Day 053-054 – Melbourne Beach, FL

My uncle is continuing to get stronger!

Yesterday me and my Aunt went over to the rehabilitation facility to talk to the head nurse about some concerns she and Uncle had when he was there previously. He really liked working with the physiotherapy staff, but had issues with the support staff communicating clearly about medications and his oxygen supply – they weren’t consistently checking that the oxygen was flowing when moving him around the facility or took too long to switch it over between sources. He also had a roommate that snored loudly enough to keep him from sleeping. Yikes!

She seemed to take our concerns seriously and I think we found solutions to all of the problems.

I read online about making a sign to put on the wall written from the perspective of the patient reminding staff about important things. In my Uncle’s case – double checking the oxygen is hooked up, oxygen is flowing and the hose is long enough for him to move around as needed. There were also other suggestions like pinning a small note to the patient reminding staff and visitors to wash their hands before touching them. The idea is to present the patient as a person and not a room number or a set of symptoms. Along those lines, bringing in a picture of the patient showing them when they are happy and healthy can be helpful to remind the staff of who your loved one really is. The idea is to make interacting with the patient as easy and memorable as possible to improve the delivery of care.

I have very little experience with the issues my Uncle has so I was asking a lot of questions about medications, equipment and how they were administered and/or used. I found everyone to be receptive and helpful in answering. There was also WIFI in the room so it was easy to jump onto Google to look things up.

I went home tonight and my Aunt stayed with my Uncle.

I decided to ride my bicycle back to the hospital today. I’m not sure how long I am going to be here, so I want to keep the legs used to cycling.

My Uncle was looking even better today and there were some visitors from his old church talking to him when I walked into the room. I also had a special delivery of pasta topped with muscles and cherries for dessert for him. Being a chef, the hospital food can be really tough for him to eat so it’s nice to bring in home cooked meal. Much to the chagrin of the dietitian, but it’s nothing he can’t eat – promise. I actually brought in a couple mini bottles of wine in case he wanted any. He decline which left more for me and my Aunt.

I got a chance to see my good friend Max the Yorkie. My Aunt was able to convince his parents, Joy and Dominic, to bring him to the hospital so I could take him out for a walk and give him a bath while they all visited. He has almost doubled in size to a scale busting 13 pounds since I last saw him! There is a fabulous park about a mile from my Aunt and Uncle’s house called Wickham Park. It’s 390 acres complete with camping, hiking and horse trails, a Frisbee golf course, archery range, dog park and lots of other stuff. If you are in the area check it out!

Max tore the place up while I visited with the regulars then it was bath time back at the house. I often take a bath with the dogs I’m bathing because I find it a lot easier than bending over the tub. Max isn’t a big bath fan, but it didn’t take long to get him cleaned up and then it was time to run around the house for a bit before passing out on the floor (pic). So much fun! Joy was afraid I was going to take him away, which was actually pretty tempting. I delivered a well exercised, clean dog back to her and Dominic at the hospital.