Home visit

Sorry for the late posting. It has been a long day. Good and bad news. Louise went home today for a visit. This is both good and bad because going home for a head injured patient is hard. They love it. They love being home and feeling safe. Louise loved seeing her dogs and her own clothes, and dulcimer.
The bad part of it is that in their own environment they become more aware of their shortcomings. They begin to really see the weak areas and it is frustrating. Each time they can’t remember how to do something emphasizes how they are different now. Agitation and frustration come in fast and hard. She figured out today that she cannot read. She called out letters for me from a card, but she could not make any sense of them. She told me she is very, very scared. She of course, did a load of laundry, but couldn’t remember what to put in the machine. She couldn’t remember what to put in the dryer either. Of course, this leads to another issue…at home she feels she has to do work. I don’t think anyone could stop her from it. It is so much a part of who she is when she is in that house.
She fixed some soup for lunch, did laundry, got the coffee ready for tomorrow morning for Ray. She told me all of a sudden she felt weak…surprised her. She has no idea why the doctors tell her not to do all those things, in her mind it doesn’t make any sense because she is physically able. What she cannot see is that when her body gets tired, her mind reverts back a few steps. When I visited today she was more confused, and had more trouble with her words. There is also danger that she could fall, not because of the physical as much, but the mental focus is not there. She could easily get distracted and turn towards the dogs or some phone ringing and lose track of herself balance-wise. It could be dangerous.
I remember this stage with Bill…only he wasn’t as aware of his weaknesses as she is. Still he had a terrible time the next day after coming home, to the point I stopped bringing him as often. At rehab the focus is different. It is about how far you have come, not how much you have lost. The atmosphere of therapy and everything you do there is towards healing. It is motivating not depressing. As much as he wanted to get home, the reality was that at home he struggled because it didn’t feel right to him. His brain just could not make the connections he needed to feel like himself. It was sad for him, while at the same time he was glad to feel like he was in his own place that was familiar. A hard spot to be in for him. It broke my heart.
Today, Louise had made great progress in some areas. She doesn’t think so and we tried to convince her how far she has come in such a short time. Her main focus was on all that she couldn’t do. Yet, she was glad to see her home. Her therapy starts on Monday and I think she will like the idea of working towards fixing her confusion, but as she said today I have so far to go. But to us it is all about how far she has come.

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