Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jonathan Wood raptor project

This guy was great at Josh's school last week. One of our neighbors got to hand feed the Bald Eagle and when Josh went up to the guy to say thanks afterward he was given a poster of the same eagle for his classroom.

I had to talk Josh into going and much of the commentary was geared toward the adults (right - left wing jokes and spoofing late night TV commercials...) but the whole thing was very entertaining and educational as well.

If you have a chance to see this - go!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Challenging patient

While we were at Good Shepherd this afternoon Andie and I ran into Sam Miranda, the Chief Nursing Officer. He knew Andie from one of the restaurants she ran and had been in to see her six times while she was inthe Rehab Hospital - she only remembered one of those times. While he visited it was early in her recovery so Andie was explaining to him that she had strange dreams and that she doesn't even know what she said to anyone or how she was acting and he mentioned that she had indeed been a "challenging" patient. When he visited she knew that someone was with Mr. Miranda but couldn't remember who it was. He told her it was Sally Gammon, the President and CEO of Good Shepherd. He could see that we were on our way to the 4th floor to see her former nurses and to see if her former roommate was still there. Roommate was gone, good for her, the nurses seemed thrilled to see her and happy with her progress. The case manager said she'd had a case review with the insurance company just yesterday and even the insurance rep was amazed at the amount of progress she's made in such a short time.

While we were at speech therapy she was supposed to be coming up with sentences when asked about a situation in most cases she did well but there were some funny ones. When asked why we keep wild animals in cages she said "So we don't bite them". When asked about why kids need new shoes every year she said " because they're growing their feet" she did correct herself once she had time to think about what she'd just said.

Owl Walk at Marsh Creek

Dima and I had the chance to go with his second grade class to Marsh Creek Park to do an Owl Walk. The ranger who gave the presentation first then led us out on the trail was great with the kids and interesting. With 25 kids plus their parents traipsing over a rocky path I thought it would impossible to hear or see anything let alone an owl especially when one guy's phone rang as the ranger was playing a cd with a screech owl call on it to call one over to us... well next thing you know we saw one fly over to a tree above us and it called back to the cd - all the kids were told not to talk but to point instead and they did a good job of quietly pointing to where the owl was. Then it flew above us again and perched further into the woods. When it first flew over Dima was pressed up against me and a little freaked out. It was cool to see the owl and th ekids were disappointed that we didn't stay too long, but we were told that it could have young in the area and could be trying to defend them and we didn't want to harass them too long.
Andie admits now that once in a while she has "breakthroughs" that she agrees with me that driving is not a good idea for her to try anytime soon. She took a sample written driver's test and could pass that but the physical driving and reading of signs is not something that would be safe right now. Our dad works the polls each election day so I'm in Whitehall today sister - sitting. We cancelled her bus to therapy this afternoon and I'll take her over to Good Shepherd so I can see how things are going there. She's has a few different speech therapists and they've helped her out by giving her home work right now she's working on reading comprehension but that's coming along very slowly.

Yesterday she asked me to look up and she read some of their online stuff but got tired and confused so then I read some of it for her. She was slightly discouraged when it said that if there hasn't been major improvement in the first few months there will not be a full recovery. We talked about it a while and she's ready to be better but in reality she's been through a life- changing event and things will be different in ways that are hard to predict.

Right now we're sitting here and she's going on and on about selling snacks at flea markets and she wants to start researching where to get stuff and where to sell it. My point is that if she can't really communicate and can't count change she might need to focus on another job first and then move on to something like this later.
I asked her what to say on here and she said "Goodbye"!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Andie's all excited about driving in the near future but I really don't see that happening any time soon. She insists that they tested her reflexes at rehab and they think she's on her way to being able to drive. Now, I'm getting this from her and communication is still a big issue for her so I'm not so sure of exactly what they said to her but I had to burst her bubble and tell her that it probably wouldn't be any time soon. So then she said, okay maybe two months... I really really don't think so, but then again I was just thinking that we'd just passed the 29th of April which was three months since her surgery and the improvement has been remarkable so she may prove me wrong.
My parents did set her up with the blog to read since she said she wanted to know what I wrote but she still can't follow the print either on the computer screen or on a printed page so she gave up on that. My point to her was that if she can't read how's she going to drive? Can't read street signs? can't read directions? Her short- term memory is lacking too - so much so that when she gets to the end of a line she can't remember what she read at the beginning of the same line. And the process of decyphering the words is so hard for her that she just doesn't get the meaning.
We spent some time yesterday over at Friday's visiting the people she used to work with and she wanted to wait for some regular customers that she hoped would come in and she saw one man she knew and he was saying that they were all very concerned about her when she was in the hospital and all that.
She's also getting back into some "normal" things that most people take forgranted - she's got an appointment on Tuesday to have her hair done at the salon she usually goes to and the stylist she sees volunteered to come in early for her so she can get done in time to get out for her therapies at Good Shepherd. Next week is the last week for Physical Therapy aince she's doing well with that. She'll still have Occupational and Speech Therapies but she's good with the walking.
She moves slowly so yesterday and the evening before when we went on the IRT walking trail I loaded a geocache into my GPS and hustled ahead to get that while she walked behind me then she turned around and I had to catch up to her before we got back to the parking area. She insists that she doesn't need the cane but I think it's still to her benefit to have it as a warning to others not even for her to use. There were a few times that bikes speeding up behind us and she is still slow to move so the cane would - hopefully - have people be more cautious and sympathetic than if she didn't have it along.