Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ada's 1st Field Trip

Today, Ardis and I took Ada to visit our friends at American Village. We had planned this for a while and today we decided it is a good day to go. Ada was excited about it, I can tell. She sat in her chair, looking out the window, waiting for Ardis to come. She usually took a short nap after shower but not today. On the way there, Ardis told Ada that we had took the same road back and forth to the nursing home before, in the ambulance. Ardis always sat in the front and I sat in the back with Ada. This time we sit in a car and Ardis was driving.
Everybody was so excited to see Ada. She shake hand with everyone.
I still remembered during our stay at American Village, through the darkest period of my life, those people, those friends, kept telling me that Ada will be Ok, she will come around and don't loose hope and they will take good care of her. I can't thank them enough for all they had done, not only for Ada, but for me as well.
Since Ada was doing so well, we decided to take her to Naked Chopstick, the Sushi restaurant that we used to worked. We eat there often enough know that the place will not be too busy, and we had a good time there. Ada was sitting nicely the whole time.
Sine she did great on her first field trip, we will take her out to the Art Museum and other public places when the weather get warmer. I know she get bored sitting at home. may be, we will have enough money to get a car or a van with wheelchair accessibility so we can go out more often.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ada's world

Ada's world, according to Ada, only exist on her right side. She does not know she had the whole other side too. It is the combination of a severe damage to the right side of the brain and, I think, because during the period of 5 month with a missing piece of her skull, we cannot turn her or lay her down on the left side. The way that we help her is to approach her on the left side. We rearrange the room so that everyone will come in to the room from her left. Little by little, she will recognize her left side as well, we hope.
Ada's world, according to her therapist, only Ada will dictate what she wants to do and how she does it. She does not take command. If you ask her to do something, and she did, she won't do it again. You have to predict how she will react to certain things and try to get ahead of her. Connie is good at that, she knows Ada so well, I want to take her home with us. After all she is an expert with brain injury patient. Me, I don't fuss with Ada,I don't pick fight with her, not my job, and I just give in too easily. Because....
Ada's world, according to mom, is all about Ada. All I have to do is to love her. Forget about about the past, don't worry about the future, just be thankful that she is here with me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Back to Rehab Clinic

We braved the cold and the snow to go back to Rehab Clinic today. Thanks to Lenni, the Yellow cab driver who picked us up today. I hate driving in the weather like this. Arthy went with us today because he missed the bus this morning and did not want to go to school. His aunts and cousins came from Thailand for a visit so we have 10 people in the house and he doesn't want to miss a thing.
Arthy was impressed that Ada can stand up and walk (with help). His face lit up with happiness. Several months ago while he went to visit Ada at the nursing home, he told me he want his old sister back. I told him that he can't. I hope he like the sister that he has now, even though she is not quite the same. I knows Ada loves him. She turns her head to the direction of the door when she heard his foot step, as he is about to come into her room. Arthy will come in poking her, teasing her and make her laugh, and she will kick him with her foot when he is not looking. Archie, on the other hand, will come in and sit down quietly, watching Family Guy on TV with her or he will turn on the Music that she likes. He likes to talk to her when nobody around. Neo, Lucky and Clarice, our dogs, will run into Ada's room first, when we let them in the house, to say hello to her. Lucky like to sleep in front of her room. Funny how Daddy can get high-five and hand-shake from Ada everytime. She always give Valerie, her nurse, "the look" after Val brush her teeth. For me, I get a beautiful smile when I wake her up in the morning, and I know that it is going to be another good day, a better day, for us.
Friday is Ada's 24th Birthday. We will go to Rehab Clinic as usual because Medicaid only approved for 1 month of therapy, so we need to work, work, work.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Letter from Chantelle

Chantelle, Ada's friend had left the comment on the last post, but I want to put it here so everyone can read it too.

When Chantelle showed up at Methodist to pick up Ada, I remembered her right away. Who could forget that pretty face, Chantelle. I was so upset that they wanted send Ada back to the Nursing home so soon after the surgery. It must be difficult to picked up a friend in an ambulance. I am glad that you get into a line of work that you can help people who need help and care. Please come back and visit her anytime.

Ada...I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to write. Every time I sat down to write something, I couldn't put into words what I was feeling. I almost felt ashamed. I was speechless, sad, angry...nothing could explain how I felt...what i felt for you. How could this have happened to the most loving, caring, most beautiful person I have ever met. I don't think I ever remember a time when you weren't happy. I remember growing up with you. Our days in the "brownies" always meeting at Molly's house. You always knew how to make someone smile. I remember the day I got the page....I was sitting in the passenger seat. My partner's pager went off before mine. She started to read off the do you say this. I instantly knew. ADA. I immediately started to cry. I wasn't sure if I could do it. My partner looked at me and asked if I was OK. What was wrong. I was scared. I didn't know if I could handle seeing you. When the accident first happened...Sparky called me to tell me what happened. He didn't know what hospital you were in. I called several other friends and they didn't know either. I told all of them that if they heard anything to please let me know so I could visit. I never heard anything. I figured you and your family wanted to keep things private. I apologize for not trying harder. I called dispatch to see if was OK for me to transport you, and they said as long as it was OK with me, I could. I told my partner that I would have to drive, but I wanted to go. She told me that if things were too much for me, to let her know. We arrived at Methodist and proceeded up to your room. I saw your mom, who right away didn't recognize me. She was very upset. She was unaware that the hospital was releasing you and that the meds wouldn't be taken care of until Monday. Your mom always had a way of making sure everything was OK. We got everything straightened out and then my partner went in the room to check on you. She came back out and asked me again if I was OK. I was. I walked in the room and it shocked me how wonderful you looked. In the line of work I am in...EMT...I see people with brain injuries every day. Ada, you looked wonderful. As soon as I walked into the room, it seemed as though you started to smile. When we were moving you over to the stretcher you seemed to be a little agitates, which again I am sorry for that. No one likes that part. We walked out to the ambulance bay and your mother came with us. It wasn't until she was in the ambulance with you did she recognize me. She talked to me the whole way there. After we put you in your bed, you seemed relieved. Relieved to be off of the cot and into somewhat of a more comfortable bed. Your mother and I stood and talked for what seemed like hours. During the whole time I was getting pages asking us where we were...we were ok. Just fine. Ada, I miss you. I got to see you one more time when I was transferring a patient to RHI. I saw you sitting with your dad and I am assuming other family members. I wanted to say hi but didn't want to interrupt. I remember what the doctors told your mother that day we were standing in your room at American Village, please don't give up. No one knows everything about the brain. It is still a mystery. Miracles happen everyday. I love you dearly and I know you can do it. You and your family will always be in my prayers. Every time I think of you, I remember that smile you gave me right before we went on stage our senior year....knowing it was our last time...and we were trying so hard not to cry. You will pull through this Ada, I know you will.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Put your head on my shoulder

Ada was up on the standing frame at the rehab clinic, she grabbed Connie's, her physical therapist, arms and gave her a hug. Friday was Ada's last day, unless we can get more hours from Medicaid. I hope we get to take the Standing frame home soon. Ada must get tired of sitting in the chair or laying down on her bed all the time.

Here is Ada on the Standing Frame.

Ada is sitting on the red exercises ball.

Many friends came for a visit during holiday. John and Kirsten Olson came yesterday, and I can tell that she was very pleased. She laughs and smiles a lot. She moves her left hand more and more. She really try to move it and almost grab a brush that I gave her. This is exciting because she is left handed and we cannot wait to see what she can do with it. She also using her leg and her foot. If you sit close to her she will put her legs on your lap. The other day she pat the doggie with her foot.
Despised how bad the economy is, many had send in the donations for Ada. We are grateful for your thought, your pray and your generosity.
I would like this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy new Year, and if you haven't yet make a list of your new year resolutions, please do so by adding "I will visit Ada once a month" at the end. I'm sure Ada would like to see all your pretty, smiley faces.
Another good news is we are able to contact Hamilton about Ada's wheelchair. The electric bed that we had asked for is still pending. Ada's nurse, Valarie, had been a big help everyday. She comes 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening to help me taking care of Ada.