I went to see Ray today and at last they are seriously thinking about stroke recovery. The physiotherapist suggested that Ray be moved to another branch of the same hospital where there is more room for rehabilitation and more therapists. Now the broken shoulder/arm is considered healed he needs regular OT appointments to see if they can stop it from flopping down at his side and get some muscle strength back into it.
Where they are sending him is a building on the site of the old Woy Woy Rehabilitation Unit where he went for rehabilitation for his 1999 and 2001 strokes and the hip break in 2000. The old Unit was closed but eventually redesigned and re-opened as the need was still there for rehabilitation for the over 70s who need rehabilitation to return to their own homes after hip replacements, strokes and heart attacks and anything else that would require physiotherapy to get them back on their feet.
Of course as always there is a waiting list to go onto. In the meantime they will do what they can where he is. I must say I was more impressed today when he took his ten steps as at least he was upright and seemed to have the left leg more under control, no violent shakes or wobbles or erratic leg movements. On the other hand he still had two people clinging onto him and helping him stay on his feet. It is definitely an improvement from a week ago.
With the transfer to the Transitional Care Unit there is also a co-pay so as well as the extra transport costs and time spent traveling to and from the facility, 45 minutes drive from here, there is also a cost. Never mind, the days of “free medicine” are long since gone here in Australia. We can afford the costs, we don’t drink or smoke or go on extravagant outings so the money is there to pay for his care. I just have to forego emptying out my entire wardrobe and buying in the new spring fashions…lol.
Once again Trevor and I are discussing the how, when and with whom of Ray getting to the wedding. I wish I knew where we would be transporting him from… I know the where to and the possible who with but it depends on whether he is walking, wheelchairing or if someone has to pick him up bodily and put him in the car. The last suggestion was Trevor’s who thought we should borrow a trolley from Steve’s workplace…luckily didn’t suggest a coffin to go with it or poor Ray might have declined the offer and decided to stay home!
Ray was much better today when I visited. The aspirational pneumonia he was diagnosed with on Friday is responding to the antibiotics, his color was good, he was not doing heavy breathing and his chest was not squeaking. Mind you that just means today was a good day. There is no guarantee for tomorrow is there? With stroke recovery it is always strictly one day at a time and no second-guessing what the future holds. For today I was pleased with how he was, how he looked and the fact that he did actually respond to me and to Trev when he dropped by for half an hour or so.
The bride is still busy getting the alterations made to her dress, seems the main topic of conversation at their house. I was there Saturday night for the spicy chicken wing feast and stayed on afterwards talking for a while which was nice. It is all very exciting now, as it gets close. I am glad we have this to look forward to as it somehow makes the ups and downs of Ray’s recovery seem less impacting. It is a very good distraction. Three more family members coming to the lunch afterwards as Edie’s brother who had been estranged from the family will be there with his family now. It is lovely that this event has brought them closer together.
I am now seeing all of Ray’s recovery as being a long term project as the past strokes have been. I am hoping there is a recovery, some regaining of the movement and comprehension that seemed to disappear for a while. He is beginning to seem more like himself, six weeks down the track from the stroke. I guess I should have remembered that it takes at least that long for things to settle down. The chest infection and broken arm/shoulder were just complications as was the recent aspirational pneumonia. Now we need to get back to the main game!
Mum and her companions are out of quarantine so lets hope things balance out there too.