Tuesday, April 28, 2009

No falls, but close calls

Steve's left side was worse today than even yesterday. With that, his mobility is worse, too.

He didn't fall, but there were some frightening moments in transit. I'm using all my strength to catch and hold him when he falters. Then he steadies himself and we keep moving with tiny baby steps.

We were able to get him from the bedroom to the dining room, where he worked from about 8:15 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Seriously.

As awful as the location of this tumor is -- and believe me, it's awful -- we still are incredibly thankful that he retains cognitive and reasoning ability. He's able to produce the most detailed Excel charts and tables and graphs I've ever seen.

But still, the tumor is in a terrible spot, and we can only assume at this point that it's the tumor that is causing his left-side decline. Even with the high dose of Decadron, he's losing ground daily.

Dr. M is concerned, of course, and has started the process to get him admitted for inpatient physical rehabilitation at Zale Lipshy (the UT-Southwestern hospital where Steve was unofficially diagnosed, back in December 2007).

The medical staff has accepted him. Now we're waiting on a bed pending insurance approval, which should come Wednesday or Thursday.

While a rehab patient, the staff will evaluate his current abilities and needs, and we'll set goals for discharge. He'll work with occupational and physical therapists and other caregivers as needed. I'll spend much of the day with him, too, to learn how to best care for him at home.

He'll stay overnight, which will be hard on all four of us, but we're all focused on the goal of Steve's safety at home.

Dr. M told me that she thought his stay would be for about a week. I expect we'll know more specifics after he's admitted and evaluated.

I explained to Cooper and Katie this afternoon why Steve will return to the hospital. There's a chance they'll come home from school tomorrow, and he'll already be at Zale.

When I was tucking Katie into bed tonight (the first of multiple tuck-ins), I reminded her about the upcoming hospital stay and asked if she had questions. In reply she told me that Daddy would feel a little better. And she said that they would take his tumor out. I reminded her that they can't take it out. She gently insisted that they should.

*****

Today was another day that wouldn't have been possible without the help of many kind souls.

Betty stayed with Steve during the day while I attended a parent-teacher conference, conducted a client interview and had my own doctor's appointment (just a check-up). She also picked up Katie from school and helped Cooper after school.

Kerri brought a plate of sweet treats (with contribution from Kristie). Carol brought homemade chicken stock for Steve. Melissa delivered comfort food for dinner. Jeff came over to help me lift and move Steve. Sharon spent her free time tonight helping with the whole nighttime routine, even allowing me time to run with Liz and Melanie.

I'm always comforted by the help -- and by how Cooper and Katie respond. They have learned to be flexible and to accept help from others.

When Katie wakes up at 6:30 a.m. and is told she's going to the Smith house for the day, she doesn't balk or cry. She accepts and embraces the change in plans.

Cooper loves to listen to his Daddy read him bedtime stories, but if Steve's voice is too weak (like tonight), he's happy for me or one of our trusted helpers to read to him instead.

Especially in these most trying times, we are reminded of our infinite blessings. We are thankful for the joy that peeks and sometimes bursts through when we least expect it.

3 comments:

Laura said...

The support network you have -- fron friends, neighbors, teachers, family and so many more -- is simply incredible. You are extremely blessed to have them all during such a difficult time. I would like to say, "Thank you," to them all on behalf of the many friends who are too far away to jump at the drop of a hat. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

DogBlogger said...

Prayers and hugs for all of you...

Cheryl said...

We are praying for you both. If there is anything we can do, please let me know.
Tim & Cheryl