Where is the best place for Sam? In my last post, I mentioned that we are looking for a new rehab facility for Sam. I spoke of the Rehabilitation Research Center at Santa Clara Valley Med Center in San Jose but as Erin speaks to more people at the VA hospital, she isn’t sure that is the best place for him right now.
This past week, my wife and I visited CareMeridian in Elk Grove, Ca. which would be very convenient for our families since it is only about a 30 minute drive from our homes in Citrus Heights. It was a nice facility, and may possibly be in the plans (maybe at a later date) but we aren’t sure if they would be aggressive enough with Sam’s therapy.
Another promising rehab facility we will be looking into is Kentfield Rehabilitation Hospital in Kentfield, Ca (Marin County). This facility is about 20 minutes north of San Francisco. The administrator of CareMeridian had a lot of good things to say about this facility and the doctors at this location.
We are in a very difficult and scary time. Where is the best place for Sam to improve as quickly as possible with his current limitations? It is possible Sam may go to one of the rehab facilities I mentioned previously for a short time period and then be placed in another facility as he improves and is able to go into a more advanced program.
We’re finding that there are a lot of brain injury/rehab facilities for really aggressive treatment of brain injured patients, but patients who are much farther along in their rehab than Sam. There are other facilities that are more “maintenance” type facilities for patients who have hit their peak…we want to stay away from them! But—there aren’t many rehab facilities for people like Sam who are somewhere in the middle with their rehabilitation.
The bottom line is that we need your prayers in this time of discernment. This is uncharted territory and so far, there isn’t a lot of guidance available. Hopefully as Erin talks to the doctors and social workers at the VA hospital in Palo Alto, she will gain a much clearer picture as to the best place for Sam under his current circumstances.
Sam’s medical status: Sam has been making steady auditory improvements. The therapist have been working with having him breath through his mouth and in the process, he has been getting better at moving his tongue. Although, he is not talking, he continues to get more vocal.
Erin has been working hard to improve Sam’s brain functions. She keeps coming up with little brain teaser games to play with Sam like giving him multiple choice questions about various subjects. Sam is answering her with the American Sign Language (ASL) for each of the choices, A, B, C or D. For example, they were playing a trivia game and Erin asked Sam which one of the four items was not part of the twelve days of Christmas. I believe she said the answer that didn’t match was, “whistler’s whistling”…and Sam got it correct. She asked him to spell his name in ASL and he was able to do that too. Erin is working towards getting away from the one finger for yes, two fingers for no communication and step it up a level to the multiple choice scenario, again with the help of ASL.
Sam continues to do the stationary bike and “standing frame” which is a device that slowly moves him from a sitting to standing position. He is up and out of his bed in the wheelchair twice a day.
Overall, Sam is becoming more responsive. When someone walks into the room, he will look over to the door to see who is coming in.