Latest message from Heather:
Dad passed the swallowing test today. He had ravioli for lunch just couple hours ago. Yay! However, there are some standards that his food stuff has to meet.
No 7-11 coffee just yet. All liquids need to be thickened to a "nectar" consistency. They have special thickened drinks here at the hospital that we can ask the nurses for if need be. (Of course, they provide these things to him at meal time.) Also, no steak just yet. He cannot have anything that requires a lot of chewing. I.e. Cookies, crackers, apples. He can have things like chocolate pudding, or a burger that is cut up into small pieces. His breakfast, lunch and dinner are now something for him to look forward to and will be therapeutic in boosting morale. His meals will also be a continuation of his speech therapy in that he needs to concentrate greatly and eat slowly to ensure he is swallowing things properly. Eating is hard work for John, even though he feels as though he should be able to just tuck in. This is due to the impulsiveness that is a direct result of the part of his brain that was damaged during the stroke.
So in summary, we all need to be aware of his level of concentration and speed when/if we help him eat. It is perfectly acceptable and also necessary to ask John to slow down when he is eating or drinking. For that matter, it is also necessary in almost everything he now does.
There was also a family conference today with his case manager, Christine, and all of his previously mentioned therapists. As a family we all want what will be best for dad's healing process and whatever will help him regain as much independence as is possible. While at one point we thought going into a family member's or friend's home after acute therapy would be best, we have been reevaluating his situation. If John is to go into a sub-acute therapy setting, he will receive a minimum of 5 days of therapy a week. If he is to go into someone's home he would have 3 days of inpatient therapy a week. Inpatient meaning- therapists coming into the home. We are currently looking into the sub-acute therapy places available to us as the next temperary living situation. Dad's tentative discharge date is September 8th.
There are small steps happening every day here. Today we saw those small steps lead to a huge result.
See you around the hospital.