Recovery from Catastrophic Brain Injury: Rita Part Nine
In part nine we continued our talk about Rita’s set back and having to be sent back to a hospital and also her recovery from catastrophic brain injury.
The question remains whether Rita’s brain suffered any additional damage as a result of this secondary infection, or whether this was just a temporary setback.
Did Rita ever get back to the point in her recovery that she was at when she was discharged from Rehab?
Oh, she’s way past it. When we went back to Bayfront, they told us it would all come back, and it did, and it didn’t take that long, and she’s way, way above it.
So ever since she then came home in September of 2011, like the middle of September let’s say, she goes to physical therapy three times a week, she went to speech therapy for a while. We did the vita stem thing for her throat. She has to drink thickened drinks because her throat’s not kind of, you know, doesn’t swallow liquids that well; still goes down into the lungs.
She had a feeding tube. We got rid of that in, in March of, of this year. She went home with a feeding tube.
So recovery from catastrophic brain injury and her return home was she ambulatory?
Oh, no. No.
Does she walk now?
No. No. She’s in a wheelchair. No.
When she came home, was she a basically 24/7 care responsibility with her recovery from catastrophic brain injury?
Yes. She still is.
Give me a picture of your, your routine day that first month she came home.
That first month, we didn’t do anything. The beginning of September, that’s when she got the, the relapse or, you know, went back. It was like the middle of September.
She was in the rehab hospital until the end of August?
And then they did the brain, the brain surgery, the skull surgery before they sent her home for her recovery from catastrophic brain injury?
Yes. Right before they sent her home.
So the first time she’d been home was when she got sick?
So you didn’t exactly get a chance to get comfortable with your new responsibilities as caregivers?
No. It was very, very scary. It was terrible. But when she finally did come home, we, my husband and I have been with her every single day since December 9th of 2009. We felt by then, by the time she got home, you know, we were just ready for her to be home anyway. We, we were tired of everything and everybody. So the first month home we did nothing away. We just relaxed. We kept up our, just the range of motion as much as we could. You know, I, there’s a bunch of help out there. I mean, I, especially Bayfront speech and occupational people sent us home with a bunch of stuff. So we just kind of stayed home and, you know, worked on all that ourselves.
I think I would have been far better off to go home to my family’s care then what I ended up with. The hospitals wear out families with all the driving, test’s, doctors, therapies, bringing clothes and to and from the hospital. Friends, neighbors want to visit. It’s far better to recover at home if it’s even possible.