Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Casa Colina on deck, 4 liter paracentesis

I spoke with Denise's case manager today and she also said that a move to an acute rehab facility is planned in about a week's time. Casa Colina in Pomona CA is the anticipated venue. I've heard good reviews so far. They just revamped the facility in March of this year. I'd be interested in your input if you know anything about this place. Denise is both excited and scared. She hopes they have a pool for her to use. She used to be a lifeguard and was on swimming teams, so she swims better than I do. But I cannonball and dawdle about in the water infinitely better than she does. Along PT lines, she stood for a little while today and told me that they might let her get into a wheelchair. Indeed, I saw one in her room!
Her paracentesis yielded about 4 liters of fluid (15 days since last paracentesis). The last one was October 17 and yielded about 2 liters (10 days after the previous draw). Up until today, there was less fluid being drawn, given the number of days since the last paracentesis. Could be infection, protein deficiency, or a couple other things causing the fluid buildup. The fact that her fevers continue to be fairly normal, spiking in the low 100s, makes me hopeful that the infections are not the cause. Her heart rate is slightly above 100, blood pressure 110-120 systolic. Things seem to continue the gradual return to normalcy.
The kids got to visit again today, and this time Jacob started warming up to Denise much quicker. Though he wasn't being a cuddle bug, he was smiling and flailing his arms, and at the end of the visit, pointed & said "Mommy!" from outside her room. So we're getting there. This morning Gracie was playing with dolls, pretending that the dollhouse was the hospital. She received the dollhouse for her birthday last year, and loved it. We "rotate" toys (store them for a while, then bring them out to play with again) so the kids don't get tired of their toys as fast. Gracie liked her dollhouse, but was a little too young & rough for it... she kept trying to stand on it, it has lots of breakable hinges & small parts, so we put it up in the garage a few months ago. I brought it back down today. When she saw it in the living room this morning, she was just as excited as if it were Christmas, saying things like, "Oh boy! Is it for me?" I told her that it was, and asked if she'd ever seen it before. She said she hadn't. I just thought that was kind of funny. But I wonder how long the kids will fall for us rotating the toys in & out of service.

I forgot to mention last night that Denise wanted my dad to sing. He sings bass and loves belting out southern gospel tunes. Denise enjoys singing but her throat was sore. I prefer not to inflict my attempts to sing upon others. So they tried a few songs together. I hummed. Quietly.
Another thing I forgot to mention is a neat thing that happened. Both our cars were due to be smogged, and I was going to post a request for help doing that over the weekend. Then BOOM, a friend called and said he wanted to help us, but didn't know what to do. I gave him the idea of smogging the cars for us. Not only did he take care of those tasks (saving us time & money), but he also took care of putting in a new trunk light & radio display light. Now I can see the junk in my trunk and see what station I'm trying to tune in. I'm blessed to be so well-supported on so many fronts, with perfect timing!

Finally, thanks for all the emails to Denise. Everything sent to pullingfordenise@yahoo.com is printed out on nifty paper and I read it to her. It's not likely that you'll get a response... that email address is primarily just a means for you to encourage Denise. She loves the encouragement. Our biggest laugh today was from somebody knows of a dog that's getting acupuncture to treat valley fever. Our favorite short & sweet bit of bumper sticker wisdom was "If He takes you to it, He will take you through it." I think we'll start telling ourselves that a few times each day. Someone wrote "Psalm 40" on Denise's whiteboard in her room. So we looked it up. Perfect reading for how she's feeling. Thanks to whoever wrote that up there.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Each patient has personal cabinetry and a desk facility complete with Internet access should they choose to bring a laptop computer" - For Phil.

"warm and cool aquatic therapy pools" - For Denise

:)) Looking Good!


November 02, 2005 9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a friend who worked at Casa Colina awhile back (pre-renovation) and they do wonderful work - but please prepare yourselves for being someplace where there is a wide range of need: i.e. they also care for severely brain injured patients who must stay there long-term (trivia note: years back, an heir of the Millers Outpost family was there after a motorcycle accident - I figure if someone that well-off chose Casa Colina, it must be a good place). It might be a nice change to be considered one of the patients in better shape...but don't let yourselves get discouraged by the long-term "attitude" of the place.

November 02, 2005 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larsen went to Casa Colina for occupational therapy. They were great. Of course, that was on an out patient basis. I did go into the rehab facility a couple times (I was lost). I think parking might suck but in California where doesn't it. Anyway, I don't remember anything seeming out of sorts. It will probably be a great change of pace for Denise. We know how spunky she is. In a place like that she'll be running in no time!

November 03, 2005 1:55 AM  

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