Thursday, May 5, 2011

Next Up

Meagan's sodium levels have stabilized and Dr. Kaplan has cut her dosage of salt tabs in half. We'll keep it up until the current prescription is empty, likely by middle of next week. She continues to enjoy Fritos, potato chips, corn flakes and high protein Odwalla drinks (they are laden with sodium). Overall her appetite is great, thanks in large part to the delicious meals being provided by the Faeries, for which we are very grateful.

We've cut back her occupational therapy a bit, to four visits each week, but they can be very tiring. She usually needs a nap after them. She likes the two therapists - one helped her reorganize her closet for spring (there is a lot of mental challenge and physical dexterity involved with this believe it or not) and the other took her for a walk up to Laurelhurst Park where they practiced walking on uneven ground (for balance) and played catch (now that is a first!) and sat and did some easy strategy games. She needed a long nap after those two sessions.

Afternoons and Thursday through Sunday are reserved for friends and downtime and she likes that a lot. She is just starting to type again and it won't be long before she is back on Facebook and email. She types quite well when she is just looking at the screen and remembering how to use the "home row" from typing class in high school than if she looks at the keyboard.

Things are starting to click back into place for her. As she tells it, it's like a memory just appears after some sort of trigger. In the book, A Stroke of Insight, the author describes this process as file drawers being opened suddenly and the contents becoming available once again. She is reading the newspaper, slowly, and using a blank sheet of paper to uncover line by line. She continues to enjoy reading the cards she is receiving.

She can still lose her train of thought in discussions. She has always been the "why child", and now she asks even more questions as she seeks to fill in missing pieces of memory or to make sure she follows an explanation. It requires a great deal of patience on my part, and I am not proud to say that at times it grows a little thin - it's just wearying to have to explain the same things over and over (like our schedule for the day) even though I know it is not her fault.

Her mood is still very good, she remains anxiety free and in a state of mild euphoria. Her visual field issue is likely permanent (she has no right peripheral vision) and she was a bit upset about not being able to drive again and the burden it might cause me and others, but that has passed. She does not want to discuss her overall prognosis - she simply wants to live in the moment and take each new event as it comes. At our last meeting with Dr. Kaplan on Tuesday she was quite emphatic and explicit about not wanting to discuss any prognosis. Although she will from time to time express to me some worry or concern  - she has instructed me to lie to her and just reassure her that we are on the right track and we will solve each situation as it arises.

Next Tuesday we meet with the radiologist to discuss post operative radiation of the site where the one tumor was removed and radiation of the other known tumor. Her last MRI was a month ago and that one identified the two tumors in separate locations (the one of which bled causing the stroke and resulting craniotomy). Then we fly to Claremont for Riley's graduation on Friday (yes, she has been cleared for takeoff), returning the following Monday. Our next appointment with Dr. Kaplan is for the 24th and while we might meet with the radiologist in the interim, we won't make any decisions about the radiation treatment plan until we can consult with him. So treatment should start the end of this month.

She has a couple new pre-tied scarves designed for shorn women and looks great in them. She's regained the weight she lost during surgery, but has also taken on some water weight due to the high sodium regimen, which she is not at all happy about. I try to assure her it is not noticeable and she is just looking normal. Working on her Milton project and reading books is a ways off, but in the interim she seems happy and content with what she can read and with seeing and talking to all her great friends.

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