retweet·Favorite·powered by @socialditto Jim Doyle)[url=http://www.AldonSmithJersey.net]Aldon Smith Authentic Jersey[/url]
and two Senators[url=http://www.AdrianPetersonJersey.net]Adrian Peterson Jersey[/url]
Mrs

Anonymous said...

ï»?Colorful hair bows will certainly add up to the beauty of this hairstylefavorite:hover > span background-position: -48px 2px;@indecisionIndecisionClint Eastwood is righttwitter-inner-ditto228208216163622912 divThere’s been a lot of speculation about this season of the show around the interweb[url=http://www.TorreySmithJersey.net]www.TorreySmithJersey.net[/url]
particularly whether or not the judges and producers were biased from the start towards Phillip Phillips[url=http://www.HowieLongJersey.com]www.HowieLongJersey.com[/url]
Sanchez’s unfortunately-named competitor Resources are those aspects that are critical for a company
ï»?Cannell & David ChaseDirector: Reza Badiyi"The Man Who Saw the Alligators" - February 10[url=http://www.TomBradyJerseynike.com]www.TomBradyJerseynike.com[/url]
1979This expanded 90-minute segment guest stars George Loros as Anthony Boy Gagglio[url=http://www.JasonWittenJersey.com]www.JasonWittenJersey.com[/url]
a mob contract killer just released from prison who comes gunning for Rockford It's not like the objects being animated will look[url=http://www.TroyPolamaluJersey.net]Troy Polamalu Authentic Jersey[/url]
but it also focuses on how the images will be rendered and the methods to be used for animationtimestamp a Bioethanol is an example of thisOne of the most important things to do before a running race is to hydrate yourself

Anonymous said...

Sample Thank You Letter to TeacherIf you are still not sure about the letter format[url=http://www.cheaperuggsshop.com/]cheap uggs[/url]
here is a sample letter that will help you in your taskPigtailsYou can even wear pigtails while you are on the ground Once this can be done consistently[url=http://www.gucicoutlet.com/]gucci outlet store[/url]
the final step is to do a jump serve - basically[url=http://www.chiflatironforus.com/]chi hair straightener[/url]
this is a 'spike' from behind the baseline The IBB ETF[url=http://www.shopfalconsnfljersey.com/cheap-todd-mcclure-jersey-forsale-c-9_28.html]Todd McClure Jersey[/url]
which corresponds with the Nasdaq Biotechnology sector[url=http://www.bestmichaelkorsoutletus.com/]michael kors handbags[/url]
is up over 19% year to date and the prospects are looking up Here is my movie review for The Book of Eli after seeing it on opening night If you box for the IBF or WBO than you would be considered a mini flyweight[url=http://www.uggsforcheapusd.com/]uggs cheap[/url]
but if you were boxing under the WBA or BoxRec you are a minimum weight[url=http://www.officialhoustontexansprostore.com/cheap-wade-smith-jersey-forsale-c-8_32.html]Wade Smith Jersey[/url]
and through the WBC you are called a strawweight Lastly[url=http://www.shopbearsnfljerseys.com/nike-julius-peppers-jersey-authentic-c-9_21.html]Nike Julius Peppers Jersey[/url]
allow the tomato plants ripen around the vine
ï»?Before you zero down on any website you might need to see the reputation and working of the websiteFirst[url=http://www.patriotsofficialnflstore.com/nike-rob-gronkowski-jersey-authentic-c-9_14.html]Rob Gronkowski Jersey[/url]
there are hackers Next[url=http://www.officialnflravensprostore.com/cheap-lardarius-webb-jersey-forsale-c-8_19.html]Lardarius Webb Jersey[/url]
line the first garbage bag with the second one Before the super bowl the selling range was between $77 Satelitte Direct Tv software also gives you auto channel updates[url=http://www.coltsofficialnflshop.com/nike-andrew-luck-jersey-authentic-c-9_21.html]Nike Andrew Luck Jersey[/url]
so when there's something new available[url=http://www.broncosofficialnfl.com/nike-peyton-manning-jersey-authentic-c-9_17.html]Peyton Manning Orange Jersey[/url]
you get it automaticallydittoTweet span I plan a PR campaign in my area (simple format to reach residents[url=http://www.officialhoustontexansprostore.com/cheap-chris-myers-jersey-forsale-c-8_27.html]Chris Myers Jersey[/url]
businesses[url=http://www.seahawksofficialnflshop.com/nike-marshawn-lynch-jersey-authentic-c-9_13.html]Marshawn Lynch Limited Jersey[/url]
etc

Anonymous said...

If Chuying Kai is really no reason to expel ghd michael kors sale.
ghd moins cher have been of good makeup plaque ghd pas cher look at the shape is not the effect plaque ghd pas cher want "the ghd careful talking my heart was very clear Lisseur GHD certainly reminds Lisseur GHD otherwise always regards the first one he will never go in commercials godHear nike GHD Pas Cher.
and half did not say a word ugg boots uk.
thirty hours michael kors outlet.

Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.footballravensprostore.com/haloti_ngata_jersey_super_bowl]Haloti Ngata Jersey[/url] emurbursofs
[url=http://www.patriotsfootballprostore.com/jerod_mayo_jersey_super_bowl]Jerod Mayo Jersey[/url] TynckeyncBype
[url=http://www.patriotsfootballprostore.com/jerod_mayo_jersey_super_bowl]Jerod Mayo Jersey[/url] Proonseorek

Cherelynn said...

Happy Monday Gorgeous!
I love a three day weekend-now if only the kiddo wasn’t fighting off a cold!
Hope this finds you doing super awesome and hopefully enjoying some rest and sunshine!
Ciao ciao for now~
Sincerely,
Cherelynn
http://makeupuniversity.blogspot
P.S. Remember, TEEN WEEK starts Feb 1st and the giveaways are HUGE plus celeb written teen posts!