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Stroke Caregiver - female
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About SarahR

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  • Birthday 06/30/1948

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  1. 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 did his leg massage, so he hadn't napped and was very tired. I knew it would be a difficult transfer to his wheelchair to get him in to the bathroom, but tried to talk him through it. His brain was in the "OFF" position and he wasn't getting it - so instead of pushing up and over, he pushed up and straight forward going head first toward the floor. The full force of his weight was too much for me to get him back down in the chair and I ended up lowering him to the floor. Once he is on the floor, he is like a fish out of water, especially when he's tired and the brain is in the "OFF" position. There was no getting him back up on my own. I spent a good half hour trying to move him back toward his recliner chair so I could at least sit him up and let him lean against it - he pushed back too hard and moved the chair out of the way, so that wasn't working. He still had to go to the bathroom and we had already wasted time trying to make him comfortable until I could get help. I tried to call a neighbor who was home but they weren't answering the phone - probably both sleeping since they work evening and graveyard shifts. I called the non-emergency number for the fire department and while they have been very responsive in the past, this time they were out on an emergency call and had another lift assist after that. We could have waited as much as an hour or more for help from them. I put us on the wait list but continued to try to find a neighbor to help out. An hour and a half wait could have resulted in one big mess to clean up if he had to wait that long to use the toilet. I finally texted another neighbor and asked if anyone was available to help me get Gary up off the floor. She responded immediately "I'm on my way." Between the two of us we used the gait belt and tried to move him closer to the television stand (something sturdy that he could grab hold of), but he was determined to do it his way and kept trying to raise up and on to his power chair. Nothing I was saying was registering in his brain - it was Gary's way, or no way at that point and we finally got his butt on the chair where he could use the arm of the chair to push up the rest of the way, but not without straining a muscle in his lower left side (good side). I thanked the neighbor for helping and immediately got him into the bathroom and with the assistance of the grab bar on to the commode in the shower area. I didn't feel the strain in my own back until later when I tried to put him to bed for the night and he could do absolutely nothing to help so I got the full brunt of his weight getting him from his power chair and on to the bed. I gave him some Aleve for his pain, but was afraid if I took anything for my own pain I wouldn't wake up if he yelled at night when he had to urinate. Vicious cycle !! In the past week, his back has been healing with help from the Aleve and using the shower massage on it when I shower him and the massage cushion when he's on his recliner. Mine, however, hasn't improved a whole lot and now I'm faced with either trying to find a place to put him while it heals or possibly long-term care for him as I'm getting too old and out of shape to do all the lifting without his help. Today we are headed to Chandler to check out a Memory Care facility and see what they have to offer and if they will "break the bank" in order to get the care he needs. Not looking forward to it, and already feeling like I've failed him - even after 15 years of caregiving for him on my own. I know I shouldn't feel that way, but I think it's a natural reaction. Will blog again when I know more...... Sarah
  2. SarahR

    Sounds like you are doing well.....glad everything went okay and you are on the road to recovery! Sarah
  3. SarahR

    Nancy, you do what you have to do! I go through similar situation with Gary not wanting to do his share in helping with transfers or feeding himself. He gets stubborn or just plain lazy at times, and I have to threaten to leave him home from casino if he doesn't want to do his share. I guess he thinks I'm Super Woman and can just lift his dead weight on to the wheelchair. Last trip to casino, he got agitated at some people who were blocking walkway and reached out and grabbed some gal's rear end. I had to apologize for his rude behavior and she said "that's okay," but it's not okay. Times like those, I wish I had left him at home!!! I hear where you're coming from .....it's a daily struggle to give them a somewhat normal life without their cooperation!! Stubborn is as stubborn does! Sarah
  4. SarahR

    Happy for you that all went well.....you are one tough cookie, and we hope to have you around for a long time to come! Take care, rest while you can, and look forward to seeing you back on here posting again soon. sarah
  5. 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 slot machines for a couple of hours, and he will likely nap the rest of the afternoon. He still sleeps a good 15-18 hours a day. On another note: We've had a good couple of weeks with the news that our daughter-in-law came home from hospital after 26 days, and is continuing dialysis for the kidneys and physical therapy on an outpatient basis. While she is now cancer free, she gave us quite a scare after the second surgery when she went into septic shock and the kidneys took a direct hit - she had acute kidney failure. After they finally got the sepsis under control she went through at least 10 rounds of dialysis before they finally decided she could go home and continue with outpatient treatments. She's still sleeping a lot, but doing a little better each day. We so appreciated all the prayers as they do work miracles. Sarah
  6. SarahR

    Daughter in law had rough night after 2nd surgery (to remove blockage), and they moved her to ICU this morning after blood pressure shot up. She's heavily sedated and on IV with antibiotics and fluids and fighting septic shock. Son is really worried. Wish I could get away but not possible right now. Will update if anything changes! Sarah
  7. SarahR

    Just a quick update: Daughter-in-law is back in surgery again this morning - after a week in hospital and trying to recover from surgery to remove part of colon and surrounding lymph nodes, she had rough time. ... Couldn't pass solids through the intestines - and after x-rays showed twisting and blockage they decided to go in again and try to clear the blockage. She will be in surgery for several hours and we won't know more for at least 4 hours. Prayers still welcome! Thanks, Sarah
  8. SarahR

    Asha, Her mother is in S. Dakota and just had back surgery, so not able to travel. Sarah
  9. 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 of state and he'd have to look for another job. It's not easy switching jobs once you turn 50 and have had health issues, but he lucked out and got a really good job. He's been training in Chicago and is now back home in Colorado while his wife is going through some serious health issues. She just underwent surgery on Friday after a routine colonoscopy revealed a malignant tumor. She's doing well after surgery but won't have results of latest biopsy till next week some time. If anyone can beat it, it would be her - - she's a tough cookie, but that doesn't mean we don't worry about her and our son. His new boss gave him the time off to be home with her through the surgery and some of the recovery, but I'm sure he'll have to head back to Chicago to finish his training. I'm feeling like I should be there to help out, but can't even make the trip to Colorado unless I have someone along to help with Gary - between a rock and hard place on that one! Our caregiver, Carmen was going to be away to CA for 3-4 weeks, and now it's going on more like 5 weeks and she's not coming back until around the 20th, which means I will have gone nearly six weeks without help...........ugh!! Sarah
  10. SarahR

    Thanks for the comments. It looks like we'll just be meeting up with our son at the casino next Mon. for lunch. Not many around here to attend a party if I had the energy to do one anyhow, and not much interest among friends. We plug along day by day - he sleeps a lot, I look forward to the pool water heating up so I can at least get out to swim instead of sitting inside waiting for him to wake up, so I can care for him until he's ready for his nap......it's a vicious cycle. Sarah
  11. SarahR

    I totally get it..... Sarah
  12. SarahR

    Sorry about all the uncertainties in your life right now. I am so glad we had the chance to meet up in Hawaii a couple years ago. One never knows what the future will bring especially with age creeping up on us. Hope your procedures go well .......keep us informed. Sarah
  13. 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 placed in a nursing home, which would have surely ended his life and was not going to be an option for us after checking them out. He spent 3 months in a rehab hospital in Boulder, CO and when insurance was slow in processing claims and I was complaining about the lack of proper care, they released him to go home. A lot of ups, downs and in betweens over the past 15 years, but he's still here, hasn't spent a single night in a hospital since he came home the end of September 2004, and aside from still sleeping a lot, not being able to sit up by himself, transfer without assistance, feed, shower or dress himself, he has many good days. I'm trying to decide whether I should have a small party to celebrate his 15 years of survival.......any comments, or suggestions would be appreciated. Sarah
  14. SarahR

    Glad you are back home and working on getting stronger....still lots of living to do...keep your chin up!!
  15. SarahR

    Prayers for you, Sue! When it rains, it pours!! You've certainly had more than your share of bumps in the road!! Sarah