Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Wheelchair ride, Went outside, Wasabi toothpaste

Denise got in the wheelchair today! They just rolled her along with her tree full of meds. Not only did she get a wheelchair ride, she also got to go outside. This is only the second time she's been outside since she went into the hospital on July 18. The only other time she's been outside was when she was transferred from Arcadia Methodist. There's an entire team to thank for this milestone... doctors, nurses, therapists, techs... Here we have Denise with some physical & occupational therapists. I mentioned weeks ago that I'd love to name names and give credit where it's due, but there's probably some privacy & liability issues with doing that. Usually we have to wear the gown, mask & gloves when we visit Denise in her room. But rather than make everyone else suit up, they just gave her the mask & gloves. You might remember that even before she could speak, she was writing "wheelchair." She got her wish.

I didn't get any stats on Denise today. But looking at her and listening to her voice, she's getting stronger. They had to change out the vacuum sponge thingie today. They have a really cool squirt gun for cleaning the bedsore out. It looks like something that Marvin Martian would use. But as nifty as it is, she was still in pain during that procedure. She said that getting into the wheelchair was the best thing that happened today. But she's discouraged by how much time she's missed at home with the kids, and it's hard to stay strong and have a positive attitude when she can't move, can't get comfortable, can't use the restroom, can't brush her hair to cover the bald spot that's developed. I told her that Jacob & I would shave our heads in solidarity if that made her feel any better about her head, and pointed out that he's already standing firm with her on the restroom issue. When I brought up the kids, she said that seeing them tonight was better than getting into the wheelchair. Tonight was the first time that Gracie sat on Denise's lap in about 3 1/2 months. Jacob smiled & laughed while Denise tickled him. He's gradually coming around.

A funny thing happened with the kids today that I didn't have the heart to tell Denise. Well, I thought it was funny, and she'll probably think it was horrible. I'm confident the fathers will be on my side, the mothers on Denise's. After breakfast, I heard Jacob screaming in the bathroom. It was the red alert scream, not the simple angry/frustrated scream. When I got to the bathroom, I didn't see blood or missing teeth, but I did see a small tube of wasabi on the sink, right by the tube of their bubblegum toothpaste. Gracie said that when I was putting things back into the fridge after breakfast, she saw a "little green tube of toothpaste that's Jakie-sized, and he wants it because it's not purple toothpaste." Being the helpful big sister that she is, she put a little toothpaste on her toothbrush, a little wasabi on Jake's toothbrush. I think it was a refreshing twist on the classic toothpaste-Preparation H mixup.


Blogger rwbvagabond said...


I can't tell you how much seeing that photo lifted my spirits! Denise must be going stir-crazy with nothing but hospital walls to look at, so I know how much just that simple act (simple to us) of going outside means to her. Good for you, Denise!


November 03, 2005 6:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil, I don't know you, but you really have a gift for writing! Just as our pastor said this past Sunday, I am glued to your blog and am pulling for Denise and your whole family along with you! Your post had me crying tears of joy for Denise today and laughing outloud at the end over your poor son's encounter with the Wasabi! May the Lord continue to bless you and give you strength!

November 03, 2005 6:51 AM  
Blogger rwbvagabond said...

By the way, Phil, if a person uses wasabi toothpaste, you have to remember to use the seaweed floss!

Tennessee definition of sushi: What your buddy says when you forget to introduce your new girlfriend to him.........

November 03, 2005 6:53 AM  
Anonymous alyson and paul metzdorff said...

aounds like things are movin on up. I am happy to keep reading the good news recently. On your wasabi note, paul and I buy the sushi from sams club and we were eating it at home and isabella was eating it as well, Paul, a father who thought it was funny, gave isabella a nice dab of wasabi on the gums and I thought her face was going to fall off with disgust, I did not think it was funny. Well we love and miss you to you soon.
alyson, paul and isabella

November 03, 2005 8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a small world! I recocognized one of the therapists in th ephoto is my husband's cousin, Trisha! :)
-Debbi (Deming) Lowther

November 03, 2005 10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sushi?? Where I come from, they call that bait!!

November 05, 2005 11:40 AM  

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