Fluid Buildup Could Delay Giffords' Rehab

But fluid on brain not unusual, doctors say
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2011 2:24 PM CST
Fluid Buildup Could Delay Giffords' Rehab
A card expressing support for US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is seen among flowers left outside TIRR Memorial Hermann rehab hospital on Saturday Jan. 22, 2011, in Houston.   (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Smiley N. Pool)

A slight setback in Gabrielle Giffords’ seemingly miraculous recovery: Fluid buildup in her brain is likely to delay full-fledged rehabilitation, the Houston Chronicle reports. She is expected to remain in intensive care this week, and then doctors will determine whether she can move on to the rehab center, or if she will need a permanent shunt. Even so, Giffords was reportedly more alert and responsive yesterday than she was Friday when she arrived in Houston, and doctors say she responded well to therapy including sitting, standing, and moving while in bed.

When she moves on to rehab, it will be with the aim of getting her life back, the AP adds. Rehabilitation used to be seen as a last resort, but has been updated in the past few decades—and the Houston hospital Giffords is at uses state-of-the-art tools. But she faces a hard, and likely sometimes frustrating, road, doctors warn. “Practice, practice, practice” is the only way to get better, says one. The good news? As she improves, some of her rehab could include fun activities like playing Wii, gardening, going on field trips, or joining sports teams.
(Read more Gabrielle Giffords stories.)

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