Saturday, August 30, 2008

First Week Home!

Well, it's been a week and a day since Kathi came home from the hospital. Being in a quiet environment, especially at night, has helped Kathi sleep better, and therefore, have more energy. We have tried taking short walks outside until the heat drove us back inside. Her ability to walk and have good balance is getting better everyday. We hope to get the out-patient therapy locked in by next week, and we are still waiting to hear about the insurance decision on the Bakersfield Rehab facility.
Yesterday her sister, Theresa, and niece, Emma, took her out to lunch (first time out for a meal!) and then we drove to Lakeside to pickup some paperwork, and Kathi had the opportunity to see some of her co-workers. What a treat to see her eyes light up as she walked into the office and saw familiar faces. Then we came home and took a nap!
Theresa and Emma flew back to Seattle last night, so Kathi said her good-byes. It makes her a little sad to see them go, but Theresa will be back in a month or so. 
Please continue to pray for healing of her mind - thinking, memory and reasoning. Also pray for continued stamina and strength. And praise God for the miraculous healing we have seen!

Friday, August 22, 2008


Yes, folks, today was D-Day, as in DISCHARGE! YEAH! Kathi's sister, Theresa, and niece, Emma, flew down to Sacramento on Wednesday. We have spent a few whirlwind days being educated, buying supplies and cleaning the bedroom where Kathi is going to stay for a while. It has been such a sweet and precious time, filled with anticipation, and then today . . . we brought her home. We arrived about lunch time, and after eating, Kathi went to bed for a nap and is still asleep as I'm writing this blog (2 hours). She told us that her body was in shock from the ride home and not being in the hospital anymore. I believe it!
She is still having difficulty with her memory and confabulation (verbalizations with no basis in reality) but we expect that to get better with time. To help her with this, she has a "memory journal" where she keeps information to refer to when she is confused. She is walking, but is unstable from weakness and dizziness, so she is using a walker. That, too, should get better in time.
At this point, we will start out-patient speech, physical and occupational therapy sometime next week. We are still waiting to hear about the facility in Bakersfield - there is still a possibility that Kathi will still go there for some "fine tuning" if it all works out with her insurance. 
Kathi is desperate to shave her legs, and we hope to get her hair cut!

When I look back at pictures of Kathi taken in the hours and days after her accident, I still audibly groan. Personally, I confess that I was not hopeful that my sweet friend was ever going to make it. But God gave us a miracle - His power and grace is so evident when I watch my friend smile, crack a joke or share some thoughts on her relationship with God.
"To God be the glory,
Great things He hath done!"
Thank you for surrounding Kathi (and us) with your love and prayers. Blessings to all of you!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

French Fries!

                                                I received a call from the rehab team where Kathi is -- they told me that she wasn't eating well. A little tired of hospital food? They put her on the phone and I asked what she would like to eat and she said french fries. I made a run to McDonald's, joined by our friend, Susan, and we dined on our fine cuisine OUTSIDE on the patio of the rehab unit. Fast food and a little fresh air!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Rules, Rules, Rules

"There are too many rules!" That's Kathi's latest complaint. Today I found that Kathi has been transferred to a new bed - a mattress on the floor. This is because our dear friend keeps getting out of bed and sometimes falling. To prevent injury, the staff felt a six-inch fall off a mattress wouldn't be too bad. Either today, or tomorrow, they plan on trying a regular "lo-boy" bed. Kathi just laughs.

She was pretty alert today and commented that she is a little frustrated that she can't just do what she wants to do, when she wants to do it. I think we have heard that before. She said this was especially true last Sunday - she really misses being at Lakeside and doing her job.

When the PT person came in, I asked Kathi to let me see her walk. So here are the pictures that show how well she is doing in that area. I praised her on how well she is walking. She said, "You know, everyone says that to me. But I don't feel like I walk well at all!"

The wound on left leg is well healed. The skin donor site causes her some discomfort as it itches. There is a little discomfort on the side of her knee when she is doing some of her exercises. But nothing too awful. 

By her own account, her dizziness is getting better, and the nausea is pretty much gone. (Yikes! We didn't even know she was nauseated.)
My general assessment after todays visit: Kathi is pretty tired of being in the hospital. "Too many rules!"

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Phone Chat

So . . . I was sitting in the break room on Wednesday, grabbing a quick lunch, when my cell phone rang. I didn't recognize the number and answered with that hesitant voice we all have when we are afraid it's a sales call.

"Hi! It's Kathi." It took me a moment to do the mental puzzle to realize it was KATHI! It was just the sweetest thing in the world. Two other friends were sitting with me, and Kathi said hello to them, too. She told me that they are allowing her two calls a week now, and she "hoped she wasn't bothering me."  We chatted a bit, said good-bye and hung up, and then I cried. Not given to much emotion, and having not really cried much during this journey, I was overcome by the miracle that God has blessed us all with. OK - enough sentimentality.

Last night, Spike made an appearance and Kathi had the chance to hold him and see him. She told me it was "good for him to see her." When my husband asked if Spike seemed glad to see her, she said "he's not exactly a warm and fuzzy cat." Which we all know is true!

You see in this picture that she is looking at her most recent mail. To her classmates in Washington - celebrating a 30-year class reunion - she was amazed and touched by your card and picture. She remembered each and every one of you. Once again, she is still awed by the people who have encouraged and inquired about her.

There are once again specific areas of prayer. First, even though you can see the normal sparkle in her eyes, Kathi still struggles with memory and dealing with thoughts that she thinks are reality. Sometimes she is right on the money, sometimes she's way off the mark! So pray for continued healing in her brain. 

There is a possibility, only a possibility at this point, that Kathi may be going to another more intense rehab facility in the next couple of weeks. There are many issues to be worked out, but if she could go, it would be the best thing in the world for her recovery. This is a facility that simulates real life and helps her begin to learn basic skills of daily living. Pray that God will make perfectly clear his plan for her immediate future.

Her one complaint is fatigue - pray for increasing strength and stamina. 

Wrapping up this week's blog, I'll close with some of Kathi's humor - which by the way, is so very present. While meeting with some people last week from another rehab facility, they asked what her work hours were like as the Director of Women's Ministries. She said about five and 1/2 days a week. One of the people joked that they thought pastors only worked on Sundays. Kathy responded with "Yeah, that's just the "guy" pastors."