Monday, August 26, 2002

Monday, August 26, 2002

Well, it is still Oreta.

Thank you, Ron, for posting an update in the comments section. I'll just repeat it here.

Daniel is out of the hospital, but not yet home. They moved him to the Emory Rehabilitation Center at 6:00 pm Friday.

Daniel is doing much better. He is recovering his strength and he is able to move around. His aphasa has improved to the point that very few people will notice it in a casual conversation. His vision has improved, but although he can see clearly, he has trouble making words on a page make sense. He can do it, but it is hard work. Think of it like a form of dsylexia.

With any luck he will be seeing a therapist who will help him today. Since he came in so late Friday, he is not yet "in the system". He has seen several physical therapists and occupational therapists and a speech therapist, but apparently nobody trusts anybody else's data because they keep putting him through the same evaluations over and over again. I would have expected that they would be having him walk longer and longer distances each day, for instance. Instead they do the same evaluations over and over again. Each person exclaims over how well he is doing, but no one asks him to do anything more difficult. Ditto for the occupational therapist. The upshot seems to be that he can walk around okay and do basic things like brush his teeth okay, although he has a little trouble with co-ordination and balance. Since he has been in a bed for two weeks this is not surprising.

As well as the frustration of "When do we stop testing and start therapy?" the nurses and therapists are not communicating with each other or us. Each nurse, therapist, or technician has a different idea of what he is allowed to do; so we have to choose between constantly getting into trouble or lying in bed being bored and listening to the guy across the room discuss his incontinence problems every five minutes all day and all night.

I appreciate and approve of the need to keep Daniel in a medical facility until they are sure that he is not going to have any more cardiac incidents, but I'm hoping they will send him home and let him do his therapy on an outpatient basis soon. The contrast between this and Crawford W. Long Hospital is rather spectacular. Crawford W. Long is a gorgeous hospital. Even the Emergency Room lobby looks like a hotel lobby. There are pocket gardens everywhere. There is even a small aviary. The rooms are painted in attractive colors. Emory Rehab is functionally ugly and there is no effort expended to make the wards attractive or pleasant. Personal possesions are discouraged despite the fact that the average stay is 19 days.

When the nurses leave the room the patients' primary conversation is about when they will be able to escape,er, go home.

Now, I understand that things should get better today. That part of the problem is that he came in on a weekend and is not in the system yet. I hope so, or Daniel's stay here will be much shorter than they bargained for.

I take back everything I said about modern medicine and its communication practices.

But really, Daniel is much better. We just need to lick the visual perception problems.


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