Yesterday afternoon physical therapy came to walk J. She is struggling with getting up out of bed. For one thing, she is very weak because her blood has not built all the way back up to normal levels. The transfusions helped boost her blood, but her system still needs to make more on its own. Her levels went from 19 to about 28, and she needs to be a 35 at least. Therefore she is much weaker, and this will effect her recovery. Now she is eating some better, so this will help her body too.
Physical Therapy said they are pretty much the last word on when they feel a spinal patient is ready to go home. Right now, J is having trouble with balance and bearing weight. She is still unsure about what is in her back...all of that hardware. She told me yesterday that she can feel it through her back, so that has got to be a bit unnerving. Especially in her upper back she notices it protruding when she lays back on the bed. It irritates her. I'm not sure if this is normal, so I am looking forward to seeing her surgeon this morning. She also has an issue with headaches that he is keeping tabs on.
We think part of her apprehension is learning about how her body has been altered and that she is going to have to relearn how to move with these new changes to her body. The PT gals told me that she is basically relearning how to do simple movements, and she won't ever do movements exactly the same way as she used to do before her surgery. J gets frustrated at times because she wants to bounce back quickly and be back to her old self. I am constantly reminding her that her new life will be even better, and try to be patient as she learns to adjust... it will take time. Simple things such as sitting up...this will take more time than we thought. She may need the walker for awhile. At day 5 she is still not sitting completely upright, and it is uncomfortable and scary to her every time they attempt it because she notices the difference in her back. She is tough and works through the pain, yet gets a bit much for her to deal with at times.
Yesterday evening we got a visitor...a Pastor's wife friend of ours, Kelly. She brought J a card and a few girlie items. We didn't even realized she had brought in a gift, until she was down the hall...I turned around and saw it on the tray table. But then again, Kelly is like that and not one to make a big deal out of doing something kind. She lives her life with true humility. J enjoyed her visit with Kelly very much. Thank you! :)
Last night she was restless and could not get comfortable. She kept sliding down off of her pads. Then we would have to log roll her to get her pads. She was itching at her incision site and her back. Also, her pain got difficult to manage in the early am. She did sleep well from 10pm until about 2 am. So she did get a few hours of steady sleep.
Here are some photos from yesterday...
Our girl walked almost all the way around the nurses station, but she got tired. So physical therapy wheeled her recliner out to her. Then they had arranged for the play room to be open for her. When we got there, there were a LOT of younger kids there playing and it was quite full and loud. She just couldn't handle all of the noise, and she was feeling a lot of back pain. She took a pain pill before therapy, but it was a little slow getting kicked in. She wanted to go back to her room pretty soon after being there.
There was a guinea pig in the play room and frogs. :) Lots of younger children were surrounding it and feeding it with carrots.