Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wheelchair Trouble

Sorry for the late post. Dad had his first rehab effort yesterday and it went well. No family was allowed in the room, mostly so he would give it his all and not try to involve family in some way. Reports back to Mother were that he was successful in standing with assistance and he took a couple steps using a walker device (and watchful eyes and helpful hands). Returned to his room by the rehab team he headed for the bed. Lunch arrived about 20 minutes later and he had to go through a 'waking-up' process, including the groggy "what's going on look", and after that he was returned to the rehab team which worked with him on 'hand-eye' coordination. He can't feed himself completely but he tries to get the food, spoons, forks, etc. to his mouth; so this kind of rehab exercise will be of great use. He returned to the bed and slept for a couple hours after the last session and about an hour or so later dinner arrived. Again he went through the 'groggy phase' including the 'you eat it' and 'I want to go back to sleep' comments. As has been our developing schedule my brother and family returned in the evening and stayed the remainder of the night.

Mother and I arrived this morning before breakfast and served as encouragers. He ate everything and wanted to go back to sleep but the clinical folks had a different plan. They got him into a wheelchair and left him in the room to watch TV, talk, etc... He seemed to have been bothered by this and just kept mentioning the bed. Looking directly into his eyes I told him he had to stay in the chair until one of the staff could come talk about the plan for the day and decide what course of action to take. They did come back in and asked him to stay in the wheelchair; this is when things got interesting.

They pushed him down to a community room where other patients and  residents meet; watch TV, talk with visitors, and wait to be returned to their room, rehab, lunch, etc...  This is when Dad started squirming in the chair. He kept slouching down and sliding out of position, lower and lower in the chair and had to be re-positioned. Two girls came back in, and by the arm/shoulders lifted him back up into the chair. In a few minutes he did this again and the entire process was repeated.  When they left he started it again and the head nurse came back in, had him lifted up in the chair again while she slid a rubber mat under him. This stopped the scooting out of the chair. Not being able to slide down in the chair and cause the staff to return seemed to bug him a little but the rubber sheet worked and no one had to lift him again.

Shortly afterward some clinical types came by and took him to another rehab session. Thirty minutes later he returned to the room and was left in the wheelchair for lunch. He ate very little of the food and then was transferred to the bed (a lift of sorts was used to do this transfer). He slept for several hours and then went back for another 30-minute session, then was returned to the room. Dinner arrived an hour later and my brother and family repeated their efforts as encouragers and visitation company for him. Mother and I returned home around 9.20pm; we are preparing for tomorrow morning, the family will do it again.


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