Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 3 year wedding anniversary
Today was a very nice anniversary. Quite sad, but very sweet. Mike was still a little off today (like yesterday), but pretty responsive when you got him up and alert. The nurses had set up the conference room with a table, tablecloth, and centerpiece (a beautiful arrangement my sister sent with flowers in our wedding colors). Jim and Mary picked up our lunch at Le Bec Fin and came to “serve” us complete with French accents and aprons! They lit candles, brought Mike’s (Kathy Chevoor’s) boombox into the room, put on romantic music, and served us lunch.
For the most part, Mike understood that we were celebrating our anniversary. Throughout the day when I asked what we were celebrating, several times he couldn’t find the word “anniversary” and he just said, “our love.” He had signed a couple of cards that CSM bought. He signed them both "I love you, Michael Young." When I told him they were cards from him that CSM had him sign he said amusingly, "Aw... that was thoughtful of me."
We ate split pea lime soup, escargot, duck, pork, and other yummy sides with sauces. Mike seemed to really enjoy the food and the rich tastes. After lunch, I brought him up to the roof deck and we enjoyed the sun and warm breeze.
Following lunch and the roofdeck trip, Mike had an OT session. They are trying to work on compensatory strategies with him, but with the lack of STM (short term memory) it’s quite a challenge. The best bet is just repetition with basic instructions (move your head all around, Mike. Use your hands, Mike.) One thing that’s a challenge is that he is not aware of his visual deficits like any other person would be in the same situation. As a result, he doesn’t appear to use his hands or move his head and neck around to get the full picture. Instead, it’s as though he believes that whatever he can’t see in his left and lower fields simply doesn’t exist. For example, when instructed to turn left down a hallway while walking with the OT, Mike turns like 10 degrees to the left. In his field, that’s a big shift, but in reality, it’s nothing. Since he can’t see what is directly to his left, it’s not there. Same thing occurs with dining. He doesn’t ever really get to the left side of his plate of food. If you want him to really eat something, it needs to be on the right side of his plate. I did watch him intentionally reach for the bottle of seltzer to refill his empty glass at lunch, though. The seltzer was directly in his good righthand window.
It has become clear that the window of vision on his upper right field is a narrow but good one. Nicole, the OT, work with Mike on walking, and then brought him into their “kitchen” to have him identify appliances and navigate around. He did surprisingly well, correctly identifying all major appliances, and even able to open the cabinets and locate and take out a glass and coffee mug (per the OT’s instruction) and place them on the counter.
Ok. I’m exhausted. My apologies if I haven’t replied to your call, email, letter, or thanked you for a gift. The past 72 hours have been tough with Bax’s condition. I need him to get better. Or I need 2 of me.
I had planned on sending out curtis’ books to interested folks this week, but haven’t gotten my act together since Bax got sick. I’ll try to get to it by early next week. Also, I have about 7 version of the novel on CD – also signed by Curtis. I believe all the hard-cover books are spoken for, but the audiobooks are still available. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
PS: I'm staying home with Bax Thursday 6/15 - not going to the hospital. Bax is getting over this bug and needs to stay home. If you have a free minute, you could stop in for a visit to Mike this evening - after his dinner (5:30 pm is when dinner's done)
PPS: Is it a symptom of the current weird situation I'm in (missing my husband, missing a father-figure in the house for Bax) or are there other moms out there who have a huge crush on "Steve" from Blue's Clues? I can't tell who gets more excited when the show comes on -- Bax or me. oy.