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Entries in this blog

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wanted to take a few minutes to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ....it's been a really tough year for everyone around the world, and we can only hope the New Year brings better days for all of us.   I chose to decorate the tree I had purchased at half price after last Christmas - it was a 9 ft. Balsam Hill tree and I couldn't just let it sit in the box in the garage, even though Gary passed away in Feb. (which we are now sure was from COVID-19).  Christmas was always his favor

SarahR

SarahR in Christmas

Melting in Arizona

It's been sweltering hot this past week - shattered records two days in a row hitting 118 and then 116 the following day....cooling off a bit this weekend - maybe 112 today.... I've been spending a lot of time (mostly early morning or late evening) in the pool and occasionally have to toss the dogs in to cool them off.   🙂      I've been staying home pretty much, aside from occasional trip to store for milk and quick stop at local restaurant to sit back in my corner and order breakfast

SarahR

SarahR

Mini Memorial

I traveled to Colorado last week for a mini memorial, celebration on what would have been Gary's 73rd birthday.   His former caregiver, Carmen, who came up from San Diego to go with me helped with most of the driving as it was a long trip.  We didn't make it all the way through NM without a stop, but nobody insisted we have to quarantine for 14 days (even though the signs along highway in Albuquerque were stating that all visitors must quarantine).  We weren't really visitors there, just passing

SarahR

SarahR

Missed Anniversary

Here it is the middle of June already, and I just realized that Gary's stroke anniversary came and went on June 1 and I totally forgot about it - maybe because he passed away in February, we're still dealing with the Coronavirus, and so much more in the news.   June 1 would have been his 16th stroke anniversary........but he only survived 15 years and 8 months following that devastating brain stem stroke in 2004.    I'll bet his Doctors from back then would be shocked and amazed that he lived th

SarahR

SarahR

Prepared for Isolation

I've had a lot of friends and family checking on me via phone since Gary passed away.....some are worried that being isolated from everyone with this Pandemic right now might be a bit much for me.   I've been telling them all "I was probably better prepared for this isolation than most."   I spent 15 yr. 8 months taking care of Gary at home after his massive brain stem stroke in 2004.  It wasn't easy traveling with him, and I usually only got out a couple hours a week when I had a caregiver to s

SarahR

SarahR

Keeping Busy

I can't believe it's been a month since Gary's passing, but it certainly has been a busy month.  At times I felt overwhelmed with all the paperwork and phone calls, but got most of it under control now.   It seems I'm the only one who was efficient and organized, so a lot of things were "hurry up and wait."   I was told by the local Social Security office "It all takes time, don't get ahead of us.  You're just one person and we deal with millions on a daily basis."  Good to know I'm nothing more

SarahR

SarahR

Heavy Heart

It is with a heavy heart that I felt the need to inform friends from the stroke network that after having a massive brainstem stroke 15 years and 8 months ago, our beloved Gary passed away in his sleep last night after a short bout with  flu like symptoms.  Memorial services will take place later in the spring in Colorado - for now I can't think straight and in much need of a nap.   Sarah

SarahR

SarahR

Temps are Cooler While Life Heats Up!

The temps are cooling off here - instead of triple digits, we're down in the mid-90s during the day but 70s at night.   The water in pool is staying around 75-80 degrees, so most of the time too chilly to swim unless I try mid-day when the sun is really hot.   Can't complain since my friends in ND are dealing with 2-3 ft. of snow right now and much colder weather.   🙂   Trying to find placement for Gary has not worked out well.   All of the suggestions from "A Place for Mom" were for p

SarahR

SarahR

Tough Decisions

It's been a little over a week since Gary had another fall.   It's about the sixth time since we moved here two years ago.   He doesn't get injured in the falls because I'm always there to break the fall, but can't always lift his dead weight to avoid it when he starts going down.   This last time, he waited until right after his caregiver left to inform me he needed to use the toilet.  She had let him sit and watch t.v. for several hours while she did some dusting and cleaning floors and then d

SarahR

SarahR

Celebrating Gary's 72nd Birthday

Tomorrow, July 8th Gary will turn 72.......hard to believe that he almost didn't make it past his 56th birthday the year he had his stroke.  Sometimes I wish I remembered all the Doctors names who treated him at Swedish Medical Center in Denver, CO, especially the ones who said if he survived the initial brain swelling he likely would not live six months - shows how much they knew about the human spirit...lol     Tomorrow I will take him out to breakfast at his favorite casino, let him play the

SarahR

SarahR

We Never Stop Worrying

It's funny how we never stop worrying about our kids, even though they have their own separate lives and have not lived under our roof in years.   Our oldest son had his back problems and underwent surgery back in December, went through a painful rehab process and we worried that he would end up on disability as it took a long time for him to be able to even walk without a walker.  He wasn't sure he would be able to go back to work again, especially since his employer at the time was moving out

SarahR

SarahR

Approaching 15 Yr. Stroke Anniversary

June 1, 2004 Gary suffered his brain stem stroke at the local hospital, while awaiting tests to find out why he passed out at home that morning.   A nightmare of mistakes followed and he was transferred to a larger hospital in Denver where he spent the next three weeks in a drug induced coma to reduce swelling on the brain and further damage.  I was told he had very little chance of survival, and if he did survive he would never work again, let alone walk or talk.   It was recommended that he be

SarahR

SarahR

We're Still Hanging On

Still here, still surviving, sometimes by only a thread, but we're doing okay.   We finally sold the Scottsdale mobile home the end of December, and were able to get Gary's bathroom redone for a roll-in shower.   I put that job off way too long and was worried my back would not hold out much longer trying to get him in and out over that tub to shower him.   A $3200 job ended up costing nearly six grand by the time I fired first contractor and had to replace him with a handyman to finish the job.

SarahR

SarahR

New Girl in Family

Ever since we got back from our Colorado trip in June, Misha (our little schnoodle) has been missing her playmate who visited often while we were away.  The neighbor girl would bring her female shitzu mix over to play and Misha loved the company.   So, for Gary's birthday I decided I'd try to find a new lap dog for him since Misha prefers sitting on my lap and hanging out with me.   On Tuesday of this week we picked up a 6 month old chihuahua mix from a family who had too many dogs and were gett

SarahR

SarahR

Family Reunion Trip

As much as I dreaded the long drive back to Colorado, I knew I had to take Gary after his sisters planned a family reunion for the day after the 2 yr. anniversary since our son's death.   We also had not been back to Colorado since his memorial service so had not seen (in person) the headstone on his final resting place.   Carmen, Gary's current caregiver, went on the trip with us as I can no longer travel any distance by plane or car without help.  Gary has gotten more stubborn about doing his

SarahR

SarahR

Amazing Mother's Day Gift

I was just thinking earlier in the week how quiet it would be again this Mother's Day.  Our youngest son is gone, he passed away nearly two years ago.....he was the one who always made sure he did something for Mom on Mother's Day and his Dad on Father's Day.   The other two sons are married and have wives who are Mother's so the day is usually spent with their own families.   Then Saturday came, and I made my usual short ride to the mailbox, taking Misha (our 1 yr. old schnoodle) along for the

SarahR

SarahR

Golden Wedding Anniversary

By the Grace of God we made it to our 50th wedding anniversary....nothing fancy, no big celebrations, not even acknowledgement from some of our closest relatives or friends, but we survived.  Gary had his stroke in 2004 at the age of 56, going on 57, and a secondary bleed on his 57th birthday.   Not a single doctor who worked with him during that time would give him a life expectancy of more than six weeks or at best six months - nearly 14 years later he is still here, and we made it to the 50th

SarahR

SarahR

Spring is Just Around the Corner

I can't wait for the warmer temperatures.  February was too cold for me with temps dropping into the 50's and 60's and night temps in the high 30's and 40's ........brrrrrrr.....I'm such a wimp since moving to Arizona.    :)  I will be glad when it's hot enough to hit the pool again ....I sooooooo need the exercise.   February may have been a short month, but it was not a good month for me - thankfully, it's over.   I pretty much blew off the diet most of the month of Feb., likely beca

SarahR

SarahR

Welcome 2018

Happy New Year to all.....may 2018 bring you happiness, much love and peace.   We closed out 2017 by sitting home and watching old movies, went to bed early, awakened at midnight with the sound of fireworks (and probably a few guns shots in the air).  Fell back to sleep and didn't get up till late Monday morning.   We drove to Scottsdale and met up with our old caregiver, Kelly, at the casino and had the brunch buffet......wasn't sure that was a good way to start the year, but Gary really was dy

SarahR

SarahR

What a week!!

This past week has been the week from Hell.   I believe it started on Sunday when we had two Eucharistic Ministers stop by to give us communion.   We had to lock the puppy in the kennel while they were here because he gets so excited when anyone comes to visit, that he just doesn't calm down.   He sat in that kennel and yipped the whole time, which was very distracting and Gary had a hard time swallowing and began choking.   Monday didn't go much better.   I waited for Kelly to get Gary in the s

SarahR

SarahR

I'm Back

I'm back on the board after several months of getting settled in new location, computer updates knocking out all my saved passwords, and not being able to get a link to reset them.   I had to re-register in order to get back on here, so for those of you who knew me as srademacher, I'm now SarahR.    :)    It's taken some time to get Gary used to the new location and the different setup in bathroom, and I still have days where it's easier for me to shower him on a patio chair on the back patio us

SarahR

SarahR