Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 985 - Feb 8, 2011

I was thinking that I had explained the transitional facility idea to you guys, but after the one comment I realized that I hadn't.

So this place will NOT be a permanent home for Kevin by any means. It is transitional - meaning it helps a patient transition to a normal living environment. Now admittedly, Kevin pretty much lives a normal life, but I guess this place would make him more independent.

In this place, he will have speech 5 days a week to help him to talk better. I understand he will learn how to deal with emergencies, how to fend for himself to the best of his ability. I don't know for sure if they teach him how to cook and clean up after himself, but I believe it's part of the agenda too.

We have no way of knowing at this point how long Kevin would need to be at this place. It could be a few weeks or it could be a year. Frankly, he has to agree to it or it's just not going to work anyway, but it's something that could make such a difference to his life.

Truthfully, I already think I do the bulk of teaching him all of these things, but the VA is concerned that I am requesting more help with Kevin. I don't think they are understanding that having someone come to the house is more about getting Kevin companionship - even though it helps me too.

And they seem to think that Kevin has me running errands constantly, but a lot of the times that he calls me is because he is excited about something on tv or that he just remembered or whatever. It's him TALKING. I mean...who else's name is he gonna call? I'm the only person here. And honestly - if he wasn't talking to me then he would just be lying in bed depressed. (not that this makes it any easier to hear the word "MOM" screamed all day and night, but I do understand WHY he does it)

Sometimes I don't think they have a real grasp on what Kevin can do and already does either. But, I know that's one of the reasons they want him to go into the hospital in a few weeks. It's still not going to give a clear picture as they won't be at our house watching him do the things he does, but at least they will get a better picture of how much he understands.

I guess I will just keep my eyes open and see what I think of these two places. Like I said, they really need to be a good fit for Kev anyway. I would never force him to do it because it would ruin the relationship we have. Respect is of the utmost importance in this family - I respect my kids and will always listen to their wants/needs. Not that I won't argue my point if I disagree, but still...


Anonymous said...

Leslie, I was just wondering, since you have videos of Kevin, can you show them all his progress (what he can do) that way?

karen said...


You know, really, the "professionals" have such problems listening to family members without judgment.

This comment, of course, comes from a point of extreme frustration. My mom has had another near-miss with her emphysema, and the hospital was terrific medically, but my mother has mental health issues. When I attempted to address this (and a manic high drug reaction that the doctor admitted my mom had had) last week with her primary caregiver, she sighed loud, rude sighs, rolled her eyes as if she was having a seizure, and said she thought it was rich when people who had "no idea what they are talking about" try to advise her. And this was the doctor! (We get that from my mom too, so it was weirdly familiar ...)

Um ... how is a family member, who has been there forever, not qualified to talk about things that pertain to mental health?! After all, we are the ones who get the much coveted job of picking up the shards later ...

You are the expert in all things living for Kevin right now because you've taken on this responsibility, as is your business as his beloved family member. Your observations right now should count for at least 50 percent of the input for going forward until this hospitalisation (and if the hospital is a great one) they ought to be open minded about your knowledge and input and take it as a part of history without judgment.

If you don't mind me saying. I hope that the placement brings Kevin more of the skills and independence that you have so doggedly been working toward at the expense of your own health and welfare.

Jessica said...

I think it would be wonderful if one of the facilities turned out to be a good fit for Kevin. One can only imagine the strides he could take with the right professional therapies available everyday where he was staying. Just the fact that you feel Kevin is at the point where he's ready for one is pretty exciting!

I'll be keeping these things in my prayers and your parents' traveling as well. The weather has been a real pain for that this winter. My dad's plane was delayed tonight 2 1/2 hours for deicing in Atlanta, GA. I didn't even know they got ice in Atlanta! sheesh.

Take care!