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Bruce - Home Alone



Was going to wait a bit to blog this, but Colleen's blog made me think about doing it now.


Bruce has been asking since January to be left alone here in the house. And you all know I have made that a priority. In fact, spoke to both his therapists this last PT-OT round. Ingrid worked on independence on and off the bed, all his exercises, save one, he can do independently. I have been working with him for the last six weeks on getting into the routine, so he knows them if I am not here.


Saturday was test day. Now the deal is, Bruce is not to sit and pet Kira and channel surf until Ethel gets home. I explained to him that if I was giving up help, he would have to step up. And mulling it over, Bruce is best with the morning routine - again rote, rote, rote.


Afternoons are still too new. I have only been home in the afternoons for about 4 weeks. So lunch, nap, exercise, shower, Estim and snack, mail - help with dinner is basically brand new to him. But the morning routine has been in place for over 2 years, so good place to start.


He sets up after dinner for AM breakfast for him, has to pack mine and feeding Kira. Then Estim set up while I am here. Getting those connections to the pads is difficult. Bruce can do it, but if they are not socked down, he will have difficulty. He can place the pads on his knee and shoulder himself. But like so many of our survivors, just prefers for Ethel to do it.


I am a mile and 1/2 away. And I assured Bruce that this would be for work only. He will still have his jaunts most days as we have been doing. I also have permission from work to leave for welfare/toiletting checks. I will keep Erma one day a week to help out with the house keeping.


There are, of course, more asides here. And in time I will blog them. But for now, Saturday was a positive. He did all his work, plus the breakfast dishes! Not on the list. The BM issues will be the tell. Bruce has IBS and has to go when he has to go. And he will try to do it himself. On Erma and Cathy's watches, it is immediate when they get here, so that is a good guideline as to when I should do a welfare check.


The big positive: Bruce was exhausted after lunch. He is using parts of his brain that have been dormant for a long time. Thinking about the doing and the physical doing are daunting. He said he was afraid of not getting all the chores done - LOL. The fact that he did any of it was amazing to me. Not that he can't but that he felt it was important enough to do. Plus it set the tone for the rest of the weekend.


I know I rant about the channel surfing with the TV. To sit and watch a program or movie is one thing. But he seems to zone out with the commercials, starts the channel surfing and it is endless. Then he can't remember his words, responsibilities, incontinence. And truly when he has choices (now decisions) he seems happier. Not waiting for Ethel to direct the day.


So will keep you all posted. I am looking forward to winter with just Bruce and I. I can handle me in bad weather, but will be happy not to have to worry about young Moms getting here and back home. Can they come, snow days for the kids, can I get a replacement?


Mary Beth is coming for the weekend. She is anxious to see all we are doing now. Weekend routine will be the same as the work week - that is what works here. Debbie


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Oh, this is such a good thing Debbie! You should be so proud of Bruce and of YOU! Bruce has come so far, but he couldn't have done it without you. You're a wonderful caregiver and deserve a big pat on the back and big (((((HUGS)))))

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I'm hoping that in another two years we might be right where you are now. I'll probably not be back to work, but we did used to like to do our different things around the house separately. If Ray can just stop being so scared, it would be the greatest part of his recovery. You never know! Thanks for giving me hope.

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Bruce is truly on the road to recovery doing all that work himself. I am hopeful Larry will get over his fears too and want to be more independent. He knows it is just me that can stay here and help him every day. Our helper, Jim, comes but only for a few hours each week. Good for both of you to accomplish this.



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Congrats to Bruce for all his new accomplishments and direct following what has been put before him while he is on his own. Sounds like the plan is working, only time can tell what his brain keeps up with over the coming weeks. That's why I'm so glad we survivors got great care givers and our communication channels are open all the way.


We suffered terrible and disabling strokes and being able to do anything at all is a great feat in my mind. Look here, following any directions for Bruce and many of us survivors is a big blessing and home warming gestures with what little brain we got left.


I see Bruce driving his truck a little farther up the road and that's not me dreaming that's a reality same as what I had happen with me. Patience and desire goes a long, long way in any kind of recovery.


My first two months on the rehab floor in the hospital made me say to myself, "This is it" I will never go home again in this life. Low and behold God raised me up in mind and spirits. My next three months seeing other survivors come in and go back home made me feel I would too!


We can ALL make it if we try, try some more, then keep on trying to get better day by day and our little minds we got left will commit our bodies to do the same. We will do what we see and feel. That's what Bruce, others too and me are doing every day. We are not defeated just down a tad but spirits very high where we feel like we can do most anything before us!


Ethel my dear, I'm waiting to see that Blog saying "Bruce is driving AGAIN." One day, Sat, Sun or a day you got off let him use his scooter in the yard, driveway or even on the street in front of the house unless you live on a busy street with cars flying by way over the posted speed limit. That drive feeling will come over him like it did me. And driving his truck is like back in the saddle again!

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