Saturday, November 21, 2015

Acquired Brain Injury Day 29

Since the infection cleared a day ago, progress has been fast and surprising to both the team and to me. We had been taking two steps forward and someways three steps back, but now it feels like we are not just taking steps forward we are starting to run. 

When I arrived in the morning, Colleen had her coat on and was ready to go out for a walk. Her appointments for the day had finished. I had arrived around 11:00 as I knew her appointments with her Physio and Speech Pathologist were in the morning.

We decided to take a long walk and explore some of the neighborhood, but as this was a Sunday, many of the shops were closed. The Synagogue was open and when we walked by, the worshipers were just leaving, and the street was full of families walking.  Some were friendly and responded when we said hello, but many were not. 

There was a shop called "The Shook" which we noticed but it was closed, so I told Colleen that tomorrow we would go into the shop and ask about the name and see what they sold. As part of the rehabilitation plan, Colleen had been given/volunteered the task of helping the nurses set up a Christmas Display in the Ward. As the ward had just opened in October, this was to be the first Christmas for the staff and patients in the Unit, and they wanted to do a good job.

Colleen had worked, as a hobby, in the Theater as an Assistant Stage Manager and as a Properties Manager as well one of her hobbies is Stain Glass. She is a very creative person, so the Occupational Therapist asked Colleen if she would help. Colleen agreed, as much to get some thing to do. So when we went on our walk we spent some time looking at Xmas decorations.

I cannot imagine what it is like for Colleen at this stage of rehabilitation, she believes quite strongly that she is fine. Her short term memory is returning although she does get confused from time to time. She looks out of the window and sees trees that are similar to home, and thinks she is at home. 

She knows she has had a brain aneurysm but she thinks it happened a few days ago. She knows she is in the hospital but thinks she has only been here a few days. (About the time she beat the infection). She does remember parts of the trip and every hour it seems that more of the short term memory and her cognitive skills are coming back. This is leading to a very high level of frustration with her situation. 

The man who had the meltdown few days ago, seems fine now but he constantly talks with Colleen about the fact he wants to leave and he cannot. This reinforces Colleens eagerness to leave and to go home. When she was at the Alfred, she was living in the moment and when I left for the day, I think she forgot I had been there, so leaving was not a big issue.

Now when I had to go it was difficult as Colleen knows I was there and she knows I am going and will not be back for a time. (I think her sense of time is returning and time is probably going very slowly for her). She also believes that I am going to enjoy myself when I am away from her. The fact is that I still travel a little under three hours each way and when I get back I eat, then go to sleep and then am up again and back to see her. Not much fun is being had by either of us.

We will be seeing the chief Neurosurgion on the 2nd of December and I am hopeful with the progress happening so fast that Colleen will be cleared to fly and we might get home for Christmas.

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