Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The final discharge date for my dad is set: September 7th, at 10AM. From there, we head straight to Chicago, where some dear friends of ours have offered us their home to live in while we are there for therapy. This is such a relief to not have to look for a place to stay! It will be an easy drive to where my dad will be at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. It is unknown how long we will be there, but we are very excited for this change. We keep hearing great things about the RIC, and can't wait to get my dad started there!

For the past week during occupational therpay, the therapists have been using electrical stimulus in attempts to activate muscle contractions in his right arm and hand. Lately these have been proving successful, and my dad has been able to lift his arm up and down and move it from side to side with the stimulus. It's amazing.

In physical therapy, he's walking farther and farther every day. (And faster!) He uses a stationary bike, walks up and down stairs, and even walks backwards.

This weekend, some family took my dad out of the hospital to see the movie 'Despicable Me,' which he had been wanting to see for a very long time. It was so great to get him out of the usual halls of Mary Brigh, and in a different environment. The movie was very much enjoyed by all of us. Before heading back to the hospital, we made a much needed stop at Dairy Queen!! It ended up being a very pleasant day.

"The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,And with my song I will praise Him" Psalm 28:7

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Today in therapy, my dad walked. No cane, no therapist, but ALL BY HIMSELF!! I keep telling him that next week he should start running. We'll see! He's improving so much!

He is also strengthening his muscles in his shoulder and upper part of his right arm a lot. He is able to move it slowly in a direction, with just a bit of help. (Today, the therapist even gave him an 'A' for improving so much!)

Thursday evening, Rose's and my choir, Partners in Praise, came to sing for my dad. There were about 20 girls who came, plus Rose and I. It was SO neat and wonderful to have them come down to Mayo, and sing several songs. We had a small crowd, with my dad sitting in the front row! It was a great little concert, and so much fun for the choir and my dad.

We found out last week that my dad was accepted at the RIC (the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago)! It is considered one of the best rehabilitation institutes in the country. We are going to head there to start therapy early September. We are very excited about this! It will be very rigorous work (6 hours a day), and he'll be working on all three areas of therapy; Occupational, physical, and speech. We've heard that they also have aqua therapy there, which I think will be very cool...!

"Jesus replied, 'I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.'" -Matthew 21:21-22

Monday, August 9, 2010

Not one day goes by where my dad doesn't surprise us or amaze us in one way or another! Every day he improves, and every day he becomes more and more 'Geoff.'

My dad is completely back on the rehab floor now. I think we all breathed a sigh of relief when we went from ICU back to our 'home' on the rehab floor. The nurses and therapists have been commenting on how good he looks with his bone flap back in (and a nice battle scar to show off.) The biggest frustration for my dad right now is his speech. He has made SO much progress, but of course not enough for him. Yet. It's definitely coming, although we'll have to wait a while. He can consistently fill in the blank for opposites, such as 'black and ____,' 'up and ____,' 'in and ____,' etc. He's doing really well. He can also say 'love you,' and finish it off with one of our names. It's so sweet.

Yesterday was the first day that my dad finally admitted it was hot outside. With 95% humidity, and a temperature of 90, we were all very grateful that he did! We took a short walk, then went back inside for an afternoon snack at a restaurant across the street. He said 'whew!!' several times. It was hot!

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." -Galations 6:9

"It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze." -Psalm 18:32-34

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sorry for the delay in writing! Maggie left, and now it is I, Clara, who is taking over for the time being.

The past few days of therapy have been great. It seems that just in the past week or so, great progress has been made, especially in speech. The other day we were able to take him out to a restaurant, where we ordered a coconut cake. I was telling him that I was super excited for it, and he said 'I am more!' Often times when we're chatting with him, he'll say something sporadically. Sometimes it's 'oh,' other times it's 'woops!' It's so encouraging for us, and I think especially for him to be able to hear this!

Yesterday afternoon is when my dad had his bone flap surgery. The swelling of the brain had gone down enough, that the doctors felt it was safe to replace his left bone flap. We spent the morning before surgery watching 'I Love Lucy,' and chatting about how great it will be to have a normal looking head again!
The surgery started at 1:30PM, and finished a little after 4:00PM. It went longer than expected, because the brain had adhered itself to the scalp. The work was long and meticulous, but the bone flap fit in perfectly, and the surgery went very well. We didn't get to see him until close to 8PM, when they brought him to ICU, so that they could keep a close eye on him through the night. He was in much pain from the surgery, so was given some pain killers and went straight to sleep.
He was in much pain throughout the night, but is feeling better today. He is currently listening to classical music, and eating chicken noodle soup.
He'll have one more day of rest, then it's back to 5hr. days of therapy! They are all eager to get him back on his feet!

"My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken." -Psalm 62:1-2