Well almost a week at home, and still going! We are not seeing the dramatic changes at home that we saw while at rehab, but really now ,he has function back, just not strength. And that will take a long time to regain. He had his out patient rehab visit today. It was mostly an evaluation to see where he is, with a few new exercises to do at home. He will have weekly out patient appointments. I am going to have a physical therapist from my work come by and see him as well. Right now, walking is challenging and tiring. Plus he has to do stairs all over our house. At Healthsouth, he used a motorized wheelchair to get around. He didn't walk anywhere or stand. So he is realizing that all these "normal" activities take their toll. He also is dealing with follow up appointments everywhere. He saw a dentist today to fix the broken and chipped teeth that resulted from the trach horror. Because he bit down and flailed around so much while the hard plastic tubes were in his mouth, he strained his jaw and chipped some teeth. He has jaw exercises to do, and a couple of dental appointments to get the teeth fixed.
He still has the feeding tube in his stomach. Still a source of stress. It's just annoying now. He has to flush it twice a day, which just means he shoots water into it with a big syringe. It's interesting. We were flushing it the other night and in the middle we laughed about something and stomach stuff squirted across the room, and all over him. We found out this week that to remove it, it will be an outpatient surgical procedure. Apparently it is sutured inside him, so they go in through the tube to un-suture it. And this necessitates more than just an office visit. So, April 15th, we will be back at the hospital for part of the day to have it removed.
So now we just work on strength, stamina and endurance. All therapists we hear from say this will take months. Several days this week, he had multiple appointments, and walked the neighborhood. At the end of the day, he had trouble getting up off the couch. He just had no energy or strength. His therapist today told him one thing on one day. He just can't tolerate too much each day. He needs to slow down some. I could see the look of surprise on his face when she said it will need to be this way for several months. So he will now need to focus on strength exercises at home and realize that just because he is home, doesn't mean he can cook and clean! He has to stay put. You all know him, this will not be easy for him. Cabin fever will set in soon. For now, we still take it one day at a time. The days are nicer now that he is home... but still a long journey ahead. Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers.