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A Health Update For My Friends

It feels so good when my blogger friends reach out to find out how I am doing, as the cajun just did!

the cajun said...
Hi David, with no other way to reach you, I wanted to reach out agin. Please continue to post updates when you can. We're all anxious to hear your news.
We're all going through something and it's always good to let it out and share your feelings with others. That would be US!
Take care, my friend. and do write when you can. Think of it as therapy. I do and it works. I get feedback from folks like you who know what I am talking/writing about.

Here's to Silver Queen!
(PS: my email is david at ladyslippercove dot com. You know how to change it to the correct format.)
Silver Stream Entrance Sign

Well this is day 39 in Silver Stream Rehab. and I am still not ready to go home, although I want to so bad!  Progress on the walking with a walker front: today I walked 180 feet with a therapist  holding on to me and a wheelchair following closely if I suddenly need to sit down.  I am doing leg exercises with weights on my ankles, plus a lot of arm exercises.
Front side of Silver Stream Rehab

Two major concerns continue:  The ulcers (lymphedema/cellulitis) on my left leg are just not healing.  My  doctor just came in and said they are trying to get me to a lymphedema specialist on the outside to treat and dress the wounds daily.  The other big concern is standing up from anything lower than bar stool height.  To that end, we have begun investigating a power wheelchair that has the the capability of raising the seat height as much as 12 inches, which will make transfers easier.  As a result, I am also investigating having a wheelchair ramp built onto  my front porch and raising the porch floor level to be even with the interior floor level.  Again, the power wheelchair seems like a favorable idea from my doctor's point of view, especially since the LGMD will only progress over time and my muscles will get weaker.
Existing front porch and steps

Thanks to all of you for the many cards and well wishes.  My spirit gets a boost with each one!


Silver Stream Rehabilitation
Two and a half weeks after being transferred from the hospital to Silver Stream Rehabilitation, I had my first planning conference yesterday.  I have been approved for three more weeks of rehab, with the probability of getting a wheelchair.

The major objective is to get me back on my feet and independent.  Before hospitalization, I was able to ambulate around my home with a walker.  Now I need help to stand up and then to remain standing for a short period. Using one side of the parallel bars, with help, I pull myself to a standing position from the wheelchair.  Today, for the first time I walked the length of the parallel bars between them, three times.  Progress!

Also I have leg exercises consisting of sitting and doing marches, kicks, swings, and ankle extensions. These are repeated in the afternoons with a different therapist, plus I do them on my own often. Occupational therapists work on my arms to strengthen them as well.  These involve lifting weights, bars, and a 20 minute without break constant bicycling action with my arms.  Today, I went 5.4 kilometers -- a new record for me.

The facility has 110 beds and is quite large with very long halls.  My room is about as far away as one can get from the front entrance, gyms, and dining room.  I try to wheel myself to the front, but my wheelchair does not roll easily, so this becomes very difficult. (See last paragraph about a new wheelchair.)  This place should be renamed "The Chandeliers" because there are chandeliers everywhere including right outside my room.  The chandeliers  all burn incandescent bulbs, so the carbon footprint is huge.

I have a large private room which is very nice.  The bed a not very comfortable with a mattress that is too thin for my  big body.  Originally the length was 75 inches which is exactly my height, but they found a ten inch longer mattress for me. 

The administration, nurses, and CNAs are good and attentive with a few minor exceptions. 

The room has the usual amenities including TV, private bathroom, with walk-in shower.  So far, I have not been able to use the bathroom due to my lack of strength and have had to settle for sponge baths in the bed.

Being diabetic, I have been very disappointed in the menu items, which are carbohydrate intensive.  I just discussed my dietary preferences asking them to remove all bread, waffles, pancakes, french toast, and biscuits from my trays.  After all I do need to lose a lot a weight so that my weak muscles will not have so much to deal with.  I asked for more vegetables and fruit.
Eggs, grits, and a sausage gravy covered biscuit
Then I had a discussion about my meal preferences, and for lunch, I received a tossed salad with chicken strips, yogurt, and melon.

Wound care of the left leg cellulitis ulcers has been continuing with daily dressing changes.

Since I arrived, I was assigned a wheelchair that just would not roll or be pushed easily.  Today, they assigned me a new wheelchair that rolls easily, so now I can move myself easily all over the facility. Big improvement.  Because the wheelchairs are too low for me to stand up from, every evening they have to use a Hoyer lift to move me from the wheelchair to the bed.  In the mornings however, I can transfer myself from my bed which I have lifted into a very high position to the wheelchair using my walker to stabilize me during the transfer.

Progress!!!  Goals seem more attainable!