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Looking forward to some warm weather

Been meaning to blog for a while now, just finding the time, as we all understand.   But as Bruce enters his eighth year of stroke, an interesting change in his recovery. His cognitive status is so much improved. I waited months before I mentioned it to our Doctors because I thought I was misreading or seeing improvement where there was none. Then my sister mentioned it, so I knew Bruce was continuing to improve.   My Psychologist did another Psych-Neuro and sure enough!   He is reading no

Ethyl17

Ethyl17

Happy Anniversary

Today is Bruce's 7th anniversary following stroke. Funny, we both have been mentioning this on and off, over the last few weeks. Our niece and God-daughter's birthday is tomorrow and seems we have been focussing on that and how to celebrate with her, so many miles away. We had a rather mixed up day and neither one of us remembered today - LOL. Thank you Steve for reminding me because it has been a while and I did want to check in.   We have been busy here. Winter was not bad this year - a coup

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Ethyl17

Too Funny

It has been a while, people - that I know. But we are doing well. Bruce had the best therapy session in 2015 to date. He was signed off to be in the pool, unsupervised. We private paid for a couple of weeks, so he could get more comfortable. But as usual, once therapy was done, he chose not to continue for now.   His WC will get a redo this year. Medicare won't approve a new chair, with basically no change in condition. But they will replace most of the parts. After six years, it is pretty sad

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Ethyl17

Done

OK - it is done. And once again I promise, this is the last time. And in five years, someone remind me that I said 2015 was the last time!!! LOL   Bruce has been an absolute rock in all of this. The funny thing was, I took him out to lunch yesterday and he looked at me and said "I am sorry I am keeping you at arms length, I have a lot on my mind." When I asked what he said "well the colonoscopy and the endoscopy." No hesitation, no word finding - it was right there. And since he verbalizes so

Ethyl17

Ethyl17

Five Years already?

Yes, dear friends - it has been five years and Colonoscopy time is here again! Don't bother going back to my blog in 2010 - I'll summarize: "we won't be doing this again!" LOL. Well, yes we are.   Some things have changed over the last five years: Bruce has developed Type 2 Diabetes and his latest blood work shows he has anemia. Not iron related but he is possibly bleeding from some where. It could be his diet - I try to keep him mostly vegetarian, it could be a lab error but in any case, has

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Ethyl17

Socialization

I have been advised by a member of our Medical Team that Bruce needs Socialization and not with me. I know he gets that at therapy but those sessions are limited by Medicare every year. My complaint, as with many Caregivers here, is the constant TV watching.   Bruce has his chores here at home, which he does without prompt and of course, is very involved with our daily errands and appointments. But it is not enough. With Winter coming, I thought it best to start now. This will be a major chang

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Ethyl17

Swim, baby, Swim

Well, Bruce finished off his 2015 therapy allowance today and he had great results this round.   Bruce decided in the Spring that he no longer wanted Botox in his arm or leg. We didn't have his arm/hand evaluated this time around. But he continues to Estim twice daily. The goal for PT was to work through the overtoning in his right thigh, strengthen his right knee and learn to work without the Botox, relieving some of the toning in his right thigh.   We had just gotten back from New Mexico w

Ethyl17

Ethyl17

Remember "Control Central?" - well it is back

For anyone who has not followed our journey, back when Bruce first stroked, I set up a wall in the kitchen I called "Control Central." I used post-its and have advised many new Caregivers to do the same. Yellow was immediate, any other color was "can wait." Last summer, the list of household repairs that had to be done was finally removed from the wall! Yahoo! And for the last year, one post-it remained - 3 items.   Replace smoke detectors in the house. Not immediate, but they are ten years ol

Ethyl17

Ethyl17

Fishing

Took Bruce fishing for the first time since 2009. This is a beautiful lake and the handicap access was perfect. Plus in the shade all day. Received lots of help from the people in the bait store, people at the site and friends. The equipment is not right - I used what I found in the garage. But we had a terrific day and lots of fun. Will let you all know how this evolves.

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Ethyl17

They're Back

Well, we are back and I can't tell you how wonderful this vacation was.   Every connection was perfect and the customer service impeccable! I know that was probably beginner's luck, but at least it leaves one open to consider jaunts in the future.   Bruce's roommates got on board immediately and the wives took me out every day for at least a few hours. We did not do any real sightseeing. All of us have been to Albuquerque many times. This visit was about friends, conversation, good food and

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Ethyl17

New Mexico

Well friends - the countdown is here. We leave at 4:30am tomorrow. Bags packed and by the door, house locked up, alarm set - although Bruce will be up well before the alarm, LOL - all reservations confirmed.   We are both really looking forward to this. Yes, there is anxiety certainly. But I have covered the bases best I could. Bruce's roommates are also just so excited. Will check in when we return. Let the Games Begin! Debbie

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Ethyl17

New Mexico

Wow - didn't realize it was this long. I wanted to check in briefly. I retired in August and there have been many changes here at the shack - all good mind you.   Winter was horrid - as it was for all of us. I was so glad I found a reliable snow removal team, but also did not have to worry about making sure everything was safe for a caregiver to arrive and depart. I have to keep all the emergency exits to the house cleared, but it is on my schedule.   Spring took a long time to get here, but

Ethyl17

Ethyl17

Long Winter

Wow - it has been a long time. But I think Spring is tiptoeing in - LOL. Finally a week with temperatures above freezing - hasn't happened since Christmas - maybe one day in January.   Last winter it was shovel for two days, storm but that pattern only lasted two weeks. This winter it lasted 2 1/2 months. The new snow removal team is terrific. I still had to do the deck. It is funny, people kept telling me I did not have to do it. Contractor Pete reminded me that our deck is 30 years old. But

Ethyl17

Ethyl17

He's arrived!

It has been a while and for that I apologize, but it has been busy here at the Shack.   The crazy Italians had been here almost every weekend since the first part of October. There is still one rocking chair that needs to get up to Mary Beth and the bassinette that is coming here. But it was like Mary Beth yelled "Road Trip" and everyone hopped into the car - LOL. Still, Bruce and I loved having them and my brother John as well, since he had all the baby furniture. John suffered a bit of a med

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Ethyl17

Golden Brown - "B" me

Now, I am not a baker. I do not pretend to be a baker. But I am an OK cook.   Transitioning from cooking for 9 to cooking for 2, took a bit. That I will give you. My mother-in-law was visiting when I was first married and she said "Debbie, you have 8 pints of sauce in your freezer." Silly me, I responded "I know Mom. It took me a while to figure out that freezing in quarts was too much for one meal for 2 people." She just smiled and said "Debbie, my son travels nine months a year. You are with

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Ethyl17

Quick update

So, have been missing for a while now. But I do try to check in every day and at least greet all our Newcomers.   Last week my family suffered the unexpected death of a beloved Cousin. He was 58. Had family coming in from all over and between the services and company at home, it was a very long week. Still it is always fun to be able to spend time with everyone. And Bruce and I had a lot of time with my sister, two of my brothers, Brittany and Izabella. Bruce was a real trooper. Long days and

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Ethyl17

So much done, so much OW

So I left you all a few weeks ago with the major clean out complete for 2014. Everything left will be sold and we will go at Bruce's pace.   In the meantime, 32 degrees overnight and as 1967stingray advised, this is way too close to a hard frost. So time to move up the winter prep.   Today we had the auto and homeowners insurances reviewed. This agent has been in town for years and very well recommended. I did ask the little dolly on the phone if they had handicap access. She assured me that

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Ethyl17

Done for 2014

Well we got through all the clean out - organization - I had planned for this year and I have to say, this is very nice.   The new TV remotes arrived at 6pm on Friday. Not a good time for any of us caregivers to try to do this or for Bruce - too close to bedtime. But I locked myself in the bedroom for 2 1/2 hours and could not do it. Came out to Bruce asleep in his WC in the living room. He can function with the old remote - it is certainly frustrating for him, but he has been a dear about it.

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Ethyl17

Getting there!

Well crazy time here at the shack. Talk about too many pokers in the fire - LOL.   Bruce did great with the garage clean out. We had two weeks of city bulk pick up and I wanted to cash in on that. Two days after we enjoyed our visit with Colleen and Ray, got him right out and set up the folding table. It was chilly but he did great.   Now in the meantime, Mary Beth asked me for a new mattress. When Bruce came home in the hospital bed, it was important for me to sleep with him. I tried a doub

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Ethyl17

Great Visit

Well, we are back from our visit over to see Colleen and Ray. And what a great time it was!   Colleen had walked me through all the details of the ferry and she was spot on. It was cloudy when we left the house - warm tho. But the sun came through just as we arrived at the Port. And they certainly make this easy. You mention "handicapped" when you check in and they take it from there. We were directed onto the Ferry after motorcycles and some very neat antique cars. Bruce and Ray loved that li

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Ethyl17

Special Day

Wanted to get this into my blog, because days like this are just so rare now, post stroke.   Started out as our normal Sunday - groceries, farm stand. We are off to visit Colleen and Ray on Wednesday, so there is prep for that. But I have Tuesday slated out for shower, grooming, packing. good news is the packing should be easy - day schlepp and an overnight schlepp. Bruce is comp'd a room at the Casino, just seven miles from the Port. I was thinking an hour drive home, during rush hour and the

Ethyl17

Ethyl17

Quiet

There are times when I forget just how quiet our lives are, Bruce and mine. Now that he understands how to control the volume on the TV - LOL - mostly here, it is just the normal sounds of the house and the birds, when the hawks aren't around. But we certainly had a long bout of over-stimulation this past week.   Seems some of us were all on jaunts this week and the upcoming blogs will be fun.   Tuesday through Thursday, Bruce and I were at our favorite casino. We built up our comps and I wa

Ethyl17

Ethyl17

3 weeks

Just wanted to check in three weeks into this retirement. It has been interesting.   The changes in Bruce - not counting last week when he had a GI bug - are amazing. I guess I did not realize how much stress he was under as well. When he asked a year ago for no caregivers, we both knew the routine would change. Once I got up; it was wash and dress for the day, coffee, newspaper, Estim, breakfast, teeth and then Debbie out the door. All in about an hour and 15 minutes. You all know he did grea

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Ethyl17

Heartbroken

My best friend's father, since we were 13, passed last week. He was an incredible man. And while sick and at 89, it was a blessing. The family has been through "h" for the past five weeks.   Chris is the middle child of three. Her brother, the oldest child, was a Vietnam vet - Medic, never carried a gun and was killed in a car accident after his Honorable Discharge. He was a passenger in the car. He, himself, never drove a car. We often talked about the fact that her Dad just never got over t

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Ethyl17

Retirement - day one!

Never got out of my PJs - LOL.   Now this is genetic, on my Mom's side. So not as odd it as sounds. Mom and her sisters and sister-in-law had so many kids. Once you got the older kids out to school, the babies fed, bathed, changed and outside or napping; it was time for laundry and another round of changing until the big kids got home. It is pleasant thinking back. They all wore those pretty shifts with matching robes and thought nothing of loading up the car with children and driving to each

Ethyl17

Ethyl17