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


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