Sunday, November 08, 2009

Another Update On Mr. AOW (Updated Intermittently)

Previous posts about Mr. AOW's stroke of September 15 are here, here, here, and here. Please scroll down for political postings.

Yesterday, several members of our local VFW donated their time and labor to construct a ramp so that, when the time arrives for Mr. AOW to leave the nursing home, he can get into our house. The neighbors on my street gawked, but not a single one came over to ask what was going on or to help.

The ramp-building party began around 9:00 AM and ended at dusk. The ramp is all but complete, with only the bottom platform needing some buiding up.

I don't know what Mr. AOW and I would have done without all these volunteers from the VFW!

While the ramp was being constructed, a woman from the VFW and one of my homeschool families came over and helped me move furniture upstairs and from room to room so as to clear the living room to make room for the hospital bed. My house echoes now, and the cats are in shock!

During the day yesterday, one of the certified nursing assistants at the nursing home helped me get Mr. AOW into my car, and Mr. AOW and I went out for a drive I brought him here to the house to see the ramp and talk with his friends. Then, we drove about ten down the road to visit some other friends. Mr. AOW did show momentary confusion during the trip at one point: "Have we passed the juice machine yet?" In just a few short weeks, he's already so confused that he thinks that when he's moving, he must be going down the nursing home's hallway to the juice machine.

As the family doctor and I discussed on Friday morning, Mr. AOW needs to get out of that nursing home the moment that the therapists deem that he's ready to cope at home. I will, of course, be getting the assistance of a home healthcare agency when Mr. AOW comes home.

Until Mr. AOW is released from the nursing home, I will be taking him for non-medical outings as often as possible so that he can "transition" without too much confusion. I am hoping and praying that, once he gets home, he'll become reoriented. We've lived in our home for over thirty-seven years.

Update added November 13 @ 6:15 AM:

Mr. AOW is regaining some control over the left side of his body. If someone helps him to come to a sitting position on the side of the bed, he can maintain that sitting position for a few minutes without toppling over. He is able to maneuver his left leg somewhat in a reclining or a sitting position. Swallowing is greatly improved, and he's now able to consume thin liquids without choking. Unfortunately, the left arm and hand remain paralyzed, but some sensation is returning ever so slowly; the point of permanent paralysis may well be the left arm and hand as the stroke began in his hand.

His vision and mental has improved such that he now is able to keep his cell phone with him in the nursing home. He now can phone friends and family with some accuracy and is able to keep track of the phone.

Mr. AOW is becoming eager to return home! We still don't have a definite release date, however. Early this morning, I left a voice mail with the administration of the nursing home so as to find out when the hospital bed and wheelchair for home should be delivered. I'm still working on devising a proper street-level landing for the wheelchair ramp built last weekend.

I don't want to be caught short with the nursing home's release process because, once the health-insurance company ceases payments for the nursing home, I have a mere twenty-four hours for discharge or start paying $350 a day! That money is better spent for home-care items, including prescriptions. Mr. AOW's prescription coverage on his private policy is minimal ($1500 maximum benefit per calendar year).

The rainy weather we're having the past few days prevents my checking Mr. AOW out of the nursing home for outings. **sigh**

Update added November 18 @ 6:30 AM:

I added some of this update to my post "Islam and the Right."

Yesterday Mr. AOW said to me, "I wish that somebody besides you would come to see me." So many of his friends have peeled off in the last 9 weeks. **sigh**

In addition, thanks to BHO visiting Mr. AOW in the nursing home has become problematic. The entrance to Mr. AOW's wing at the facility has been closed because of the "H1N1 epidemic," and one has to walk the long way around - through the hall of the dead and dying, a hall complete with a moaner or two. Mr. AOW also has to navigate that hall to get to the dining room, where all the socials and games are held.

Passing time will be easier for Mr. AOW once he comes home. He'll have the cats for company and his favorite television shows to watch when I'm working. Plus, our house is easier to access.

We're hoping that Mr. AOW's father-in-law will be coming for a visit once Mr. AOW's goes to the nursing home. She's in the final months of Alzheimer's.

I noted yesterday that Mr. AOW's tactile need to be touching something soft at all times has subsided somewhat as the feeling has returned on the paralyzed side of his body.

I also noted yesterday another improvement in Mr. AOW's cognitive ability: he actually phone Hoveround to inquire about an electric wheelchair! He's planning ahead in case his walking ability doesn't return soon enough to help us get him up and down the ramp here at home or doesn't return at all. I know that Mr. AOW actually made the inquiry because the company's representative phoned me later.

One more thing....Mr. AOW phoned me yesterday to get him some take-out food from one of his favorite restaurants. Previous to that phone call yesterday, Mr. AOW had never shown interest in getting some different food besides that I regularly bring him: Boost, yogurt smoothies, treats from home, etc.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 11/08/2009 05:56:00 AM