Libby Lehman Update — 10-18-13

Libby LehmanUpdate for 10-4-13:

Libby has been moved from the second floor rehab center at University Place to the first floor nursing care center because she was not able to complete the rehab center’s very aggressive therapy regimen. The therapy she continues to receive is much less intense, and the hope is that she will be able to recuperate, rest and regain enough strength to attempt a more stringent course of therapy in the future.

From her sister Ellen last night:

Lester called and said Libby is having an okay day, but she is still Very weak and her speech is limited and very soft. He met the new speech therapist named Ellerly, a very nice lady, today, and he liked her very much and said Libby responded well to her. Libby responded with a soft “yes” or “no” to most of her questions.

Ellerly was aware that Libby had been speaking more a few weeks ago, and Ellerly had obviously done her “homework” on Libby’s case. Ellerly got Libby to swallow a few teaspoons of water, although she said Libby did it with the absolute minimal movement so Libby is not ready for more yet. In answer to Lester’s question about us giving Libby anything to drink, Ellerly said “not yet” because the risk of Libby aspirating is too high. We can use those spongey swab things to moisten her lips if needed. Ellerly told Lester she is talking to Dr. Ruiz and will come up with a four week plan for Libby.

Ellerly also had Libby’s bed moved so that Libby has to look to the left to see the tv, which she seems to be watching more than ever. The former position of the bed was not providing any stimulation on the left and Ellerly was afraid it would be easy for Libby’s brain to “forget” about that side of the body. (Have to chuckle just a little as it seems each of us has had an opinion on where the bed should be located, and we have moved it almost every day. At least for now, we are sticking with an expert’s recommendation. Bet Libby would be glad to know the bed shuffling is over for a while.) As Lester left he blew Libby a kiss and she returned the gesture but did not say anything to Lester this morning.

Susan Gartner found Libby to be taking it easy later in the day but said Libby seemed to be less focused and “awake but not very present”. Susan was also told that Libby did vomit some this morning, so she is not free completely yet from this obstacle, unfortunately.

Today I received a quilt made by 26 of Libby’s friends and fellow teachers which includes a square from each of them and is entitled “Loving Libby Through”. Of course, it is gorgeous! The intent was explained to me as a comforting warm “hug” for Libby and also for it to be used as a tool for her in therapies to identify the squares and the donors’ by name. I can’t wait to take it to Libby tomorrow and if technology does not baffle me too much, I will include a photo of it on CaringBridge tomorrow.

Lester is still trying to talk to Libby’s neurologist to see what is happening about the 3 day seizure test. Ellerly knew all about this type test and said it is fairly non-intrusive and just involves some electrodes taped on Libby’s head above her ears and a video camera attached to the foot of her bed. Although Libby does not seem to be plagued with seizures now, at least to our untrained eyes, it will be good to get that verified for the doctor’s research data on Libby. Lester also said the white folder in Libby’s room has all the therapists’ names, phone numbers, and reports for any caregiver that wants to review the folder.

Lester continues to be very pleased by the level of concern and care that Libby is receiving downstairs at U.P. The nurses talked to him about how they change her position in bed every few hours, using the blue foam supports, to try to prevent any breaking down of her skin. They also seem to be very aware of Libby’s limitations and how to help her. Thank God for these caregivers and their ongoing kind and professional service!

Team Libby continues to hope and pray for better health and recovery for Libby. Some days she is better than others and today seems to be somewhere in the middle. We all look forward to the day Libby will be stronger and better able to communicate so that her quality of life will improve. A few weeks ago she was closer to that goal but we still have Hope she WILL get there! Thank you all for your continued prayers for patience and strength for us all and powerful and rejuvenating healing for Libby.

Update for 10-16-13

We have two Libby updates this evening. First, from Libby’s sister Cathy, about a planned exhibit honoring Libby and her work at the International Quilt Festival in Houston.

      We are so thrilled to learn that Quilt Festival Houston is going to honor Libby with a One Woman’s Exhibit of Libby’s work in their show  October 31st – Nov. 3rd in Houston this year.  Karey Bresenhan, Founder of Quilt Festival Houston, has contacted Libby’s family with a request to honor Libby’s work at this show.  I am asking anyone who has purchased or has possession of any of Libby’s work to contact Karey Bresenhan at kareyb@quilts.com.  Libby’s family is eager to represent Libby’s best work at this fabulous show.   Thank you

Kudos to the International Quilt Festival for remembering Libby!

Then, from Libby’s sister Ellen, a report on how Libby is progressing in her new care situation:

What a day! First, we are so excited about the exhibit of Libby’s work being organized by Karey Bresenhan! (See Cathy’s prior journal entry entitled “Quilt Festival in Houston to Honor Libby” by hitting the “read Journal history” button on this page.) What an honor for Libby and also, a good way for people to get to know her work and a little about Libby too. All of us on Team Libby are going to take some turns individually to be at the exhibit at various times to meet and greet the visitors. We hope all the visitors will have on name tags, as we will, so we can recognize some of the names from our loyal Caringbridge contributors and get to thank you all personally for your support and dedication. Should be fun!

On another front, the staff on the first floor of UP is getting to know Libby better each day, too- up close and personal! Today Doris reported she was enjoying a good visit with Libby, who was sitting up in her recliner chair in the hall, alert and trying to talk. They were discussing many things when Libby looked around and said clearly, “some people are crazy.” Some of the staff heard her and began to laugh and asked, “did she say some of us are crazy?” Libby’s nodding head and giggles confirmed it, along with Doris as a witness, and pretty soon Libby was being quoted down the hall to other staff members, and Doris said Everyone was laughing, especially Libby.
What a fun day at UP, and they don’t know the half of it yet- wait til Libby starts telling jokes and they Really get to know her. They are in for some tricks and treats!

Lester and Cathy also visited Libby, but they did not get to experience the hilarity. Cathy said Libby was sleepy (probably worn out from being a comedienne) when she visited later in the day. Today was shower day for Libby, which is a “good and bad” thing from her perspective since she told Cathy it was a “cold” experience.

However, Libby should be looking her best for son Les tomorrow morning when he comes to visit. He got in too late today, but will be here several days, so that is always a special time for Libby and Lester. On Libby’s behalf I say, “Happy Birthday, Les”, and I’m sure she will give you a belated kiss and “love you” tomorrow. Sweet dreams tonight, Libby and all those getting to know her!
You’re gonna’ love her!

Yes, indeed. As her new care givers get to know her better, they’re gonna love her, all right. Just like we do.

Update for 10-18-13:

Two updates from Libby’s sister Cathy. The first has more information about the upcoming exhibit at the International Quilt Festival in Houston:

Several of you have asked for more detailed information about the Houston Quilt Show and the one woman exhibit of Libby’s quilts.

The Show will be at the George Brown Convention Center in Houston and is open to the public October 31st – November 3rd from 10:00 am – 7pm except Sunday, Oct 31st when it closes at 4:00pm.  There is also a Preview Night open to the public on Oct. 30th from 7:00pm to 10:00pm.   Daily admission is $12.  For more info. go to their website at quilts.com/home/shows.
Libby’s exhibit will be on the main floor of Hall D.  I do not yet know the exact location.  We will be posting at the exhibit the hours that members of Team Libby will be there to greet you.  There will be a secure drop box for donations to the Libby Lehman Medical Fund.  The exhibit will also be open at the Trade Show Quilt Market (which is not open to the public) on Oct.26 – 28.
Again, kudos to Karey Bresenhan, Founder and Director Emeritus of this Quilt Show, and her wonderful staff for making this happen.  We would also like to thank Chaille Voelkel for all of her assistance to Libby and her family in organizing, recording and photographing Libby’s quilts for this special exhibit.
For those of you who cannot attend the exhibit, we will share some pictures of it with you on this site [Caring Bridge].

And then a report on her visit with Libby this afternoon:

Wow! what a difference a week can make! I just returned from a visit with Libby. She was visiting with Lester when I got there, sitting in the hallway. She smiled when I came up to her, and laughed when I told her that I guess I would have to wait in line to talk to her. I told her again about the exhibit of her quilts at Quilt Festival, and she was pleased. We looked together at cards and letters she has received in the past few days, and she seemed to really enjoy them, trying to hold them with both her right and left hand. She had a very busy day with both Les, her son, and Diane Alexander, Lester’s niece, visiting in the morning and Les and Lester both visiting in the early afternoon. She said she was tired, but she actually looked more awake and alert than I have seen her in weeks. She tried to speak in sentences, choosing her words carefully. She didn’t say that much, but I had a much higher percentage of understanding what she was saying than usual. She told me that she had gone outside yesterday with Ellen and Bill and loved it. Unfortunately it was raining today. I hope that she will be able to sit in her wheelchair again soon because it is much easier to move around that the big chair she is in now. Anyway, I loved our time together today. Fingers crossed that each day is better than the one before!

So, if any of you will be in Houston for either Quilt Market or the International Quilt Festival, be sure to add the Libby Lehman exhibit to your must-see list. And, for all of us, let’s keep Libby in our thoughts and prayers.

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2 Responses to Libby Lehman Update — 10-18-13

  1. Thank you for sharing. Libby’s situation is a reminder to all of us of how fragile life is. Make the most of today!

  2. Cindy McKissack Weaver says:

    Hi everyone. This is Cindy McKissack. I wanted each of you to know that I have Libby in my prayers. Mom told me about her tonight and needless to say I am concerned about her and her progress. I am a nurse and understand all that is going on in her recovery process. Please include me in your updates. I know its been years since we have seen each other but I always thought so much of you family. I have her on several prayer list here in Sulphur Springs where I live.

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