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Zahava Recovery – October 16th 2011

Hello again, here is the latest news on the recovery of my mother, Zahava.

Zahava has been through a tough month or so. Unfortunately about six weeks ago her active left hand pulled out the trachy tube from her throat one night on the weekend. This is not a good thing as it causes quite a bit of trauma and she needs it in to help her breath.

The emergency team were called in and put in a new trachy, but unfortunately the damage was done, setting us back a few weeks.

Since then she has been on a roller coaster ride of respiratory issues, often resulting in changes to plans at the last minute, multiple doses of antibiotics just in case of infection, and several not-so-fun late night emergencies. We have been taking it day by day, dealing with each challenge as it comes.

The week before last Zahava had another new trachy put in place, this time deliberately, with a new mechanism that allows some of the secretions to be removed from the top of her cuff. Since then she has had a stable 10 days thanks to some extra cautious planning doing not much more than the basics.

The goal now is to maintain the stability and slowly again begin the process towards removing the trachy from her throat so she can drink, eat and hopefully talk again. In order for this to happen the important thing is for Zahava to practice swallowing, which is what we do every day.

Physio continues, with Zahava having taken a few steps standing up, albeit with several people holding her up. She tires very quickly and sleeps a couple of hours after most physio sessions.

The timeframe for her recovery is unknown, but very likely we are talking years for a complete recovery. For the moment we take a little tiny step forward each day, with the main current goal of getting the trachy out of her throat.

Visitors Welcome

I asked Zahava last week if she would like guests to come visit and she said she is ready for people to come and say hello (with a nod of her head).

Bear in mind her short term memory is not good and she cannot talk to you, so if you do decide to come visit you have to be able to carry a one-way conversation and stick to positive subjects. Zahava would like to hear about the good things going on in your life. She can listen, and respond with smiles, yes and no with her head, facial expressions and hold your hand with her left hand.

She has good long term memory, so will remember who you are assuming she knew you before the stroke.

The best times to visit are Monday at 5Pm, Wednesday at 4PM, Thursday at 5pm or Saturday and Sunday from 3pm onwards. Phil or myself should be with Zahava during these times.

Officially visiting hours are 10am to 1pm and 3pm to 8pm. Chances are if you show up in the mornings Zahava will be working with a physio, speech pathologist, doctor, nurse or occupational therapist, so I recommend the times suggested. I also recommend you plan a short visit of about 30 minutes maximum.

Zahava is located on Level 7BNorth of the Royal Brisbane in the main building, Ned Hanlon, currently bed 48 (check at reception as the bed number can change as we get moved around if you are reading this long after the publication date).

As always, please please please keep the prayers coming, the well wishes and positive thoughts – Zahava needs it all if she is to get through this and recover something like the life she had before.

Thank you for the support.

Yaro and Phil and of course, Zahava.