Lee was moved to Continuing Care on July 25 - it is a nice facility, attached to our little hospital, so she will see the same doctor, same PT and OT staff, some of the same nurses and assistants... the move was pretty painless, it was a 5 minute walk from her old room in Acute Care. I was (am) a tad nervous because the ratio of nurses/patients is much higher here, but it's a good sign that she doesn't need to be watched that closely anymore; there is a lot to be said for stable!
she has a nice Semi-Private room (really, a private room that shares a bathroom with another semi-private room.. the room-mates can't see each other unless they get up and go around the corner, but they could yell back and forth if they had the urge.
meals are communal, in a big dining room; she is getting to spend more time with other people
they have a recreation program, play games, watch movies, go on bus tours of the area...
her fellow patients are mostly older, but still 'with it' and most can get themselves around (albeit some with walkers or wheelchairs)
the facility manager gave her a brand-new airbed, which Lee says is more comfortable, and WAY quieter than the older airbeds... can't really hear this one at all, but it still shifts her weight to different spots and does all the airbed stuff
she has a nice big window, facing East, so it won't get too warm in the afternoon, and there are smaller windows that open a bit to let in fresh air.
I've made arrangements with a local massage therapist to come up and give Lee a massage every week.
I think she will be fine in her new digs. The place is a little less 'Hospital' and a little more 'Assisted Living'.
Her eye appointment was less than satisfactory; it appears she has a common post-surgical complication from her previous eye surgery that will need to be dealt with, but for now, she has a pair of distance glasses that let her focus better on the TV, and a pair of close-range specs that are as good as we can get right now for reading. You might see her a bit more on facebook and maybe even FSU. We got referred back to the specialist who operated on her eye last time, to see if he can help with the new problem, but they won't operate on her until we can do something about this closed-jaw thing, in case they need to intubate her again. Poor vision is OK with me, for the time being - she has had about enough surgery for a while.
She has been sick for the last week (flu?) but I think the worst is over, there. Everybody was keeping a close eye on her, but nobody seemed too worried. Except me. After 4 days of not keeping stuff down, I harassed the Doc to run some tests, which he did... and shortly after they did that, she started looking better. Even started eating a bit again. I felt a little embarassed, but this isn't the first time a test has made the problem go away even before the test results came back... one of the ICU docs laughingly called it "MRI therapy" one day when they put an unresponsive Lee in the MRI and got a wide-awake Lee back when the scan was over.. apparently this happens all the time, and is a source of amusement to the staff.
She is having a birthday in a few weeks, and the nurses are helping me organize a little birthday party with family and some of her colleagues from school. She still likes to lie about her age, but if she doesn't hurry up and get out of here and back to work, she won't be able to get in that last 5 years on her pension before they put her out to pasture.
Hopefully, things continue to get better from here. Thank you all for your support, your thoughts and prayers, and for taking some time in your lives to reach out... Lee has some really great friends!
Thank you for the wonderful report, Gerry. I remember how anxious I was when my husband left intensive care but it really did signal that he was better. I also remember him hating the nursing home which was comparable to where Lee is now. But he made a lot of progress there and it wouldn't have been safe for him to come home then. I hope Lee keeps improving day by day. It looks like "normal" is in sight - may you both reach that blessed state soon!