Wednesday, September 23, 2009

9/23 Discharge from Edwin Shaw Today

We are being released a day early (which is fine with us). Arising at 4 am, I have to admit to feeling somewhat unequal to the task ahead. Chuck still requires round-the-clock care and I feel equipped to provide it, but there's also a lot of business (rentals, finances, scheduling, paperwork, meetings) to attend to that requires free hands, uninterrupted time on the phone and the ability to leave the house. I can take care of Chuck and I can take care of business, but I'm somewhat daunted at the prospect of doing both. It's going to be like single parenting on steroids.

A number of friends have volunteered already to help with writing and computer rehab, golf and trombone, walking, and just plain sitting. Stacey, Jean and Pastor Davis are coordinating cooking efforts so that we have a freezer full of easy meals to access. We plan to make short stops into the Foundation office several days a week, travel to New Jersey to see Princeton play, make visits to Rotary and Kiwanis and other service clubs, do some basic painting in our basement and rentals, attend outpatient therapies and follow scheduled "home therapies." All of this in short spurts with liberal periods of rest. The key to TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) healing is small sessions of stimulation, good sessions of rest. Too much noise, too many people, too much stimulation creates exhaustion. Conversation requires a great deal of focus and effort on Chuck's part. He needs time and silences as well as talk.

Our plan for today is to go home and eat lunch, take a trip to the YMCA where we'll do some physical therapy (and I might be able to get in a bit of my own workout), then home for rest and a meatloaf dinner with Stacey and the girls, then wind-down.

Stacey has been here for several days now getting the house ready for our return: arranging furniture, organizing drawers and closets, preparing meals. I believe she has traveled 9 hours from Illinois 4 or 5 times now in 12 weeks to be here for Chuck and me and she has her hands full with her own two little ones.

I expect to immerse myself in Chuck's home rehab management and his personal care for the next 30 days without coming up much for air. At the end of 30 days, I will take stock of where we are and make the next set of decisions related to Chuck's immediate needs, our living situation, employment options, longer term stability and support for our journey. The doctor has impressed on me the importance of time vs. intensity in the area of therapy; that, rather than jet off to some facility in some other state for example, the daily schedule with rest times will be the most healing therapy for now. We were in ICU/sub-Acute 3-4 weeks, skilled nursing 4 weeks and rehab 4 weeks. I'm optimistic we'll be in a whole 'nother, better place after 4 weeks of Home Rehab.


  1. Bless you and the family. Prayers for you all for strength for each day.
    Earletta Sandstrom Fryer

  2. welcome home and congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Sandstrom....we are SURE everything will just keep getting better. LOVE ON WEDNESDAY>>>>LOVE

    scott and lynn