Cya CVA!

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Saying FU to the ICU



(Originally posted February 19, 2009)


Sorry about the delay in posting. The computer kiosks I've been using were down when I got in this morning. It was only slightly less painful for me to function without the computers as it might be if I were asked to function without my right arm. I am truly a child of the digital age.


Anyway, when I walked in I started toward J.J.'s room in the ICU only to find that the guy in room 6 was NOT my husband. Apparently I was being sent on a treasure hunt. When I finally found someone to point me in the right direction, I found out that J.J. had been moved to the medical unit this morning. So goodbye, ICU, and good riddance. We'll come back soon to visit the nurses when J.J.'s all recovered, but until then, I can't say that I'll miss it.


Room 2026 is so much more awesome. It's probably three times as big as the ICU room and has a really awesome cushy chair that converts to a bed. I'm very tempted to give it a test drive.


J.J. hasn't had PT yet today due to the move and the neurologist (whom we have now dubbed Dr. Acula, ala Scrubs, in honor of his very, very late rounds) hasn't been around yet (natch, it's still light for crying out loud) but Speech Therapy came in shortly after I got here. His therapist says J.J. does not have a significant case of aphasia as we had originally thought. His bigger issue is something called apraxia of speech, and it's more of a muscle planning problem. Basically his wires are a little crossed and he's not getting the signals where they need to go. It's very common and often improves quite a bit with therapy.


He's saying a lot more today, including real sentences. For instance, his Heparin drip had run out and two nurses came in to hang a new bag. They were talking to each other but not necessarily to us (I HATE THAT, by the way!). J.J. started leaning back across the bed (he sits on the side most of the time unless he's asleep now). I asked him if he needed anything, and he said, "No, I'm just listening to them". Another example was when he was trying to find something other than soaps or talk shows on TV. He came across an episode of Burn Notice on USA and said, "Oh, sure, what the heck". He's answering yes and no verbally almost all the time and readily answers me back when I tell him I love him. It's really encouraging.


You may have noticed that I document a lot of small details. Part of this is because I want to remember as much as possible from one day to the next and I'm losing track of time. Some of it is also because I'm hoping at some point that when J.J.'s completely recovered and this is all in the past, we'll be able to share our story with other people in this situation.


To that end, I'm going to document what I've been up to today. I've had a busy morning as well. Went to our family doctor to start up some antidepressants. Figure if there's ever a situation in which I might be depressed, this is the one. I feel fine right now, but having grown up as the daughter of a psychology professor and having a BS in psychology myself, I know it takes some time for antidepressants to kick in. So I decided this would be a fine time to start. After this, went to Eli's school and picked up his homework. Getting ready to try to email as much of it as possible down to my mom so he can be working on it. Then I stopped by the kids' day care. I was greeted at the door by the director, Shelly. She brought me into her office and kept the tissues coming as I unloaded on her. I don't want to violate her privacy by saying what her situation was, but she has some experience with being in shoes somewhat like the ones I find myself in right now. She also prayed with me before I left, which was awesome.


I also talked to Leah's teacher, whose son had a stroke when he was not much older than J.J. is. His stroke was in the same area and his impairments were very similar to J.J.'s. He did his rehab at the same place J.J. will be. And he's doing great and back to living life, albeit a more health-conscious life. He actually volunteers as a peer mentor at the hospital, so we may be meeting him soon. I know everyone's outcomes are different, but it was really uplifting to hear about such a positive outcome.


Oh, and just because it's almost starting to be funny how everything is falling apart, my dad is in the hospital. He had to be admitted yesterday due to bleeding intestinal ulcers that caused his hemoglobin to be very low. He's having his fifth unit of blood transfused right now. Isn't five units an awful lot? I was under the impression there wasn't a whole lot more than that in the body to start with. I keep picturing him being asked, "Is there a blood type you've always wanted to be? 'Cause we're going to be starting from scratch!"


Alright, on that note, I'm going to quit blogging for a few and try to answer my email. Please know that I'm reading all of them, even if I don't always get back right away.


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