Kirsten Came Home. Briefly. Thursday, September 20, 2012

Kirsten climbs our stairs

Kirsten came home today! For a brief visit. A few days ago her therapists Emily (OT) and Courtney (PT) arranged a visit to our apartment so they could assess the environment in which Kirsten would have to live and operate after discharge. I skipped out of work to be here, and it’s a good think I did. Kirsten required a lot of help getting up, and back down, the steps. The three ladies drove here from the hospital. Courtney and Emily showed me how to assist Kirsten and make sure she was able to safely climb them. I spotted and supported, as instructed and required. Kirsten was very shaky, slow, and weak. We had pre-positioned a chair at the first landing, which she used to rest. Then, we moved the chair to the next landing before she proceeded. It was a long process, and very difficult for Kirsten. Once we were in the third-floor apartment, Kirsten navigated quite easily with her walker. Her therapists gave us feedback on positioning snacks for Kirsten in places that will require minimal effort for her to access. They are going to get us an attachment for the toilet to provide arm rests, and a stool for the shower.

I’m having our landlord install a shower head with a hose, and Emily is going to order us a seat for the shower. I need to get a chair for Kirsten to sit in and do her computing. It can’t have wheels and must have arms. It also must be the correct height.

On the way back to work I stopped by the Department of Motor Vehicles to pick up handicap placards. I was in and out in less than five minutes. They certainly failed to live up to their reputation, which I appreciated.

Handicap placards

When I visited Kirsten at the hospital after work she was putting clothes away in her closet. It’s nice to see her getting around on her own and becoming more independent.

Kirsten puts away her own clothes

During one of her occupational therapy sessions with Emily today, Kirsten baked cookies in the therapy kitchen. She let me bring some home for the girls. She was so excited to be able to bake. I love when she’s excited and happy.

Delicious cookies from the therapy kitchen

Kirsten spoke with Dr. Charbonneau about her discharge date, and they decided Saturday was too early. I agree, and was advocating sometime later next week. The tentative date for coming home has been pushed back to next Wednesday. She’s not strong enough right now to climb the stairs well, and the frequency of physical and occupational therapies in the hospital could do Kirsten a lot of good. She has been progressing rapidly, and I think a few more days there is the right call.

The medical bills are piling up. Thank you to all of you who have contributed to the campaign to help our family. We appreciate you so very much. If you’ve already donated, or are unable to, please continue to spread the word. We need all the help we can get. :)

5 Comment

  1. Kirsten’s resilience is amazing to me, as is your loving support through this ordeal. Her gorgeous spirit shines through in these pictures you’ve taken of her too. So glad she is getting about and could indulge her gift of creating something delicious in the kitchen; there is something so restorative about that process if you really love it like she obviously does (and I do)!

  2. Wow Kirsten! You look AWESOME!! :)

  3. Yay! Such great news! You are looking better and better!

  4. Kirsten Uhler says: Reply

    Thank you, Colette and Danielle. :-)

    It was so nice to be at home, even though it was for a brief period. I was discouraged that I had so much trouble with the stairs, but I think the few extra days at NE Rehab will help in building up my muscles. I feel reassured knowing that I’ll be able to get around the apartment and have the tools I need to take care of myself. Courtney and Emily have been great!

  5. @Kirsten They’ll have you doing burpies in no time. Love the sweat. Work it. ;-)

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