Dad, Jo & I went to visit mom last night. We snuck her chocolate almond ice cream-- we just wanted her to eat ANYTHING. But we got in trouble from the nurse. While I was getting scolded & my mom was threatened with insulin shots to the stomach my dad suddenly appeared very busy and preoccupied with Jo...which was convenient for him I'm sure. Here are the funny things that mom said last night:
1. My dad was talking to her about the RIO evaluation. RIO is an aggressive rehab program. If you blow it at RIO insurance won't pay for you to go back. You got to go there w/your game face on, and you have to be evaluated for adimittance. When they ask mom about her pain level during different things, she's not been below an 8. Dad called her out on this b/c we think she may be exaggerating an eensy teensy bit (Ash & I got our melodramatic ways from SOMEONE). She got annoyed with him. He started to apologize a little. He said, "I'm not trying to hurt your feelings hon, I'm just trying to help you understand what's at stake." To this she said, "Don't worry. My feelings only hurt an 8.5" Then she smiled a BIG smile because she knew that was funny :)
2. The nurse was looking under mom's wrist brace for her id bracelet. Mom assured her it was in there somewhere. The nurse found it & said, "It IS here!" Mom said, "At least it's not on my toe."
This morning was rough. Maybe the roughest yet. Dad & I were nervous about her getting into RIO. We showed up & her spirits were down. She wouldn't really eat & she was super, super tired. She told us she didn't know if she could handle RIO. We waited for the evaulation, and it never happened. They just came in & said, "you're going to RIO now." We told mom it was OK if she didn't want to go just yet- if she'd rather to go to a less aggressive rehab for a while to get her strength up. We really meant it too- we'd be happy if she was happy. She didn't really feel like talking about it, so we packed her bags & with some help we got her in my car & drove down to Good Sam (NW pdx). Dad & I were so frazzled. We'd heard how tough RIO is. They kept calling it "bootcamp." We were worrying we may have pushed mom into something she wasn't ready for. Her attitude would make or break this rehab experience.
When we got to RIO things changed pretty dramatically. Her room is lovely & overlooks NW 22nd. There are huge windows with lots of sunshine, and most importantly, the people who work there are incredible. We felt loved and supported IMMEDIATELY. In the hospital they want you to LIVE. But the nurses change all the time, different docs & therapists- and when mom would need to go to the bathroom the nurses acted like it was an inconvenience. At RIO their entire job is to help you- and they REALLY seem to care. Most importantly, they explained their program & philosophy. This seemed to reassure mom a lot. Dad asked if she was scared or nervous- she said she wasn't. But I think she was nervous & I think she is not nervous anymore.
Dad & I left mom with the several teams of therapists for a while. When we'd sneak a peek in we were blown away- she was sitting up, practicing geting in & out of a wheelchair, eating, and talking with them. I feel like she is in SUCH good hands. She had a long, busy day- but her spirits are high. Poor dad fell asleep sitting up in his chair, so he left around 4. I hung out for another hour and when I left mom she was cozied under a warm blanket getting ready to read her book & then have some dinner. Walking out of her room I started to cry- it is SO hard to leave her. She doesn't seem to mind, but it kills me. I think it must be how parents feel leaving their kid on the first day of school. You know they'll be fine, but you worry anyhow.
Tomorrow's another big day for mom. Pray for her energy & healing. Pray for her spirits to be high & for her to have some victories to be proud of. Dad and I are both going in to work for a bit tomorrow, and we won't see mom until the afternoon. During that time she'll be going through evaluations & lots of different types of therapy. I hope to post a good progress report tomorrow night!