Nicole was discharged from the hospital Friday so now the next phase of recovery begins. This weekend we are just sleeping a lot and watching a lot of movies. Tomorrow the fun begins again when Nic starts 8 weeks of outpatient rehab in Phoenix. Although we all really want to go home, her inpatient therapists were worried about whether she could get what she needs there. Most of the therapists in our community are not used to dealing with 25 year old stroke patients who are planning to return to work.
Since I'm the family member with the most flexibility in my schedule, I'll be one going back and forth with her. We're going to try it for a couple of weeks and see if the extra travel is worth it. Thankfully we have a place to stay in Phoenix, which helps keep the cost down. The up side to all of this is how much better Nicole is doing. If you didn't know her you'd probably not notice anything other than the lovely suture line across her head and the nifty walker(we are calling it a sports injury :-). She carries on witty conversation, has amazing rote recall and still cracks a lot of jokes. What isn't working so well is her numb left side (it moves fine she just can't feel it), her truly lousy visual/spatial sense and planning/processing slowness.
One of the big concerns early on was her inability to read. That is returning, though it gives her a headache and isn't nearly as fast or easy as it used to be. The therapists continue to remind us that this is still very early in the process and to be patient. They are very optimistic about where she will be in 3-4 months so we are keeping our fingers crossed.
The big question has to do with the naughty blood vessels still sitting in her head which could bleed again. We are scheduling her visit with the radiation guru to find out what to expect from the treatment they are proposing. Supposedly it is very effective for about 85% of patients but has its own side effects ,may set her recovery back a little and has a 2-3 year window to take effect.
As a family, we are acutely aware that life holds no certainties and we have to treasure every day. Hope your day is a wonderful one!