Friday, June 10, 2011
A LOOOOONG Overdue Update (Part 1)
So, it has been nearly a year since my last blog! My intention was
to keep up on blogging...but obviously that didn't happen! I am going to TRY to do a better job...but I won't make any promises. Since so much has happened in the last 11 months, I am going to go month by month and give the highlights of what happened. I will try not to be too wordy because this could be a VERY long blog! When I last wrote, Greg was at the Casa Colina Rehab Hospital and he was just beginning to eat. So here is what has happened since then!:
Greg quickly got the hang of eating. He (still to this day) eats every single drop of food on his plate! We had a home visit by a couple of Greg's therapists. They wanted to see if our home would be a safe place for Greg to be once he was discharged. The visit went well and we didn't have to do any major renovations. On July 30th, we celebrated Ellie's 1st birthday!! We had a huge first b-day party for her that Greg was able to attend! He wouldn't have wanted to miss his baby girl's birthday party!
Greg did such a great job eating, that they were able to take him completely off tube feedings AND he got his g-tube out!! He had not had a single bite of food for 15 months and had the g-tube for 16 months. So, it was a HUGE deal that it came out! It felt like major progress! Greg was also starting to get himself around in the wheelchair really well. So well, in fact, that he had to wear a bracelet that would alarm when he went through certain doors of the hospital. The alarm system failed and Greg got himself outside of the hospital! Then he went down a short flight of stairs...in the wheelchair! He was okay, but got scrapes on his forehead, right arm and knee. At the end of the month, Greg was moved to the Transitional Living Center (TLC) at Casa Colina. The TLC is a more home-like environment. It's meant for patients who don't necessarily need to be in a hospital anymore, but are not fully ready to go home. He got several hours of therapy a day and he was able to interact with other patients a lot more. The end of August also marked the beginning of the school year. I was still laid-off. The district does their re-hiring using the seniority list of teachers who were laid-off. I'm pretty far down the list, so there was no job for me. I subbed two days the first week, but then decided that I couldn't handle it. So, I didn't continue subbing for the time being.
Greg continued with therapy at the TLC. Once a week he got to go on outings: bowling, Victoria Gardens, Montclair Plaza, etc. That was really good for him! A big thing that happened this month is the close of escrow on our condo. We bought our condo brand new in 2005. It was the only place we ever lived together. We have so many memories there. It was such a difficult decision, but I knew there was no other way, I had to sell. It was a short sale actually (we owed more than the house was now worth). I knew that I couldn't afford it since I was laid-off. Plus, when Greg came home, I knew he'd be in a wheelchair...stairs and wheelchairs don't mix well!
At the beginning of the month, I was told that Kaiser would no longer cover the TLC, so that meant Greg was coming home! It was wonderful to know that he'd be home soon (after a year and a half!), but it was also a little disappointing because he definitely still needed therapy and the TLC could really help him more. Then, I found out that Casa Colina was going to allow Greg to stay for 2 extra weeks...on them! Greg's doctor allowed this because of the fall that he had down the stairs. He should not have been able to get out of the hospital. Their system failed. So, this was their way to compensate for the fall and the set back that he had because of it. Then on October 18th, GREG CAME HOME!!!! It was quite an adjustment for me because Greg needed help with everything and he couldn't be left alone. I also had a 14 month old who needed help with everything and couldn't be left alone! So, it was a challenge! But, living with my parents has been great because they are always willing to help out when needed. Greg's parents also live around the corner and are willing to help out whenever. Overall though, the adjustment was pretty smooth. Greg did perfectly fine with it!! He's happy to be with his family! :) I love having him home...I especially love seeing his smiley face first thing in the morning!
Greg was able to go back to Casa Colina for outpatient therapy! It was wonderful and I really liked all of his therapists! On November 18th, we celebrated Greg's 28th birthday! The day after Greg's b-day, we had some family over to celebrate! We had a great time...I think Greg felt pretty special! Of course, we also celebrated Thanksgiving. It was just awesome to have Greg home for the holidays! This month, we also had a friend of ours take some family pictures for us. It was a challenge!! But, I'm happy with the pics and will always treasure them!
This month started off with a surgery for Greg. He has a lot of tightness all over his body, including his right ankle. He had a contracture that was pretty severe. He couldn't put his foot flat on the ground. When he was standing, it basically looked like he was standing on his tip toes (rt foot only). So, he had his Achilles tendon lengthened. The surgery included a one night hospital stay. But, Greg did wonderfully! He didn't have any pain and he really didn't complain about it at all. His therapy at Casa was stopped and he also had to wear a cast for awhile. But, the surgery was successful and his foot is now flat. Then, we celebrated Christmas! What a wonderful holiday it was!
Well, I'm getting a bit tired of typing and I'm sure you're getting tired of reading. So, I'm going to end my post here and continue on with another update later!