Friday, August 14, 2009

8/14 About Coma's (and friends)

Early Stages of Coma Recovery

"A person does not just 'wake up' from a coma. It is a gradual process of becoming more responsive and aware of people and surroundings. Rarely do individuals progress directly through the different levels of consciousness. Your relative may become confused, not recognize you, talk and behave strangely, swear, become angry.... This is a normal stage of coma recovery and it is usually temporary.

"Noise, touch, light and movement may calm or upset the person...The person may not remember being hurt and what happened next.

"Keep things simple. Do only one activity at a time. Too much.... can confuse the person.

"Assure your relative he is safe...Repeat this many times. It may be hard for relative to understand and remember new information. Tell them the day and time of day, where they are and why.

"Touch the person when you speak.

"Let them know who you are.

"Do the same things each time.

"Avoid asking questions. Describe what is happening or give specific directions.

"Give information. Avoid asking 'Do you remember...'"

Christy says it's like being in a fog. You come out for moments here and there and, each time you come out, you may not remember much from the last time.

Chuck was quite "with us" yesterday when he was talking to us, but not so much later in the day, even though his eyes were open and he was active. We look to communicate with him in those windows of time when he's out of the fog with us. That's the best I can describe it. Meanwhile, therapy addresses re-teaching him the basic balance, form and mechanics of natural movement.

Sal and Ellen sat with Chuck for a good chunk of time yesterday evening and brought zucchini bread and lemon cookies. Yum. Terry Avant our city councilman sat with Chuck for several hours last night and Superintendant John Hall and Jason Andrus visited in the afternoon. Recevied an enormous basket of fruits and foods from Chamber of Commerce. Barberton looks out for its own.

From Akron, Rev. Christy showed up with the Kiwanis bell and kept banging it. (I didn't ask why.) And our Olivia, who replaced Chuck at the Salvation Army, has been hard at work getting us sitter volunteers. Barb from Akron Kiwanis is helping me manage the Akron building and really rescued me from a tough spot last weekend.

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