Sunday, February 6, 2011

Update from David

Aloha to our Ohana,

It's somewhat challenging to write this latest update as most of the news
about Theresa's progress in the past week has come from other sources.
These include e-mails from friends that visited Theresa, some brief
discussions with the hospital staff and one phone call from Theresa herself.

In brief,  Theresa is recovering slowly from the recent heel/ankle surgery
and her foot will be in a cast for the next 3-4 weeks.  Even with this
setback, Theresa is proceeding with the rehabilitation therapies for her
other injuries and is making steady progress.  The tube-feeding has been
discontinued and Theresa is now eating all meals the usual way.  I heard
that the cafeteria did in fact serve Swedish meatballs one day and while
Theresa enjoyed it, she was disappointed that they didn't have the
lingonberry sauce that it comes with at IKEA.  It's also been a struggle for
the staff to convince Theresa to down her Ensure liquid protein drink as she
would never touch the stuff back home.  I suggested adding a few ice cubes
and blending it to the consistency of a shake, which she seems to enjoy
more.  It's good to know Theresa has her appetite back and I am thankful to
our Lord for these small yet significant signs that He continues to bless
Theresa with His healing powers and grace.  When next I return, I plan to
pick up some take-out Vietnamese noodle soup or pho, one of Theresa's

Another issue that arose before I left and is being resolved this week is
with Theresa's vision.  Her current prescription eyeglasses were lost in the
accident so what I'd brought along for her was a 2-yr old pair.  She could
see better with them than without but following a brain injury, there may be
changes to the eyes or visual processing center so an updated eye exam was
ordered by the occupational therapist.  Based on this, Theresa's
prescription did change again so she has need for a new pair of glasses.  A
hospital worker contacted me this week to ask if they should wait until I
return to help Theresa choose a new set of frames and lenses.  I told them
to go ahead and let Theresa choose for herself.  Suffice to say, it will be
interesting to see what her choice is and how the new glasses reflect her
personality right now.  And if down the road, Theresa questions who chose
that style of eyewear, I'll delight in letting her know who was the chief

Ever since arriving at Craig Hospital, the only safe way to transfer Theresa
from her bed to her mobility chair and then onto the therapy mat was by the
use of an overhead lift in each location.  The nurse and an aide (sometimes
it was me) would place a hammock-type sling under Theresa and then attach
the straps to the lift.  At the press of a button, the sling would lift
Theresa and once she was dangling mid-air like a sack of bananas, we would
swing her over to the chair or mat and slowly lower her back down, then
remove the sling from underneath her.  This usually took the better part of
10 minutes which really cut into the limited therapy time.  But now that
Theresa's arm and hip fractures have healed to partial weight bearing
status, the physical therapist is beginning to teach Theresa to use a slider
board to make her transfers.  That entails placing the board between the bed
and the chair and having Theresa sit on the slider board as she slowly
shimmies her butt across using her arms for balance and leverage.  By all
accounts, Theresa is becoming a pro with the slider board and even adding
some Hula hip moves as she travels to and fro.  Best of all, it reduces the
transfer time to a minute or two and only one caregiver need be there to
spot her.

For me, the past two weeks have held moments of sadness and joy.  Leaving
Theresa was difficult but I know in my heart it is the right thing to do for
now.  Dr. Weintraub promised that when I return in a few weeks, I will be
amazed at the progress that Theresa has made, and that is something I look
forward to every day.  I am most thankful for Kelly and her circle of
friends from Up With People for visiting Theresa on a daily basis these past
two weeks.  Beginning this Sunday, Jill, a former colleague of mine will be
taking an entire week to spend time with Theresa.  Friends like this are
rare indeed and I am most grateful that our Lord has sent this angel to look
after Theresa.

Back home, the support from friends, colleagues, church members and even
strangers that are following our story is tremendous.  There were more hugs
and tears than I can remember, and quite a few people have told me that they
are re-evaluating their own lives and their faith based on what is happening
to us.  In truth, we are just ordinary people that have been touched by
extraordinary events these past two years.  I would like to believe that if
they were in a similar situation, all of our friends and supporters would
handle it just as well as us.  As long as we have faith in our Lord and know
that He is forgiving and His love for us is unconditional, then all will be



1 comment:

  1. David, I don't know if this is an option but Boost is supposed to taste much better than Ensure. If Craig Hospital has Boost, I would ask for that to save Theresa's taste buds for lingonberry sauce and pho.