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Update on Erin Armstrong


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Hi all, its been 2 weeks since i posted regarding Erin (http://www.behindthegray.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?6204-Hello-all-Alan) so I thought its time I posted an update (Thanks for the prompt Sally).

Well, we spent a night with the kids in the rehab unit family bungalow (bit like travelodge), which was excellent and Erin really enjoyed it - really hard work and it tired Erin out though. Funnily enough, she hadnt had any pain relief for a couple of weeks but after 4 hours of noisy kids she needed some!! Saying goodbye to us all and pushing Erin back to the word was upsetting for her, back to reality for her I guess.

Movement wise, Erin can now take a good few steps with her physio - however, she does find it hard to control her left leg as it tends to swing about when she walks, and he knee buckles in. The physio is concerned about Erins toes, and has now given her a bigger leg brace to wear for a few hours a day. Hand wise, the news is still not that great - she can easily(ish) grip, but ungripping is still very slow. Erin still needs help getting ready etc, and I think its going to be a slow process to get that hand working.

Erin doesnt feel she has come on that well in the past few weeks, and is often inpatient with the speed of her recovery - however, when I remind her that she had a 15 hour operation and lost 15 pints of blood and had no movement at all in her left hand side 10 weeks ago, i think she has done ****** marvellous. She then agrees with me - however, I know in a few days again I will have to tell her that again when she next mentions it.

I have the OT coming out to our house on Thursday in order to measure up etc, as they think they may let Erin come home for a few hours in a month or so. The kids are looking forward to seeing HV on her timetable so much - if they are back at school on that day, I will be keeping them off.

Thanks for you support and thoughts. I tell Erin about this site and how kind/concerned the folk are on it, and I know it means alot to her.

Speak Soon.

Alan

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Alan,

Thanks for the update. It all sounds quite promising. Hope you have positive thoughts on it all. It's very true that recovery is so slow it's disheartening. It's when you really look back further and remember how it all was that you realise how far you have come and recover some hope. You tell Erin we all look forward to the day we can chat with her directly.

And as for yourself, you're doing a marvellous job. Keep up the good work.

Take care and best wishes to you both. Sally xx

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Thanks Alan, it may not appear to Erin that any improvement has been made but it really sounds as though a lot has happened. Years ago, i had a knee op and loss so much strength in my leg. It was all down to not using the muscle, it is surprising how quickly muscle deteriorates. Erin sounds as though she is doing really well and i'm another one that hopes she will be able to update us personally very soon.

She also sounds very lucky to have a caring person around that is willing to help her through this, you don't feel the pain but boy do you carers go through it.Well done and please keep up the good work and don't forget to look after yourself as well.

Gary

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Hi Alan,

Good to hear from you. It sounds to me like Erin is doing really well and although it can be a slow journey she has made progress and like you say done remarkably well. I'm sure you and the kids will keep her focused. Look forward to your next update,

Best wishes,

Sarah

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Alan Erin is doing so well, I know how frustrating it can be when progress seems so slow but she is doing fab. I hope you & the family are bearing up ok with the strain of hospital visitng (hard work). It will all be worth it when she spends a few hours at home. Fingers crossed it's soon

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Hi Alan

Erin is doing brilliantly - the home visits should boost her too - there's nothing like having your own things and creature comforts to boost you along the way.

You will have to keep reminding her and the up side to her not remembering is that she'll feel proud of herself everytime instead of comparing herself to last week or yesterday :wink:

Send her our best wishes and tonnes of encouragement.

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Hi all

Quick update on Erin's home visit. After we had our hopes built up last week following the OT's visit to measure up - her physion has put the block on any visits home for now. The reason being that the step upto the house is too high (about 6 inches!).

Erin is adamant she doesnt want to come back home in a wheelchair, even for a few hours - which I completley understand (especially saying we have a ****** awful nosey neighbour who we dont talk too - I can tell she is wondering were Erin is).

Another issue is that the physio doesnt want the kids to be around on her first visit. Im gonna argue this point with the physio - as thats the days the kids are always asking when its going to happen. The kids are part of this house, and I want them there. Chances are, they will go about their usual business after 10 minutes anyhow!

We have a review meeting on Thursday with her physio/OT/doctor - I hope its a useful session, and not just another tick in the box like the previous 2 meetings we have had at the rehab centre (Social Workers & Counsellors).

Thanks for all the kind words folks. I pass them all on to Erin, and it keeps her going. I have taken the spare laptop into rehab for her - so she will be online soon.

Alan

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Hi Alan,

What a shame they have put the idea for a home visit on the back burner for the sake of a step. Is there one at the back door too? I do trhink they should reconsider allowing the children to be there. I'm sure It would be better for Erin if they were there. It can only do good to experience a little bit of "before". They are old enough to want to help her to the best of their ability. I hope you succeed in acheiving that scenario. As for Nosy neighbours. I have one I don't get along with too. Not her business.:prrr:

I hope they will let you bring her home real soon as I'm sure she will be desperate for that day herself.

Look forward to seeing her here soon too.

Take care Sally xx

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Thanks for the update.

It's annoying when we get our hopes up about something only to suffer a setback. Recovery is often a journey, not a destination, and it's human nature to feel really peeved when another hurdle appears.

I now allow myself to feel angry for a moment or two. (I used to be far too in control of my emotions, but I'm unsure whether this is always the correct approach.) These days, it's that 'fire in my belly' that allows me to progress and improve upon my situation. I appreciate that you and Erin may be disappointed with recent events, but you strike me as a couple who will use this disappointment to spur you on to the next stage. I wish you both well.

Good luck for Thursday. I think it's fantastic that Erin will be online soon and communicating with us. She'll find a lot of support here. Send her my best wishes.

Lynne

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Hi Alan

I think the physio will be thinking about how tiring it will be for Erin to have the kids around, but sometimes the fatigue is worth it. Even though after doing something that we know we are going to be left shattered and with headaches, it's worth it! But that's a conversation for you and the physio.

My GP told me, in the early months of recovery, not to think about recovery as going forwards and then having setbacks. He said think of it as having ups and downs. Up days were good days where you can do more and use up more energy, down days are healing days, healing days are getting better days!

Good luck for Thursday and looking forward to Erin getting online.

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well this is wierd! i've been reading through bits of this site and seeing myself talked about in third person is strange!

first of all i want to say hi to you all and mostly thank you - alan has been telling me about the site and your stories and it has helped us both enormously, your support is so appreciated. I will over time read your stories / updaes myelf but it difficult finding a long 'stint' of time at the moment; my timetable here has increased over last few months so im always busy just now, which is a good thing i guess!

secondly, i apologise now for my typing, it will probs have letters missing - im finding it difficult to type using just one hand and my eyeight isn't great.

as alan said ive only just come online fter 3 months and its hard to keep track of all thats gone on in the last 3 months, i cant keep up! its strange as ive kind of been locked away from it all i guess but ill get there.

anyway ill not be able to type up as much as id of liked as its hard doing it all now but as soon as poss ill put an update/my story on the introduce yourself page - i dont want to put same stuff on here and duplicate it!!! i will put my full stoy on there though so id appreciate any advice and support you could offer there too.

im doing well regaining strengh and my left leg is coming on great, my arm an hand are too albeit at a slower rate. i think my greatest frustration is not being able to use my arm and hand in everyday tasks. i am on trck to be walking certainly by discharge - nov/dec - if not before so m happy with that. my hand and arm while gtting better are difiult to incorporate into what i do on daily basis so i am tending only to rely on my right arm which i dont want to do. for example, its amzing how dificult it is just to go on laptop when you only use hand...v frustrating.

my left eye has also b een affected and my hearing and ive been told nothing can be done - it may correct itself and may not. that is worrying me too but i am getting on with things and hoping for the best. i have a sort of bright light always present in my left field of vision..i can stil see from it etc but it does cover some letters over. its v annoying. my hearing - only when i hear music or a loud, continued noise - is muffled. not for dialogue just music. id be vry interested to hear if anyone else has experienced this from having an sah? no medical person seems to know anything about these problems, nor can offer any advice.

well i'll leave it there for now, as i said ill put the full story on elsewhere on this site, i realy ont want to bore people too much with tales of woe!! im aware of how lucky ive been, sometimes i really do have to remind myself of that.

i hope you are all well and thank you again sincerely, i look forward to reading your stories very soon.

love erin x

Edited by Erin
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Hi Erin,

A very big welcome to you - it is wonderful to have you here in person, you have done remarkably well with your post today and Alan has done a great job of keeping us updated.

You are doing really well and I'm sure you will find much advice and support on here over the coming months.

I wish you well with your walking target and hope everything else improves over time - I expect it will take a lot of sheer determination and hard work, so don't worry about posting your story just yet. I hope your two children are ok - love and best wishes to you all,

Sarah

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Hi Erin

Welcome to BTG its lovely to see you posting dispite all your present difficulties and I imagine it must have felt very strange reading about yourself in the third-person. I hope you achieve your walking goal and that your hand/arm start to improve soon. Wishing you all the best with your recovery over the coming months and hope that you are soon at home again with your lovely husband and children. Look forward to hearing more from you when you feel able.

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Hi Erin, great to read some of your own words. Take your time and be good to yourself.

The brain is a fantastic organ with amazing powers of recovery and self healing. We have to learn to give it time which can be very frustrating at times.

Look forward to hearing more from you when you are able. It dos not have to a long message just a few words.:wink:

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Hi Erin

A very warm welcome to the site and to the family. It's really nice to "see" you on here in person :wink:

Alan has been keeping us updated with your progress, but its wonderful to see you on here typing away - and your post was amazing considering the obstacles.

I hope you continue to recover at the remarkable rate you have done so far. Looking forward to talking to you more.

Take care of you.

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