Saturday, July 31, 2010


Wow, what a difference. Craig Hospital is a dream compared to Fujiko's previous placement. When Patty and I arrived this morning, she had just finished eating scrambled eggs and apple juice(!). She said they also offered her hash browns and ham (I think it was ham - some kind of breakfast meat) but she declined. What a surprise to go from half a teaspoon of water to actual food! She said she felt like she was in a dream. As Jamie said, Fujiko has her own room now. Everything is clean and calm and organized. Fujiko said there are two nurses for every eight patients, so she is getting quality care. There is a calendar posted in her room with a schedule for the week - lots of different therapies - physical, occupational, speech - a far cry from 30 minutes 3 times a week. She will be having lots of testing done for the first week or two so that they can determine the best course of recovery. I think she is in the best place possible for a return to normal life.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

neck brace pain

The darned neck brace. It's digging into Fujiko's back. The thinner she gets, the more it bothers her. A nurse told her that she had to be in the collar until the end of September. This depressed her. Once the pain starts, it's hard to get under control. Laurie moved Fujiko's pillow more towards the top of her bed (and out from under her neck) & that seemed to help. In this position, the pillow pushed more on the top of her neck brace and leveraged the bottom of the brace away from her back - easing the rubbing and digging sensation. (at least temporarily).

She is also missing her kids terribly. Missing them, and feeling sad that she is not there for them. She mentioned the first day of school and that she will not be home for it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but it's very far away.

Tuesday update from Keri

(copied & pasted from Keri's email)

Ok I admit it. I don't know how to post a blog. I figured how to comment but can't figure out how to post a new update so
you will have to put up with yet another e-mail. She had a nice day today. I saw her around dinner time and she was in good spirits. She is on a continuous pain med so she has been more comfortable and therefore moving around more. The PT said to leave her foot brace off for 2 hours and then on for 2 hours at a time so she can practice moving her foot which she does quite well now. She is moving four fingers in her right hand but has no strength to hold a cup yet. I did see her pull her own sheets up though and she moved the call light to a better spot by herself. Her voice is coming back although it's still a bit raspy. I was commenting to the nurse that Fujiko's actual voice is very high like a young girl. Fujiko said that when telemarketers call the house they usually ask if they can talk to her mother. She said " I tell them my mom's not here right now and hang up." The nurse laughed at that and said that she could tell Fujiko must be a good friend to have since there has been a steady stream of people everyday. Her room looks great.
Wendy-I found all the nice scenery pictures you printed for her and put them back up.
All for now...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

up and down

Fujiko slept last night, so I think she was feeling much better today than she did yesterday. While Patty and I were there, her Neurologist came in and checked on her. It sounds like things are still progressing well. After the Neurologist left, a nurse said that he is the top Neurologist in the area. Fujiko's voice is noticeably stronger. There was sound behind her whisper for the entire time we were there. Once again, she expressed gratitude that so many people are helping her family. I know she would do the same...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bad Night

Fujiko had another frightening night last night. She becomes alarmed when she is in pain, she cannot find the call button, and she does not receive a visit from a nurse. I believe she is on a regular pain medication schedule now and that there may be some rest times built into Fujiko's daily schedule.

Patty send cinnamon rolls to the nurses this morning. The daytime nurses are well fed, but we need to figure out how to get those night nurses some motivation...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Operation Butter-up-the-nurses

Betsy paved the way yesterday with donuts for the nurses on Fujiko's hall. Now I'm running with your brilliant idea, Betsy. I dropped off some cookies this afternoon with a brief thank you for Fujiko's care-takers signed "Team Fujiko." Stacey is bringing goodies in the morning. It would be impossible to ignore the call button from a patient who's friends bear gifts, right? Nothing wrong with a little bribe for attentive care...

Better Night

Fujiko said last night she slept very well. It was a much better night than the one before. I think Betsy had an excellent idea in bringing donuts to the nurses yesterday. I'm sure it can feel irritating to the staff to have so many of us in and out of Fujiko's room requesting things of them and asking them questions. The more we can do to get them on our side, the better it is for Fujiko. I asked how many nurses were on duty at any given time on Fujiko's hall. It varies depending on the census, but right now there are 9 - that includes nurses, CNA's and the secretary. Day shift and night shift are staffed with the same number of people. I am going to try to run over some cookies or something later on this afternoon. I'll sign it Love, Team Fujiko. If anyone has ideas for night shift goodies (Keri?) we could add the occasional nurse bribe to the TeamFujiko rotation? Just a thought...

Blog business: any of you can publish posts on this blog. I invited all who were on the original email list to be authors. I think that allows you to invite others to be authors as well. If it doesn't, send me email addresses, and I'll send out invitations. If you know of people who would just like to read - all they need is the blog url:

It's nice to see Fujiko looking better each day. Now if only we could get her that iced tea she craves...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fantastic News!

Keri just called and asked me to update everyone (she is on the road & unable to email herself): forgive me for my un-medical terminology, but I will attempt to relay her information as accurately as possible:

As of 1:30(ish) this afternnon, three doctors had been in to see Fujiko. One of the doctors was a neuro-something. He told Fujiko that he thinks she can recover 100%! He did nerve stimulation tests, and even the fingers on her left hand (the "bad" side) responded to the stimulation which caused his optimism on her recovery. Fujiko has also got a referral to Craig Hospital. She cannot be admitted until she is stronger, but there is a wait list, so getting the referral was the first step to initiate the process.

Keri spoke with the physical therapist as well. The PT said it is okay to take the brace off of Fujiko's left foot to allow her to flex her ankle - this is good for maintaining muscle flexibility and for building strength. When Fujiko is finished exercising, put the brace back on.

Keri put one of the bouquets on Mary's side of the room. Mary was awake and mouthed "thank you" to Keri. Mike, the nurse, asked Keri (and the rest of us) not to put anything on Mary's bedside table as she tends to throw things. (!)

Keri said Fujiko was jubilant. Happy Day...

Welcome to Team Fujiko

This blog was created to help our friend and neighbor, Fujiko. May the outpouring of support be an indicator of the speedy recovery she will make.