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Stroke Survivor - female
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About lwisman

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    Vice President and Director of Inforrmation Resources
  • Birthday 11/28/1950
  • Age 69

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  • Stroke Anniversary (first stroke)
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  • Interests
    Caring for my cat, cooking, writing, and gardening.
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  1. lwisman

    Member Stories

    Member Stories from StrokeNet Newsletter
  2. lwisman

    Sorry for your loss. It is difficult when a much loved pet dies. Take care.
  3. lwisman

    Thanks for sharing Sue.
  4. lwisman

    This and That

    It is been a while since I have blogged. Since I last blogged my sister went on a 10 day retreat to Colorado. Jade the cat and I enjoyed ourselves. The bad news was that just before Marge left I baked a ham, put a lot of slices in the freezer, and made ham and beans. The ham and beans were really good, but Marge left town. After getting really tired of ham and beans I froze a large cottage cheese container (three pound container.) She is enjoying them now! Keys. About a month ago the keys for the shed in the backyard went missing. We looked everywhere. Had just about decided to find someone to cut the lock. The other key, which had been missing, is the second key to my car. Again, every pants and jacket pocket was checked. Then one day I was cleaning out my pouch and found the car key. It had migrated to the very bottom. I have been in the pouch countless times, but never all the way to the bottom. Hmm…an idea worth checking out for the shed key. A friend is currently in the process of making us a replacement for the kitchen table cover – the current one is waterproof and is elasticized – they no longer sell them big enough. Anyway, when Pat came to get the old one (with hole) for a pattern there was stuff on the table. Sure enough the keys had fallen into an empty flower pot under the table. Just dig deep…. While Marge was gone I decided to put my 2017 village sticker on my car – deadline was April 30. I counted the stickers already there –six— and decided there really was not room for anymore. So I backed the car out of the garage so I had better light and went out with goo gone, razor blade, paper towels and vinegar water (to get rid of the goo gone). After a lot of elbow grease I removed three old stickers. Decided the other three could come off next year. After cleaning up with the vinegar water I put the 2017 sticker on. While I was out Sara, who lives directly across the street from us, came over to check on me. If you ever want to know what is happening in our neighborhood,, just ask Sara! Speaking of neighbors the four kids who just moved in next door were all out in the backyard playing late one afternoon this week. Jade the cat lay on her perch in the window and watched them for the longest time. Thursday I was up at 6 am to finish getting stuff together before cleaning lady, who was scheduled to come at 8. No it was not all cleaning, LOL. Anyway the person who runs the cleaning service called at 7:15 to say the cleaning lady would not be at our house until 11:30. Then at 10:15 the hair dresser called because we had 10 and 10:30 appts to have our hair cut. She said if we could get there by 10:30 she could still do both of them. We were there at 10:29. So it was a crazy day. But, the house is clean! Friday morning I woke up and immediately noticed pain in my left little finger. It was swollen, but obviously the problem was under the nail. No way to get to it. I washed it well and put on antibiotic cream. It was not helping. Figured the antibiotic cream was tainted. Saturday morning the finger no longer throbbed, but there was still pain when it was bumped. So at 8:05 I was backing out of the driveway to drive to Walgreens (about a mile from us.) Bought new cream. Within 30 minutes after putting it on I could tell the difference. Now there is only slight pain when it is bumped. Still some swelling and redness. But, looks like it is on the way to healing. My third bread machine (in twenty years) has died. Of course it died while I was making bread. This first happened a few weeks ago. I gave the machine a good cleaning and it started working again. Then it happened again this morning. Anyway I have not actually used a bread machine for baking the bread for years. I only use the dough setting and then bake in the oven. I think it both tastes and looks better. I took the ingredients from the bread machine pan and used the dough hook on my stand mixer. The bread is ok, but not near as nice as with the machine doing the kneading and heat control. Then I got on the internet and learned a lot about using a dough hook. So I think I will experiment a bit. I have thought for years a bread machine was more than I needed, but have not seen a good alternative. We shall see. Sun is shining today. Temps are only in the 50s. But after days of rain this is a nice change.
  5. lwisman

    Making your own is a great idea. I make our granola. That way I know what is going into the mixture. I found three recipes online and started experimenting. Within three tries I had a formula that works well for us. Good luck!
  6. lwisman


  7. lwisman

    Happy Anniversary

    Monday (March 6) was the 20th anniversary of my brainstem cerebral hemorrhage. It is sometimes hard to believe it was 20 years ago. I am 66, so it is a significant part of my life. I have come a really long ways since 1997. Like many, there were no stroke risk factors in my history. The doctors did some testing, but finally declared the reason for the hemorrhage was not known. That was reassuring and scary at the same time. It is my understanding that if you have a brainstem stroke the chances of dying within a month are 90%. Needless to same I am very glad I beat the odds. I am sure I beat the odds partly because I am a very stubborn person! I also was willing to put in the many hours of therapy. Over the years I have also done a fair amount of research and tried various alternatives to promote healing. There is no panacea, but almost anything has helped. When I saw my doctor at the end of February she suggested therapy because I have problems with falling. When I first had my stroke I had no balance. It has increased, but I walk with a rollator. I sometimes walk inside my house (where everyone including the cat knows not to run into me, walk under my feet, etc.) But, I use the rollator 99% of the time. For the first time in 19 years I am back in therapy. I have completed four of ten sessions. Mostly the therapist is out to strengthen my legs and hips. I am still tired from my last session 24 hours ago! She had me walking on a treadmill yesterday. I did not think I would ever get on a treadmill again, not sure if my feet could keep up. It went very slow and I had a therapy belt around me so the therapist (who was also within arm’s reach of the off button) could help. It went ok. The house next door to us in sold after being on the market for two weeks. My sister saw Dan the old owner this morning at Costco. I read the average in the Chicago market right now is 84 days. So they were very lucky. They did have house totally repainted and new carpeting laid. So it is ready to move into. He said the family has four kids. It is not that big of a house! Last Saturday a gentleman knocked on our door saying he was talking to the neighbors because they were considering making an offer on the house next door. He wanted to know about flooding. I explained that because it has been wetter than usual the last few years the water table has risen. The only time we had a flood was when our sump pump died. We now have a backup sump pump that (so they say) sounds an alarm when it goes on. It has not turned itself on in four years. Another house on our block sold after being on the market for months. They have had lots of repair trucks and a garbage bin in the driveway for over a month. The people living there before were an older couple, who lived there when we moved in in 1999. I suspect it had been a while since improvements were made. There are people on our block who have lived her 30+ years. We had part of our privacy (one wall) replaced this week. A section had blown down. They now make privacy fences with metal posts covered in wood. That way they do not rot. A few years ago our neighbors on that side (not the house which just sold) had a party and people were leaning against our fence. Not a good thing. I wish these folk would move! Next Friday is St Patrick’s Day. My sister insists we have corn beef and cabbage. As far as I know we have no Irish ancestry. I did suggest that we wait until next week to actually buy the corn beef. Friday is our usual grocery shopping day. I talked with an old friend this week. When we lived in the same city we always went out for lunch on International Women’s Day. I thought that was a good excuse to call her. She was living with her sister-in-law and niece, but both died last year. So it is a sad time for her. She was in Concord NH. She has now moved to Portland, Maine where both of her children live. We have eaten most of our Girl Scout cookies. I know you can now buy and have them sent to servicemen overseas. But, they are a tradition and even though I would not eat them often if they were always available, they are a nice treat. We are having strange weather. We have not had an accumulating snow since Dec 17 which is very odd. We had had a few days with flakes, including yesterday. Temps have been from 20 – 70 in the last month. The daffodils are up. Hopefully it will not get too cold for them. But, daffodils are hardy and they are closed to the house. Hope all is going well with you. Spring in almost here (in the northern hemisphere!)
  8. lwisman

    I am glad you and Sarah enjoyed yourselves. I have not visited Pearl Harbor, but my parents did years ago. My Mother's brother was MIA during the Korean War and his name is on the memorial. Good to know you arrived home safely. My sister and I went to Australia in 2005. Yes, it is a long ways. We visited a number of friends and had a good time. I lived in Brussels for 10 years and made that trip many times. It is more difficult going to Europe from US than to Australia. The time difference is SO different from Australia that jet lag was not as bad. Who knew?
  9. lwisman

    Let it Snow!!

    The first snow of the season came on Sunday December 4. When I left home at 8:30 am there was no snow. When I came out of the building at 10:30 my car was covered with snow. Of course, the snow removal tool was not in the car. So I used my hand (in glove) to wipe the snow off the back window. The wind shield wipers and hot air vents finished the snow removal job. There is still some on the ground almost a week later. The temperature has dropped to the teens. We are supposed to have more snow this Saturday, Sunday and Monday. By Monday we are supposed to have received a total of ten inches over the weekend. Then the temps continue the teens with wind chill in the single digits. Time to stay home. This cold weather will apparently stick around for the next two weeks or so. Bummer. One bit of good news is that we have hired a snow removal service. In past years my sister (76) and our neighbor across the street (83) have removed the snow. He died this summer. Neither should have removing snow for several years. On Monday evening I went to a meeting. When I came home Marge was in the living room where she could see the front door. She said Jade the cat was sitting on the couch. When Jade heard the garage door open she jumped down heading to the front door. Smarter than the average cat. I finished ordering Christmas gifts this week. Isn’t internet shopping great? No crowds! On Tuesday we picked out and had our tree delivered. We discovered a couple of years ago that there is a store not far from us who will not only deliver but bring the tree inside and set it up in the tree stand. This is a whole lot cheaper than therapy if one got hurt. Plus it is a whole lot easier! You do have to take it down, but that is easier than putting up. Marge really likes the smell of a real tree. On Wednesday we decorated the tree and put up other decorations. I dropped one of the gadgets for hanging a Christmas stocking. Glued it back together. So far, so good. Sorted through the cat toy box to see what needs help. I threw out one fuzzy mouse which had lost its tail. Several toys went into the washer of Thursday. They faired ok. Replenished catnip in the toys. I discovered that I had placed several toys in the catnip. Jade was happy to have some toys saturated with catnip. I used to raise catnip outside in the summer. A few years ago a stray cat got into it and made a mess. Decided I would just buy catnip as needed. Jade does not actually go “crazy” over catnip. She is drawn to it, however. It actually calms her. Strange. On Thursday I made brownies. I was asked to make three dozen cookies for a funeral at my church on Saturday. We had cookies left from Thanksgiving (2 dozen) so I froze them. Added the brownies to the cookies. Next week I make cookies for the church again. Every year we package homemade cookies and sell boxes. They are very popular. Some people give as gifts. Others are just glad they do not have to make cookies! Usually we make about $700 which goes to missions. I will have to admit that I bought a box years ago. The problem is that I am a snob (LOL). If you are going to eat cookies I think you should use quality ingredients – like real butter and good quality chocolate. We decided that we were not interested in eating them – rather get the calories another way. Put the cookies out for the animals. The opossum particularly seemed to enjoy. On Friday my sister left at 7:30 am to take her car in to the shop. A red light (I don’t remember which one) came on so she called and they said to bring it in. She stopped on the way home and delivered my cookies to the church. She noted that the preschool kids were showing up so the place was quite busy. Friday morning the snow (which the weather folk said would come on Saturday) began. Very light small flakes. The snow last week was huge flakes. So it goes. Marge went to the grocery store. It is now 3:30 on Saturday and no snow yet. It is supposed to start some time this afternoon. Hope everyone is having a good Holiday season. Take care!!
  10. Happy Birthday lwisman!

  11. lwisman

    Gearing Up!

    It is fall and we are headed into winter. So it is time to get stuff done before the weather gets nasty. Nothing like making a doctor’s appointment and then be faced by snow! This week I saw a neurosurgeon. I had not seen one seen one since 1998. In 1998 I was told me I no longer needed a neurosurgeon. He (who did my surgery) has probably retired, and I have moved. In 2010 part of the shunt put in my head in 1997 migrated to my abdomen. It was removed. The other part of the shunt has migrated four inches and is part way down my scalp. My regular doctor was suddenly convinced I should see a neurosurgeon. The neurosurgeon said removing could cause more harm than good (no surprise) and I should come back in a year. My sister was going to take me but had forgotten so was not back yet from her Weds morning meeting. So I drove myself. It was raining really hard and it was a 20 minute drive. My blood pressure was up – again no surprise. I also got my flu shot this week. Next week is dentist and mammogram. I think that is it medically for a while. We also saw the estate lawyer this week. Both of us have a will that is over ten years old. We decided since we are not getting an younger we should see a lawyer to be sure everything is in order. We have joint assents so we needed to see at the same time. My car goes in for inspection on Nov 2. So it will also be ready for winter. Early voted on Tuesday. I am a real fan of early voting. It is much, much easier. My polling place (a school) advertises it is handicapped accessible. But, you have to have someone else go it and ask for a guard to take the handicapped person to an accessible entrance. Otherwise there are steps. I find it had to believe that there are still undecided voters. I’ve known for months who I was voting for. I did go online and printed the ballot. It was very long and included lots and lots of judges. I went to the state bar association to get data. I am really tired of the battling ads. Geesh. They are obviously politically motivated often with skewed data. Our governor spent $74 million of his own money on ads. Eighty percent of the ads are for people not on a specific ballot – we even have dueling ads from another state. What a waste of money. My sister has nine political bumper stickers on her car! Our electric pepper mill died. So I bought a new one. Having an electric mill really helps. You do not need two hands. I bought a new door bell. Ours has been losing power for some time. Yes, I tried new batteries. I cannot hear it in the kitchen or in my office. If I know someone is coming I have to sit in the living room. I bought one with two receivers and is loud. Now I just have to hook it up, which is an easy task. Our fence has had a lot of problems this year. The guy who came this morning said the real problem is that the water table had risen a great deal. Global warming. At least we do not have fire! Monday is Halloween. The weather is supposed to be nice so there will probably be a lot of kids. They are always very polite. Trick or Treat is scheduled for 3 – 8. How everyone is having a good fall!!
  12. lwisman

    The company that owned the trap picked up the trap and raccoon. The raccoon was relocated.
  13. lwisman

    Sue, Thank you for the time you devoted to caregiver chat. I am sure it helped a lot of folks. I have to admit I am a bit jealous of you beginning spring. At this time of year I wish I lived in your hemisphere! It is getting colder and colder here. Lin
  14. lwisman

    Sue. Your presence on the board and your work on blogs have been appreciated. I feel as if I know you even though we have never met. Hope you and Sarah have a great time in Hawaii. Lin
  15. lwisman

    Fred. It does seem like the best any of us can do is to keep on keeping on. I also drive (but seldom and only locally). That bit of independence really helps. Continue to stay positive!!
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