The Latest on Maureen, if You Were Wondering. Or not.

It’s been getting deep and heavy around here with all the discussion of specific word meanings and the precise extent of racism in the US, those posts and comments that require me to re-read more than counts as entertainment. I thought I’d lighten things up with a progress report on my dear sister, Maureen.

When we left her she was enjoying bi-weekly games of Bingo and calling me multiple times a day. She now wins at Bingo consistently, most recently a pair of drawer sachets and an air freshener, and she still calls me many times a day. I try to divert her to other siblings, just to share the fun, but she really seems to prefer me. I usually answer the phone. for one thing.

Her home’s latest quarantine has been lifted and this week I have resumed visiting. The day of my second visit this week I got a COVID vaccination as an old person who does “compassionate care” visits in a nursing home. I feel like I should be more excited about that.

This is what I am excited about. Maureen’s physical therapy has resumed, though only three times a week, and yesterday she took eight steps two times! Yes this passes for excitement in my life. I was half expecting that at the age of 55 she might never walk again for no good reason.

Three weeks ago she had a dental appointment. She wanted me to accompany her for some reason though she was transported there in her wheelchair and I met her at the office and waited in the waiting room. I happened to go into the exam room as she was moving from the dentist’s chair back to the wheelchair. At the home there is a machine that lifts her from one seat to another. At the dentist’s she has to “stand and pivot” between seats. I witnessed her do that, actually stand on her feet, pivot about 90 degrees and take three steps backwards to meet the wheelchair.

The stand and pivot I knew she could do, sometimes she had to at the home but taking steps surprised me. The therapists had said that Physical Therapy might resume “after the holidays” if someone noticed some progress in something or other. I jumped on those three steps. Immediately started trying to reach someone, anyone at  the therapy office and eventually I talked to the lead therapist. I told her about the steps and managed to get in some information about changes they might make in their approach. They’ve made all of them, Maureen is cooperating and yesterday she took eight steps two times! I’m telling you, I can hardly stand the excitement.

Already, I’m daring to hope she’ll be soon walking better than she was before she was hospitalized. With a walker, with a cane, I don’t care, just ambulate, girl, ambulate!