Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - Directions to Trinity Mission

Take 460 West toward Farmville
Take the first Farmville (business) exit
Go to the first traffic light and take a left
Go down to the third road on the left, Scott Road
turn left on Scott Road and go about 1/4 mile
Trinity Mission is on the left

It takes about 1 1/2 hours to drive there from our house if you go the speed limit.
As I said before, please drive the speed limit because State Troopers are out there everywhere, and they are stopping speeders.

More later,

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Trinity Mission - Farmville

Richard, Irene, Mack (with broken leg) and me in Williamsburg in spring, 1995. One of our neighbors on Newfound Lane in Chester was backing downhill, out of his driveway. He didn't see Mack standing beside the road by his driveway, hit Mack with his car, and caused Mack's left leg to break. Mack had to wear the cast on his leg for a good part of the summer that year.

Trinity Mission is a rehab and nursing home center in Farmville, VA.

TELEPHONE: 434-392-8806
TYPE OF OWNERSHIP: For profit - Partnership

Mack has a semi-private room where his space is rather small compared to the private room he was in at MCV. He also has a room mate. Richard purchased a color TV for Mack to watch. The room mate has his own TV on his side. Mack has a small nightstand with three drawers with his TV is perched on top and two drawers in a large dresser that he shares with his room mate. There is also a reclining "posey" chair for Mack's use occasionally, but with that in the room, there's hardly any room left to walk around the bed. Mack has the bed closest to the window. The second day that Richard went to visit Mack, he discovered that they had already gotten Mack to learn to blink if he wanted water or ice chips. That was remarkable!

Richard has gone to visit Mack and talked with the nurses and care partners each day since Mack was admitted on Thursday. We both went to visit Mack yesterday afternoon and got there around 3:00 pm. Since this was my first visit there, I made it a point to look around carefully and paid attention to how the residents were being looked after, also the sounds and smells (it didn't smell bad as most nursing homes do, and the sounds were minimal).

I'm taking some information, included below, directly from the "Resident and Family Information" packet that was given to us to review.

My first impression of this place was that it was clean, it had adequate staff for the residents on the weekend, and that they want to work with the family to make their residents as comfortable as possible. The staff that I was introduced to, and talked with when we arrived, seemed to be very professional and caring. This facility provides a comprehensive 24-hour-a-day nursing care department consisting of Registered Nurses, Licensed Nurses, and Nurse Assistants. The Director of Nursing, Jackie Richardson, is responsible for the nursing department. Other staff members are Nancy Ramsey the Administrator; Mary Wise, Social Services; Daphne Fowlkes, Activity Director; Brenda Nuckols, Food Service Manager; Joel Clark, Rehab Services; and Medical Director is Dr. Gahear Hamlor. Rehabilitative Services available to residents are Physical, Occupational and Speech.

As we were leaving about 5 p.m, I noticed that most of the residents were in the dining hall getting ready to eat dinner. I noticed that there were a few residents still in their rooms, who probably weren't able to eat food or go to the dining hall. Some of the residents were sitting in wheelchairs next to the nurses station so that they could be watched closely. One elderly gentleman wanted to strike up a conversation with us asking "why are you here and where are you going?" We told him that we came to visit our son and that we were going back home. He seemed to be satisfied with that answer.

If you bring clothing or other items for Mack, please mark it with "R. Manor" on each piece with laundry ink or a name tag. Make sure that clothing is machine washable and dryable as laundry services are provided by the facility. However, the family may do the resident's laundry if they chose to do so. Please make sure that these items are added to Mack's inventory list before you leave.

Visiting hours are open each day. Family and friends are encouraged to visit. The outside doors are set to sound an alarm and are locked to keep outsiders out. The front door is unlocked until 8 p.m. during the week. Pets are permitted on a leash with proper vaccination records. Residents are encouraged to decorate their rooms with items from their own home. Mail for the residents is sorted in the office and delivered to the residents room. All mail is confidentially handled. There are a wide range of volunteers who visit the facility throughout the year. Several schools, organizations, and churches are part of the active volunteer program. Adult and junior volunteers provide many services which directly benefit the residents.

As soon as I write down the directions to the place, I will post them. I was too busy driving yesterday. One word of caution - The State Troopers are all over RT 460 (both ways), so be very careful that you drive no faster than the speed limit. They WILL stop speeders!!! (You've been warned.)

Please post any questions you have or comments you'd like to make by clicking on the "comments" block below and type what you would like to share or question you have.

All the best,
Richard and Ruth

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Thursday, January 18, 2007 - Mack's been moved!

This is Paul Manor (Richard's father, Mack's grandfather)when he joined the Marines at age 18. Aunt Jacky in Texas (Paul's sister) sent us this picture of Paul recently, along with several others.


Richard got a call from MCV today that Mack was going to be transported to a nursing home in Farmville around 2 pm today. Richard left work and went up to MCV so that he could follow the ambulance to Farmville. They actually left about 6 p.m. because the ambulance was late getting to MCV.

Richard called a short while ago (7:15) to let me know that they arrived at the nursing home in Farmville about an hour and fifteen minutes after they left Richmond.

Unfortunately, I don't know the name of the nursing home right now, but as soon as I find out, I will put their name on the blogsite. From what Richard said, they are going to set Mack's room up with things he likes and enjoys looking at - Pictures of his dogs, his family pictures, a TV (which Richard is going to purchase for him), his radio and anything that we can think of to make him feel more like he's at home and not in a hospital room so much.

We all knew this was coming sometime or another, but I had no idea that it would happen so quickly once the decision was made. Richard talked with the nursing home administrator briefly yesterday afternoon, answering some questions he had. Then, sometime today the decision was made to transport Mack, and they took him away. I hope and pray that the nursing home doctors, nurses and caretakers there will take good care of our "baby" and all his needs. He can't tell anyone if he needs something or if something isn't right. Please, if you go to visit Mack and discover something he needs, please ask them to take care of him while you're there. If necessary, page Richard so that you can apprise him of the situation.

(Richard's Pager 804-759-6329)

You may also add comments to the blog at any time. When I see them, I'll pass them along to Richard. We ask for any and all eyes and hands we can get to help us check on Mack since we can't check on him ourselves everyday. Richard will go to visit Mack as much as he can during the week and on the weekends, but he can't go everyday as he has been. I worry about Richard being on the road by himself so much too, but it's unavoidable. I need to stay close to home because I'm also taking care of Mom most of the time, but I'll go to visit Mack on the weekends whenever I can. We'll take it as it comes and figure it out along the way.

Please continue to keep Mack in your thoughts and prayers. (and Richard too!)

All our love to everyone,

Richard and Ruth

Sunday, January 14, 2007

January 14, 2007

Here are a couple of pictures taken on Christmas Day from Jason and Kristen of Mack with his "special" dog he got from them. I'm certain that this little puppy will make him laugh whenever he's able to laugh again. Thanks Jason and Kristen for traveling up here and spending time with Mack on Christmas. Thanks also for sharing the pictures of Mack. Once I get the picture of Mack and Jason made lighter, I'll post it as well.


Last Thursday, the docs agreed to let us give Mack his ice chips again, even without having a swallow study done. He's doing just fine with the ice chips and of course, swinging his legs that he's happy and content again.

We had Mack sitting up on the side of his bed yesterday with his feet touching the floor for about 10 minutes because he squirmed around and acted like he wanted to get out of bed. As he sat there, he was trying to push, putting his weight down with his right foot as though he wanted to stand. His left foot didn't co-operate with him much though. He kept his toes curled on his left foot.

Today, we're going to give him another hair cut, if he will allow us to. Some days he's not as co-operative as he is on other days. We just play it by ear. Richard found out that he gets more of Mack's co-operation giving him a shave with the electric razor opposed to giving him a shave with the blade razor. So, now he uses the electric razor most of the time. Mack has even taken the electric razor, trying to shave himself AND turned it off and on a few times without any help!
We were totally amazed when he did that.

Gotta go to give Mack a haircut now. More updates later.

All our love to everyone,
Ruth & Richard

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Happy New Year! January 6, 2007

Happy New Year Everyone! We wish everyone a kinder, gentle 2007. We know several of you who read this blog who have also had your share of struggles and disappointments to deal with over the past two years. We wish you smooth sailing ahead in 2007.

Here is Richard with his favorite Christmas present from my aunt and cousins in Florida. His new biker puppy sings "Born to be Wild" and does a fantastic job getting us all laughing. Richard just loves it. We took it up to show Mack and he seemed to like it too.

One of Mack's doctors left a message for Richard last week that we couldn't give Mack anything else by mouth, not even water. We don't know why and Richard has tried to make an appointment to talk with this doctor in person to find out why. So far, we just got the phone message that we need to STOP doing it. All the nurses said was that it was doctor's orders that Mack is not get anything else by mouth. That was a huge disappointment. Mack has shown us no signs of any complications in swallowing the ice pops, water and ice cream we've been giving him since Thanksgiving. It's very frustrating not being able to talk with the doctor when you need to. It's like herding cats to catch up with him to have a discussion. He won't return Richard's phone calls and we can't get a definite time frame from the nurses for when he makes his rounds to catch him then. We're thinking of parking ourselves in Mack's room for the entire day to wait for him. We have to talk with him to find out exactly why the change was made. We ARE going to get to the bottom of this soon. I have a suspicion one of the nurses was the instigator of this whole thing last week - she challenged Richard about the ice pop he was feeding Mack and he told her that he had previously gotten the doctor's okay - and she said "we'll see about that". The next day we were told to stop doing it. We going to push to get another swallow study done on Mack. He was scheduled to have one the day he had his teeth pulled, so it was cancelled, but never rescheduled. I think that's the best route to go at this point. If Mack passes the swallow study, as I think he will, then there shouldn't be any more problems around that.

I know that I've been doing most of the "talking" on this blog so far; however, we welcome anyone else's comments and any pictures they might have of Mack (along with a brief caption). Just click on the comments button at the bottom of an entry and add whatever you'd like to add. I'm sure other folks would like to hear someone else's opinion besides mine. Remember too, that Mack will read them as well, whenever he's able to read again. He can see the pictures now, even though we don't think he can read yet.

Thank you Aunt Jacky for the family pictures you sent us. I'll scan them and try to post them soon so that others in the family can see them as well.

Please continue to keep Mack in your prayers as he still has a long road to recovery ahead. We also want to thank each of you for your love and support over the past few months. You will never know how much that means to us.

All our love,
Ruth & Richard