Our Day Together

Your grandmother recently celebrated her 90th birthday. I can’t even emphasize that enough. Ninety. Ninety. WOW….one more, 90!

Naturally this called for a HUGE celebration in Charlottesville – where everyone gathered to honor your grandmother and this prestigious celebration of ninety years. This meant that you would be spending the day alone – until I got a call from Scotty. He informed me that if I wanted some alone time, Saturday would be the day. Of course, I was all over that.

I packed up the car, left bright and early and got to you around 10a. You were sound asleep…so I let you rest (I know after 13 years of friendship, not to wake you up).

At about a quarter till noon, they brought you lunch and an occupational therapist had come in to help you eat (I let him wake you up)! You were excited to see me since you had no idea I was going to be there…it was good to see you smile.

The occupational therapist must have annoyed the beejezzus out of you. It took him forever with the food, cutting it, then forgetting the towel to put over your shirt, then messing up your sandwich, then blah blah blah blah….after it was said and done he maybe got you three bites of food before “his time was up”…so I stepped in.

You had a turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato…I took off the tomato, because I know you don’t like them. You had some sweet tea that you said was okay…and some chicken noodle soup that was cold.

The nurse came in several times to check on us and informed us both that you had to eat 75% of your tray or you’d have to get a tube feeding…well, challenge accepted.

You ate 90% of your tray only leaving a bit of cold soup (cause ew) and the tomato from your sandwich. You nailed it and the nurse came in to tell us no tube feeding would be necessary.

Then an aide came in (your days sure are busy) and helped you from the bed to the chair so you could get ready for therapy. What a fiasco – I know you hate all of this. Every day I wish for your independence, your happiness, and mostly that you get time with your little family.

Once you were in the chair, your speech therapist came to see you – she whisked you away to group therapy (where I was not allowed to join) so I ran down to the cafeteria and grabbed some food. When I came back you were still gone so I read a little bit of my book and waited for you to return.

When you got back your therapist said you did wonderfully and you were one of the only patients in group to remember the day of the week and the date. She also said you talked nonstop. So proud! We had a couple sips of water and you had some medicine and we went out to the gardens. However, before we got there you played an evil trick on me.
Here’s how it went….

R: “Kim, do you want to go outside and sit for a bit in the gardens, it seems nice out?”
K: “Yes! That sounds fun.”
R: “Do I need to sign you out or anything or do we just go?”
K: “We just go”
R: “Are you sure?”
K: “Yea, we do it all the time”
R: “Do you know where to go, because I don’t?”
K: “Yes”
R: “Okay, let’s go!”

I start pushing you through the hall and you tel me to go to the elevator.

As I’m approaching the elevator I get the following comment.
Nurse: “Excuse me, where are you taking Mrs. Hulick?”
R: “To the garden, Kim informed me that she knew where to go…”
Nurse: “Yes, but you must sign her out first.”
R: “I’m so sorry she told me I didn’t have to.”

I look down at you and you are just laughing as hard as you can.

Touche’ Kim…nicely done.

I was convinced you were trying to get me to sneak you out of rehab and take you home…when we got downstairs you told me to go to the front door towards the parking lot when I got to it you said “Just kidding, turn right.”

Such a prankster.

We finally got, safely, outside to the gardens and sat under some beautiful magnolia trees, we had a nice time talking and stayed out there until your Physical Therapist came to get your for your next session (they really do make you work there!).

I got to participate this time and we worked on trunk exercises – you passed me little sandbags and told me the color and letter on each one. Then you threw them into a bucket (just like Michael Jordan). Your therapist was so impressed with the progress you had made! I was so happy I got to help in your therapy and see you in action.

After your therapy was over we spent a little more time in your room. I made sure you were settled into your bed, because you told me you were tired and made sure that you were comfy and had what you needed. We called Scotty and spoke to the family at the party which seemed to make you smile! You also gave me your positive of the day which was Grandma turning 90!

I had such a wonderful day with you and left smiling ear to ear. I hope we get another day like that soon.

We even took our monthly selfie!

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So Proud of You

Your husband sent me this video earlier this month. I couldn’t be more proud. This came after I had a lovely one on one visit with you. I was so happy to just spend some time with you. Here your beautiful voice and have a conversation with you like old times. It’s been entirely too long, too much time has gone by without your giggles and wisdom.

When I saw this video, I cried. Here you are going through the most overwhelming, difficult, struggle of your life. Smiling. Grinning ear to ear because you are walking. Your progress has been insurmountable and your determination even more so.

I just wanted to post this so I could keep it forever, so it would be here with your story so you could remember your triumph and on days that you aren’t feeling so great…you get a little boost of “kick-ass” to tackle the next mountain.

You are so strong, you are so determined, and that alone will beat this.

I love you Kimmy.