On October 30, our mother Marilyn Davis experienced a fall in her home. We took her to Wesley’s west side emergency room, where it was decided to admit her for what at that time was to stabilize a sodium imbalance, some dehydration, and severe pain from a kidney stone. We spent a few days at the Gallicia campus, where she started to deteriorate , beginning to lose function of her limbs. It was determined that she had swelling of her spinal cord in her neck, and was transferred to the main Wesley campus. The day she arrived there, she lost all function of her limbs, and went in for surgery to relieve the pressure that evening. After a handful of days in the ICU, and a handful more in building 4’s 9th floor, she was discharged to the Wesley Rehab Hospital. Two weeks there, and she was discharged on December 3. A month of outpatient rehab at the Wesley rehab followed, and she was done by the first week of January.
Before this, our mom lived a completely normal independent life as a 70 year old. She worked part time as a sales clerk at Dillards, did alterations in her spare time at home, and was capable of doing anything she needed, including some fairly heavy yard work. As you can imagine, it was scary for all of us to have her in a hospital situation for a month, and facing an uncertain future as to whether she would resume her life as it was before.
We are pleased to be able to tell you that at every phase of her recovery, she has made as quick a recovery as anyone could have expected. By the time she left in-patient rehab, she was able to walk unassisted. It wasn’t pretty by any means, and she wasn’t going great distances, but it was enough to allow her to get around in her own home, and while she still had an issue with being unable to raise one arm, there was a good enough function in both for her to be able to take care of herself without assistance. Of course, by the end her month of outpatient rehab, she regained full use of that weak arm, regained most of her balance, and was able to use stairs again. In general, she was back. Not to 100% by any means, but close enough that is she never got any better, she could live her life much as it was before, independently, and on her own terms.
But, she has continued to make improvements. We got her a gym membership, which was a new thing for her. She was always active, but she was never a “workout” person. She goes three days a week with one of us as her “workout buddy”, and has started to make adjustments to the weights used as she has progressed beyond the lightest weights. She has even just started to pop in on her own on an off day, just because she felt like it. And, it’s not just the weights. She really likes the elliptical machine, which we do at every workout, and she has also really liked doing the bikes when she was in on her own. So she is doing great.
We wanted you to know how she was doing because we are so grateful to all of you who interacted with us along the way. You all interact with so many people all of the time, and they cycle in and out. You see them when they are at their worst, and when they are the most vulnerable. You deal with all of their needs, from urgent to the very minor. And of course, there is the bathroom and bathing stuff which we know is a constant and unpleasant challenge. What we know is that what you do is a calling. It’s not just a job, but that you really do care. We know that at each stage of what was a terrible event for our family, you were a key part of our mom getting better. The world truly is a better place for having people like yourselves in it.
We are sure that you never know how many of those you care for turn out. We know that sometimes you do hear about some outcomes that did not turn out well. So we wanted you to know that this one made a full recovery, and that while we can only offer this small token of our appreciation, that we know our family was truly blessed to have had your help when we needed it most. Thank you, on behalf of our mom, her son, and her extended family. You gave us our mom back.