This weekend has been all about mental rather than physical recovery.
Wiith the physio team off for a well earned weekend break, patients rely on the nurses to get them up and walking around, so we tend to spend time chatting and I gently coax her to remember past events (often just stuff from yesterday) and the names for things.
Amanda’s ‘brain dictionary’ is intact but completely muddled. But if she says the wrong thing she is usually aware of it and says “that didn’t come out right” or “I’ll try that again.” She is learning to slow her speech to allow the thought to fully form before it comes out. Little tricks like this help in conversations or being able to initiate fully – formed questions.
Just outside the ward there is an emergency kit comprising a large ORANGE cabinet and a YELLOW wheelie bin. So I pointed out the different colours and Amanda confirmed she could tell the difference. I kept repeating YELLOW bin ORANGE cabinet, and then asked her her name and address followed by. “So what colour is the wheelie bin?”
“And what colour is the cabinet?”
That was Friday.
Tonight she got it right.
She is also finding ways to replace words. She could not remember the word ‘think’ so instead she said “I had a meeting with myself.” Completely logical but took me a while to work out.
I was there later tonight as the nurses got her ready for bed. I asked if she was able to turn over in bed yet? She said she could sometimes, thanks to the ‘leg muesli’ I finally worked out the word she was looking for was ‘movement’.
Earlier I again showed her the photos I took as she lay in ICU basically connected to life support. I’d shown her before but tonight I got the most emotional reaction so far.
“Sorry for putting you all through that.”