Hi to all,
This is my last full day of looking after Eddie while Eleanore is in the hospital. This will be my last letter before my sister, Mary, takes over.
This has definitely been a good week for Eleanore. I think that I have learned that Eleanore is looking at a long road to recovery, but that she is on the road to recovery. From a day-to-day perspective the improvements are not large. But when I review the entire week that I was here I think that she made steady improvement. All of you who have been involved with stroke victims before know that each stroke is different so only time will tell with Eleanore's.
This week she made progress. Some steps were small, but important. When I first saw her last Sunday her eyeballs were sharply focused to the left (like she was trying to see something out of the corner of her eye.) They have been working with her on this and her eyes are not so leftward looking and she can follow moment from left to right. She can certainly move her left arm with purpose and they have her moving rings from side to side across and arc, and they have her stacking cones. Good progress. She is pushing back with vigor with her left leg and she able to push back a little bit with her right leg. Good progress. She is definitely more animated for longer parts of the day (but she can still be asleep for major parts of the visiting hours, but it has been reported that she has been up all night watching the food channel.)
When I came last week I tried to read to her out of an Erma Bombeck book. She was asleep in a few pages. Now I have to stop because I need a break. Good progress. When she is very awake you can see the emotion in her face. She "smiles" when something would make her smile (like a story about her grandson) and she frowns when I tell her some to the things that Eddie is doing. Today we said the rosary and she was able to keep track of the entire 50 "Hail Marys" on her beads. I most certainly think she understands what is happening, she just can not speak.
Her next step from the hospital will be to a rehab center. It may happen on Thursday November 6th or it may be a sometime after that. We think that we have located a rehab center who has worked with patients in her condition before. We will wait until Mary gets a look at the places before we make our final selection. Again, all strokes are different but at one place I met a man who 3 months ago was just like Eleanore. He could not move half his body, he was on a feeding tube and he was not able to talk. When I met him he was waking with a cane, eating regular food and talking very well. We can all hope and pray that Eleanore's recovery continues at a steady pace and she is able to do full range of activities in the coming months.
Eddie is doing OK, but he is definitely bothered by the site of his bride in the hospital. He is showing his love and devotion in many ways. But he wants her home. He will just have to be patient.
The next e-mail will be from Mary. Thanks for all the kind words. Keep the prayers coming. Your support means the world to Eleanore and Eddie.
Tom and Eddie
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