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Going backwards



I feel as though we are going backward lately. It has been 3 1/2 years since Larry's stroke. I was looking forward to getting out and doing more and going on a weekend trip. This week slowed us down even more. Larry has just finished a PT session and a then Speech session for his swallow problem. A few days ago he choked on his lunch and was not able to breathe. I was about to try the Heimlich on him when he coughed up the troubling piece of bread and ham salad. Yesterday he fell getting up from his lift chair. I was in the office and heard a thump and knew. He said his weak leg gave out and he was sprawled out on the floor. I checked to see he was not hurt, and he wanted me to get Kathy next door. I called her and she and I could not get him up so I called 911. Three men came and a police officer. I told the police officer he could leave. One of the three men was in training. This time they used a series of straps to lift Larry. They said they are doing this now to save the rescuers backs as they do a lot of lifts. (I heard a call come in for another fall while they were there.) They have Larry's history down and even where a key is hidden - all in their records. The guys are very nice and even made sure Larry could walk and go to the bathroom. Nothing like having a 3 man escort. lol Larry was lucky again with only a bruise and skin abrasion on his wrist. He has fallen before but lucks out with no breaks.


The swallowing thing is still a problem. I know Cindie's Mike has the appetite problem also. Larry too has little appetite or taste for food and has lost way to much weight.

He is on an antidepressant (Mirtazapine) but it has no affect on his appetite. I will ask the Dr. again when we go Wed. but we have tried other meds and they have no affect. Larry will drink his "Boost" supplements, milkshakes, milk, ice cream, but he is very picky with other foods. The swallowing thing has reared up two years post stroke and contributes big time to the mix. Every day I have to ask him what he will eat and usually he just can't come up with what he wants. It's maddening to fix dinner, only to have him sit and stare or play with his fingers. I have to let him sit for 45 min.coax him on.


Well that's my vent for the day. On the good side, the weather has been terrific, cool with low humidity. We are going to the Missouri Botanical Gardens tomorrow just to get out and get the fresh air in our lungs.




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long before dans stroke i had a individual i used to work with ( my 2nd job) and that person had swallowing issues.. he was so scared to eat that it literally scared the appetite out of him... he would eat a bit choke and that was it. ensure is making a pudding as well.. i didnt know that --- i am sure they have been forever , but i just found out.. lol

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Still having problems Fred. I did not get Debbie's message either.


Nancy, thanks. Larry will eat tapioca or rice pudding. Still not enough.

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Julie, I don't know if this is any help or not, but here is something about my hubby, Bob. He doesn't exactly have swallowing problems, but chokes on food and drink all the time. The reason he chokes is because he takes something into his mouth while he is reared back in his chair, and everytime it goes the wrong way. I have started putting a fat couch pillow behind his shoulders when I give him his food, to make sure he leans a bit forward, and it has been a big help.

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Sandy thanks, yes Larry tends to lean forward and knows the posture is important in eating. He also has to wait 20 minutes after eating or swallowing pills before he lies down for his nap or bedtime. He also rolls his tongue around to make sure there are no pieces of food left in his mouth.



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We did make it to the Botanical Gardens Sunday on a beautiful day. My son came along and pushed Larry in the big WC as the gardens are several acres. I will try to post them later if I can do it. I had forgotten the leg rests after lugging the big WC in the trunk. Luckily the garden had one we could use.



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My wife soon to have her 2 year anniversary since she had her stroke. I remember when I brought her home from the first nursing home. They instructed me in giving her medications including checking blood sugar and injecting insulin. My son who is a chef took off from work for a few weeks to make food for us since I could not cook. I had no instruction from the nursing home as what to expect as to her attitude or how to handle the many mental issues that were before me.


She had the best of food to eat but barely took a bite. The doctor prescibed a liquid which I can't remember its name to increase her appetite I really did not know how to handle her. We were between insurance companies as she just turned 65 and had to go on medicare so we did not have home visits or support from anyone. Within 2 or 3 weeks she was in the hospital and now under the new insurance supplement program. I believe she got dehydrated and I may have been giving her the medications at the wrong time or in the wrong order.


Wehn she came home we finally got set up with home visits from a nurse and therapists.

I learned alot from the visiting people. She then got a UTI and was back in the hospital. From the hospital I got her into a 2nd nursing home with more intense PT, OT and speech therapy.

After she came home she had some inhome therapy visits, but they did not have a speech therapy available. I then through the doctor got her into an out patient program for several months of therarpy until the insurance stopped paying. I still had a big co pay bill to contend with and a problem getting the billing correct, I still think I may have paid more than my share.


After bringing her home my son had gone back to work and stopped cooking for us. My other son gave me a frying pan for fathers day. I learned how to make precooked food and have added a deep fryer to my skills. I have not ventured into using the oven. I made some things on the out door grill. I was offered the help of a dietician but declined that as I do not cook. I once or twice made hamburger helper in my 9 inch frying pan.


I still struggle coming up with what to make for meals. We eat out as much as possible. My wife will tend to use her left hand to eat as she still has toruble with her right hand. She likes eating things in a bun such as hamburgers or sausage as she can hold that in her hands better. For a long time I did not realize that since she lost control of her right side the brain was not allowing her to see well with her right eye. Food that was off to one side of her plate or the table she did not see and hence did not eat. I think that has cleared up now also she had a problem with a cateract in her left eye which has been operated on twice since the first doctor screwed up.


She had been on a plato (wish this had a spell checker) for some time making slow progress but still progressing. I found a supplement that seems to be helping her brain to heal.


Her mind is very sharp and she remembers things better than I do. The name of the supplement is astaxanthin. We have been both taking 5 mg daily which I will increase shortly.

It is helps the brain of stroke survisors to heal and help me with memory issures. Reseach it on the internet.


I do not sleep well besides the stroke issues my wife is diabetic and I have to watch out for her sugar to go low and if that happens look out! I know I have not remembered all of what we have been through. We have been married 45 years as of last April.


My wife can now walk with the aid of a cane or my hand and sometimes goes short distances with out the need for a cane. She tends to drag her right foot. She gets tired walking and needs frequent rest stops. She still ocasionally does some illogical things and has trouble turning off lights and the tv when leaving a room. It has been a long haul almost 2 years, and a way to go, but I may be out of a job one day when she gets even better.



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