Thursday, October 30, 2008

Under Construction & More on Kira

We discovered that we had water under the flooring in our family room and kitchen a little over a week ago. A part on the back of the refrigerator had broken so water had been seeping in where it could - under the floors. Somebody had to come out, rip up the affected flooring, and left some very high-powered ... very noisy ... fans in the house for a few days to dry out some sheetrock and cabinets.

We'll be picking out some new flooring and getting it installed before Christmas.

Kira continues to improve. She absolutely never wears any leg braces and walks around in tennis shoes, flip flops, or sandals. Her walking needs some fine-tuning to be real smooth, but she has great balance and control. Her right arm is starting to come around, but it is a slow process. It starts with the shoulder and the fingers are the last to wake up. I attended one of the therapy appointments and learned something very interesting - therapist said that exercising after a stroke is completely different than exercising after any other type of injury. The brain has to connect to the body part that is being rehabilitated and much of the energy it takes to do this is in the concentration. I was amazed to see how much more she could move her arm when she really focused on it.

Kira's speech is also improving. A lot! The left vocal cord that was paralyzed from the operation is slow to recover, so there isn't much sound, but she is doing so much better getting the right words out. We aren't needing to guess at what she is saying anymore and only need to ask for clarification once in a while. She does need to spend more time doing more deep breathing exercises to get her diaphragm working more efficiently and help with tiredness.

Still going to occupational and speech therapy twice a week, but her physical therapy has been cut down to once a week.

It is so exciting to see the tremendous amount of progress that Kira has made in less than 2 months! Full recovery can't come too soon for her. You know how impatient these "youngins" are - wanting immediate results and all.

One of the most amazing things to witness is the way that Kira is coping with all this. She has her moments (and certainly has every right to have them), but she has her eye on the prize and knows that if she weakens and gives in to self-pity she won't progress. What a gal!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Today's therapy appt...and more...posted by Mom

Kira had her appointment with speech therapy and physical therapy today. The physical therapist said that Kira is making such wonderful progress that she's going to dig out some exercises with a higher degree of difficulty for the next session. The therapist also said that Kira doesn't need to wear her night boot brace and she can go without her walking brace during the day for periods of time. The speech therapist was also very impressed with her progress and gave her lots of homework.

The shower chair has been cast aside and it is keeping the cane company.

Grandpa and I went to Babies R Us a couple of days ago and left with a bouncy thing. Some assembly required. Baby Ross really took a liking to it and he's literally a bouncing baby boy.

Here's another pic from today:

new pictures, just gotta go down....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Update from Kira's Mom

I’m so glad to be posting this update – and not just because it’s my first experience with blogging.

Kira has been home now for a week, and it is so wonderful for all of us that she is here. The hospital discharged her with several pieces of equipment as follows: Wheelchair, cane, walking leg brace, night boot, and bedside commode.

The wheelchair is being used regularly – not by Kira, but Ross enjoys playing video games from the chair and has also mastered several daring wheelchair tricks. It is very entertaining. We also have a scooter at the house that we’re test-driving for possible use by my mom one day, and we put on some amusing family parades from time to time.

Kira used her cane for the first 4-5 days she was home, but it became more of a nuisance than a help, so it has been cast aside.

The walking leg brace was custom made for her and it is hinged at the ankle. The purpose of this brace is to keep her foot and ankle positions stabilized while walking to reduce the risk of damaging her ankle and/or foot. Her foot muscles have a tendency to turn her foot inward and the brace corrects this. She wears the brace all day and it has helped her walking tremendously. The night boot is a soft blue stabilizer that she wears while sleeping.

The commode is being utilized as a shower chair and she is showering all by herself.

Kira has a number of prescriptions also. The least favorite is Heparin, which is a blood thinner that has to be injected into her abdomen every day for 2 weeks. Only a short way to go and she’ll be done with that.

Ross and Kira went on a little road trip yesterday. They drove up to Boomtown and had a great time. Here's Kira right before they left:

Thursday was Day 1 for outpatient physical, occupational, and speech therapy at Mercy here in Folsom. Several staff members remembered Kira from last year when she was caring for my mom and taking her to the same place for rehab from her stroke. She was pregnant at the time so they were excited to see Baby Ross when I picked her up. The occupational therapist asked that the baby attend her next session so she can get some pointers on caring for him until her right arm “wakes up” all the way. She will be attending therapy sessions twice a week.

Progress is being made all the way around. We’ve been doing a lot of massaging of Kira’s right arm and hand and she has very recently begun to move them a little bit voluntarily! Prayers and well-wishes are so very much appreciated and they are helping. It is so exciting to see the progress that she is making, and it is an honor to witness her strong will and her outlook on what she has been through. Being proud of her doesn’t even touch it. My daughter is my hero!

Monday, October 6, 2008

new pics

i'm doing ok just wanted to thank everybody who sighed up to pay me. thank you everybody. thats all i can write now.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Going Home!

Today is the big day! Kira is going home after almost a month in the hospital! Hooray!