Thursday, September 29, 2005

VDOs

I was talking to a physical therapist and she recommended giving steve some videos of things he likes to do. This will stimulate brain activity and help reconnect nerves in those areas of the body. Also pictures of him or someone else playing guitar, drumming, skateboarding, snowboarding will help remind him and his body what it used to do and may be able to do again!

Besides sports I know he loved watching cooking shows (especially Lidia) and latino soap operas with beautiful women....ha! the truths out now.

rock star

Steve does have a large fan club including many hot chicks! When people visit, check that his water is within reach and maybe whether he's had any. we've noticed that sometimes it is not readily available to him. His cousin brought a special bottle that he can drink from very easily that should be right by the bed. Also, if we can remind him that his medicine is preventing seizures at this time, which may be crucial for him to get better so he should not refuse it. (the nurse brings it in a little cup of applesauce).
He has an ankle brace for the right foot that will help to maintain the skin integrity and prevent foot drop. The nurse says he doesn't want to wear it at night. Putting a pillow under the right foot so that the heel is not touching the bed, can help his skin in the same way if you are there. It seems that the gentle reminders of why he's asked to do these things might reassure him overall.
FYI: benefit upcoming October 19 at the Oakland Metro 201 Broadway. More details forthcoming.
also More videos are great! Keep em coming!! movies, cool tv shows, etc.

i think steve likes girls!

yesterdays visit was cool. when i got there he was watching "father of the bride". he smiled and gave me a one armed hug, a big one. i asked him a bunch of questions and he responded by either shaking his head for yes or saying no. when i told him about getting hit by a car he said "wow". he smiled alot during the visit! he is making sounds and moving his mouth and is very expressive. when i left, i told him, i'd bring him some movies and he shook his head, (he's got a vhs player in his tv). rachel wanted to come but she was catching a cold. a bit later siobhan and some other friends were visiting him, so i went back to the hospital to pick up some t-shirts from her. i go in and there is steve grinning from ear to ear surrounded by women! they had brought him a black sabbath video and that was playing. he was in really good spirits.

aside: i wore my stiles "donny will rip you to shreds" t-shirt to work last week (the t-shirt printed for his benefit). i had a bunch of people wanting them, and two people donated $ on the spot. so now i've got t-shirts to sell with me at work. so you can get one from me too on the nights i work at zeitgeist thursdays and sundays after 8pm or email me: yomamahar@earthlink.net

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

oops

Sorry I meant Acupuncturist in the blog below.
thanks again.... ;)

Right Foot Twitched


This is the best news yet. I was visiting steve on Monday and while I was doing some acupressure on him his right foot moved along with his left as if he was drumming. It was repeated after a minute or so. I couldn't believe my eyes. This is such a great sign. I'm wondering if he still needs to have his foot put in a brace at night to prevent "dropsy" Can someone ask the nurse or therapist if its still necessary? I was there for the past six days and never saw it on him in the evening....hmmm...just wondering. His right arm is subluxed (sp?) which means it becomes dislocated extremely easily. So check when you're in there to make sure he has a pillow under it. The tendons and muscles aren't strong enough to support it yet. I'm so hopeful for steve. He also is speaking in fragments and mini-sentences. We may be able to get him an Acupressurist to give him some treatments. Does anyone know of someone great in the area? Send the info to lavarain@hotmail.com and I'll follow-up on them for steve. Thanks!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

good day

Sunday seems to be a day of rest for our Steve, we brought beef and broccoli, as well as some fresh tomatoes right from Steve's home garden, and dates. It seems to be good to show him what you have and also name it for him. The nurses have been asking us to help encourage him to take his medications lately, he has it in applesauce and one of them is a seizure med. which is pretty important. He hasn't wanted to take them all the time. We encourage him to take it in order to get better and be able to go home sooner. Also, to stay really positive about continuing to do the therapies even though it's hard and probably frustratingly slow at times. I brought in some oat oil and left it in the top drawer of the little table by the bed. It is supposed to be really good for rejuvenating brain cells. "Oat straw and the grain are prescribed to treat general debility and a wide range of nervous conditions. They are mildly antidepressant, gently raising energy levels and supporting an over-stressed nervous system. They are of particular value in helping a person to cope with the exhaustion that results from multiple sclerosis, chronic neurological pain and insomnia. Oats are thought to stimulate sufficient nervous energy to help relieve insomnia."
P.S. we have benefit shirts now ready on the main site, you can order one to be shipped to you or e-mail me and I can arrange a way to get them to you if you live locally.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Helping Steve with his Aphasia

I sat in for Steve's speech therapy yesterday afternoon. The speech therapist, (Debbie) gave me an informational handout on what Aphasia is, and what we can do to help Steve with his communications. I've transcribed the pamphlet into a web page and posted it here: http://www.defiance1.com/aphasia.html I think it will help everyone help Steve get his language skills back.

I think Steve and I had a good first chat in his room after this therapy. I'm looking forward to many more.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Steve talked!

Kate and I brought him a copy of Bad News (he put it in himself, and rewound the tape before pressing play) on Sunday morning, and as we were watching it, I asked him if he wanted to be in a Bad News cover band with me and he said "No."

:)

Sunday, September 18, 2005

BENEFIT SHOW and shirts


please take note and advertise FREELY
thank you. We'll have a flyer up hopefully soon as well!!


PyratePunxPresents:
Steve chinn'z Dr. bill benifit,
DEATHTOLL,
ONE IN THE CHAMBER,
SHORT CHANGED.
Sunday September 18th, year o' no lord 2005
@ the GOLDEN BULL
412 14th @ Broadway, OAKLAND.
6 p..m. door, 7 p.m. show
21+ (no baby's)
-Chief Blackdawg out

Thursday, September 15, 2005

SPEECH


Sheila said...

Hi Rachel. Today I talked more with the Speech therapist. Steve has whats called "Aphasia" as a result from the aneurysm. Aphasia can affect all the language areas -speaking, understanding, reading and writing- in varying degrees. Steves intelligence has not decreased...aphasia is a "language" problem.
As far as Speech therapy right now there testing his cognitive abilities with flash cards, direct yes/no type questions and other excercises. She said there trying to keep things very simple for right now, until he is able/ready to try an make some sounds. For right now he is not able to make any sounds. Tips she gave me for communicating with Steve :

Use simple, direct statements to not confuse Steve.Its difficult for him to understand long sentences.

Ask short questions that require only a "yes" or "no" answer.

Gesture when you speak.

Talk about familiar subjects.

Decrease or eliminate distractions, turn tv/radio off while talking to Steve.

Watch for body language, facial expressions may indicate if your message or question was understood.

Steve seemed to be more relaxed today and not as restless. I think all the therapy there doing is helping. And of course all the love his friends are giving him :)

Saturday, September 10, 2005

brain hasty pastry


this web site is a real trip, here is the pathway:
http://brain.hastypastry.net/forums/archive/index.php/f-80.html

one of the posts on there had this response to a question:

"Technically 3 months is very early on in a rupture recovery. She essentially took 1 giant step forward by making it thru the surgery, and then many steps backwards with the ARDS and other setbacks. The skull flap was left out probably on purpose to allow the brain to swell, as it always does in ruptures of that degree. If the flap was put back in too early, and the brain was not done swelling, it could have caused many other life threatening problems. This is the patience testing time for all of you. Recovery now will be in baby steps, but she's taking them and that's a good thing. She had an awful lot of blood in her brain (where it should not be) and blood is an irritant to the brain - kind of like sandpaper. It takes TIME to reabsorb, and until it does, she'll have headaches, tremors and she won't move ahead as quickly as everyone would like. Alot of trauma has occurred in her brain and the brain has it's own agenda for healing. Time, patience and love will be very important to you. She'll no doubt need some physical and occupational therapy. Recovery time for any injury to the brain is USUALLY 12-24 months. She'll look fine, but it will take her some time to FEEL fine. Keep us posted, and know that she and your family will be in my prayers


very very interesting, this was talking about a "she" but it could be about our friend also, who is a 'he"

more new days

the helmet is only worn for therapy and times when
steve might hurt his head (like if he fell)....if he's resting in bed he won't be wearing it. also, I read about the dent that:
The dent is due to the pulling back of muscle in order to remove the skull for surgery and also it is very very common, mostly anyone who has had a craniotomy has dents in their head... it is from the temporal muscle being cut and then atrophying.... as far as i know it doesnt ever really go away but isnt that noticeable after time!
It could later be more like a 'Divet' than a dent and people say it's more noticed by the person who has it than other people.....but that'll be after rehab and surgery.

We Love Steve

new days

cousin Sheila wrote on 9/9/05

We went with him today for the move to Fairmont.Today the doctor told me Steve could be there for several months for rehab therapy...depending on how fast he improves. They advised family/friends to visit him later in the evenings because he will be very busy with therapy for most of the morning/afternoon hours. P.S if you see him with a green helmut on when you visit him, please don't joke about it, it really pissed him off and got him upset to wear it. He kept trying to rip it off. Thanks :)

(p.s. maybe later somehow the helmet can be made "cool" somehow)

Friday, September 09, 2005

MOVING AGAIN to SAN LEANDRO

Steve is now at Fairmont Hospital rehab.
It is building H room 32 on the 2nd floor.
Nurses station phone # is 510 667-7933
visiting hours there are 9 AM to noon and 2 Pm to 9 PM
directions below


here are the #'s to Fairmont Main # 510-667-7800,and
central appointments 510-667-3218
Fairmont Hospital
I-580 EAST toward HAYWARD
Take the 150TH AVENUE exit toward FAIRMONT DR - go 0.2
mi
Turn Left on 150TH AVE - go 0.1 mi
Turn Right on FOOTHILL BLVD - go 0.3 mi
Arrive at 15400 FOOTHILL BLVD, SAN LEANDRO, on the Left

Thursday, September 08, 2005

we love food and the raiders

steve is super into fresh fruit and regular food (probably kinda soft) like Pho, noodles with meat and veggies, other soups, pie etc. he is not on food restrictions at this time. He may be moving soon to Fairmont hosp. or another rehab so we'll update this page as soon as there's any word on that. The nurse thought it might be today or tomorrow but I tend to believe that they'll do the surgery prior to a move, I hope so anyway! The Raiders were winning when I left so hopefully that kept up Steve's spirits. There is a notebook with a pen in the bottom drawer of the nightstand in the belongings (white plastic) bag. I noted what he ate (banana, tangerine, berry smoothie) in addition to the full hospital dinner. Also showed him the communication board.

STILES BENEFIT by PYRATE PUNX

please take note and advertise FREELY
thank you. We'll have a flyer up hopefully soon as well!!


PyratePunxPresents:
Steve chinn'z Dr. bill benifit,
DEATHTOLL,
ONE IN THE CHAMBER,
SHORT CHANGED.
Sunday September 18th, year o' no lord 2005
@ the GOLDEN BULL
412 14th @ Broadway, OAKLAND.
6 p..m. door, 7 p.m. show
21+ (no baby's)
-Chief Blackdawg out

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

power bracelet

I brought steve back his power bracelet which he loved. It was cool with the nurse. And then I asked him if he wanted me to put it on him and he nodded yes quickly, so I put it on him. He kept picking up his wrist and checking it out. I hope it makes him feel more like himself again and sparks some memories.

Over the past four days I saw Great Signs:
he's really hungry and eating e v e r y t h i n g on his plate, I showed him a card and he took it from me, his eyes scanned it as if he was reading it, he's into communicating more now and definitely more aware of his predicament. I had a chance to work with the physical therapist and he was trying really hard. The therapist says his muscle tone is coming back. I heard his skull flap will be replaced this week!

I left him some slippery elm chewable tablets for his throat that he really liked. I told him they will help heal his throat from soreness and he's into that. If you visit steve, give him a couple. After seeing the hospital cuisine for days, I think it would also be great to bring him something thats actually nutritious like a snack that he could eat while you're there. I've read that Oats are great for regenerating brain tissue.

He's understanding so much more now and its really encouraging.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Aneurysm Porn

Lately, I have been spending a lot of time (when I should be working) reading this website, which is just a series of mostly first-hand accounts of people who have had brain aneurysms.

The range of experiences is tremendous; some people have seemingly miraculous recoveries after aneurysm, some die, and others recover partially but struggle with serious depression and other problems. I feel it has given me a greater sense of what the possibilities are for Steve's recovery, and accounts like this one are encouraging. But be warned, these are real, unedited accounts of people's experiences and not all of them are happy stories. Anyway, just wanted to post the link in case it is of interest to anyone else.

Monday, September 05, 2005

SOSA

I've got a few old SOSA song posted for those who might be interested in listening:
http://www.defiance1.com/sosa.html

GO STEVE!!!!!!

Better, stronger

Iggy and I went to go see Steve yesterday for the first time in a couple of weeks. It was the first time we'd seen Steve since he'd had his bandages off, and even though we knew he'd had a craniotomy, it was a shock to walk in and see him with a big crater in his head where the skull was removed. It must be weird for him, too, because he kept running his fingers over his head in that spot. I know it's just temporary and cosmetic, but it caught us both off guard.

Overall, though, I felt good about this visit. He's only got one tube in him now, and he seemed much more strong, energetic, and dexterous than he had two weeks ago. The aforementioned stuffed cat was sitting on his bed, and when we talked about it, he reached for it and picked it up with ease.

I have always found it hard to tell what Steve is thinking, and that is certainly the case now. Hopefully, he'll be able to tell us soon! Physically, he shifted around a lot and seemed restless and fidgety, which is understandable after nearly a month in the hospital. It was heartening to see him getting so much stronger in a relatively short period of time.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

it was a good visit

last monday visit was good but uneventful. jess and i visisted in the early afternoon and he was asleep. he opened his eyes for a brief moment and went back to sleep. we stayed for a few minutes longer but wanted to let him rest. he had other visitors earlier and the nurses had him sitting up, which i heard is exhausting for him.

but yesterday's visit, (saturday) was especially good. rachel royce and i went in together and steve was sitting up in bed watching a football game. he looked really good. when he saw us come in he seemed pleased. he opened his mouth and made a sound. (it has like a hmmm.) when i reached out my hand, he reached out his hand to grab mine. rachel was great, she had lots of stuff to tell him and you could tell steve really likes her by the way he was shaking his head and opening his mouth. he is drinking out of a cup with a straw and he can reach it and grab it just fine with his left hand. after a bit, we let him get back to watching the game.

aside: there is a guy who comes into the bar i work at, and he had been chatting with iggy and a few others. apparrently, he had gone through something similar himself, and he suggested that people go to visit him often, but to keep visits brief.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

lotion feels nice

I got a communication board at work, that the speech therapist uses and i'll see next week if he wants to try it. It has an alphabet so he can pick letters, and then pictures of some different emotions and basic needs with the names, that he can try pointing to. It is probably good to minimize distraction while trying to help him communicate, as it will be overstimulating to have tv, music and talking so maybe one at a time.