Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ernie's On His Feet!

Tonight we took a couple pictures while visiting Dad and I wanted to share them with you. The significance is that he's STANDING UP. Without support! He only walks with a walker, but it's quite an accomplishment that he can stand like this now. He rolls himself to the dining room in a wheelchair and sits in it if he's out of bed. He's feeling pretty good and is in good spirits most of the time (when not aggravated by excessive therapy or staff waking him at 6:30 am for therapy before he's had breakfast). His feet and legs hurt--his right ankle and foot hurt ALL the time. I'll go with him next Monday back to his orthopedic doctor in Pueblo so he can advise us on the condition of the wound on his right ankle. It's infected and not healing. Dad's on a strong antibiotic--perhaps that's why he's feeling so much better in this past week. He eats well, but weighs 27 pounds less than he did in January. That's a good thing.
His left leg was X-rayed this week. That's the one he broke so badly last summer. It's partially healed (after 8-1/2 months) but he still has to wear the "boot" for support.
He's at this address:
Ernest Margheim
Canon Lodge Care Center
Room 105B
905 Harding
Canon City, CO 81212
Dad watches a bit of TV in the evening, but has no phone--hasn't wanted his cell phone yet. My son visits him weekly and I visit him daily---my husband is able to stop in 2-3 times a week after work too. But Dad has no other visitors. If you're inclined to send him a card, be assured he'd be very grateful and happy to hear from you.

I'll let you know what we hear from his doctor visit next Monday.
Posted by Ernie's daughter, Becky Jamison

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Dominoes for Therapy

This was a pivotal day--Dad experienced a therapy session that pleased him to the point that he asked for more! He wants so very badly to return to his home and live independently and has worked hard to that end. But until now, his therapy has been extremely stressful, painful, frustrating, and exhaustive. When he experienced the episode of Angina last week, his doctor gave him permission to take charge of his therapy and set the limits that he could endure. He's tried for a week to do that. Finally, today Dad found therapy to be a pleasant experience. There's been a shift from strenuous endurance to practical application. He's able to now work on his balance, standing alone for longer periods of time (we're still talking only a minute or two), moving on his own from a sitting position on his bed, to standing with the aid of a walker, to sitting into a wheelchair. But that's tremendous progress from the last few weeks. On Monday he was so tired and weak and exhausted from the tedious activities he was instructed to perform with pegs, boards, balloons, etc that he pushed himself away from the table, said "I'm outta here" and rolled his wheelchair back to his room for a nap! Today he enjoyed the inflated ball throwing exchange so much that he asked for extended therapy before returning to his room. So out came the Dominoes and he enjoyed a game of dominoes! Yea, Ernie!

The wound vac was removed from his ankle this week. He's been attached to that for nearly 8 weeks. His ankle had become infected again so he's taking antibiotics and the wound appears to be healing better. An appointment to the orthopedic doctor in Pueblo April 20 will tell us how that's coming along.

I was hoping to bring Dad to my house for dinner with us on Easter Sunday, but he told me he just isn't strong enough for that yet. The process of eating a meal wears him out. He knows his limits. But the limits are expanding bit by bit. Today was a better day!

Becky Jamison

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My "Mock" Heart Attack Today---Not April Fools

Note: Ernie's daughter is posting this update from today, but I'm writing it as Dad talked his way through it.

My day started with breakfast at 7:00 a.m. I ate well--a strip of bacon, a boiled egg, and a bowl of cheerios. That was followed by a trip to the "spa", as I call it. Actually it was a shower, but I got the works. Baby oil, hair conditioner, lotion, a jetted tub....the works! By the time I was finished with that I was exhausted and hoping to go to my room for a rest. No deal! Physical Therapy had a different idea and I was taken to the "Gym". The therapist asked me turn a kind of peddling machine with my hands, with tight tension, at a brisk speed, for 15 minutes. Well, I made it for TEN! Then my arms and shoulders gave out, I felt pain in my chest and behind my ears, was short of breath and got very weak. I stopped the workout! I was taken by ambulance to the Emergency Room at the hospital, but by then was free from pain. As the nurses invaded my ER room, I was feeling so much better that I told them it was just a "mock" heart attack, and I put it on to give them a practice run. I was hooked up to all the usual equipment I've grown so accustomed to in these last 2 months. Blood was drawn, X-rays were taken, and I was interviewed by a very nice young doctor.

While the tests were being evaluated, I had a nice visit from my daughter Becky and son-in-law Jamie and my grandson Matt and his wife Lucja. While we visited I ate a good lunch of hamburger, french fries, jello and juice.

He determined that rather than a heart attack, I was suffering from Stable Angina. That's another new term to me! I was delivered back to my room at the "rest home" with new orders for NO MORE THERAPY TODAY!! Hallelujah! The best outcome for me was an order from the doctor for Physical Therapy to reduce the length and intensity of my physical therapy to HALF of what they were doing. I tried to tell them! Now maybe they'll listen.