Thursday, May 7, 2009

This is Brian playing balloon games with other recovering patients. He will be home early tomorrow afternoon. Pat
It's Thursday morning, May 7, and Brian's last full day in any medical facility. He was scheduled to leave in a week but spent much of yesterday "negotiating" with each of the people (medical and therapudic) who had to sign off. We also managed to leapfrog over the assigned in-home nursing and physical and occupational therapy to get immediately into a cardio-rehab at Pres-Healthplex where he will get all of that and where we already have a membership. He eschewed the at home wheel chair but will come home with a fanny-pack oxygen set-up which they expect he will only need for a week or so. While Brian has been getting thinner and thinner, I've been getting fatter and fatter. For some days after the attack, my routine, when I left the hospital, was to come home and eat frosting out of a can while watching John Stewart re-runs. Then my sister came and fixed me amazing gormet meals and now I'm eating mostly pizza and cake. And, while Brian's brain seems to have come through all of this, as he says, "no more damaged than it was before," I can't say the same for my own. This morning when I came downstairs, it seemed quite chilly and I discovered that I'd left the front door wide open. When I cast back, I realized that when I must have done that was yesterday morning before I left for the hospital. This is the third time in the last few weeks that I've left the house with the door standing open ---extreme, even for me. Happily never when Rosie was here. Rosie had been home without company for a few hours each day so she had taken to finding ever more interesting things to destroy which ranged from much of my underwear to the coffee table (I kid you not--she chewed off hunks of the thick wooden leg to the coffee table). So, she's temporarily back at the boxer zoo. My appreciation of how much Brian usually fixed around this complicated place increases by the day. Since he has been gone, there has been an irrigation ditch flood which came up to the front door, a toilet flood, a broken garbage disposal, a mower flat tire and a few other things which I've forgotten. I think I will take a few last day photos of Brian today and post them tororrow and then stop posting on the blog unless someting totally surprising happens. Brian knows how many well wishers he has and both of us are truly grateful. Thank you all. Pat

Monday, May 4, 2009

It's Monday morning, May 4th. When I started this blog, I understood that it would be easy for people to reach by going to google and entering my name as patfrieder. During the whole time I was writing every day that wasn't possible. But today, when I was just about to write my last entry, I find that it is possible now. So you can go to google and enter my name in the search box and when the list comes up, the second option says patfrieder blog. Click on it and when you get a screen with choices, click "view blog." Because it is now easy, I'll continue using this way of communicating for a while. Brian is getting stronger by the hour. Not surprisingly, now that he is free to move, he is doing more than he is officially allowed to do, moving in his room without calling the nurse and, I think, without using the walker. When I'm there he uses it but I notice that when I arrive it is in some unhandy corner so.... He is taking both occupational and physical therapy. It is remarkable that he was so disabled by this--down to such things as not being able to tie a shoe or get into a car (they have half a car in the therapy room). It's also remarkable how fast things come back once he does them properly. It's as if the memory of how to do things went away and magically reappears when the motion is completed (with the help of the therapist). He is reading and has completed two books this week end. He is enjoying the visits with friends and you are all welcome to come as you like. He's got classes (arm class and leg class etc) in the mid morning and early afternoon but is free at lunch and late afternoon, evening. He says he is coming home by friday but I doubt it. Deb and Braden have left and my own life will settle soon. I hope. Yours, Pat

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Uh oh--one more message after I said yesterday that there would be no more--t forgot to say, the rehab is Loveless Rehab--He will be working in the morning hours but free at lunch and in late afternoon and onward. Also it turns out that Brian slept funny a few nights ago and did something to his back and is now in a lot of pain so can't walk or do anything well without exasperating it. Pat

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Brian progress photos

I think this will be my last daily update. I'll probably log on once a week for a while but right now things will be mostly gradually uphill in re-hab for up to 10 days. Brian is sitting here now waiting to be taken to rehab. He is dressed in sweats with hooded jacket so he looks like a gangsta. He says he could walk to rehab which is just across the street. Of course he couldn't but he certainly could go in a wheel chair if the rules permitted. But, the rules don't permit. In order to travel directly across the street, it is necessary to have a wheel chair to go down stairs, then an ambulence to drive across the street and a wheel chair to meet him at the curb and go in to the rehab facility. The ambulnce which was expected an hour ago now may not come for hours says the nurse. Nonetheless I think Brian has had excellent care here and we are grateful. With this last daily message, I'm going to try to send some photos to show his dramatic progress but don't count on it working. Oh, by the way, people can visit him in re-hab without the gear if you want to. Brian says hi to everyone. Pat --Ookay photo thing worked but as a separate blog which will probably show up above this. Also the order looks wierd but you can figure out from early to late pictures. Bye, Pat

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Brian is being helped to walk now and after I complained to the Dr, he wrote an order for people to come help him walk 4 times a day. I think this won't be for long however as they are talking about moving him to a re-hab facility as early as tomorrow. Someone from that facility is coming over later today to test whether he is a good candidate for their type of re-hab. Meanwhile the infection is almost under control. They take him off antibiotic today. There was quite a little scare yesterday which is resolved today. Someone here told us yesterday that he would be infectious for months and have to stay in isolation even at home. But then the infectious medicine doctor was in and said he doesn't even have to be in isolation now but the hospital has its rules and once you are in an isolation room (he was put in one day before yesterday) they will never let people come in without mask, gloves and gown. Assuming he goes to rehab tomorrow, that won't matter for long. The heart doctor was in this morning and says his heart is doing very well and (though one is more likely to have a 2nd heart attack in the first year after the first) he should be able to do everything he was doing before...including digging irrigation ditches and planting trees. Dr. Federicci says the hard physical activity had kept him in good shape and so he has been able to recover faster. Kim is still here much of her day even though she's also working full time. Kim is a nurse specialist in paliative care and so, even though she says she doesn't know much heart and infection issues, she seems to me to be a genius and asks many questions which I wouldn't know enough to ask. Braden is relieved that his father is doing so well. He will go back to Kentucky by week's end. Finals are next week and he is an art history professor. Deb (my sister) is in Albuquerque now and helping not only here in the hospital but also at home. So yesterday we picked up Rosie from the Boxer Dog Zoo (really. only the breeders house) where she has been with 19 other dogs most of which are new puppies. She is exhausted and keeps searching each room over and over--I assume looking for Brian. Brian says that he is amazed at the blogging comments and really appreciates hearing from all of you who have logged in and also for the cards and emails. He says he didn't know he had so many friends. Until tomorrow, Pat