Update on Mom’s condition and recovery

For those of you following the saga of my mom’s double femur fracture, it has been 23 days since she fell. Her recovery has been amazing, and I wanted to give an update on her condition. After her initial double surgery to place pins in her legs, she stayed at the hospital for a few days until she was transferred to a rehab facility. If you’ve been reading at all during the month of June, you probably remember how badly that first day and night went for her. It was terribly unfortunate to have such a rotten first impression, but since her initial arrival, she’s been treated better than well and has adjusted to the new–though thankfully temporary–normal.

In the two weeks that she’s been there, she’s gone to physical therapy and occupational therapy every week day, which has been a tough workout every day, but has reaped rewards already. She can climb several stairs at a time and do other milestone activities that she must complete before being able to go home. Without knowing what the units stand for, she has been told that she must score a 56 on a physical therapy evaluation before she will be released: two days ago, she scored a 41. Progress! Every day, it seems, she gets a little stronger and can do a little more.

My dad’s been attending physical therapy with her and has watched her change and work hard. He also stays for quite a bit of time there, takes her outside where there is a long walking path that he’ll push her wheelchair around, and allows her to sit in the sun for a while. I think that has made a big difference in her days. Who likes to be locked up in a hospital-type setting for very long?

Just yesterday, they had a home visit, a needed event in the process of getting Mom to the point of going home. My dad had to pick her and the physical therapist up from the rehab center, and she had to show that she could get in the car, ride in the car, and get into the house. After doing all that, they spent quite a bit of time going through day-to-day scenarios in the house: can you get a drink of water? can you climb the two steps from the back room to the rest of the house? how easy is it to get into the bathroom? can you sit in your favorite chair and then get out of it? how easily can you get yourself into bed and then get out? Most activities were doable, even in their small home, but Dad found out he’ll have to make a few changes to the layout. Mike also knows that he has the go-ahead to finish his bathroom project of changing their tub into a shower with a seat.

She reported that it was lovely to be in their home again, even if only for a short period of time. When I talked to my dad later that afternoon, he seemed most excited about learning that from now on, Mom could “check out” of the rehab center for blocks of time throughout the day, as long as she was back by dark or when she needed a pain pill (whichever comes first). This means they’ll be able to go to church together or out to a meal, or even to the house to sit in the backyard like they enjoy so much during the summer months. I think this may have been the best news of the day for both of them. It seems like the light at the end of the tunnel may have begun to reveal itself to them.

Every time I talk to Mom, she has an upbeat attitude. Even if she doesn’t especially like the situation she has found herself, she seems to be working it out and making the best of it. Dad says she’s made friends with a lot of the other patients in her facility and as they roll and stroll out to the back patio, the patients wave and say hello as she asks how they’re all doing. She reminds me of the stories about her mom– I didn’t have a chance to get to my grandma too too well before she died, but her epitaph seemed to be that “she never met a stranger.” Sounds like my mom is picking up where she left off.

And that’s the gist of it thus far. We’re so thankful that throughout this process, Mom keeps moving forward. That’s definitely worth cheering about! Hopefully the next update will be to announce that she’s on her way home. Thanks for keeping her in your thoughts and prayers. I know she’s felt it and we ALL appreciate it.

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