Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Update 12/7

Hello All—

Well, it looks like we will not be home for Christmas after all, but after we’ve been here this long, a few days doesn’t make too much of a difference.  The thing holding us here now is our apartment community, which will not be open (it’s brand new) until the 27th, so Kari will not be able to come home until the 28th or 29th.  There is a very slim possibility that we will be able to move in sooner, but it doesn’t look likely.  The apartment manager already talked to the construction people and they told her that they couldn’t do anything earlier than the 27th, but then she told me to check back with her again at the end of the week.  At this point, being here for Christmas isn’t nearly as upsetting as just being here even another minute longer than we have to.  Both Kari and I are sick of being at this hospital, and despite all its acclaim as a great facility there are many annoying, frustrating, and counter-productive things that happen every day.  From scheduling things like x-rays or tests during our therapy times to just dealing with some of the staff, it often seems pointless to be here any longer.  I like our PT and OT, the doctors, and most of the rest of the staff, but it’s amazing how a few stupid people or just a lack of simple communication between doctors, nurses and therapists can really downgrade the environment.   I even feel bad feeling bad about this place because there are a handful of people here we really love and will miss, and I wish we could be happier about being here for their sake.  As Kari explained to me though, when I was upset with the east-side nursing coordinator this morning (and apparently she’s not too popular with some of the staff), we just have to keep our cool for a few more weeks and let the stupid things go.  Also, Lisa, the psychologist, and Avery, our case manager are always there to help smooth out the problems we have with staff—its nice when people have your back.  

Okay enough being a metal grate for air to pass through and on to some real news.  Even though we weren’t able to get in early, the apt. manager at Stone Canyon has been great.  Everybody that I’ve dealt with there so far has been super nice and she has also been helpful to me in planning the bathroom modifications we’ll have to make.  From what I’ve heard, a lot of places try to tell you that you can’t do anything and then you have to fight them on it, but they’ve been helpful on getting measurements and things like that.  

As for the past week, on Friday Kari and I went on another outing, our first in 2 ½ months, to a mall.  Part of the reason for the outing was to use public transportation and we took the public bus which was pretty easy.  There weren’t any other passengers except for Craig people because the bus company uses this to train new drivers on how to handle the chair lift and tie-downs.  Kari did a great job driving and the only time I had to push her was when we were in the dishes and china section at Dillard’s.  This Friday we’re going to Colorado Mills for the whole day which should be cool—probably do some shopping and see a movie.  On Monday, Kari got off her last set of straightening casts off her arms and her first set of pronating casts that will help turn her hands palm-side down.  Along with her arms being locked at a 90 degree angle, her forearms were also locked so her palms were always facing up, which makes it hard to use her arms at all.  She’ll probably have one more set after these put on on Monday.

The most exciting news this week though, is that Kari’s wheelchair came in yesterday.  It is shorter than the hospital one she is in now and fits her way better.  It’s also a nice shade of blue.  In the new chair, Kari will have more room in the van and also be able to fit her legs under tables.  It is also a better model and it has technology to keep the chair going straight on uneven surfaces, like when you go over a curb cut or driveway on the sidewalk.  With the sip and puff controls you have to make continuous adjustments to keep the chair from veering down the slope if you don’t have that technology.  Today we also took a look at some voice recognition software for computer that looked really neat.  Anyways, I have a whole lot of pictures that I can see if John will post on the website because I haven’t posted new pics in a while.  I’ll also include a few of our new place in Riverside too.  22 more days to go!



alicia said...

I am still just amazed every time I read a new update at the drastic difference between now and the 40 days/nights of recent history. What an amazing blessing to have your Kari back to talk to and enjoy and make decisions with.

That's great news about the apartment being open to the specifications you need and the great wheelchair! I'll say a prayer you get into the apt early.

Blessings and love!

heather said...

This is awesome, AWESOME news and I'm so happy and excited for you both!!!!!! I can just see the two of you in the china section... yeah, Aaron, uh, you better help me out here for a bit. :)
I love you guys and am so happy that this part of your journey is almost at an end.
Don't worry, we will all be celebrating Christmas for REAL when you come home because this year, Christmas waits for you both!

jan barrett said...

Merry CHRISTmas, Kari and Aaron,
I was amazed to read the progress that has been made in the past few days. The feelings of frustration that I hear remind me of the feelings that Larkin had as she was preparing to return from Japan after two years there. All of a sudden it was okay to be frustrated because she knew that she wasn't going to be there much longer and didn't have to deal with the little, and not so little, life irritations.
We look forward to seeing some of the pictures of your new home. Good luck and God bless you as enter into this new chapter.
Love, Mom Barrett

The Friendly Gatorhood LibraryLady said...

Great news! And Mr. FOuntaine did a wonderful thing for my brother last week- a modification for his computer desk. My brother was quite excited - it is the perfect height so that his wheelchair can fit underneath. I am guessing that there might be a little help for you from the Gage woodshop, as well...... don't hesistate to ask and recieve from those around you. You guys are givers -- and sometimes to be a giver you must learn how to be receivers as well.

Enjoy the different type of holiday. We love you!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful news! What amazing progress! Hang in there! Before you know it, you'll be comfy-cozy in your new place!

Continuing to lift both of you up in prayer!