06 April 2007: Holy Cow!

Category: General
Posted by: erin
Aunt Marsha and I went for a visit this morning. Dad had called her and said they were moving him down to the rehab floor within the hour. So of course we rushed over there only to find that the move would happen "sometime today."

We did, however, walk in to find him sitting upright in a wheelchair, and before we left, we watched Dad transition from the wheelchair to the bed. We are so proud!

When we got there, John C. from the lake was waiting just outside Dad's room, he'd just arrived, and was waiting for the nurses and staff to wrap up some of the morning routine.

Seeing Dad sitting fully upright in a chair was pretty exciting. The cardiac chair sessions only had him at a 45 degree angle or so--this was his first time sitting straight up in 3 weeks! He said he felt a little light-headed, and he seemed to be hyperventillating a little (I thought so, and Aunt Marsha did, too - being the nurse she is, she actually counted the breaths per minute). He stayed upright in the chair for a little over an hour, and by the end was able to pronounce with some enthusiasm that he was no longer light-headed.

The PT brought a walker in, and asked Dad to put one hand on the walker (he chose his left), one hand on the wheelchair arm, and then use his arms and leg to stand up. His first attempt scared the pants off of him (which is saying something, as he wasn't wearing any) - he came off the chair a little low, and couldn't get his leg to support his weight. The PT and nurse got him sitting in the chair again, and gave him a little time to catch his breath and relax.

The second try was better, one big heave with arms and leg, and he was standing up! He managed a hop to turn around so his back was to the bed, and sat down with some control. He was able to help scoot himself backwards, though he lost his balance and fell back on the bed a little earlier than planned.

It was really impressive to see him standing, and he showed a lot of stamina in moving around, especially as he was already fatigued from sitting in the chair. He was, as expected, really tired after all of this activity, so Aunt Marsha and I left him tucked in with a good book on CD.

As I mentioned earlier, John C., who Dad used to work with and who lives on the lake in Michigan, was there when we arrived. Jim T., Dad's old boss and much respected colleague, called on the phone. Dad thoroughly enjoyed both visits.
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