Kirsten Is Rehabilitating – Saturday, September 15, 2012

This might be the first time since I started this blog eight years ago that people have been clamoring for new posts. :) Going forward, updates on Kirsten will be less frequent. I will continue to post significant events and progress as they happen. Thank you for reading, for comments of support, and excellent questions. We love you all. Please, of course, stay for the technology, science, politics, religion, culture, philosophy, and book reviews. It’s all very good stuff.

Kirsten loves her Victoria’s Secret clothes

Kirsten’s rehabilitation at the New England Rehabilitation Hospital continues to go very well. Kirsten has several physical and occupational therapy sessions each day, and receives adequate nutrition and nursing care. The staff at the hospital are attentive, kind, and do their work with dedication and compassion. I have been very pleased with her care.

Yesterday marked Kirsten’s fourth week in the hospital. After a neck fracture, post-surgery intubation, bilateral adrenalectomy, and embolization to stop post-surgery internal bleeding, we are finally on a very positive trajectory toward recovery. There are still many difficult challenges ahead, and the road to full strength will be long, but progress is quick and Kirsten becomes more independent each day.

During Kirsten’s occupational therapy sessions, Kirsten has wiped kitchen counters, folded laundry, and even prepared lunch, all activities she has enjoyed more than you would expect. During physical therapy she easily gets out of bed and strolls the halls of her unit with her walker. Yesterday, she even did a few stairs. Yesterday she also earned a green bracelet, which means she can get out of bed, go for a walk, and use the bathroom without having to call a nurse or CNA for assistance. It’s a privilege for which she worked very hard, and is a great accomplishment.

Kirsten’s green bracelet comes with privileges
Walking with Courtney
PT Courtney, Kirsten, and OT Emily

As I’ve said before, Kirsten no longer requires insulin. Her levetiracetam has been reduced to lessen the side effects. She no longer is taking her human growth hormone by injection, as they do not want to promote tumor growth, even though the rest of her needs the hormone. With Kirsten, everything is about balance.

Soni, Kirsten’s mother, has been wonderful! She taxies the girls to their various appointments, and to visit Kirsten. She listens to me bitch without judging (she’s incredibly patient, as one needs to be with me). And she makes delicious cookies, muffins, and cakes.

Soni and Kirsten

I met with Kirsten’s physical therapist this week to receive training on how to properly and safely assist Kirsten. I have been cleared to take Kirsten on a day pass, and will bring her to the ocean tomorrow. That should be wonderful, although I’m very nervous about transporting her, as even a small fender-bender could be catastrophic.

Yesterday I met with Kirsten’s case manager and doctor. They are recommending discharging Kirsten at the end of next week. While that may seem like great news, I am very apprehensive. It means she is doing well, and for that I am indescribably grateful. It also means she won’t have constant access to nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nutritionists, doctors, and rehabilitation facilities. We will have nurses, physical therapists, and occupational therapists visit our house, but we will have to make many trips for appointments with her surgeon, neurologist, neurosurgeon, oncologist, endocrinologist, and neurologist. My challenges will grow significantly after discharge. I’m going to have to lean even more on Soni, and beg her not to return home for at least a few more weeks.

7 Comment

  1. Thanks for the update. Good to hear about the grindingly slow process of rebuilding a broken body. You are doing great bro.

    Love you guys.

  2. I was very pleased to read this update. So, so glad to hear that Kirsten is slowly gaining some strength and independence. I am sure that it must be wonderful for her to be able to walk and go to the bathroom unassisted! I understand (in a manner of speaking) your apprehension about Kirsten’s home-coming and the fact that she won’t have her surgeons, neurologist and care staff immediately available throughout the day should she need them. It is a natural reaction to the uncertainty that the first few weeks will bring, and learning to deal without round-the-clock professional care. And, as you put it, I am sure that it will be logistically challenging. I hope Kirsten’s mom Soni will be able to stay for several more weeks – it definitely sounds as though she has been wonderfully helpful and a morale booster for you too. And if there is anything the rest of us can do…
    Much love to you both.

    1. Thank you, Kerry. Yes, Soni has been wonderful.

      You’re going to like my update this afternoon. :)

  3. We are so thankful for the progress and her recovery Tell girls and Soni hi for us. Luv
    Dad & Patsy

    1. Wilco. Thanks, Dad and Patsy.

  4. Janice ORourke says: Reply

    We are awaiting any and all we can do on caringbridge.. Please use us at TedxDirigo!! Also I want to wrap your car in bubble wrap today and put a sign that says: special people on board back off!!!!

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