Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bad News/Good News

Over the past several days, Matt's strength deteriorated and his numbness returned. So he's back at the hospital for another round of the immune system-boosting treatment.

The upside:
  • The hospital's great view
  • No more roommate, no more non-stop yammering!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home...

Er, scratch glad. Make that giddy.

Riley was so excited to have Matt home for the weekend that she spent yesterday crawling recklessly in circles, throwing everything in sight, while shouting "dadadadada."

Matt returns to rehab tonight. To a little peace and quiet.

Friday, June 22, 2007

A Little Gift for Mommy

Riley slept from 7:00 last night until 9:30 this morning, with just one short snack break at 7:30 a.m. Amazing what you can accomplish in 13+ baby-free hours. Lots of work, a little housework, an episode or two of The Office, and, best of all, eight uninterrupted hours of sleep!

Thanks Riley!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Timeline

The doctor has extended Matt's rehab stay until July 3-ish. Since I've got my hands full taking care of Riley and Matt's business*, she wants him fairly self sufficient (able to bathe himself, get in and out of bed, etc.) before he comes home.

He'll gradually transition from a wheelchair to a walker to forearm crutches to—hopefully sooner than later—nothing! Which reminds me to ask...anybody out there got a spare front-rolling walker we could borrow? (Insurance will only pay for one of the above.)

*Warning: shameless promotion ahead. If you're looking for a creative gift idea, fun decoration, or a random way to blow a few bucks, how about buying a mobile? It'll support a good cause: paying for hospital bills and keeping frozen bean burritos on the table. (www.hangingmobilegallery.com. Spread the word.)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Riley's Favorite Toy (or Two) of the Day


And his sweet new ride!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Rx: Laziness

Matt's doctor says his work ethic is too strong. She thinks his hard work in therapy is preventing him from resting enough, possibly slowing his recovery. Doctor's orders? Be lazy.

He's felt pretty weak all week. But here's some good news: the numbness in his face is mostly gone. His speech therapist says that's a good sign his nerves are repairing.

Incidentally, Matt gets to come home for a few hours tomorrow—first time in three weeks! Yay! I promise to enforce the laziness prescription. No diaper changing, no dish washing, no trash emptying...and no, not even mobile making.

Now let's see whether our place is wheelchair friendly...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Life In Rehab

In rehab each day, Matt works with four different types of therapists: physical, occupational, speech, and recreational. He also meets regularly with the doctor who’s overseeing his progress. Between all that—plus his roommate’s endless supply of hunting stories—he’s exhausted.

With Guillain-Barré, you have to rest—a lot—if you want to recover, so the therapists have worked plenty of downtime into Matt’s days. And although he’s regained some strength, he still lacks endurance, so just getting dressed each morning merits a nap.

Full recovery will take more time than we had anticipated. So maybe we’re supposed to learn patience? And if we've learned that already, can he hurry up and recover?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Texas Born, Texas Bred Taste Buds

For dinner tonight, I zapped some frozen bean burritos*, and guess who polished off every last bite?

Yep, my Tex-Mex-loving ex-Texan.

*(Yes, I've temporarily lowered my standards. But at least they're from Trader Joe's...)

Friday, June 8, 2007

The One Thing I'll Miss

Matt was released from the hospital this morning! He'll spend the next 10-ish days in an inpatient rehab center where they'll help him regain his strength and coordination. He's excited to be out of the hospital, and I'm excited to have him closer to home.

Although I might miss the view from the hospital. (Which, I might add, is even prettier in June than whenever this pic was taken).

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Good News x 3 = Happy Family

  1. No pre-existing condition found. Insurance said they'd cover everything. Phew.
  2. Matt's target discharge date is this Friday. (My fingers are crossed!)
  3. Although he'll be in rehab for another week or two after his hospital discharge, he might be able to stay at a rehab center 8 blocks from our home.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Mind if I Vent?

Remember when I said I was grateful for health insurance? I take that back.

Matt's new health insurance—which started May 1—thinks that, since he needed medical care so soon after his premium began, that this was a pre-existing condition. That's very bad, because pre-existing conditions aren't covered under our insurance. They're looking into it, and they shouldn't find find any evidence, because the doctors say Guillain-Barré isn't something caused by pre-existing conditions—it just happens. Plus, he's been completely healthy the entire 9 1/2 years I've known him.

But somehow I still feel a bit stressed out about it.

And ironically, the hospital can't release him until the insurance thing gets sorted out. (Don't ask. It's complicated.) So...who knows how much longer he'll be there.

...btw, Matt thinks the worst is over. He's slightly stronger than he was a few days ago, but he's still uncomfortable and very weak. And a little discouraged about no end in sight for his hospital stay.

End of venting. Read today's other posting for happier stuff.

Partner in Crime

Meet Anna. She's Riley's favorite Portland friend (if you don't count Aunt Sheri), and they enjoy yelling together, pulling each other's hair, and messing up my living room. It's a match made in heaven.

Peek-a-boo, Riley Style

Is commentary really necessary?

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Time Warp

How do they go from this:

to this:

In, like, no time flat?

p.s. Thanks for the fun toy car, Grandma and Grandpa R!

Family Photos: Take 17

So we tried taking some family photos today. Sure, the hospital isn't the best setting. But aside from that, how do you get everyone to:

  • smile
  • look at the camera
  • not chew on pencils


Don't be fooled by Matt's appearance. He was having fun. Despite a few I.V.s, lifeless limbs, and a slightly numb face.

And some good news: He felt stronger today, which may mean he's on his way to recovery. Yay!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Things We Take for Granted

The ability to:

  • grip a toothbrush
  • walk to the bathroom
  • raise your arms to shampoo your hair
  • dial phone numbers
  • write
  • open ketchup packets

With Guillain-Barré, you get weaker and weaker until you hit rock bottom—a point that's different for each patient. Then you plateau at the bottom for awhile before things improve.

We don't know when rock bottom will occur, but right now Matt's ability to move is disappearing more each day. Gross motor skills are labored and fine motor skills are practically impossible. In worst-case scenarios, paralysis spreads to the lungs, at which point a respirator becomes necessary. But the docs tell us Matt seems to have a relatively mild case. We're grateful for that.

Let's just hope for a speedy recovery!