Off to Rehab

I thought the surprises were over, but they were not.

Today when I arrived at Dennis’s bedside I was able to see his face without the NG tube. The nurses had already taken care of that task. A good thing.

Dennis’s face… he has lost weight in his face and looks so tired. The husband has very big eyes, hound dog eyes, you might say. When he looks at me, or other people, with recognition in those eyes, and maybe a lifting of the eyebrows in question mode, he sparkles with personality. When he has his eyes closed, or half closed as they often are, he looks near death. He doesn’t always show a lot of facial expression – it’s one of the parkinsonism traits of Lewy Body dementia. Another feature of his face is the month old beard and mustache. I’ve held off trying to shave him for fear some hair might be sucked into his trach tube.

The next thing we heard from one of the nurses was that he was being transferred to rehab today! Probably this morning! A day earlier than expected! His first feeding in the new gastrostomy tube was started and a few minutes later PT was knocking on the door to work with him. They were all excited and wanted to see if he could stand with their fancy lift machine.

The stand up machine. Took 10 minutes to get in place, 5 seconds to stand up.

The doctor came next, then the social worker who had been helping with placement. It was like a celebration with everyone smiling and congratulating us. It was like having a new baby, or maybe winning the lottery.

I actually felt guilty leaving before the move occurred. I had a much needed massage scheduled and had barely enough time to get home for it. I’ve missed a lot of self care lately (showers, hair cuts, sleep, etc…) and decided that there were competent people who would take good care of Dennis during the transfer. And they did. I called this evening and he was in his new room, doing fine, according to the nurse.

Tomorrow I will have a new adventure, finding my way through a new facility, getting used to new regimens and rules. Dennis has always thought that trying to get well was his new post-retirement job but I have a feeling this will be the most work he has done in a long time. The list of scheduled appointments is long.


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