We walked in and the first thing out of Lara's mouth is, "I walked today." Yes again, the squeal. We will address that in a second.
She had just come back from lunch, but instead of in her bed she was in her wheel chair. One of the things they work on with her is just her endurance of being up and awake and not sleeping all day. So while she is sitting there Lisa offers to brush her hair. She had been growing it out for her wedding so it is pretty long. Now remember she has two shaved spots on her head, one in the front on the left side where they had the drain, which is now stitches, and one in the back right where they put in her shunt. That one has stitches too, but is also kinda like a big bouncy ball under her scalp...not that it bounces, but that's about the size. Back to her hair. They put her shunt in a week ago this past Tuesday. Ever since that surgery when we brush her hair there was a lot coming out. Some, we thought was from the shaving for the shunt, and we knew some would come out just from stress and trauma. Yesterday Lara had mentioned cutting her hair. It hurts her to brush it and it gets tangled very, very bad. So she was thinking something kinda short, less to tangle. Lara has been concerned about her hair as I have mentioned before and we keep reassuring her that James, (James Harris from Sugardaddy's Salon in downtown Port Orchard who is AMAZING) can work his magic with anything and not to worry. Well today as Lisa is brushing her hair, she extracts the usual wad of hair and looks at me and points. So I go to the back of Lara...bald. She has a pretty big bald spot on the left side now (about the size of my fist). We didn't tell Lara. We didn't want her to worry more. So, that is something you all could be praying for. That for a moment in time Lara may not have hair, but that she doesn't let it crush her spirit for that moment. And James...get to work!
We only got to see Lara do PT today. Technically we aren't supposed to get to go upsairs to the gym. But we got to today, yay. They got her up there and put some shoes that they have and this long brace in the back of the shoe to help Lara on her left ankle so she doesn't roll it. Her therapist takes her to the hallway, parks her by the wall with a railing and tells her she is gonna show us how she walked this morning. I was so excited. The therapist helps Lara stand up and Lara is hanging on to the railing. Another therapist takes away her chair so she can't try to sit down. The therapist takes her left leg and moves it forward for her, Lara steps with her right. The therapist moves her left leg again, and Lara steps again with her right. It was awesome to see. Don't get me wrong. Today, Lara could not walk by herself. Yes, someone has to move her left side for her because she still can't move it. But just to see her up and out of that chair was like...well there is nothing I can really compare it too. I wanted to cry, squeal, yell how awesome she was, hug her, and then cry again. Lara in two sessions (she needs a break) walked almost the whole hallway. Between the morning session and the afternoon session of PT Lara walked about 45 feet. I KNOW, RIGHT? (you can squeal, cry and yell how awesome she is now). The last go round of walking she was tired. She doesn't always have the confidence she can do it. Even her right side is unstable, just from laying in bed for 3 weeks. So she gets scared she is going to fall. I am just proud that when she thought she couldn't do anymore, she pushed on for about 7 more steps...that's when the growing happens.
Then Lara got back in her chair and practiced wheeling herself down the hall with just her right foot and right hand. She did pretty well...kinda fast even. At one point she did start crying. Saying she wanted to get out of there and she wanted to go to thanksgiving at the Byrd's. Finally we had to tell her we would talk about that down stairs and now is time for PT. By the time we did get back down stairs and back in her room she was better emotionally.
On a way more personal note and I may get in trouble for this... but Lara used the actual toilet today too. With the help of two nurses she got in there, and they even closed the door some and just stood outside it until she was done. I know, some are thinking...why in the world would you share something like that. Here's why...she can balance enough to be left alone! (In basically a caged in toilet with all the bars they have around it.) Besides that, wouldn't you want a little celebration for your first time to sit on a toilet in 24 days?