Some interesting cases

The hospital has actually been slow for a little while, but I couldn't catch a break during that time since my pediatric caseload was simultaneously growing. The peds caseload will require a separate entry, as it has exploded a bit. Anyway, the circle of hospital life always comes back around from slow with only a few pts to overfull with referrals coming out of our collective ears. We've managed to fill up again just in time for us to be shorthanded as a colleague takes a weeklong trip. But, before I get totally overwhelmed again, here's some stories on a few of the interesting people I've seen recently.

I have been working with Mr. H for the past 2 weeks. A great elderly gentleman who is mentally extremely sharp. I believe that he remembers absolutely everything I have ever told him (so hopefully he will remember to get those grab bars installed at home!). Really nice guy, good sense of humor, and absolutely tries his hardest to work with us. He came in with a hip fracture and a previous dx of Parkinson's Disease. Thank goodness that he had an ORIF, as he has a special method of mobility that would not work at all if he had hip precautions. He's become one of my favorites, which is good, because since he moves slower it takes considerably more time to do a treatment. He has progressed from being MAX Ax2 to stand, also for LE dressing, to being CG-SBA. Terrific progress.

Mr. R has also had a strange journey that I've gotten to share. He had a history of problems with his shoulders and had 1 rotator cuff surgery a long time back. It had taken him a long time to recover, but he did get a lot of UE motion back. Then, over the course of a couple months, he gets run down, stops exercises, has some cardiac issues and pneumonia and winds up in the hospital. When he first arrived on our skilled unit, he had such minimal ROM in his arms that he could not use them to help stand up, and was MAX A 1-2 for all ADL tasks. We had really made some progress, and he was able to dress upper and lower body w/CG-MIN Ax1 and was looking ready to discharge soon. Unfortunately, he had a bowel obstruction, wound up back in acute care for a week. He's been readmitted to the skilled unit now and hopefully hasn't deteriorated too much in the interim.

Most complicated evaluation of the week goes to Mrs. MA, who had a very intense CVA. She had multiple infarcts in the L MCA distribution in the frontal, parietal, and temporal lobes. This also resulted in mass effects, which usually happens in hemorrhagic CVAs, not ischemic. First thought: Holy cow!!!! This lady has expressive aphasia, and is limited mostly to the word "okay." On the day that I saw her for the eval, she was doing a little better, using a few more words appropriately and trying to construct sentences that would start out intelligble. Us "Thurapee Girls" descended en masse- OT, Speech, PT. We got her OOB and into a chair, at which point the telemetry nurses descended upon us freaking out- Mrs MA's heartrate was 190. So, back to bed, PT exited stage left, and I did my first cotreat with our new speech therapist. It's terrible to say that I've had fieldworks and been practicing over a year and never cotreated with speech, but it's a situation of coincidental circumstances and not out of some crazy "no teamwork" philosophy. I do cotreats w/ PT all the time, but really had to switch my brain channels for working with speech. Challenging, but fun! We worked on communication briefly, and worked feeding and groming into the bedside swallowing eval. Also, I learned a new fun fact- no cranberry juice for people on Coumadin. Good to know. I hope that this interesting lady makes a good recovery while she's with us... she'll likely discharge to community SNF or maybe acute rehab if she starts doing better.

Also have another TKR pt. who is going to recover function much faster than knee flexion or mobility. She's mobidly obese, but has excellent flexibility (way better than me) and can do lower body dressing in bed. That's not usually something I do with people who do not have a spinal cord injury, but it works. However, she's still struggling a lot with basic mobility and knee ROM. We will likely see her on the skilled floor.

Here's hoping we don't get TOO busy... since that takes away the time that we can spend on each person and simultaneously takes away my sanity. :)

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