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New to blogging (ha)

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Update on Larry

I'm ashamed to say I have not been on here for a long time.  Larry has had some health issues lately.  I was in the hospital overnight for the first time in 30 years due to a blood pressure problem.  Luckily my son was able to be here to take care of Larry.  Fortunately I was only in the hospital for one night but I need to plan a "what if" should I be unable to take care of him for a longer period next time.  You never know what is around the corner.  For the second time since the end of 2

thejule1

thejule1

Hot, hot, hot!

We are in a heat wave here in the St. Louis area. We have had several days of near 100 degree temps. I only go out to run errands and I keep Larry indoors.   Larry is doing well and no issues so far. He has an aide that comes a couple days a week and he goes through the exercises, including range of motion with him. The aide does light housekeeping such as vacuuming, which I hate. My son is living with us and is a big help with Larry's care. He has a part time job which hopefully will

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thejule1

Larry's 6th Year Anniversary

I once told our granddaughter a few years ago that we were celebrating Larry's stroke anniversary. She made a face as she didn't understand the reason to celebrate. Well we celebrate LIFE and take the good with the bad. I celebrate him being home this past year for the holidays and being here instead of in a hospital or SNF. I celebrate the fact and thank the good Lord that I can take care of him.   Larry is doing well although he has had a few health issues recently. The latest was a UTI

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thejule1

Our holiday update

Greetings and a late Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.   This Christmas was so much more enjoyable. Larry was home and able to enjoy his Christmas here instead of the SNF. He is doing well. My daughter came in from Michigan, and Larry's kids and families and my son had our Christmas dinner here yesterday. The weather was mild and dry until today as we are having a lot of rain. We went to church on Christmas Day, and that was wonderful as Larry had not been to church since his illnes

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thejule1

Happy Thanksgiving

This is just an update to let you know how we are doing in the Eckelman world. So far, Larry is pain free and no shoulder or back problems. I was able to change out his mattress to a firmer foam one which may have helped. He is in a hospital bed that can be raised at the head and feet.   The latest thing is he went to a sleep specialist and had another sleep test. He had one in the latter part of 2011 which showed he had sleep apnea. We went to the hospital lab twice for testing, then h

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thejule1

New doctors, new pain, tests, ER visit

Since August of my last blog Larry developed pain in his back. His shoulder pain went away but now the back pain came. At one point, he became so weak, he could not walk. My son had to duck walked him from the kitchen to the family room. He never had trouble walking like this since the last time he was admitted to the hospital. I was afraid he was having a UTI. I called the doctor and got the nurse on the exchange. After I told him Larry's condition, he said it was best to get him to the

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thejule1

Update

It has been a while since I blogged but mostly because I don't have anything exciting to write about most of the time. lol   Larry has been having shoulder pain in his affected left side, and I was concerned since he never mentioned pain before. First we went to the doctor who sent us for an X-Ray, and then we went for an MRI. There were no significant findings other than some arthritis. The doctor then sent us to an orthopedic doctor. The doctor was booked, so we got his assistant who ex

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thejule1

Update on our lives

Spring is half here as we have temps in the 70's and up to 80 today. However, yesterday we had a hail storm and flash flooding in some areas. Our patio was covered with small hail yesterday morning but not the big golf ball size. We are due for another storm later today and severe weather tomorrow, which may include that dirty word "tornado" coming back. We have had some nice warm weather so far as I was able to get Larry out on the patio. I can't wait to get out to the Botanical Gardens, a

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thejule1

We made it through almost 3 weeks since Larry's discharge

Well the home therapy nurse discharged us yesterday. I guess she thought Larry was doing so well and I was able to care for him without her. The PT still comes as she said she discharges herself. The dietician was a big help in helping to monitor the feeding tube and the diahrrea. The medications were a problem for me as the facility did not train me in those. Some of Larry's meds were pills that could be crushed, others were liquid or capsules. The capsules (emptied) were a problem as the

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thejule1

Larry is coming home

This is the 5th anniversary of Larry's stroke. Unfortunately, he is in the rehabilitation facility. The good news is he will be coming home in about two weeks. We managed to stay away from any hospitalizations for 5 years. He has progressed amazingly well since going in the hospital last November, and then the rehab facility after that. He had a serious UTI and aspiration pnuemonia, so he was very ill. He has had some great nurses and therapists getting him back on track. The new thing is

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thejule1

Larry's days in rehabilitation

It looks like Larry will remain on the feeding tube as he did not pass the Barium Swallow Test. He has problems with the muscles in his throat when swallowing correctly. He was aspirating silently as he did not have the gag reflex, or cough when food went down the wrong way. There are other issues with his swallowing that did not show up in other swallow tests he has had before. This was the most descriptive and thorough test he has had. I don't know if other radiologists missed some of thi

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thejule1

Update on Larry and Happy New Year to you all

I hope this year will be a better year for Larry and I. This February will be Larry's 5th stroke anniversary and up until now I will have to say it hasn't been all that bad. It was not a bed of roses for Larry these years but he was able to stay in his home.   Larry is still at the Rehabilitation Facility, Brooking Park. It is only 20 minutes from here so that is good. It is a nice facility and I go there every day to stay on top of everything that is happening or to be done for Larry's re

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thejule1

update on Larry

Larry was transferred to a skilled nursing facility last Friday. He is receiving good care. They have him sitting up in a WC when I arrive each day. He has OT, speech, and PT. He is doing well on the feeding tube and does not need the oxygen any longer. He has taken a few steps with a hemi walker and the PT says his leg muscles are strong. He thinks he can get him back to walking soon with his cane. He is exhausted after therapy. Today I brought our Christmas cards to do while he slept.

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thejule1

Larry is in the hospital

Okay, I will try again. I posted this yesterday, but I have been "losing it" lately so here goes.   Well, this blog should be "survivor down" as the last was "caregiver down" when I fell. Larry has been in the hospital for a week. He went in with a UTI again. They said he had a bladder infection, kidney infection and he has been dealing with an enlarged prostate. This was the second infection in a month and he had not been in the hospital since 2010. He has not had a fever since that ti

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thejule1

Caregiver Down!

A couple of weeks ago I took Larry to his ear doctor appointment to have the wax removed. His audiologist will not do it, so another Dr. trip every few months or so. I have to take him to Mercy Medical Center. I usually use valet parking. I got him out and into his transport chair as it is too far to walk to the office. I turned around and BAM, tripped over the curb and fell. The valet was standing there not knowing what to do. He asked if I was allright and I told him "yes, just help me

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thejule1

Finally got Larry on an outing

I told Larry we were going out Saturday as we just can't sit inside with the weather so great. It was near 80, sunny and breezy. I decided to go back to one of our favorite places on Creve Coeur Lake. We use to live in Creve Coeur, MO which is only a 25 min. ride from us. There was a car show but it was too crowded, so I parked in a handicap spot and wheeled Larry in his transport chair. He cannot walk long distances so the chair is always kept in the trunk. There is a paved trail along th

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thejule1

STRESSED OUT!

I haven't blogged for a while as everything as been calm and quiet. These past few weeks are a different story.   This weekend we had a cable outage one day and then power outage the next. The power outage is scary when temperatures are high. Yesterday we had 100 degrees and today and tomorrow in the high nineties. After that, a cool down. The power came back after a couple hours.   My son has been in and out of the hospital at least 6 times this year. The last two recent times he was in for

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thejule1

Everything is heating up here

This summer has been mild so far and we had rain the last few days. Next week will be hot and humid as is the case usually for August.   Our beloved St. Louis has been in a turmoil due to a shooting of a young teen by a police officer. It is sad and he was only 18. The case is being investigated now by federal authorities. President Obama and others have commented on his death. What is so disturbing is the reaction by some (outsiders mostly) who have taken out their revenge to the polie d

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thejule1

The big 70 celebration and more

We have been busy the last few months with doctor appts., therapies and tests. Larry had his TUMT which really took a lot out of him. This was his office procedure for his englarged prostate. It did not go as well as we thought and we are now going to a new urologist. He then had therapy from a new "swallowing therapist" and I believe that has helped him a little more, and it also gave us a more definitive diagnosis. I have notice lately that he is swallowing better without coughing or spit

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Larry's TUMT Procedure

Larry finally had his procedure for his enlarged prostate. We decided on the TUMT which uses "microwave energy" to destroy excess prostate tissue blocking the urine flow. I chose this, along with the urologist, as it is the least invasive and is done in the uro's office. There are many surgeries for this type of problem but I thought with Larry's condition, risk, etc., it was the best for him at this point. He had taken meds for this for a few years and they were not working.   The procedu

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thejule1

Update

Spring is here - or is it?? lol We live in a tornado region and this week has been exciting to say the least Lucy (cat) got me up Thursday at 5 a.m. The weather radio was screeching off a warning. The storm was over us and then passed to the east where a tornado hit. Luckily, no one hurt. All day Thursday Channel 5 had the weather on. There are mostly storm warnings, but these they say can produce tornados. I have to get Larry prepared so he can hobble down the basement steps. The storms

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thejule1

St. Louis is 250 years old

It doesn't seem so long ago that the founding fathers first laid claim to a piece of land along the Mississippi River. They started with a fur trapping business. The Gateway Arch is on the same grounds now. There are exhibits and celebrations ongoing for a year. We will go to the Missouri History Museum when the weather is nicer. There is a website stl250.org in case any Missourians or history buffs are interested.   I have not been feeling well - stomach problems and had a CT scan Tuesda

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thejule1

One handed juggler

Yes, there is a one handed juggler. He recently helped me buy something in Sears as he also works in sales. I didn't realize who he was at the time but I recently received an E Mail from him. He has performed around St. Louis and I have seen him at an outdoor event a few years ago. His website tells all about his injury which he incurred as a child on a jungle gym. I won't go into detail as you can read it yourself at his website DaleJones.com. He has performed in other states so maybe so

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thejule1

Weather outside is frightful!!

Since everyone is posting about weather lately, I might as well join in. lol I think my font is frozen even on my computer as it went to tiny print at first.   We have a wind chill of -33 today. We have not been out together but I went out last week and stocked up. My driveway is a mess of snow and drifts and snowplow build up from the street plows. Our streets are plowed. I finally asked a neighbor who has a lot of friends from soccer teams and school if he knew someone. He has a friend

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thejule1