5:45PM – Mom continues to slowly and steadily improve. She has eaten a half container of vanilla pudding and has been sipping apple and orange juice when she is thirsty. Still not allowed water. She even began doing the Harlem Shake when “Ring of Fire” started playing. Fortunately her dance moves remain intact. She still talks in a low whisper and is getting plenty of rest . She requested a tooth brush and brushed her teeth. Based on the ferocity of the brushing, I would hesitate in describing it as “dentist approved”.
pic:moms official pre-surgery medical x-ray
4:45PM – Progress continues! With assistance mom has been standing up to go to the restroom and she is more alert than yesterday. Now that she is more awake and aware during the day she has requested visitors to come and see her. Naturally she gets pretty bored when we are not able to be with her and wants everyone to know she would greatly enjoy the company. She is a gracious host and has been kind enough to let everyone try out her bedside toilet. Chivalry is not dead.
Mom is currently adjusting to her new cyborg eye in the NCCU room 3320 at the University of Utah Hospital
11:30AM – Mom is slightly more alert than yesterday and continues to make slow, but steady progress.The nurse told her she is doing “too well to be in the critical care unit” and they are working on getting her moved to a new room. Although she is tired throughout the day, its nice to hear her say familiar phrases she would regularly say (pre-surgery) to let us know everything is alright upstairs. For example: “Brad, your easily my favorite son” or “Suck it”. Classic mom.
Although it was exhausting, mom was able to sit up in a chair for 20 solid minutes. Like a Boss.
Yesterday mom was moved into a new room thanks to her progress. I’m happy to report that today she has been moved again. She is now in Inpatient Medical Rehab Room 2606. She will be starting rehab tomorrow morning which includes occupational rehab, physical therapy and speech therapy. She still gets very bored and is very grateful for any visitors. The staff mentioned multiple times that rehab will really tire her out during the day which should hopefully curb some of the boredom and make her days go by faster. I took a look at the schedule:
06:00 AM – 12 Dozen Raw Eggs Protein Shake, 07:00 AM – Bench Press (6 Sets, 30 Reps Each), 08:00 AM – Zumba with Ricardo, 11:00 AM – Wide-Stance Barbell Squats (10 Sets, 25 Each), 02:00 PM – CrossFit with Juan, 04:00 PM – Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out (NES), 05:00 PM – Rest, 05:05 PM – Booty Blast with Denzel, 07:00 PM – Kick Boxing with Lauren
Although the next 7 to 10 days may be physically and mentally demanding, I have no doubts that she will overcome any challenge thrown her way.
When I stopped by today and told mom she was doing much better than a couple of days ago she didn’t believe it. She is always very surprised when we tell her how great she is doing in comparison to only a few days before. She definitely does not notice the day to day difference like the rest of us do. She is still very exhausted and tired, but they are working on her sleep schedule so she is able to sleep better at night. She is doing great with rehab and had her stitches removed yesterday. The surgeon said they will reattach her skull bone in 4 to 6 weeks. In the meantime it is being kept next to the tuna salad in the outside fridge (behind the orange juice).
Although she is fatigued and pushed beyond her limits, she remains impressive. When I visit she is still funny and cracks jokes. She is still kind and talks about how cute her grandchildren are. She is still caring and tells me I need to eat lunch. She is still herself. Before surgery they had told her they expect a full recovery. Hearing “full recovery” was a relief, but I never realized all of the pain, effort and hard work she would have to go through to get to that point. When this is all just a memory we might tell the story as “she had brain surgery and made a full recovery”, but what she has accomplished and conquered to get to a full recovery will be the real story.
Love you Grandma!
Pepper said she is doing about the same as yesterday. She is still very tired from all the rehab activities and continues to rest between “the mean people” getting her up and active. I told her the kids want to visit her, but she does not want to risk scaring them so she prefers we wait a few days. Also, the nurse had the audacity to tell me that my mother “does not have the strength to babysit while in rehab” and that it was “inappropriate” for me to even suggest it. Eavesdrop much!?
Pic: Mom, Dad, and their parrot Jiago c.1973
Mom is still working hard and is even using her phone from time to time. Today she called and told me to let the family know that tonight she would not prefer visitors because she is so exhausted and plans on sleeping. She said it was a “bad day” of rehab and she really doesn’t have the energy to talk. She is very touched by the daily outpouring of love and concern from her many friends. When someone asks how she is doing, they often follow up with a great story involving her. These are awesome stories I am hearing for the first time (Armed Robbery) and its clear that she is always being herself wherever she goes and whoever she is with.