Katie came through the tendon release surgery successfully, returning to the nursing home two days later. Both her left ankle and right leg remained in casts. She continued to be significantly impacted by her pain medications, and now residual anesthesia played into the mix.
When Judene and I visited the following week, we were able to determine that Katie was aware that we were there and knew who we were. But then we left the room for a while when the aides came in to get Katie up and dressed. When we came back in she was sitting in her wheelchair—eyes wide open with makeup applied—and totally devoid of expression. The experience was surreal.
The treatment regimen seemed to have set her back so much. Katie’s emerging personality was all locked up again behind an emotionless “flat affect.”
Finding the balance between minimizing pain and achieving alertness is difficult. Katie no longer has the filters to cope with pain that she had before her brain surgery. But seeing her take so many steps back into an almost “coma-like” state was both disconcerting and disheartening.
But then, I came across the following quote in another blog:
“An optimist: Someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s more like a CHA-CHA. – I like that! So I just have to dance a little before I can go on. Fine.” By Robert Brault
Sounds like our Katie!