…they happen fast.
Mom went with me to the rehab hospital yesterday. We were watching the speech therapist spoon feed applesauce to the husband when the social worker appeared at the door and beckoned me out.
After weeks of searching for a bed for Dennis, something closer to home and less aggressive in therapy, there was an opening at St. Mary’s Hospital in Superior. It was only a few minutes closer to home but it was across the state line in Wisconsin, and that was an advantage for future placement. There was medical oversight, since it was a hospital, and they had the therapies that were needed. It was called a “swing bed” and most hospitals have a room or two of that category for patients transitioning to a different level of care.
I don’t know if I had a choice – it didn’t really feel like it. I had not seen the place nor had I heard anything about it. But, that didn’t last long because several staff members started telling me they had worked there and it would be an excellent move for Dennis. I was uncertain, but it seemed wrong to refuse to have him go. I must have agreed, yeah, I must have. Otherwise how could it have happened that fast?
Two hours later he was on his way over to his new room. Those two hours were pretty unusual though, and Mom and I were so glad we were there to witness them. Every one of Dennis’s therapists, nurses and aides that were on duty that day came by his room and spent time saying goodbye to him. With each one, he would tear up, then they would tear up and all of us watching would start to cry too. Two hours of emotional mess. Exhausting.
They all had stories to recount of Dennis’s jokes, and his cooperative spirit, and his progress. They were a hugging bunch. It couldn’t have been a better send off for a man who often felt like he was failing and being a burden.
I’m going to say, and believe, that it must have been time. God knew we were completely ignorant about the new facility. He knew I would be uncertain. He knew we would trust him and go, and that he could be present with Dennis in that place just as he had been for the last 50 days at Miller Dwan. We pronounced it a happy thing and prayed with Dennis before leaving to have dinner with some friends.
We checked in on him on our way home and after he had been settled in bed for the night. I’m not going to say that everything looked ideal, but it did seem adequate and I felt he would be well attended.
Has he made progress since the last update? Yes, he did some good work the last week at Miller Dwan. He is getting more control of his hands and arms, more fine motor coordination and wider range of movement. He became better at sitting upright and centered. He was able to raise to a standing position with the help of a steadying machine. Yesterday, his last day of therapy, a therapy dog came to the gym for the first time since Covid restrictions. He had such a good time tossing the ball for “Gunner” to retrieve. I just hope he can maintain these advances in the new place, and that will be my prayer.
2 thoughts on “When Things Happen…”
My dear friend…and the roller-coaster keeps on going, ready or not for the next turn. We are praying with you that this new establishment will be a good one for Dennis, or at least a steppingstone for a place closer to home.
May the Lord fill you with His strength, love, patience, courage to face this next phase.
With our love,
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