So, tomorrow is the big day! A lot of water under the bridge since Larry's stroke on 4/22 - nearly 2 months in the hospital, rehab and the SNF, it seems like forever. I'm sure it seems even longer than that to him. He is finally due to come home tomorrow.
His new caregiver, Cecilia, wa there again all day today and had a lot of instruction. I'm getting the idea that she doesn't know as much as initially presented, and I feel like it was well worth paying her for yesterday and today so that she could get some intensive hands-on training. She's willing, and seems to get on well with Larry, so maybe that's the important thing.
I went in today around 2PM and met with the head of physical therapy. She showed me and Cecilia how to operate the Hoyer lift, which is the machine that lifts Larry up and transfers him from bed to chair and back again. It's not all that hard, but there are a lot of things to think about when you do it. I think it's like learning how to drive - at first you have to give full attention to every detail, but then it hopefully becomes second nature. I did the transfer myself twice, and Cecilia did it too, and I think we will be OK. The lift we get at home might be different in some ways, but the idea is the same and I feel like I can do it.
I also had lessons in how to maintain the catheter, change diapers, and do the physical therapy. I'm still pretty scared about how it will be this weekend when I'm on my own with the care, but I know I'll be OK and that it will get easier. We do what we have to do.
One of Larry's exercises that the therapist showed me today involves bending his right leg (the paralyzed one) and putting his foot up on your shoulder while you kneel over the bed. He is then supposed to try to push with his leg. I didn't think he could do that at all, and I got into position and asked him to push HARD and try to push me off the bed. Well, he just about did! I had no idea that he could do that and was not prepared for it. I nearly fell over. His hip flexor muscles are definitely working, and he's starting to be able to use them to control his upper leg. The lower leg is pretty dead, but I was very impressed with how much mobility he's gained in the hip and thigh. We'll be working hard on that once he gets home - the therapist says that this a very good sign and that if he works hard he may get some function back. It was pretty exciting!
I'm not sure I would ever be 100% ready to bring him home, but I have a temporary space cleared for him while the bath remodel is in progress, and I'm waiting for the medical equipment delivery tomorrow. Cecilia will come from 8:00 to around 1:00 and be here in case the delivery comes then, and Eric will be here after that. They of course can't tell me what time the delivery will be; I have to call early in the AM and find out. The discharge is set for 5:00 or 5:30, and I've let everyone who will listen know that the bed etc. has to be here before then! I can't believe that Kaiser has known for a week that the discharge date is tomorrow and that they are just now getting around to finalizing the equipment delivery (actually, I can believe it - this is nothing compared to some of the other stuff that they've done - or not done).
So, ready or not, here he comes. I hope this will be more congenial situation for Larry, and that he'll improve once he gets settled in. I'm excited, and happy, and scared, and anxious, and all kinds of other emotions, but mostly just glad he will finally be home. Wish me luck!