December 4, 2008 7:30pm

Dear Friends and Family,

I know I said in my last e-mail that I wouldn't be "chatting" every night from here on in but I wanted to get this one out before I hit the hay!

Mom had a good day but was much more weary and weak than yesterday. I believe it was due to having a two hour nap, which greatly energized her yesterday and not getting any nap at all today. It was a busy day for her and she enjoyed all of her visitors...friends, family and her incredible "following" of nurses and doctors who all stop in just to hug her and wish her well. She was much more noticably tired and didn't walk with quite as much "gusto" as she did yesterday. She also failed her step climbing test. The PT told her not to get too discouraged but she definately WAS. She hasn't used her upper leg and hip muscles for a very long time and she couldn't even lift her leg to take one step. I had left for a few hours to get some chores done but when I returned around 3PM, the PT, Jill was waiting to talk to me. She told me that she was right on the fence as to what to suggest for Mom's strongest recovery plan. She definately feels that Mom needs a home
environment right now, after 5 weeks in the hospital and would benefit greatly on the emotional side of things. She is wary of the fact that Mom might not progress as quickly or might actually go backwards in terms of her strength and well-being if we are not VERY strict with her exercise routine, her diet and HER REST!! She will be on a very, very tight schedule, with three different health care providers coming on a rotating basis, 3-4 times a week and we will be doing the work with her the rest of the time. In a rehab facility, she would have very limited visitation; have a hospital diet and would get therapy twice a day, seven days a week. This is where the whole scenario gets tricky. We have all heard your loving requests to come for a visit now that she is "home" but we just can't allow her to get more weakened or sick right now. She has worked so very hard to get well enough to be allowed to leave the hospital and that is such a huge
accomplishment for her. As much as we and she would love to be able to enjoy everyone's company and a nice visit from all of you who have mentioned wanting to stop by, we just have to adhere to the specialists' requirements for her REST. I know some of you who have already mentioned that you will be dropping by tomorrow or the next day, please try to understand that if she was able, she would LOVE having you all in for a hug and a cup of coffee with her. She misses the island and everyone there soooooooo much and can't WAIT to be back to her strong self again but this is going to be a long, long recovery as far as her strength goes.

She probably won't be going to bed in their upstairs bedroom possibly until Spring! To give everyone an idea of her overall strength right now, I will try and give you an example from today's situation. She washed her own face and was EXHAUSTED doing so. So, I washed the rest of her and slathered her with cream because she is soooo dried out from diaretics and very dry hospital air. I brushed her dentures and she swished her mouth. She needs help getting up from a sitting position, even holding onto the walker and needs help with every aspect of the most personal cleaning and wiping. I'm getting very good at all that, if I do say so myself! She can only walk about 8-10 steps without having to sit down and we don't have a seat on the walker that is coming home with us tomorrow. She will still be using a commode and so I have put up a curtain into the makeshift bedroom/livingroom for her privacy, as her commode would be in the direct line of vision down the hall from the front door/mud room!

The next week or so will be a trial test to see if she is going to improve in a home environment. If she just remains the same or weakens, there will be no choice but to move her to a re-hab facility. She really HATES the thoughts of going there right now. So, we REALLY want this plan to be successful and you can all help that happen if you can try and be patient with her and allow her to rest and get the help she needs so that she can come home quickly...maybe by Xmas. That's the goal she is trying to achieve.

I can't tell you how much our family is touched by everyone's desire to take time out of their busy schedules, especially this time of year, to consider visitng her here. It shows what a loving, special place we call home and the people who make up the island community is second to none! All of your support and cards and hugs have kept us all going, truly! Please help us get through this last phase of Mom's recovery by respecting the doctor's advice and seeing if we can make her Xmas-at-home wish a reality. Even when she returns home to the island, she will still have a very, very long ways to go before she is "good as new". We are trying to decide how best to limit her visitors and phone calls. We may have to have a visiting schedule and please forgive us, we may need to leave a "patient is resting" sign on the front door and be unhooking the phone once in a while. But, we'll cross that bridge when we are lucky enough to get there. Please know that we
appreciate so much the love that you have shown her and I know you all want her well and strong as much as we do. Thank you soooo much for understanding and waitng a bit!!

Love and prayers to all,
Bev and Family