This note from Charlie Delp:

Hi Friends of Marilyn, I got to see Marilyn this morning between her shower and her rehab. Becky and her husband were with her and mentioned that the Florida Hospital staff is taking good care of her in room 643. She is busy much of the morning but mid to late afternoons are usually best times to visit. If you call the Hospital at 971-6000 you can get someone to tell you her schedule that day. Marilyn is in and out of pain and memory bouts. When told that I was visiting, she didn’t remember who Charlie is, but she immediately recognized me and asked if I still love her. She looks great with her hat and all. Becky encourages us to stay as long as conversation is going well. She misses company, I’ll copy Donna’s helpful note below:
Cheers,
Charlie

Begin forwarded message:

Hi Charlie,

Jerry and I just returned home from the hospital visiting with Marilyn & Becky. Marilyn is coming along, but still looking at a long recovery ahead. She passed her swallow test several days ago, but her swallowing muscles need more time to be able to handle water-like fluidity. They must use a thickener, even in water to be safe with her swallowing. So visitors must be alerted NOT to give her anything to drink, unless it has thickener mixed with it!!! She does ask for water frequently to keep her throat from feeling parched.

She is now on the 6th floor in the Rehab Unit at the hospital. I think her room # is 643, but that can change if they decide to relocate her! Presently, she is right across from the nursing station, which helps Becky when she needs something.

Marilyn is receiving various types of therapy ( physical mostly right now). They must keep her out of the bed, dressed, and either in a wheelchair or a recliner for some periods of time during the day. They get her walking a little bit at a time with a walker.

Besides the various medical issues, Marilyn is suffering from some depression now. As she progresses medically, she is realizing many of the challenges she faces ahead.

Visits from friends are sorely needed now, I feel. But they should be relatively short visits, unless Becky is there and can use some help of errands done for her (like getting her some Starbucks coffee from the deli on the main floor..).Marilyn’s room is rather small but there are 2 chairs for visitors.

Marilyn complains about not knowing anything about what is going on. So hearing from her WOW and other OLLI friends should lift her spirits. Right now, she does not have her hearing aids so you have to speak up for her to hear you. And side conversations that she can’t her frustrate her. She wants to know what everyone is saying.

She is concerned about her appearance to her friends. I told her no one cared about how she looks (after all,she has half her head shaved and a zipper-like strip of staples where they opened her skull!!!). But you know how Marilyn cares about her appearance. Becky bought her a little hat and has a few scarves she can tie around her head to cover the staples.

Becky recommends phoning to the Rehab desk (813) 615-7565 to find out if Marilyn is scheduled for some therapy at certain times. And when she finishes with therapy, she is pooped and may be asleep in the afternoon. But it is ok to visit then, and she will most likely wake up to visit.

Tell people NOT to bring gifts such as candy, cookies, etc. unless they want to give them to the nurse! Marilyn has to be very careful to only get prescribed food stuffs due to the swallowing issue.

I hope this is all helpful, Charlie. There aren’t very many family members locally to spend time with Marilyn, and Becky right now is the “angel” and I don’t know how much more Becky can handle. She has engaged Ann, a local woman who had been coming to Marilyn’s home to help her. She is spending some hours now which gives Becky a break for at least a few hours at a time.
Donna Gilbert.

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