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GeorgeLesley

Stroke Survivor - male
  • Content Count

    392
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About GeorgeLesley

  • Rank
    Associate Mentor
  • Birthday 06/05/1945

Contact Methods

  • Stroke Network Email
    Yes

Shared Information

  • Stroke Anniversary (first stroke)
    12-08-2006
  • Facebook URL
    http://georgegradek
  • Interests
    fishing, camping hiking, motor home rv'ing, reading,handyman, erector sets
  • How did you find us?
    Google Search

Registration Information

  • First Name
    George
  • State
    TN
  • Country
    United States

Recent Profile Visitors

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  1. GeorgeLesley

    Life update

    Been awhile since I blogged so here goes. I did my trip in August to see my longtime friend in Texas. He is doing well, still has some reading deficit but getting better. No other issues at this time. We had a great visit, he took me to the Ft Worth stockyards and I rode a long horn bull! From there I went to see some other friends in Louisiana for a few days and saw the WWII museum in New Orleans. I drove the trip alone, just me and my Mazda Miata with the top down most of the time and my favorite music going. Fortunately there was nobody along to listen to my singing. Some sad news, another very longtime friend has some significant health issues. He is 11 years younger than I am but life has not been as kind to him as it has to me medically. I just made another friend by accident recently. He is the husband of the lady we hire to take care of mum when Lesley and I need to leave her alone for a 1/2 day or more. We really hit it off right away but unfortunately he also has major health issues and is 20 years younger than I am. I also recently looked up a couple I knew over 40 years ago while stationed in Italy. Very sad news there, he is a bit younger than I and just diagnosed with terminal cancer. Wow, so much bad news among guys I know about my age! I am most thankful that my health is at the moment very good. Stroke survivor yes, colitis sufferer yes, but all in all very healthy and grateful for it. Seems like the past several months since I had a heart ablation and a pacemaker implanted and I have been able to start exercising again most days I really feel great. I can tell my body missed the exercise I missed during the heart surgeries and our Alaska trip. i have a few other “guy” trips planned and will take another guy along if I can find a healthy one. There is a college baseball tournament in May I may go to, it has been on my bucket list for many years, and it looks like to me I should get on with doing whatever is on my list. In June Lesley, mum and I are going to Minnesota so I can get my fishing fix. On the way back we plan to take mum to the Auburn car museum in Indiana so she can relive the memories she has of her late husband Bill and her driving in the Auburn car they once had in New Zealand. then in July me and my Miata are heading to the A.C. Gilbert Historical Society convention in Akron, Ohio. He invented Erector sets for young boys like me to build with and many other toys for young lads to enjoy. I hope to see a “tractor pull” while in Ohio, another “bucket list” item. maybe a fall trip after that in the motorhome with all three of us and the two dogs to somewhere, maybe the Ozark’s of Arkansas and Missouri. mum is now 96, 97 in September. She is hoping to get her 100 year old letter of congratulations from the Queen which members of the British Commonwealth get. Her health has greatly improved since our return from Alaska. At this point I think she may just get her letter. I wouldn’t bet against her. I can also say that the best two years of my life have been the last two since she has come to live with us. I would not say that about all mother-in-laws, but her, yes. anyway, enough for now, life is very, very good here, even though we are unworthy. time for tea. P.S. I forgot to mentioned we had the privilege of hosting two disabled vets a few days ago for one night,that or part of a group of 10 such vets currently hiking the Appalachian Trail which runs over 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine.
  2. GeorgeLesley

    My own experience with such weighty matters is that when I do make such decisions I think I am doing so a bit premature and certainly in plenty of time. Once the decision is made I usually discover it was made just in time and not a bit too soon. Our own mum thought she was still capable of self care and now that she is here with us, it is obvious she came not a moment too soon. good that you are thinking about it and set markers for yourself so you can track the need as it arises and help take the emotion out of it, for example: I send to drive here, do this in a certain amount of time, etc, etc, and now cannot do it.
  3. GeorgeLesley

    Alaska trip complete

    We have completed our Alaska and Canada trip about a week ago. I have attached a few pics of the trip (I think). It was everything we had hoped for and more. We left Tennessee May 4th and got back in mid July. From TN we went to Iowa for some minor repairs to the motorhome at the factory and then on to the corn palace in Mitchell, SD. Neat place. Then on to Devils Tower, Wyoming. From there on to Banff. Alberta, Canada. Mum loved every minute of it she was like a machine gun firing out questions about everything we saw. Kept Lesley and I on our toes! Lesley and I shared the driving everyday. I drove in the morning as I am fresher then and she drove in the afternoon. Lesley took a driving lesson last year with our motorhome and so I had complete confidence in her driving ability. She drove up and down the mountains without any problems and did a great job of shifting gears, etc. Mum was the wildlife spotter in the passenger seat. from Banff we went to Jasper, and the Icefield parkway between the two is spectacular. Mum saw an avalanche in progress on the way. From Jasper we went into British Columbia into very remote areas., Prince George, Pink Mountain, Fort Nelson Laird River and a few others. We went into Northwest Territories and saw the buffalo there. Very remote area. we took the Alaska Hwy to Whitehorse, Yukon and stayed a few. Days and hit a Walmart to restock. We saw large beards of buffalo, many bears, moose, elk, caribou and some other things. We did see a mommy black bear with three cubs in tow. Neat! We camped on lakes and true wilderness. Finally on to Alaska to a town called Tuk. And then on to Fairbanks where Lesley and I took a flight in a small plane north of the Arctic Circle and saw the midnight sun. Then on to Denali National Park and mount McKinley. Then on to Homer, Alaska and George went fishing for Halibut and sea bass. Yum! Then on to Seward and the Fiords National Park via a cruise ship. We then wrapped up Alaska and returned to Whitehorse, Yukon. Our plan was to head to Dawson City, YK for some gold panning and then back to British Columbia. Unfortunately at that point mum started to have what we think were TIA’s. We immediately headed south to get back into the lower 48 states as soon as possible. after three days of hard driving thru Canada we were back in the USA and four days later were back home in Tennessee. We called the local doctor while still on the road and he agreed to make a house call and did so the day after we got back. He diagnoses likely TIA’s and heard some fluid in her lungs. He increased the Lasix and suggested oxygen. Since then she has recovered well but we are staying close to home for awhile. we all loved the trip and are most happy we did it even though we had to shorten it a bit. We have created memories that will be with all of us forever. Mum’s late husband Bill would have been happy so see what we did and I can only hope he was looking down with a smile. on the medical side, both Lesley and I are well, I am a bit out of shape due to lack of exercise and so will spend the next several months working out most every day. An exception will be for a short trip I will be taking next month to see a longtime friend in Texas. Lesley and Mum both tell me to go so I guess I will. well have to go now.
  4. GeorgeLesley

    The ablation was for me anyway, easy. One nite in hosp, no pain or soreness. Resumed normal activity in a few weeks. I recommend it highly. No afib since.
  5. GeorgeLesley

    On the road again

    Well after my pacemaker implant healed up and now works fine, I also had a heart ablation. The pacemaker keeps the low resting pulse good and the ablation keeps the high pulse steady without meds. So, we are now on the road again heading ultimately for Alaska. We left Tennessee the 4th of May and are now in central Montana for a few days. Lesley’s mum is handling the trip very well, the motorhome is performing great and all is good here now. A few days here in a town called White Sulphur Springs, MT at the base of the Little Belt mountains and we will be moving on to Shelby, MT and then on to Banff, Alberta, Canada for a week. after that on to Jasper, Alberta for a few days, and then a few weeks of roaming around British Columbia. After that, on to the Yukon and finally Alaska for a month or so. Then a slow return South on a path yet to be determined but will likely include a trip across southern Canada thru Winnepeg and maybe a stop where we used to live in Northern Minnesota. Should be back in Tennessee sometime in August. we had talked about this trip for many years but never seemed to get it done. Then when Lesley’s mum came to live with us it was decided. She and her late husband had always wanted to ride the rails across British Columbia thru the mountains, but never were able to do it. Lesley and I had planned to see the Canadian Maritimes, Nova Scotia and some other provinces this spring and go to Alaska and British Columbia next year, but now that mum is living with us we just flipped the trips and will do the Maritimes next year so we can fulfill mum’s dream with our motorhome this year. so we are blessed with good health, a wonderful 95 year old mother to travel with, and the opportunity to do so. I have nothing to complain about, life is very, very good to me at the moment. Yes I had a stroke, yes I still have some deficits and still take a few meds, but all in all life is being good to us. time for a tea.
  6. GeorgeLesley

    Good news

    Some of you know that Lesley’s 95 yr old mum has come from New Zealand to live with us in TN. The day after Christmas we got a most welcome surprise, her Green Card has been approved and she is now a permanent US resident.we are all ecstatic to say the least. Although we expected it to go thru, it was still in the back of our minds, what if.... but now, all is well on that front. Having her here is such a joy and blessing to us all. this may change our travel plans with the motorhome. Mum dearly loves to travel in it and see the USA. She is so bright and asks a million questions about everything she sees. On a recent trip to Branson,MO for vets week as we were coming back she saw cotton fields being harvested in Mississippi. We stopped and got her some fresh cotton. She considered it a real prize. We also passed by some catfish farm ponds which she found interesting. Never a dull moment with her and Lesley around! our planned winter trip to Texas got canceled because I started to have uncontrolled afib. Off to a cardiologist and then two weeks of a heart monitor and then told I needed a pacemaker. A few days later it was in and done. I must admit I feel and look better afterwords. In a few more weeks the healing should be finished and we may reschedule some sort of RV trip. Mum and I are now healthy, but Lesley may need a knee replacement so all is on hold pending where that goes. so that is a quick catch up on our life here in TN. Got to go now, a cup of tea is calling........
  7. GeorgeLesley

    Life with mum

    Lesley's mum now is settling in with us. She is accepting her new life here in TN, a big change from 94 years of living in New Zealand. We can detect some homesickness, but she knows that moving here was her only alternative other than a NZ nursing home. She is very bright, mentally amazingly sharp, no memory issues, and still able to get around with a cane and walker. A few naps during the day and she is refreshed and active all day. Amazing. We just completed a month long trip in our motorhome with mum. When she got here I put a chair lift in the motorhome for her use. Amazingly she seldom needs it. Lesley and I get on each end of the stairs into the motorhome and she gets up or down the stairs with one of us pushing and one gently pulling. our trip was up to Wisconsin for a week with friends, then on to Iowa for some work on the RV at the factory. We then went to the wonderful town of Amana. Lots of things to see no do. A planned day stop turned nto several days. We then went thru Illinois to Shipshewanna, Indiana. A planned three day stop became almost two weeks. I grew up nearby in the Elkhart, IN area and was able to show mum where I lived, worked and played. We stopped by the grade school I went to for four years and asked if they had anything on classes in the early 1950's. The lady said no, but after thinking about it she came up with some PTA meeting minutes. My mother was mentioned in them a few times. What a neat trip down memory lane! I was also able to show mum where I lived as a five year old in a house trailer and walked 10 blocks alone everyday to and from kindergarten. The school and trailer park are still there. I felt pretty good about my memory still being able to find these places considering I was five and that was 67 years ago! we then drove back home over two days, stopping in Kentucky for the night. Lesley drove about 1/2 the time and did her share of dumping the tanks, and hooking up the water and electric. All in all, an really memorable trip. That is the essence of traveling in an RV, creating memories. It is not going from point A to point B via the fastest route. We avoid interstates when we can, seldom go thru any large cities, and stick to US and State highways. So much more to see and do. Lesley has learned to navigate well and between us we get it done. Often times we have no plan as to where we will stay that night, but we always find somewhere! Mum is always agreeable to whatever we do. Our last day in Shipshewanna, Indiana, Lesley asked me if she should wake mum up from her nap and take her to town again, I told her I thought mum just needed a day of rest. So Lesley went on her own, I think she also needed a day alone. When mum awoke she and I had some good mother-in-law/son-in-law time. Another irreplaceable memory created. we expect to be home now until November when we are planning a week in Branson,Mo which is veterans week. Then back home and not sure after that. We had planned three weeks in Corpus Christi, TX over Christmas but the hurricane hitting there a few weeks ago may change that. We will find somewhere. well, my coffee cup is empty so time to go.
  8. GeorgeLesley

    Last year we did the Bristol Christmas lights. Neat! I like Bristol because it is close to the new Cabelas and also Bass Pro shop.
  9. GeorgeLesley

    We live in Erwin about 20 mi South of Johnson City. We are just off !-26. YouAll come!
  10. GeorgeLesley

    Sue, lovely blog very deep no insightful, at least you can look into yourself and see the truth. I could tell you all about what worked for me when my late wife passed, but that would be my story and would not be yours. So I have little advice, out one piece i will pass on. I have noticed as I age my focus on what is fun and what is important has narrowed. I sense that whatever I would like to do I need to get on with it, and whatever no longer seems important to forget it, do not dwell on it anymore and get on with what is important whatever that is. Good luck in the search.
  11. GeorgeLesley

    Mum is here and well

    Lesley's mum is now here and settling into life in North East Tennessee. She handled the long flight from New Zealand to Los Angles very well. She and Lesley spent 5 days there resting and spending time with relatives. A 5 hour flight here and all is now going very well. The paperwork and medical exam are in the hands of the immigration lawyer and mum's health is good. She has a nanny nap once or twice a day and awakes bright and cheerful What a joy it is to have her with us at this time in her life! Lesley has been taking her all over the local shops and we have been spoiling her every day. We spent last weekend in Atlanta with some relatives and she was the center of attention. Lesley and mum are sharing many special mother/daughter hours together everyday. I rather stay out of the way and do as I am told. I have never eaten better! Before she arrived I put a short hand rail by the only two steps in our house and they have worked out well. It is all she needs to get up and down them without assistance. We just hover nearby. This week I will be putting the seat lift in the motorhome so she will not have to deal with stairs getting in and out of it. She is excited and cannot wait for us to get on the road again soon. We plan to be traveling in late June for a month or so, depending how she handles it. the dogs have become very protective of her and are always nearby. well, I must go now, just a quick update here.
  12. GeorgeLesley

    Lesley is in Papakura now, mum is doing better buy Lesley is of course quite busy now. She does plan to contact you soon. Thanks!
  13. GeorgeLesley

    Thanks a lot for the nice words. I will have to mind my manners when they get back. Mum and daughter lined up against me, I guess I had better be. A good boy! Oh well, I should eat well....
  14. GeorgeLesley

    Exciting news! For us anyway

    Lesley is preparing to go back to New Zealand next week, April 3. She will be there three weeks. Then, surprise, surprise, she will be selling the house and bringing mum back to live with is permanently! Mum has initiated the conversation this time all by herself. She is now lonely and feels deserted. The two great grand daughters have both passed thru her house on short term stays in the past 8 months and both are busy living their lives. One is 20, the other 18. So, school, jobs, boys, etc are more important than spending much time with nana. The pace of the life of the young ones has left her puzzled, wishing for days gone by, and most of all lonely for someone just to spend an evening with her. The grandson is also living his life with a new girlfriend and job, band, etc. thus she has opted to come spend her last days (she is 94)with us. She still lives in a three bedroom house alone, fixes her own meals and with a walker gets around pretty well. Her mind is sharp as a tack. We had noticed in the past few months she was becoming somewhat despondent in her daily call from Lesley. Now since making the decision to come here her voice is full of excitement and hope that had bee lacking for awhile. i have been in contact wil an immigration lawyer, and all is set up there to get her permanent residence status and health insurance. That process should take 6 months or so. She did travel with us in the motorhome before when Lesley was a full time travel nurse about 12 years ago. Mum loves to travel and is already talking about doing so again. I am putting an electric lift in the motorhome to give her easy access and so she and us will not have to worry about steps. Exactly where we will go is now up in the air since she cannot go out of the USA while her permanent resident status is being finalized. So the trip to the Canadian Maritimes we had planned this fall is on hold for a year or two. She has always wanted to see the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, so as soon as we can do that with her, that will be the next big trip outside the USA. So, that is our big news. Lesley is off with a girlfriend getting her hair pretty for the trip to NZ next week Since I do not have that need, I am home with the dogs watching the blue birds nest in the new birdhouse I just put up. We now have three bird houses up just the right size for bluebirds, and all have a lot of activity today as spring is son coming here. my coffee/tea cup is empty, so bye for now....
  15. GeorgeLesley

    Mum lives in Auckland area. Thanks for asking.
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