Rehab hospital continues, Days 4-8
Monday, April 1, 2019
Keith's brother Gerry had visited him in the morning, and Keith missed lunch talking to Gerry, which disturbed his caretakers.
Later his blood sugar was low enough that they didn't give him an insulin shot, but maybe because he missed lunch.
At night, I visited and we worked on bills and taxes. I took his dirty laundry home. SO BORING! Good, huh?
Tuesday, April 2, 2019, Day 5
Keith had two physical therapy sessions in the morning that kicked his ass, he said.
Mid-day, Kirby took Keith a third pair of glasses from the house. The first two were falling apart. If these don't last, there's one more pair in the garage. Keith said it was a good visit, with Kirby.
Back at the house, we had a big electrical repair/upgrade all morning, and baby Kirby ws here in the afternoon. Holly helped with her after a while. I called Keith at the hospital to see if there was anything I should bring other than the clean clothes, and he said he had lots of company and I didn't need to come. Paul, Dave, Lori and Mark were all there together. Tomorrow, though, Keith wants me to come and go with him to an appointment with the cardiology doctor at UNMH. I get to ride in the van; Keith will be transported in a wheelchair.
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Biggest news is that the projected discharge date has been moved to Monday, April 8 (from Friday-the-5th).
Successful visit to Cardiac Device Clinic at UNMH (Fifth floor, but not the same 5th floor Keith was on before.) We know more about the defibrillator. If his heart goes below 60, it will "pacemake" him quietly.
If he gets crazy heart beats, it will shock him hard. WAIT! NOT JUST ANY. If he has ventricular tachycardia, for just a few heart beats, it won't shock him, though it will be seen the next time they review the records that will be transmitted from the house to the clinic. If there are 20 heartbeats, though, that are dangerous, it will shock him then.
If he feels fine after the shock, we're to call Armando Sanchez (a physician's assistant; we met him today) and he'll see him the same day. If after the shock Keith feels unwell, then we call 911. If the monitor makes a noise like a European siren ("the auditory alert"), it means something is wrong with the equipment.
The battery might last 11 years. The amount left on it shows on the monitor at the clinic. When it gets to the red mark, it will mean he has three months left, and they'll schedule a replacement surgery.
Then we were driving back, in the rehab center's van, with Keith in the wheelchair strapped in all directions, me in the front. Dinner. Salmon and wild & brown rice. Really not bad at all.
Keith's really tired, so I'm going home and he's going to sleep.
Friday, April 5, 2019
Keith has rehab sessions three hours a day—one physical therapy, one occupational therapy, and one speech pathologist doing various evaluations sneakily worked around playing games or asking odd questions or having conversations. Stealth stuff.
Wednesday, there was a meeting about Keith, and he was given a copy of an evaluation sheet that goes from "Dependent" (needing 100% Assistance) through some other descriptions to "Independent." Let's think of it as school grades. That's easy. The only A's he had were eating and expression. Some A- (Mod I— "with a device, or needs extra time"):
- wheelchair (can go 150 ft. with his feet because they don't let him use his hands, because of broken sternum and not-yet-healed chest implant)
- problem solving
I am not used to Keith not being zippy with those things, but he'll catch back up, I'm pretty sure. Sometimes he does forget conversations or details, even from things this week. But after the haircut, he also discovered a numb place on he back of his head (kinda sore, but not discolored). The PT thinks maybe bone bruise. I suppose it's where he hit his head when he first fell back, in the park. Nobody bothered to care about a head bump, given all he rest. And maybe that's going to take some time to heal.
He didn't have any of the two "lowest scores".
Thursday, I visited and we played Five Crowns, and ate dinner together. He got his mattress replaced. A few days prior, he had been given an air-rearranging mattress to prevent bed sores, based on a score involving age and injury and time in the hospital and I don't know what all. But for three nights, it randomly aired-up here and there, and kept him awake and uncomfortable. Then a nurse figured out it was set up wrong and wasn't working. When she had it set up right, it looked like a soft roundy trough, and would have been hard for Keith to get in and out of. The lad nurse told him he could refuse it, and so he did. They switched it out nearly immediately.
Friday I was there for his physical therapy session, so I could learn about how to help him with some of the exercises, and to remind him about some things involving walkers, and for the therapist to look at some photos of the shower and toilet and the ramp, and to give us some ideas and reminders. No rugs in the bathrooms for a while.
Keith said that Thursday night he slept six hours, on the regular bed. When he gets home, he'll have a new mattress. It's here, but still airing out, and the base needs a tweak (Marty's coming Saturday to help me with that).
Before Keith fell, he was nearly through with our taxes, and told me that morning (March 3) that he just needed to check the numbers and we could sign it. Because he's still in the hospital, and they don't do rehab on the weekends, I took him all the papers, bundled and marked to match numbers on photos of each end of the table where the stacks of paper were—9 stacks. He worked on it a while, messaged me to bring him another form tomorrow (found it online easily; printed two copies, but this is the bad part: He doesn't remember any of that project. None of it looks familiar.
When his memory did start working again, when he knew where he was, usually, a couple of weeks ago, he couldn't remember anything past February 27. I thought that might change, but it hasn't, much. There are a couple of incidents he remembers, or remembers hearing about, but others are gone entirely. That's nearly a week.
I took a photo today, of something outside in one of the courtyards. They're physical therapy areas, extensions of the gym, with practice stairs, and a ramp, and a car (to practice getting in and out of) in one, and walkways and tables and a basketball hoop in the other, but there's also beauty, in colors, and some furniture, and many blossoms and blooms this month. I also did a sneaky photo of Keith, practicing on their steep ramp.
One more thing, for the record. It's from Wednesday, when we were at the cardiac device clinic. Keith had four cardiac arrests, because the incident on Tuesday, March 12, counted, too. His heart stopped between shocks (between two of the eight shocks that day), but the 260 beats per minute and the irregularity of them was what one doctor called "a lethal rhythm." He wouldn't have recovered from that naturally. Armando Sanchez said that they wouldn't have shocked him if they didn't consider it to be that. So Keith had four cardiac arrests—three on March 3 and one on March 12. Being a little slow to remember something, or not really speedy with a walker yet, isn't so bad. I think today will have been his last formal therapy sessions over there. Unless there's some major objection from one department or another, he'll be released Monday. Maybe he will have finished the taxes by then, poor guy. Good thing his room there has a desk, and he can sit in the chair about as long as he wants to, now.