Typical TBI day!

Years of trying to keep myself free
Now I find that I’m down on my knees
I kept hiding the feeling I had
Locked away every day, Lonesome and sad
When I’m with you girl, the fear in me leaves
To be in your world is all that I dream
When I walk away you waltz into me
Softly, Slowly                                   Darius Rucker & Hootie and the Blowfish

 

My youngest daughter is one of my “main” day caregivers. She has been my greatest asset since bringing my wife home earlier this year from the Rehabilitation Institute. Her love for humanity is overwhelming to me. The following is from one of her journal entries. I want to thank her for letting me read this, and share it with you. 

9am: Wake April up, Tell her the date. Help April get out of bed, but have April walk over to her dresser to pick out her own pants and socks to wear- have her put them on herself. (She might need help putting right sock on, if so help her as little as you can- she can do it!) April will need your assistance in helping her take off her shirt, and snapping her bra for her, as well as helping her put on a new shirt- always start with her right arm first. April can apply her own deodorant. Follow April into the master bathroom, she will assist her own self in the toilet room- when she leaves, remind her to wash her hands, and then proceed to ask her to brush her teeth- she can do all of this by herself. After teeth are brushed, take out her comb (in 2nd drawer in the middle) and have her brush her own hair. Then walk her back out into the bedroom area and have her pull up the sheets on the bed and make it look nice.

930am: You need to figure out what you want April to have for breakfast. Then trick April by asking her if she will make you breakfast (She will tell you she is not hungry, if she knows she is making breakfast for herself) She knows her way around the kitchen, if she needs help, she will ask you- but stay by her side the entire time!! After she makes breakfast for herself, have her put all main items away and anything dirty into the sink. Grab the plate and follow her into the living room, she will sit on the leather beige love seat. Put the dark brown love seat pillow behind her back and hot pink table tray on her lap- put down her plate of food so she can enjoy her breakfast. After she eats give April her pills – one by one- ask her what each pill is, tell her if she doesn’t know. After she gets done eating, ask her if she remembers what the date is. (Repeat this question throughout the day) When done with breakfast have her come back into the kitchen and wipe down the counters if there is any mess from making breakfast and have her wash her dirty dishes and put them away. (She will need to wash them with a rag and not the soup dispenser that is in the sink) After she is done cleaning- she will go back into the living room and watch The Kelly and Michael Show while her stomach digest her food. (She loves that show) After the show is over mute the TV. Your choice if you want to turn on music or not. (If you leave the TV on she will get distracted and want to watch it)

11am: Have her read you something, either a couple pages out of a book or magazine that is lying around the house. Play a board game with her, have her add and subtract and multiply numbers. There is a stack of paper money- pretend you are going shopping. Have her pull out the money that each “item” that you want cost- at the end of your shopping spree, have her add up your total amount that you have spent. Anything creative that you think of, that would be fun to expand April’s mental well-being. Make sure April is mentally consumed for at least 45 minutes to an hour. Make sure she is drinking plenty of water during these exercises.

12-12:30pm: Exercise time!!! Start by stretching, take about 30 minutes just by having her stretch her arms and legs, have her sit on the floor (she will need help with sitting on the ground, and getting back up from the ground) help her stretch- do stretches together! She is more likely to keep stretching and doing stuff if she sees you do it too. After stretches have her to 40 crunches, and have her lift up her legs as high as she can off the floor – really work on that right leg, push her to her limits! Have her do air leg exercises. … Do three sets of 3 different leg “air” exercises. Then help her get up. Then hold both of her hands- facing her- let her follow your lead by taking steps side to side, back and forth, so on and so forth. Do arm exercises, and have her move her right arm and left leg simultaneously and same with her left arm and right leg. Do exercises that help with her eye-foot, eye-hand coordination. Make up different stuff to do! Have fun with this!!

This should last about an hour to an hour and a half. Make sure she is drinking plenty of water during these exercises.

1:30-2pm: Have her make you two lunches. Obviously you will need to assist her. You can’t just sit in the living room expecting her to be able to make you two lunches without your assistant. She will probably just want a light lunch, if she had a
good breakfast, but just all depends on how much you have worked her. While eating lunch (you can watch TV) Have April then clean up after lunch – wipe down counters and clean the dishes.

\After lunch April can play on her IPad- games, look at pictures, whatever she wants to do for about 30 or so minutes. … Then have April get up and do another activity by either going up and down the stairs 4-5 times or walk on the elliptical for 5-6 minutes. You will have to have training on how to put April on the elliptical and off before you do this activity. … After you get done doing these small activities, it should be around 4pm. If not and it’s 20 or so minutes before 4pm, just let April relax by watching some TV or playing on her IPad. … Throughout the day ask her questions and try to play the memory game-( nothing personal though) Ask her if she remembers your name- her children’s name, the date, the month, how old she is, what her address is, so on and so forth)

routine: noun

regular, unvarying, habitual………… “Do it a thousand times. The same way every time.”

I repeat myself when under stress, I repeat myself when under stress, I repeat myself when under stress,           “King Crimson”
Anyway, keep on keeping on. Laugh with your loved one and make them feel like they are loved, safe and important. Every day is a new day. Smile when you wake up and thank the one above for everything. Make my mind strong, my body strong, and my soul strong, in your name Jesus. Amen.

 

Hasta la próxima.

 

Daycare Surveillance from work

It’s times like these you learn to live again,

It’s times like these you give and give again

It’s times like these you learn to love again,

It’s times like these time and time again

                                                                                          Dave Grohl

 

I need to get my wife to try to do things on her own. I took a daily planner. Made copies of it, so I could have a “one day at a time” schedule left on the table for her to read and hopefully do. Not only will this help me, but give her something to give her self-worth.

What I am dealing with is that she thinks she is perfectly fine, and wonders why someone has to watch here. Yet, when you ask her the day, date, or even the year it is, she has no idea.

I had previously purchased a couple of cameras and placed them in certain areas of the house to get a panoramic view. My original reason was to keep an eye on the day caregiver to make sure I wasn’t getting ripped off or abusing my wife. Actually the later was more important. Anyway, the first time I did this was when my day caregiver could not make it, and I had a very important meeting at the office. Well I decided to go into work and tell my wife that I would call her and see how she was doing. When I got to work I immediately turned my computer on and got on the remote access to view. I thought, for the first time doing this, she did great. I had to call her a few times though. I could tell she was looking for something. I would call her and ask how she was doing. Where are you, she would ask. I am at work, I would reply. This happened probably at least 4 to 6 times. But still, I was happy with the results.

Even still, I need someone with her during the day. Just to keep her company. She does not change into clothes. Her pajamas are still on when I get home. She will sit and watch TV, or play with her IPad. She seems to have no desire to do anything. At least she can walk ok, go to the bathroom and at least stay hydrated. I am not sure when I will leave her alone. Maybe once a month or so? I need to just keep the faith and keep trying.

Anyway, keep on keeping on. Laugh with your loved one and make them feel like they are loved, safe and that nothing ever happened. Every day is a new day. Smile when you wake up and thank the one above us for everything. Make my mind strong, my body strong, and my soul strong, in your name Jesus. Amen.

Hasta la próxima.