Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Great, great day for mom

I got to the hospital a little later than usual today. Last night, mom gave me "permission" to sleep til 9 am this morning. (Dont tell mom, but I used that extra time this morning to catch up on work-related tasks). When I arrived in her her room at about 10:20 this morning, she was in the middle of her meeting with the speech and swallow therapist. The last time her swallow was tested was last Thursday morning - same day as her tummy tube operation (and the day before our first trip to Spaulding). At that time, she was able to swallow just the tiniest bit of applesauce without coughing, but no more than just that tiny bit. Her swallow was there, but it was very, very weak. Of course, having a tube through her nose, down her throat all the way to her stomach I'm sure wasn't helping facilitate her swallowing progress. I did anticipate a better result once the tummy feeding tube was installed but boy, was I in for a treat today!! She did better than I expected - I think she did better than even they expected, too. She did amazing! She swallowed several full spoonfuls of applesauce successfully!A whole single-serving cup full! Way To Go, Dolly!! It was an incredible moment, especially after all this time and all this uncertainty over how her swallowing would progress. So much is tied to her ability to swallow. Dolly loves to eat, so swallowing was a very big deal. To see her successfully swallowing those big spoonfuls of applesauce was just exhilarating!! It was a huge benchmark moment.

In other news, Mom smiled several times today! A real smile. Only half her mouth can smile, but I saw it! Usually, when we ask mom to smile for us, sometimes she purses her lips, or sticks out her tongue, or makes kissy-face mouth motions. (Even though she speaks, understands, is lucid and sharp, she has trouble with some basic concepts - smiling is one of them.) But today, I saw a real, natural smile, and it was SO great to see.

The pacemaker doc came by and tested mom's pacemaker. It is functioning correctly, and looks good. She gave us information on aftercare and follow up care. So glad to get this heart thing under control finally. I know it's still no picnic, but as long as the a-fib can be successfully controlled by the pacemaker/ meds combo, which appears to be the case so far, we are making very good progress and we are moving forward! I can't wait to get to rehab, once and for all.


  1. wonderful news - sounds very encouraging!

  2. This really is great news. I keep hearing Julie say how much Dolly loves to eat---so I love knowing that eating is getting that much closer!


  3. I am not sure how I found your blog, clicked from here to there...but I am so glad I did! Your situation touches so close to home for me. My mom (83) broke her hip a year ago and my three siblings (from all corners of the continent) and I have been taking care of her in shifts. Its brought us all so close together! I am touched by your words. Please give your sisters an extra hug for me (and Dolly!) :)

  4. Swallowing is good! Yes!!!