Bath day! At KGH, bath/shower day is once a week and done with an aide. I drive them crazy, always butting in: draping Mom with dry towels during the shower to make sure she doesn't get cold, washing her hair while the aide is washing her feet, bringing in Aveda cleanser...Today I brought her loofah from home; her skin is very dry and flaky, and I wanted to slough some off. I'm sure the staff is counting the days until I go home (for the record, 2) and they can go back to doing things the way they're comfortable doing it. But in my defense, the one shower Mom had at the hospital when I wasn't there was horrible-she was freezing. So bad that it took me two weeks of convincing her that I would keep her warm if she let me do it before she agreed to take another one. So I make it my business to constantly ask if she's warm and bring in extra towels. I know I'm annoying and I don't really care.
The shower was the big morning activity. She also had another strong PT session, using 2 pound ankle weights as she did leg extensions and hip adductions from bed. After a strong nap and a great lunch, she was in the mood to listen to music and catch up with her friends. She sent texts to friends she hadn't seen in awhile and called a friend from work. She called her coworker to get another former coworker's address (who sent a gorgeous and delicious fruit basket), but when all of her colleagues heard that she was on the phone, it got passed around. Seeing her light up when she talked to everyone was wonderful. You forget how much of an impact the people you work with make: Mom used to work 10 hour days, she spent a lot of time with these people. I know she's missing her former life, the sense of purpose that going to work gives you, the reward of the weekend, the routines. I was thrilled that she got to talk to everyone, it really made her day.
Something work related that I haven't mentioned: her boss dropped by last weekend with an amazing gift. On September 11, Mom and a team from Eddie Bauer completed a 60 mile bike ride to raise money for MS. Her boss matted and framed two photos from the race: one of Mom peaking a hill, with a huge grin on her face, and one of the whole team. She also included a group photo from a hike that EB did last spring. Around the matting, many of her coworkers wrote her messages. It's gorgeous, and full of energy and strength. I love looking at it and having it in her room.
In the afternoon, we went outside. The forecast said clouds and rain, but the day disagreed and sun shone through the windows onto Mom's arms. She felt it, and we decided to get a bit of fresh air. Since it was still cold, we didn't stay out for long, but I think just getting in a few moments of unrecycled air is a healing thing. She then had a fabulous occupational therapy session with weighted bars and balls. She is so significantly stronger than she has been; it's so wonderful to watch the progress. I'm really excited for her oldest friend (in length, not age) to come back in couple of weeks and see the progress-it's astounding and very heart warming.
Tomorrow is my last night spending the night with her for a couple of weeks. I go home on Thursday for about ten days, then come back to get married. Mom is finally getting excited about the wedding, which is excellent: the whole point of moving it up and having it at KGH is so that she can enjoy it.