Friday, July 10, 2009

Working the program - Friday, July 10, 2009

Good news from rehab... After a productive morning in physical therapy today, Bandar happily joined staff and short-term rehab residents for a picnic lunch, complete with grilled hot dogs and near perfect weather. (Presumably, Jell-o was a dessert option, as it has been for all the meals I've seen or eaten.) If you know Bandar like we know Bandar, her attendance at such a function and with relative strangers requires considerable effort, which she's unlikely to exert when in great pain or discomfort.

Bandar attends both physical- and occupational-therapy sessions five days a week. (Physical Therapy Assistant Amy discusses exercises on the parallel bars, above, and checks Bandar's endurance level, right.) Sophie and I find it difficult to see how much progress Sophie's mom makes day to day, but we've noticed distinct improvement today vs. a week ago vs. June 29, her day of admission to the rehab unit. Her strength and endurance have most definitely improved. She can walk up to about 30 feet with the aid of a walker before tiring (compared to one or two steps 10 days ago). No doubt the encouragement and care delivered by the excellent staff at Jennings Center for Older Adults is largely a factor. Additionally, Bandar is one of the most visited rehab residents at Jennings. Sophie and I come by at least once a day, sharing meals and physical therapy sessions, doctor's appointments and planning-meetings with caregivers. Sophie's brother, Morris, along with his girlfriend, Lynn, his son, David, daughter, Shanon and granddaughter, Jackie, are frequent flyers, too, boosting the matriarch's morale more.
We realize, sometimes begrudgingly, that the pace of my 84-year-old mama-in-law's recovery runs according to God's time, not ours. We'd like her home today, but it looks more like she'll be at Jennings until mid August or so. Until then, we just do what we can to provide comfort and support. And personally, I have the good fortune to continue to grow, add greater understanding and new items to my gratitude list.
Several of the care-givers on the main floor tell us Bandar is not without her challenges. The term we heard was "demanding." A couple of staff members in particular have taken to Bandar and enjoy caring for her. We've watched Bandar grow very fond of them as well.

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