Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Swallow Study: Take 2

Tonight I’m asking a specific prayer request. I’m hitting the wall as I push for a simple changes in Vernon’s care, so a little  Supernatural Assistance would be marvelous about now!

Actually, I don’t know for sure how important (or possible) this change would be. But I strongly believe that it would make a big difference in his recovery as well as awareness if he were allowed to sit in a wheelchair again.

As you know, Vernon spends most of each day in a reclining Geri-chair—that is, when he isn’t lying down in the bed.  When he fell out of his wheelchair and was sent to the ER with a bleeding head, it was decided that he was no longer safe in the high-backed chair, especially with his restless body and punchy limbs.

Safety first, of course.  I understand that, but for months, I have noticed little change in his cognition and awareness. He has become weaker and is often tired and uncooperative during his PT sessions. In my last post, I mentioned the swallowing issues. I think with a more upright posture, he would be more prone to improvements in these areas. After all, when he was sitting up in the past, he seemed more aware and awake and willing to work.

I’ve asked over and over if he could use a seat belt in the chair for his own safety. It would make easier work for the staff, who have to park him by the nurse’s station just to keep an eye on him.

BUT it is illegal for the care home to use restraints on any patient, even if I, his wife, give permission. This is something they all take very seriously.

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But yesterday, I received a call that Vernon took a tumble out of his recliner. So he isn’t safe in that anymore. They took x-rays of the hip bone he was complaining about, and thankfully, he was fine. When I met him this morning, someone had jacked up pillows all around him to keep him snug in his seat.  But it didn’t take long for him to start pitching himself over the side of that too.

Instead of that being a scare, I see this as an opportunity to request a wheel chair with seat belt again. I’ve spoken the his case manager and the Director of PT, again requesting that he be allowed to sit up in a wheel chair. Though they made it clear that restraints cannot be used in this place under any circumstances, we have made a care plan meeting for this Friday, hoping to work out something. For example, I might be allowed to sit with him, supervising constantly, if he were allowed to sit up in a proper wheel chair.

Again, I do believe that sitting up straight, even for a couple of hours a day, will make a big difference to his recovery and cognition. It’s a gut feeling, more than anything, and I want to at least TRY.

So this is where I appeal for your prayers and hope.  I don’t see how else this is going to turn around.  And something needs to change. Somehow. This seems like a good place to start.

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Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Swallow Study: Take 2