Don sat up on his own yesterday, with a little help getting there by the PT and OT people – twice! Each time he felt great and was amazed at his own ability. These two sessions proved he’s getting stronger and will respond well to rehab.
A stroke was confirmed by one of the docs, and I think we can believe it this time. His right hand is the most affected part of his body, and possibly his speech and cognition. Don’s struggling with using a mouse with his left hand, using his computer for email, etc. and playing Solitaire. The condition is recoverable, and rehab will greatly help him.
He has another dialysis session this morning, as he’s been on a M-W-F schedule. We’ve been hoping the decision to move him to the Rehab unit would be made soon. But one doc said they want to make sure he’s stable enough before doing that, so we don’t risk a relapse.
Another good indicator that he’s getting more stable is that he requires a lower level of oxygen now. While I was there yesterday a tech took his vitals that showed 95% SpO2, then she noticed the cannula wasn’t in his nose but had moved over to his cheek!
However, a bad indicator is that his blood platelets count is low – he was given two units of blood later.
The reconditioned Galaxy S5 smartphone I ordered for him arrived on Wednesday in time for me to pick it up before going to the hospital. After I helped Don with his lunch I went to a Verizon store to get the phone activated. I might have been able to do it myself, but when I started reading the instructions I quickly realized I was in over my pay grade. We spent a lot of time on using the phone during the last 2 days, and Don’s now happy to be able to make phone calls with voice commands beginning with “Ok Google.”
Don said he’s finally ready to welcome visitors. It’s best if you check with me first so I can tell you a good time to come since I don’t know when he will have dialysis in rehab, but probably on Tues-Thurs-Sat. The hospital doesn’t allow visitors during dialysis.
Finally, after experiencing early deaths of my Dad, my sister and several friends, as well as this tremendous hit Don has suffered, I have to issue a smokers alert. The more you smoke and the longer you smoke, the more likely you’ll end up having heart and/or cancer problems. I know how hard it is to quit – I had to try 3 times before succeeding when I was in my late twenties, after smoking for about 10 years – but it’s worth the trouble to preserve health and prolong life. Don quit smoking when we got together, as I told him it was a deal breaker for our relationship. That was just 8 years ago, so he had a lot of years of exposure, and I know his problems are at least partly caused by that. Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now.