I went down for a visit with Louise last night. She is doing well even though she is still confused a lot of the time. I wanted to give you a couple of examples of what I am talking about.
She was eating dinner when she asked for some bread.
She kept saying, “ I want bread.”
So Bill showed her the roll on her plate and said “Here is some bread.”
She said, “No that is gross bread I hate it. I want bread.” He told her that she was saying the word bread and that it was the wrong word. She pointed across the room towards the chair and said, “I want bread.”
We moved the chair and she said, “What are you doing?”
We said, “Isn’t this what you wanted?”
“No I want bread right here” and she hit the table. She finally gave up in frustration. A few minutes later she said, “Oh here it is! Here it is!” It was her cup of water.
Another example is that she told us to cut off the flog. Fortunately, she was pointing at the light so that one was easy to figure out.
She asked if it was Twix yet. Took us awhile but we figured out that she meant six o’clock.
Being a nurse, she wants to know all about her medicine, when she is getting it, what it is for, and if the IV machine is working. Constant questions that don’t always come out right and the nurses get confused trying to figure out what she is asking about. Last night she said, “I give up. I just get it all.” Meaning she just has to trust what they are giving her.
She also wants to get out of bed, but doesn’t understand why it is important to have help to do so. She thinks she should be able to just get up on her own. Trying to convince her otherwise is futile. But some person somewhere invented a bed alarm and it is a wonderful thing. We set it when we leave and if she gets up an alarm goes off and the nurses come running. I wish we had had those when Bill had his head injury…he may not have ended up in the parking lot so many times. J
From time to time she says, I can’t think right or I don’t know the word or I have the wrong word. So that is good. She realizes why she is frustrated…so she is somewhat self aware. If you ask her a direct question she looks at you with a blank stare, like she is processing but just doesn’t understand what you are saying. Sometimes though she will answer if you are talking about something she was just talking about. All of this is normal for this type of surgery. The doctor says the worst of the brain swelling is 72 hours after surgery. After that it should go down some and some of this confusion should get better. She is definitely better in the morning, more aware and can connect more thoughts. At night she is tired and gets agitated when she is frustrated. We watched American Idol last night and it was a good distraction for her. She has followed it this season and she seemed to know what was going on.
Over all she is doing very well considering how far out she is from surgery. Each day we are seeing some improvements. The therapists are continuing to work with her and assess her progress.