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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Up & Down, Up & Down again...

Our New Ride
(click to enlarge)
I tell you, I feel like we've both been riding a roller coaster lately. I took this picture of Bob arriving at Rehab on the wheelchair transport the day that Bob did his "wilted flower" imitation at the standing machine. After that awful day, I sat down with Bob and gave him a "pep talk", well actually two of them. One that night and another the next morning before Rehab. I went through the stages of stroke with him once again and tried to reassure him that all was not "gone" but he was progressing through the stages and he would get better if only he kept trying. I also told him I believed he could do it, and that I had all the faith in the world in him. And that we would do it, together.

All righty. He was skeptical, I could tell. So, I resorted to the next best thing: threats. I hate to admit it. But I told him that if he did not get better, I just could not keep doing this forever. If he got kicked out of Rehab for "not progressing", he'd never get better and I'd be too worn out to take care of him anymore and I'd have to send him back north, to his mother.

Ooooh. That got his attention. What can I say?

So, we went to Rehab the next day and wouldn't you know, he was a real trooper! He stood at the parallel bars and followed directions and managed to stand three separate times for about 2 minutes each without a single complaint. Then, the therapist had him practice just getting up out of the wheelchair, standing, then sitting back down. Next, they put him on a machine called the "Nu Step" which has handles like a rowing machine and peddles like a cycling machine, so that when you pull at the "oars" the legs start peddling. He spent a good 10 minutes on his machine and even put his right hand on the right oar and tried to keep it there! The therapist ran to his aid then, and strapped his right hand on the oar so it wouldn't fall off. The therapists seemed quite pleased and I was proud as a peacock, to say the least.

Then came Friday, and I thought, good--we have three whole days to ourselves. He began wetting himself and the bed again--or not. I mean, he says to me (a new phrase) "it's wet". He'll stop in the middle of doing our exercises and insist "it's wet" and I'll check his diaper and it's bone dry. I tell him this, but he insists "it's wet" and gets quite upset about it until I relent and change his diaper. He did this to me eight times yesterday and four more times during the night and probably four of those times he really was wet and the other times it's just his imagination.... I don't know what to think. It's almost like he's fixated on "it's wet" and it's driving me mad. Not to mention, I'm running out of diapers. So, I get Chris (our neighbor) to come and sit with him so that I can run to the store and buy some more Depends, but they don't have his usual kind in stock and I buy something different which was on sale, and of course, he hates the new diapers, so now it's constant complaining about that and he hates the spill proof urinal which is "horrible" so I give him the old urinal back and he dumps it all over. He's ornery and cranky and everything I do sets him off. And I am going nuts.

Tomorrow we have Rehab again and I pray he does as well as he did on Thursday. I think right now, I'm the one in need of a "pep talk"....


Nikki said...

Well, I'm glad that he's trying a bit more. I think sometimes people need to get good and angry to really put their effort into things.

Jenn said...

Got a good laugh when you threatened to send Bob back to his mother!!!! Actually, you're telling him truths about where you're at with this, so I don't think it really classifies as threats. 'Cept for the mother comment! (still laughing here) -
Pep talk for Diane ....
(I'm holding pom poms) - Come on y'all let's hear it! We got Diane spirit! Let's hear it! Let's hear it! For Diane Haug spirit!
(I see ya rollin' your eyes!! lol)