It’s been 5 weeks

Five weeks ago I fell and went to the hospital. I haven’t been back home since then. Time blurs a lot when all the days are basically the same and we’re in these institutional settings. We go out for therapy, back to the room, ride around in the wheelchairs (if people leave their rooms at all – so far I haven’t really seen any of my neighbors out doing it). Visitors come or not but they don’t stay long, so we have long periods of isolation. So there’s lots of napping and lots of TV watching, with the sound blaring out into the hallways. Everyone just wants to go home.

Thank you for helping me keep my spirits up these last weeks. I so appreciate your comments, thoughts, and prayers as I write these daily posts, mostly for myself but also so you know what’s going on in this isolated place. I spend most of the day in the wheelchair, because I have my shoes on and they make it safer for me to get up and walk, whether that’s to therapy or to the bathroom. I spent time today rearranging my armoire which doesn’t have clothes but assorted other stuff. Try doing this when you can’t stand up to put things on the top shelf, or pick up the suitcase, or really move thing from one place to another using a reacher tool. It’s a slow process. But I did it.

Therapy was a 90 minute combo of OT and PT, with the air bike, stationary bike, standing exercises (which I’m terrible at becuase my hip flexors are so incredibly weak), leg exercises, arm activities, and lots of standing. The PT therapist said she thinks she will release me to walk short distances with the walker on my own, without a therapist or someone following me with a wheelchair. I will be able to walk to the common space for meals, or just for practice. “Get up and Go” type things that Veronica prepared me for.

I was annoyed this morning when I finally got someone to help me get dressed because she was doing it all for me instead of letting me do what I can. I can use the reacher tool to put on my panties and pants, and use the sock aid to pull on the socks (mostly). I have to stand up to pull up the pants, mind you, but I can do a lot more for myself then they are giving me time to do. So I need to talk with someone about that, but I’m not sure who because the cast of people changes almost daily. Not really a nurse – maybe the OT person and see if she can get the word out.

The spot on my back still concerns me. I know the director of nursing took a photo and sent it to my surgeon but I haven’t heard if he heard back about what to do about it. At the Olympic Center, the wound was cleaned every day and the dressing changed every day. Here they seem to think washing it and putting on a new dressing is fine twice a week after a shower. This makes me mad and makes my best friend want to come and scream at them because she doesn’t want me to die of a staph infection. I don’t either. I need to find the director of nursing (which I’ve tried today) and follow up. At least I made sure I can get an actual pain pill when I lay down and the wound starts burning when pressure is applied. I know, not pushy enough, but it’s hard to find people when you look for them.

2 thoughts on “It’s been 5 weeks

  1. Ginny King

    The aides that are helping your dress likely have a very long list of others to get ready as well in a certain time frame. I would acknowledge their work load, thank them for helping and share some about yourself, your goals and your progress so far and why it is so important for you to do it yourself. Because you don’t have the same folks every day you will have to hit repeat. The aides are the back bone of care in a nursing home. I think you should also follow up with the Director of Nursing. I know it is hard and frustrating but try to connect with them personally. In my experience they get very little attention and acknowledgement. Keep up the good Work

  2. You’re so right that the aides are what make these places run. I’m very aware of how many people they have to get ready in a short time, and really value the help they provide – and tell them so. They’re practically the only people we see except for the nurse bringing meds and the therapists. I did talk with the DON today about the wound and feel better about where things stand.

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