Friday, March 27, 2015

Home At Last

She's home! Jen was released today to come home and continue PT in an outpatient environment. We are thrilled to get her home... We aren't sure if Jen is more excited or the dog! Kimber has been pretty excited to have her "mother" home. There is still a lot of recovery to be done, but this is a huge milestone after over three months since the accident and being at the rehab facility.  Thank you to everyone for the thoughtful gifts, food deliveries, books, phone calls and visits with Jen. 

She seems to be settling in nicely to being back at home! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

1/28- A long overdue update

I (Andrea) have been very behind on providing any sort of updates here- so I will quickly re-cap some of the items that have happened since my last post.

Jen's sister was able to fly to Boise to spend a weekend visiting with Jen earlier in January. The trip was fantastic timing, and I know Jackie's presence was so appreciated by Jen. I'll have to get a full update on their visit, but I am sure they enjoyed getting to see each other and I am sure having such a special visitor was a nice change of pace.

PT has been going really well and Jen can not sing the praises of her PT specialists enough. They are really outstanding people and we feel so fortunate to have them involved in her care and rehab. They will certainly be people we add to the list of people we have been so incredibly grateful for.

I had to head back to DC for a bit to catch up on some work items, but Nicole was able to come down from Sun Valley recently, and brought Ava. The grand-kids always bring a smile to Jen's face and Ava got to sit on the bed with "Grams" and show her all around the iPad.

In less positive news, there was an original post-op check-up appointment with the surgeon who did the work on Jen's leg had been scheduled for early January. After some early assessment, it didn't seem feasible to have Jen in a wheelchair for as long as it was going to take to get to the appointment, wait, see the Dr., and transport back. They pushed the appointment back & the rescheduled appointment was this past Thursday. Luckily, the leg is healing well. They were able to remove the staples, take off the soft wrap that had been on since the surgery and give Jen a boot that she can take off (which will be much more convenient). The pelvic fractures are also healing in a positive manner and we will just continue to watch their progress. Unfortunately, the one break that was seemingly the least troublesome, the chip of bone on Jen's shoulder, had turned into a big problem. The bone chip that the dr. was hoping would stay in place had migrated, and traveled toward her neck/back area. Surgery was scheduled for the next day (1/22) and the dr. went in and had to do a pretty aggressive retrieval of the piece of bone, insert a metal plate, and secure the bone to the shoulder region so it could begin to re-heal. The surgery sounded fairly difficult and I think we are lucky that the issue was resolved before it got worse than it already was. A lot of heavy pain medications were needed to get through the following days, but each day seems to be a bit better than the last as far as pain. Overall, it was certainly not what we expected, and Jen was a trooper going in for another surgery and staying positive. We are praying and hoping that is the last of the surgery she will need, and that she can now fully focus on healing!

On a lighter note, Fred took Kimber, the Goldendoodle, down to visit one evening and he noticed that she had herself all tangled up in the metal bars under Jen's bed. After thinking about it, he realized that she was trying to "hide" so that he would leave her with her "mom" overnight. That dog really loves her humans and misses her "mom" being at home with her!

Lastly, I want to continue to thank everyone for your emails, calls, texts, cards, flowers, visits, and kind gestures. The outpouring of love and support has been so amazing and wonderful to witness and I have to just say how Thankful our family is for all of the truly amazing, caring, and loving people that are in all of our lives!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

She Got Wheels

Earlier this week, I was working and received a text message from Jen (first I was confused since she hasn't been using her phone much), but quickly got really excited.

She has wheels! Or is on wheels!

Her therapist was so sweet, and once they got her situated quick said "let me take a picture so you can send it to your daughters!"

She had been in a wheelchair a while ago, but it was a pretty unpleasant experience and about 10-15 minutes of sitting was more than she could handle. Her PT specialists got her sitting and rolled her around for almost three hours the past few days.

Sitting up is such a huge step and will help us preserve Jen's equilibrium that can get out of balance when you lie down a lot, prevent bed sores, and hopefully help with some of the double vision issues. This also means we are closer to bathroom visits, doctor visits and just being more mobile overall.

It was really great to see how excited Jen was about this big step, and while it made her a bit sore for the next day of PT, she can see and feel the improvements her body and therapy is making. She raves about her PT people- and we agree that they seem to be incredibly knowledgeable and supportive.

I also arrived earlier this week to find that one of the nurses had helped Jen into some of her favorite pajamas, which had to feel good to have "real people" clothes on. The nurse was also sweet enough to braid her hair to keep it out of her face after a bed bath. Overall, the staff has been so fantastic and we are so grateful that we knows she is in good hands.

We also have won over many of the CNA's with Kimber, who goes to visit her mom as much as possible. Kimber also lucks out and gets to eat the cores of Jen's apples and odds and ends of breadsticks that come with dinner #spoileddog.

Sense of Humor and Rehab Creativity

The other day Jen asked friend to bring down one of those U-shaped neck pillows that a lot of people use to sleep on planes or in cars. Except...she uses it for her leg that was operated on! It is such a creative use of the pillow to keep her heel from just sitting on the mattress and getting sore. Perhaps she has a retirement career developing devices for people with similar injuries!

We also were laughing at some of the funnier things that have happened and been said at the hospital and over the past few weeks. Jen has still kept her quick sense of humor!

Some of the funnier things we laughed about:

- The chaplain had come by when she was at St. Al's and was an incredibly nice person, but he asked something along the lines of "Do you want to hurt yourself" (which we totally understand the intent behind and are so appreciative of his sincere concern) but while Jen answered in a very polite manner she was thinking "seriously, do you think I want to hurt anymore than I already do buddy?"

- We get some pretty funny statements from her when she was half asleep/dozing or right as the pain killers are taking effect:

  • When Andrea was moving plants around in the room so she could see the flowers people had brought. Jen: "What are you doing with that black furry vest?" Andrea: "What vest?" Jen: "The vest you just put in your purse" Andrea: "Nope, no vest, just an orchid"
  • Nicole was sitting near by as she was drifting to sleep and Jen popped up and told Nicole that she needed to remember to take down her school Christmas decorations. (Clearly retirement is still sinking in :) )
  • Fred and Andrea were visiting one night and got a very insightful statement from Jen on how children needs rulers and to learn the metric system to be successful in math. (once a teacher...always a teacher)
Recounting the stories gave Jen a good laugh!

Monday, January 5, 2015


Happy New Year friends and family! We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season celebrating with your loved ones.

We continue to see improvements with Jen's recuperation. She had a PT session a few days ago where she sat up on the edge of the bed (assisted) for almost 30 minutes which is almost double the amount of time she has done previously. There has also been improvement with some range of motion in her legs, particularly the right leg (it was the one that had the rod inserted for the broken bones), and the left leg (on the side with the broken pelvis) is also moving a bit better.

The greatest relief if that her pain has been going down incrementally, which is probably due to the healthy process and being on a more consistent intake of pain meds. Jen really enjoys the PT staff at the facility, and they seem to really do a good job of pushing her but also being realistic given the injuries and pain level.

Jen has also said her double vision is getting a bit better (this could mostly be due to the medications but we have been keeping an eye on it) and when she asked us to leave the TV on a crime TV series when we left for the night...we knew it was a good sign.

The dog, Kimber, got to back for another visit last night and both Jen and the dog were very happy to see each other. Kimber has really picked up on the fact that she has to be gentle when we visits and gives Jen some very sweet puppy kisses. Improvements seem to come slow and steady and Jen's spirits remain high.