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Ioana’s Most Challenging Day Yet

Tuesday, November 27th was a full day for Ioana.  This week, after a month here in the United States, the hard work was finally to begin.  She would go to Physical Therapy at 9:00 am for a one hour session.  After coming home and getting something to eat she would go to her ESL classes from 12:30-2:30.  Immediately after ESL she had a dentist’s appointment to look at a tooth that has been giving her pain.

Ioana was nervous for her first official PT session after an initial visit with Dr. Dennis Matthews at Children’s Hospital in late October and a physical therapy assessment and evaluation two weeks ago.  She was anxious to get started, but not sure what to expect.

Katie, her physical therapist, had Ioana do two assessment tests to begin her session.  She walked ten meters as fast as she could and Katie timed her.  Next, she walked as far as she could for six minutes.  This involved walking up and down a long hall with Katie by her side.  Two times she had to stop to rest while she did this.  At six minutes Katie and Ioana stopped and Katie made a mark on how far she went.

The rest of her session involved strengthening her Quadriceps Femoris, then her lateral hips with theraband wrapped around her thighs, hip extension while lying supine for her gluteal muscles, some strengthening for her mid back and wall squats with the help of Katie for additional work on her quads.  After one hour she was pretty tired.

The biggest challenge of the day came when we went to the dentist.  Her tooth was bad enough that Dr. Gerry felt the only option was to extract it.  I explained the situation to Ioana and she was obviously scared about this solution.  As I talked to a friend today about this I told him that this has to be about the worst situation for a foreigner outside of their home country.  It is difficult enough to go to the dentist much less in a foreign country.  Add on top of that needing to have a tooth pulled and it would be enough to bring the strongest and bravest to a bit of nervousness.

Ioana was courageous but it was clear she was petrified as well.  She gripped the nurse’s hand so tightly that she joked later that evening that the nurse probably needed ice for her hand since Ioana was squeezing so hard.  I held on to her legs so she wasn’t able to kick and comforted her as much as I could telling her to hang in there and pray to God for strength and courage.

Her evening was pretty good but after going to bed she called to me for some ice and medicine.  We had a prescription for penicillin because there was an infection due to the tooth and she also had pain killers.  Not long after giving her some meds and ice she called me again because she was nauseous.  And now that is where we are at some fourteen hours later on Wednesday afternoon.  Her pain from the extraction is at a zero on the pain scale right now.  However, it seems the pain meds didn’t really agree with her so we’re hoping they soon clear her system.  Pam is coming home now with some clear broth and hopefully Ioana will be able to get some food in her before going to bed tonight. 

The last twenty four hours have been her toughest here in America.  Please lift up a prayer for her to get on the mend so she can get back to having fun.  A huge thank you goes out to Dr. Leroy Gerry, for his services and expertise in working with Ioana’s tooth.  He made a difficult situation much easier and we’re grateful for his office’s help.  Thanks for all of your help and well wishes in the previous days!


Matt Gibble