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Stroke Survivor - male
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About GeorgeLesley

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    Associate Mentor
  • Birthday 06/05/1945

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  • Stroke Anniversary (first stroke)
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    fishing, camping hiking, motor home rv'ing, reading,handyman, erector sets
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  1. GeorgeLesley

    Bummed out

    We just attended the funeral of my best male friend of over 30 years. We went thru so much together, he was at bedside when my first wife passed, I was with him thru his divorce, present wife and I were married in his house by the preacher that preached my first wife’s funeral, both he and his now widow asked me to counsel with them before they were married, etc, etc. he and his now widow were happily married for over 20 years. He was too young, only 62. He and I could and did talk every month for usually over two hours about everything and nothing. His widow is now asking for my assistance in settling things and helping her set up he finances. A task that will be as difficult as any I have ever done, but I must do to fulfill my promise to him and her made long ago. He had cancer and from what we all expected, he would have some good time after what appeared to be a very successful treatment regime. Not to be. He passed two weeks after treatment was completed. Shock, misery, anger, no words to describe how I feel now with no desire to “get over it and move on” Thanks for letting me rant.
  2. This discussion reminds me of me not being able to zip up my winter jacket after my stroke. I told Lesley if she could sew a loop on the bottom of the jacket near the left side of the zipper I could put my thumb thru it and hold the zipper in place and zip it up. I no longer need that help, but still keep the jacket to this day as a reminder of how it used to be. one other thing Lesley and I did together after my stroke was operate the snow blower together. We lived in Northerm Minnesota at the time and had a 1000 ft long driveway. My left hand did not work so I could not operate the snow blower controls on the left side. So, I walked on the left side and operated the left controls with my good hand and she walked on the right side and operated those controls and we cleared the driveway together. keep trying and doing!
  3. Willis, I went thru and still have such thoughts. Years ago as my improvements came and I was able to resume more of what I did before my stroke, I also felt guilty and was fearful of making someone ask “why him and not me”. That concern nearly drove me off this forum but encouragement for some readers back then kept me on. My blogs have become much less frequent and less about stroke recovery/issues, but on most I still try to mention some medical stuff, which is easy to do as I get older! keep up the great recovery and enjoy life as best we can.
  4. GeorgeLesley

    Thanks for the info Willis!
  5. GeorgeLesley

    Congrats Sue, great news and answered prayers for sure. As for what the rest of your life is about, let everyday tell you and define the future. Unexpected opportunities will arise. Enjoy.
  6. GeorgeLesley

    Congratulations on your progress! I was told that two year was all the improvement I would see. Not so. I can now say that since my stroke 12 years ago, improvement never stops until you do. The rate of improvement does slow down and that makes it harder to stay disciplined and do what you need to do. Just this month I have started some hip strengthening exercises I was shown many years ago but never got to. I am seeing improvement in my walking gait and balance and foot drop and drag. Don’t give up! Again congratulations from one who knows how hard it is to be motivated everyday.
  7. Longtime readers of my blog may remember my goal of carrying my canoe again after my stroke 12 years ago. It took me six months and it was not pretty, but I did carry it again many times including June this year i am 74 now so that may be the last time. congratulations on your recovery, I think it took me many months to tie my shoes again. Continued good success.
  8. GeorgeLesley

    Clouds gathering

    Been awhile since I blogged. Things happen. We have been busy, but more on that later. The huge issue for us now is that a very, very good friend of mine of over 30 years has lung cancer. He has finished chemotherapy and radiation. There has been some improvement but not much. I have done a fair amount of research on the subject and did not find much encouragement. I just do not have any other words to say about it at the moment. on a brighter note, we just celebrated mum,s 97th birthday. She is doing well indeed. Still sharp as a tack mentally. A bit slower physically, but still a great joy to have living with us. I would say that the past 2 1/2 years having her live with us has made them among the best years of my life. lesley and I went to a wedding of a niece of mine last month. It was in Indiana and we drove my red Mazda miata with the top down most of the way. We had a great time, just the two of us. We also did a week roaming around Ohio in July. We went to the annual Erector set convention (like Meccanno construction toy) in Akron, Ohio. We also visited friends in Cleveland and saw two museums there and also two near Dover, Ohio. Lesley drove her White Miata that trip and again the top was down most of the way. We avoided the interstates on both trips and saw a lot of neat small towns and interesting people and places. We stopped in Williamsburg, KY and saw the Ark display. Wow, what a sight.We had a caregiver stay with mum for both trips. She and the caregiver have become really good friends, and I am not sure if she missed us or not while we were gone. we have a few other trips planned. One with the motorhome to the Smoky Mountains near Dollywood, about two hours away. We are also planning a trip with the motorhome over New Years to Fredericksburg, Texas. Mum will come with us on both trips. Then Lesley and I are going to Hawaii in February. Mum and the caregiver will hangout in Tennessee then. After that no immediate trips planned but I am sure something will come up next year. We have joined a group of fellow RV’ers that have what they call “Hangouts”. They are casual, pot luck gatherings with no format and we all just hangout around the campfire and eat and chat. OK, some also have a bit to sip. we have a miniature peach tree that was here when we bought the house in 2015. It was a few years old and produced about 50 delicious peaches the first year in 2016. Nothing since then. I told Lesley last winter that if there are no peaches this year, down it goes. It must have heard me. So far in the past week we have harvested over 500 peaches from the thing and still some to go. Lesley is busy stewing and freezing them. I pick, she fixes. Glad we like peaches. well guess that is all for now, my tea cup is empty.
  9. GeorgeLesley

    Sue, Lesley, mum and I send our thoughts and prayers. God speed.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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........