Categories
At Home Recovery

In it for the Long Haul

Been a while since you’ve heard directly from me… I’m home, although still learning the ropes of the non-weight bearing on my right foot. I can get around with a walker quite well, but it is still taking time to also get used to all the help I’ll consistently need to get around and do regular things during these next 8-12 weeks. But my parents are helpful with all that and intend to help wherever, whenever, and as needed. I have a great support system here. I have determined that I really shouldn’t be alone in the house at all during this time.

With a dining/living room upstairs, and having figured out how to use the bathroom and how to sit at my desk many bases are covered. Granted I should not spend much energy on professional work for a while yet. But there are still things easier on a Mac than an iPad, so desk use is important. But my iPad will be getting more use if I’m in bed more, at least at this start of the long haul of recovery. My phone will see less use, my other devices can reach it and are better for my direct interaction at this time. My watch has become more of a way to quickly reach my parents than its usual activity tracking for this time period.

Feel free to reach out to me anytime and we’ll see if I’m up to responding or not. But mostly I’m really glad to be home, in my own normal spaces, and sleeping in my own more comfortable and larger bed. I’ve already gotten more sleep here than I did the whole time I was in the hospital. This next phase of recovery is very much underway.

Categories
At Home Recovery

Tracking Meds

Coming home from surgery brings home the task of tracking meds. Alex has done a wonderful job of tracking his regular medications over the years, but when opiates and pain meds get in the mix and his mom and dad have to alternate overnight administrations of drugs, things get a bit more complicated. We tried tracking on paper for a while, but found that confusing enough that it led to at least one (minor) error. So we’ve started something new: an AirTable base for tracking meds.

AirTable lets you create simple bases like this for free. They can be shared with a group of collaborators (like our little family) so that everyone is on the same page. We have created a base where we can plan out the coming medication times noting exactly how many of each pill Alex is supposed to get. We have a space for notes (like how bad his pain is) and a check box to check off when we actually give this dose.

Since everyone can see it from any phone or other device, we all can easily answer questions like “was this dose given?” We can also plan ahead, agreeing on how we taper certain meds (like Oxycodone) and then easily sticking to the plan. And when we talk to nurses, this gives us a very good record of what we have done.

This is just one of many uses for AirTable. We also use it to track our car’s milage and to sign up participants in our faith formation group. Check it out some time!

Categories
At Home Recovery

Snow pizza

We are getting through the snowstorm with some pizza and a call from Joanne and Thatcher. This is the sitting room we have set up on the second floor for Alex.

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At Home Recovery Hospital Stay

Home!

Well, we made it! We still have to get up the stairs after dinner, but we made it home. We are all a bit weary and Nate is cooking Lemon Chicken Rice for us. Thanks, Nate!

Categories
Hospital Stay

Breakfast

Alex had a really good night. He has his appetite back and is eating a nice breakfast this morning. Dr. Koop says he is a “ahead of schedule” and has some hope that Alex will get home today! We are lining up a wheelchair and walker, but signs are good we can beat the blizzard home. The only downside with this speedy return to the home front is that he would be coming home in the Robert Jones Dressing and will have to return next week for casting, but we’ll take that if we can get it!

Categories
Hospital Stay

Joyful snoring

Mary and I have been trading off nighttime duty. She took the first night, I will be here tonight. Of course, sleep is hard to come by in a hospital inpatient ward, but we give it a go. Right now I am pleased to hear Alex snoring away. Hm, someday we may have to send him to Cornelia for an evaluation, but for tonight I count each snore as a victory.

The overnight nurses were amazing. Carolyn and Meg would glide in every two hours with a whisper and tiny flashlights, get their work done quickly and quietly, and glide out again. I was impressed at how well they worked with Alex and how quickly he would fall back asleep. He got a lot of sleep, though not quite as much as he can get at home.

Categories
Hospital Stay

Brotherly love

Nate stopped by for a visit after work today. The room was filled with laughter as we commiserated with WordPress nightmares he is having at work and the terrible junk food his dad is imbibing at the hospital. Mary can’t drive at night, so Nate was also getting Mary home for some well deserved rest.

Categories
Hospital Stay

Carcassonne

We love the board game Carcassonne and its iOS version is a masterclass in translating a game to the iPad. Alex and I played a game during our quieter moments today, and of course he beat the pants off me!

Fun fact, we’ve even had a chance to visit the town of Carcassone in France with Dagmar once. We like the board game more!

Categories
At Home Recovery Hospital Stay

Up and at ’em

Emily from PT stoped by to discuss mobility options with Alex. We have been planning to use a knee scooter at home, but after some conversation with Emily, Alex decided to give a walker a try. Even though he has little strength on his right side, the walker gives him more stability. Emily also pointed out that a walker could be fitted with an extension that allows his right arm to provide quite a bit of support. We also decide to rent a wheelchair to help us get Alex up and down the porch steps, though frankly if the weather forecast holds out this may be a very challenging exercise when Alex is discharged (we are expecting a blizzard this weekend).

Alex got to practice both the walker and wheelchair with Emily this afternoon. He was very motivated to get to the bathroom, being no fan of the commode that he had been using thus far. Alex was a champ, keeping his right foot off the ground, stepping carefully with the walker as he pivoted to the wheelchair, and reversing the whole process in the bathroom.

He has since twice more gone through this routine. The walker looks like a keeper. Thanks, Emily!

Categories
Hospital Stay

Life-T

Alex just had a nice conversation with Carrie about “therapeutic recreation services,” although we soon renamed what she was offering “life-T”. she was interested in how Alex spends his time and what might be done to make his time at the hospital pass more pleasantly. She loved hearing about Cadi (the cat) and told us about therapy pets who might stop by. Alex also talked about creative writing and drawing. Alex even thought some follow up with Carrie after his recovery might be valuable.

Alex and Carrie had a really energizing conversation. It is great that Gillette has someone focused of doing what they can to help patients dig themselves out of the doldrums of a hospital stay. Just before she visited Alex was really feeling the dumpiness and indignity of the experience. Her visit was a real tonic.