Sunday, July 27, 2008

Randy's new place

Hello to everyone. This is Diane, Randy's sister. I'm updating the blog for Felisha this time, and we have good news for everyone.

First of all, he had his skull flaps replaced on July 7, and it went great! He already had a follow-up on July 17, and is healing well. He looks wonderful! As soon as his hair and beard get grown out, he will look like the Randy we all know and love! He will go back to Lubbock in September for an angiogram to make sure everything is still looking OK.

Now the best news: Felisha and Mama took Randy to Roswell to the New Mexico Rehabilitation Center on Thursday for evaluation for admission. They admitted him that day, telling us he was an ideal candidate for rehabilitation. He spent most of Friday being evaluated by physical, speech, and occupational therapists. He spent an hour in PT in the morning, 30 minutes with ST after lunch, then back to PT for 30 minutes, to OT for 30 minutes, and back to PT for 45 minutes or more.

In PT, they got him on the parallel bars and had him stand 3 or 4 times, then put him on a cycling machine for 15-20 minutes. He was able to flex his left foot and ankle much more than he has. The physical therapist has asked his doctor for a mild muscle relaxer to reduce the tightness in his muscles so he will be able to do more in therapy.

Both PT and OT worked with him on learning how to use a board to transfer from his wheelchair to bed. Randy was paying attention and working hard with them on everything they asked him to do. The OT said he improved on that task 100% from the Thursday evaluation to the Friday therapy session. He also had to work on sitting on the side of the bed and keeping himself balanced and upright. He tends to lean to the left in his chair and while sitting on the side of the bed, so that's something they will work on.

The speech therapist did 12 parts of his evaluation Friday. He did pretty well, but he sometimes uses the wrong words or gets stuck with using the same word over and over. She said that was very common. She will finish her evaluation Monday, which is 6 more tests including some reading and writing tasks. She told us the writing was often the most difficult skill to recover. I think she'll be surprised with Randy, however. He is often able to write with more clarity than he is able to verbalize. Once she has all of the evaluations completed, she puts the information into a computer program which helps determine the deficits and skills they need to focus on.

Felisha, Mama, and I are very impressed with the care Randy is receiving. The doctor is great, and the staff is very attentive. Randy pushed the nurse call button while the doctor was there Thursday evening, and there was a nurse in the room within 45 seconds. All of the staff is professional and caring. We feel a such a sense of relief in knowing that Randy's needs will be taken care of without one of us having to be there full time! We have not felt that confidence in his care since he left Lubbock!

His doctor also said Randy's overall health is an "A-" with slightly high cholesterol, but everything else is OK. Some slight iron deficiency that they may give a supplement for, as well. His pressure wound is still not good, but the nurses there will check it periodically, and change the dressing as needed. Felisha was also very pleased with the type of dressing they were using, which should reduce the irritation to the rest of the area.

We don't know at this time how long he will be in Roswell. They mentioned three weeks minimum to get him to a level where home-health care will be an option, but that's still not certain. He is not on a regular schedule yet since he checked in on Thursday afternoon, but I think after Monday he will have a regular schedule we can let you know about. From what I saw of the other patients' schedules, he will have PT, ST, and OT in the morning AND the afternoon. This place is SERIOUS about the rehab, and we are thrilled!!!

Felisha is staying in Roswell this week, but is not sure if she will stay during the week for the whole time. They definitely will be keeping Randy busy (and worn out by the end of the day) Monday through Friday, but they don't do therapy on Saturday and Sunday, so that's when he'll need company.

Felisha has been absolutely devoted to Randy throughout all of these difficult times, and all of the family is so grateful that Randy has such a wonderful, loving, dedicated person in his life! God truly blessed us all when he led Randy and Felisha to be together.

If you want to send Randy a card, he is at the New Mexico Rehabilitation Center, 31 Gail Harris, Roswell, NM 88201. He is in room 206-A.

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