Progress Report: Week 3 in Rehab

– The trach came out on Saturday!! He had no trouble and the hole is healing up with only a bandaid on it.

– Wednesday and Thursday were good days in PT and OT. He’s tossing bean bags in a basket and sitting up by himself for most of the sessions.

His aim could use some work, but they were all close.

– Swallow test on Monday showed he is still not completely safe from aspirating, but he is coughing less during sessions with E-stim. Had his first taste of ice cream on Friday.

Chocolate.  The electrodes on his neck are stimulating his swallow muscles.

– Alert more and engaging others in conversation. Surprised a couple people with phone calls where he did some of the talking.

He stood in the stand-up machine for almost 10 minutes before his blood pressure tanked.

On Tuesday of week three I got a call from the social services gal assigned to Dennis. She reported that the weekly meeting of all therapists, nurses and doctors had resulted in the decision to move him out, maybe by the end of the week. His progress was too slow to warrant the acute rehab aggressive schedule. He was often too tired or unable to focus for the whole sessions in PT. There were often issues with blood pressure and bowel problems this week as well. I understand what they are dealing with, nevertheless the change from 60 days to “out by the end of the week” was a little alarming.

The next day I went around to our local facilities in Hayward and got his name on their lists. There are three of them and they are all full with long wait lists. But since we could be waiting for years yet, it was still worth it to sign up for something in town.

After social services investigated facilities that would offer the needed therapies within reasonable travel distance, I was given the short list to consider. On Thursday I decided to visit the one rehab/nursing home that had an open bed. It was in Shell Lake, 40 miles from home. True, that would cut my travel time in half on most days but still… it makes me sad to be thinking of this level of care.

The building was acceptable and clean. The staff people who gave me a tour and spent time with me were pleasant and seemed candid about the quality of care given there. I felt it was a possibility, but was a little concerned about their ability to meet the needs of someone who can’t even turn himself in bed.

Back at home I happened on a friend whose mom had been in three different facilities as an Alzheimer’s patient. Shell Lake was the worst of the three. It was back in 2014 and things could have gotten better, but it did cool my already lukewarm enthusiasm a bit more.

I am praying that his progress toward the end of the week will cause the rehab team to reconsider and give him more days at Miller Dwan. It could happen, right?

4 thoughts on “Progress Report: Week 3 in Rehab

  1. My dear friend,

    Glad to receive your email, I was starting to wonder. We will be praying for a good rehab close to home.

    How are you doing? Isn’t the traveling wearing on you yet?

    Please, take care of yourself too.

    With love,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, travel is tiresome but it won’t last forever. I have a good vehicle and I don’t have to look far to find people in worse circumstances than this. Thanks for your friendship and prayers. I am getting good at self care, lol.


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