Meeting with Therapists

I know you have been waiting for my update. The meeting went well. The news was good in every area. We met with the occupational therapist, the speech therapist, and the social worker. They gave a run down on how she is doing in each area. She has been released from physical therapy because she doesn’t need it anymore. The occupational therapist has been working with her on daily tasks she will have to perform once she gets home. She said that last week she asked Louise to make a grilled cheese sandwich to practice working on a stove. She made several errors including trying to put a plastic cutting board on the stove. This week she asked Louise to make some toast. She did it perfectly with no help. This is a huge gain for one week’s time and is greatly encouraging.
The speech therapist also reported a significant improvement from last week to this week. She is reading more and writing words. Today I watched and was amazed that even though she cannot read the words, she can write them. As a reading teacher it was fascinating to watch. She was trying to make a shopping list. The therapist told her to write the word shampoo. She wrote, clearly, shambo. Pretty close considering if you show her the word she cannot read it. Then she wrote condishner. Still pretty close for such a difficult word. She got cookies, is cream (ice cream), and bob corn (pop corn). To me, this shows that the knowledge to read is still in there, she just needs to learn to access it differently. They say she has only progressed and has not had a day that she hasn’t moved forward. All very good news.
The social worker said she is going to talk with Louise about her schedule. Louise tells us she doesn’t do much therapy. We knew better, but they said they will work with her on filling her down time between therapies, so she won’t feel so bored. They are also going to talk to her about her statements about wanting to be dead rather than be dependent. Just checking her out. The psychologist yesterday didn’t get very far with his interview. She didn’t trust him, but the social worker wants to talk to her directly about her statement, rather than beating around the bush. I think that is a better way to handle it anyway.
We had the chance to tell them that she is a planner, and likes to always have a plan. Louise confirmed that when she came into the meeting, listened for a bit, and then outlined the plan for the next 6 days…correctly. We also told them she was trying not to take her medicine. They made note of it. The ladies that give it to her know exactly what it is for, so we asked if they could tell her so she will not worry about what it is. They agreed that it would be important for her to know since she is a nurse. Nurses always ask they say. She came in for part of the meeting and listened to what they had to say about her progress. She still has trouble thinking she is doing good. She is very vocal about the “useless” stuff she has to do. They explain that it is not useless and remind her of her grilled cheese experience. She remembers the mistakes and the successful toast, but still doesn’t seem to connect that as progress. For head injured people it is hard to see the changes in themselves. Even though they happen daily, it is like they can only see their failures. We are all encouraging her daily…we are her cheerleaders.
As far as coming home goes, it is still unclear as to when that will happen. The occupational therapist has to feel she would be safe performing household activities. We still have no word on the tumor so do not know what kind of other treatment she may need. For now she is staying there and continuing to improve during the week and going home for visits over the weekend. After the brain doctor’s appointment next week, we will know more, including if she needs an eye doctor for her eye problem.
They say that when she is ready to go home they will probably send home health care with her. An occupational therapist will come to make sure she can function in her own environment. A speech therapist will also come work with her since that is her weakest area. After a few weeks of that, she would start an out patient speech therapy. Of course, we do not know how soon any of this will happen or how other treatments may effect her schedule. It was just a beginning…talking about the possible things that are coming our way. No decisions were made about it yet. It is good to talk about the fact that she is doing well enough that they are thinking about how it will go. All in all it was a successful meeting where we were all able to communicate to the team and they were able to communicate to us. As you can see your prayers are working….God is good. We thank you for your continued support.

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