(The following is the latest in an ongoing series of updates on the recovery of Coach of the Century George Haines, written by his daughter, Kerry Haines Derr. Coach Haines suffered a stroke in July.)
Nov. 3, 2001
Hello well wishers!!
I am getting the feeling that it is time for an update. Let me assure you that you have not missed an update, I just took a breather. I will only write a single update this month and next.
Some of you are still sending emails to Dad's email address…he's not there…please send them to my address and I will print and read them to Dad. He always knows there are emails to read when I walk in with papers in my hands. He wheels up to me and points for me to read them to him.
Dad is still adjusting to being in an assisted living environment. Each morning at Mom's arrival, he has some long story to "tell" her. She asks lots of questions to figure out what's on his mind. Sometimes, it's because he was cold during the night, another time the attendants didn't come fast enough when he pressed his call button, and sometimes we have no clue what is troubling him. So that leads to frustration on all sides.
Mom is with Dad daily, and now with the time change, she is leaving before it gets dark (she doesn't like to drive in the dark nor should she!). Dad has had some trouble adjusting to her leaving "early". What he doesn't realize is that the other 44 residents in the residence don't have the pleasure of a spouse
there, nor do they have daughters, grandchildren, sons-in-law, and friends running in and out daily. I am sure that given some time, things will calm.
Dad has had few excursion out of the residence. He has gone to the grandsons' soccer game, the doctor, the dentist, and to his own home. He spent a Sunday at home with Mom and did quite well. He checked out the yard, pulled a few weeds himself, and generally checked to see that his things were still there. And when it came time to return to the residence, he did not object.
He is still having physical therapy 3 days a week. His left leg (the good one)is in a great deal of pain. He has arthritis in it and with all the therapy he has had, it is inflamed. This has limited his ability to work on walking. He can stand but steps are just too difficult right now.
We have "fired" the speech therapist and the occupational therapist!! Speech therapy does not seem to build on the skills he does have. There seems to
be random application of the therapies and little success for Dad to celebrate. He ends up so angry with the sessions that he may cry or just not participate. The occupational therapist just didn't seem to get it. When she had him stand at the sink in his bathroom and try to undress himself, we were very unhappy with her. To practice that exercise in a
place that, had he fallen he could have seriously hurt himself, was inexcusable. The sink, the toilet could have easily injured him, not to mention the tile floor!! So no more OT..
Dad continues to get visitors. His brother, Dick, came for several days. That was good for both Mom and Dad. He spent time with Dad and did some "handyman" jobs for Mom!! Thanks to all who have visited. I know that you have seen his frustration, his joy, and his sadness (it can be overwhelming). I cannot tell you enough how much we appreciate your efforts to come and visit.
All in all, there are good days and some not so good days. We just try to take each day as it comes.
I will sign off now, talk to you next month.
Kerry Haines Derr