Good things are happening.
First and, probably, foremost, I’ve started taking steps (using an “air walker” and with the assistance of two physiotherapists, but still). My first attempt I managed six; now I’m up to around twenty-five. It’s absolutely and unbelievably exhilarating to “walk.” It’s also very, very exhausting.
Second, I passed my swallow test! I’d failed it twice but aced it this time, which means I can eat and drink any foods and beverages my heart desires. My G-tube feeds haven’t been reduced much yet and are at a very high rate, so adding much to them causes a lot of nausea. I’ve nonetheless enjoyed sampling some treats and have very gratefully reincorporated coffee into my diet. True to my nature, I requested that there be ice cream on my tray every dinner; you’ll be glad to know that my wish was granted.
Third, my application for rehab was submitted. A rehab specialist came to evaluate me and said that I’ll be a good candidate but that I have to make more progress here before I’ll be ready for the transition. Though I was disappointed, I trust his judgement and realize that this is for the best. I can take advantage of the more intensive medical care available in an acute-care setting and be in the best shape possible for rehab.
Those are the major highlights. It feels really good to make tangible progress and to be well enough to slowly start enjoying life again. My dad is visiting from BC right now, and we’ve established a routine of Boggle, foot massages, and Golden Girls. My husband wheeled me downstairs a couple of days ago, and I went outside for the first time since I got here. The air was warm, there was a light breeze, and I was giddy.
I’m doing my best to focus on what is currently improving my quality of life. Triumphant steps with the air walker; Blanche, Dorothy, and Rose; ice cream in a thermal cup; sitting outside with someone I love. Spending hours every day with my dad. Beating him at Boggle. Phone calls with family and friends. Foot massages. Most importantly for me right now, watching my world expand as I regain functionality and look ahead to what the future holds.