Saturday, October 20, 2007

October 20, 2007 - The Move to Healthsouth in Petersburg

Mack has been moved to Healthsouth in Petersburg from Trinity Mission in Farmville. Healthsouth is a new facility off of Crater Road, near Wal-Mart. Actually, it is within a block of the new Southside Regional Hospital being built.

Richard brought Mack to Healthsouth on Wednesday and explained to him that the people there will be working a lot with his legs and left arm to get him mobile and hopefully, walking again. After Richard got off of I-95 and as he drove up Crater Road, he asked Mack if he knew where he was and Mack responded yes. By the time they were at the second traffic light, Richard asked him again "where are you". Mack responded "Petersburg". With that said, we can surmise that Mack is definitely much more aware of his surroundings than before. Once Mack was settled in his room, Richard asked him again, "do you know where you are?" and Mack responded "John Randolph". Since Healthsouth is very new, Mack hasn't heard of Healthsouth before, so he couldn't remember the name of the place Richard told him he would be going to. Mack's short-term memory is sketchy right now, however, we have seen signs that he is remembering a few more things that relate to the past 2-3 years. His memory prior to that time frame seems to be intact for the most part. We probe him about something nearly every visit to encourage him to remember things.

Mack did remember yesterday that he had a blue CBR motorcycle and that it was "a fast one". We ask Mack some questions repetitiously to find out what he can remember, depending on his mood and well-being that day. Some days, when he is feeling fairly well, he will answer our questions and most of the time, get it right. Other days, when he isn't feeling up to par, he won't answer us, or the answers he gives us are not quite correct. If he clams up all together, we check to see if he is holding saliva or something else in his mouth and get him to spit it out into his basin, and after that he usually tries to respond a little more.

Mawmaw went to visit Mack on Thursday and got just a little response out of Mack. He smiled for her a couple of times - especially when she told him that she made peanut butter cookies just for him, which he didn't want to eat that day. He was a bit more quiet on Thursday than usual, probably because he didn't recognize the staff and he is in a huge new room. Mom says that she will visit Mack a lot more often now since he is within 15 minutes from her house. She is so happy now that he is closer to home. We're hoping that other family members will visit Mack as much as possible since he is closer to home.

Visiting hours at Healthsouth are as follows:

Monday - Friday - 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. and

4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Weekend and holiday hours are 12 Noon - 8 p.m.

Mack will be going through some extensive rehabilitation exercises daily, so please keep in mind that he may be tired when you go to visit and may not respond as well as he used to for a while. Please encourage him to keep up the good work so that he won't get discouraged and give up. When Richard told him about this new facility and asked him recently when he is going to walk again, Mack responded "in about a month". So, Mack wants to get better and walk again.

The biggest immediate hurdle for him is eating regular food again. Mack likes to eat sweets and fruit, like watermelon and cantaloupe, however, he doesn't want to eat regular foods anymore, especially meats. We need to encourage him to start eating regularly so that he can lose the feeding tube feedings. Mack likes to have things explained to him as to why he needs to do something so that it makes sense to him, and usually, he goes on to do what you ask, if he can. So, if he doesn't want to eat for you or whatever else he needs to do, please talk with him and explain why he needs to do that. Most of the time he will comply. If he doesn't, something else may be going on with him. He has been having tooth aches again, which we have on the agenda to be taken care of real soon.

If you have questions or concerns regarding Mack or need directions to where he is, please call us at home at (804) 530-0499 or page Richard at (804) 759-6329.

Mack is still improving with little baby steps, but they're all in the right direction. He needs your love, visits and encouragement to continue making progress. Please keep him in your prayers and visit him when you can. If you can't visit him, send him a card or letter to let him know you're thinking of him.

The address is:

Richard M. Manor, II

c/o HEALTHSOUTH (Room 117)

95 Pinehill Boulevard

Petersburg, VA 23805

I'll update the blog with a progress report next week. Till then, we wish you all a wonderful week.

Much love,

Ruth & Richard

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

October 8, 2007

A pond near Mom's house. Richard took these pictures.

Richard took Mack to MCV last week to see Dr. Ward for an evaluation. Dr. Ward is the neurosurgeon, who oversees Mack's care. As far as we know, everything is okay with Mack since his fall from the wheelchair.

There is a possibility that Mack may be moved to a convalescent/rehab center in Petersburg soon. That would be better for him since they will work with his legs and left arm regularly and hopefully, get him walking again. It's also better for us and his other relatives who live in this area so we can spend more time with him instead of on the road. If he gets moved, I'll post it when that happens, along with the address. I think it will be a change for the better and make it easier on everyone who wants to visit Mack.

Mom was admitted to Chippenham hospital last Thursday evening for severe diverticulitis and some other problems. She was released yesterday afternoon and I took her home to her house. She seems to be doing a lot better than she was last Wednesday. Per doctor's orders, a home-health nurse will be helping me check on her and take care of her for a couple of weeks.

That's all the news for now. Please pray that Mack gets moved to the new facility in Petersburg soon and that they will work with him to help him walk again.

Much love and peace to everyone,

Richard & Ruth

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

More on Mack - Fell out of his wheelchair

First, I apologize for the delay on the update, but Comcast was out of service here for several days until they replaced a line in the neighborhood. (Darned squirrels! They've chewed through the lines before.)

UPDATE on previous post:

Mack was admitted to Southside Community Hospital of Farmville for observation on Monday, then returned to the nursing home on Tuesday evening. He had to have his feeding tube stem replaced which was dislodged. The doctor didn't say whether or not the blood Mack vomited came from that dislodged feeding tube. It's been a few days since Mack's been back at the nursing home and has seemed to recover from that incident fairly well.

The Wheelchair Fall incident - This past Monday afternoon (10/1/07), Mack feel head first out of his wheelchair. I can't imagine how that could happen since they usually have a tray fastened in front of him to hold him in. I suspect that the tray must not have been fastened properly and when Mack leaned over to put his head down on the tray, it slid off, causing him to fall head first. Again, Mack was rushed to the hospital in Farmville and checked over by the doctors there. Because he fell on his head, the doctor wanted to do an MRI on Mack, but couldn't because of the arthrapy in his legs. So tomorrow (Thursday) Richard is going down to bring Mack up here to MCV to have Mack's neurosurgeon evaluate him and possibly run some tests to make sure no further damage was done when he fell out of his wheelchair.

I also had to take my Mom to her doctor today. Seems that she may have gotten food poisoning on Sunday at Bingo. She's been quite ill since Sunday evening, but didn't say anything to me about being ill until last night. I think she will be okay in a few days after she gets the medicine her doctor prescribed today into her system.

To our family who will be at the family reunion in Martinsville this weekend, we love you all and we're thinking of you all being together. We will be there with you in spirit, and hopefully next year, in person. We send you our love and prayers.


Ruth & Richard