Tonight was such a special time. It wasn't planned, or at least I didn't plan it, but Dad picked me up from the airport right after work. We went to PCC to pick up dinner, then straight to the Kline. Ross and Mom were hanging out together and we ended up having about 5 hours of just the four of us time. So nice. We ate kale salads and spelt muffins, (okay, Dad didn't eat any kale or spelt, but he had some pasta) listened to Glee and watched Mom bob her head with the music. We got a surprise visit from the dietitian who told us that Mom had gained some weight-when I left, she was 93 pounds. Yesterday she weighed in at 99. And that was after a steady climb over the past two weeks-the dietitian felt sure this wasn't an anomaly.
This is such encouraging news. And I think it's really motivating for Mom. She's been trying so hard to eat and know seeing that it's paying off, that the weight loss has stopped and she's moving in the right direction...so good. She was feeling a bit apprehensive about the surgery tomorrow, but after that conversation, she was much more comfortable with it and ready to go.
The most exciting thing for me was watching Mom navigate the bathroom. My last day here on my last trip, the PT and nursing staff were working on Mom walking to the bathroom with a walker instead of using the bedside commode all the time. She's been walking to the bathroom multiple times every day since then and today blew me away. She was so strong and steady on the walker-I barely needed to hold her support gait belt. And she knew her way around. It was awesome to watch her navigate to the bathroom, then around the bathroom to the sink and then back to the bed. I pointed out that if she could navigate a space that she's never seen, she's well on her way to more autonomy. Awesome.
To give you all a sense of the bathroom procedure, someone will set up the walker in front of the bed. Mom will usually be able to get herself to a seated position with her legs on the floor and someone will pull the gait belt around her waist. Then she and her helper will get her to a standing position and holding onto the walker. She then walks to the bathroom (about 6 feet away from the bed) while the helper holds her belt and makes sure she’s steady, while calling the direction she needs to go: “a little more to the right.” The helper then helps her sit and stand back up and get situated on the walker again to walk to the sink. The helper will turn on the water to make sure the temperature is okay and put soap on her hands and she’ll wash her hands. While both hands are under the sink, the helper needs to hold her steady so she can stand up. Then she walks back to bed. It’s awesome to watch her navigate and stand so strong, but it’s definitely a two person job.
Someone was asking about Mom dancing at the wedding. To be clear, she can’t stand unassisted. “Dancing” will be Dad holding her up in a nice secure hug while she holds his neck and shoulders. It will be exhausting for her, but rewarding, too. Nothing like the dancing she used to do, but movement to music all the same.