Friday, June 19, 2009

Processing progress

Reading Nancy's post helped me put my own feelings about yesterday in perspective. I now find myself at a point that I might need to readjust my own expectations of Dolly for the moment.

Wednesday, I spent most of the day at Spaulding with mom. I arrived at 10:45 am (after an impromptu doc appointment of my own) and I was frustrated that I may have missed much of her therapies. (Two of them, speech and physical, usually happen in the morning). Happily, this was not the case. I was lucky to get to see about 20 minutes of her speech therapy. I finally met her speech therapist Molly, too. I then got to observe her PT appointment (and even help a few times). I was also in on her Jeff (OT) appointment. I was able to speak with all of her therapists one-on-one yesterday, at one point or other. I asked them to give us "homework" for Dolly, since, when one of us daughters asks her to "work" with us privately (off-the-therapy-clock), she says she is too tired, "not now",  or voices some other strong objection. Since she basically does everything the therapists ask of her to do (though sometimes, begrudgingly),  I know that she'll do her homework with us, if it is specifically doled out from them.

Next Wednesday June 24th is Dolly's release date from Spaulding, and it's coming up very quickly. We have not chosen a Skilled Nursing Facility for her next steps as of yet. It was important that we meet with mom's Case Manager to discuss things in more detail about mom's case, as well as how her Team feels she is actually progressing (or not, as the case may be), before doing so. Yesterday was the perfect opportunity to do that since both me and Nancy could be present. There were many questions I needed answers to, and I needed to understand the basis on which they make some of the decisions they are making about Dolly's care. The Case Manager was very helpful in this regard and I now have a much clearer understanding of all of the intricacies about how they rate certain things. We are now armed with more knowledge about what we need for mom's care, and a list of contenders. Nancy and I will go on a tour of them on Saturday.

Yesterday, I became very aware of my need to re-evaluate my own expectations for Dolly's progress, because some things about her recovery and current limitations (whether they turn out to be short-term ones or permanent ones ) are finally becoming much more clear to me. Some ways that Dolly communicates, reacts, general abilities or refusals to perform certain tasks that I have noticed over the past couple weeks, I'm now seeing these as possible things that may not be restored as quickly as other abilities, or not fully, or maybe never will be at all. Though I honestly bristle at the thought of ever setting any limitations on mom's recovery in my own mind, there is a fine line between being honest and objective about what's on the table in front of us, what we are working with -- and with being beamingly hopeful for mom. But pragmatism comes very naturally when you see her, her accomplishments and her limitations, the baby steps and the slip-ups in front of you regularly. Of course, mom is still in the very early stages of recovery. I'm processing her progress thus far, and how quickly or she gains ground in some areas, and not in others.  But, in terms of time passed thus far, we are now far enough removed from the actual event that we can now form a new perspective on the journey of her recovery based on our own actual experiences with her over the past month. So much still remains to be seen, but we now have some ground under our feet on which to look back over. I keep telling myself that this is a marathon, not a sprint. We just have to remember that and to work through each day and each moment as it comes, without going bananas.

1 comment:

  1. I agree.
    I'm so grateful you and Nancy are able to take on the task of visiting the skilled nursing facilities.
    Thank you!

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