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"It's a terrible thing to live in fear." That is a line from one of our favorite movies, but it has sure come to hit home since Stroke Day.


In the early years, it was all the time, of course. I just tried to work through it, breathe, cry when I had to. But as things evened out and days became simplier, routines helped; I get pulled in, forget, drop the ball.


We have had many upsets for about six weeks. Almost like someone is punishing me for quitting smoking - LOL. And yes, I know I am more sensitive. There have been so many positives. It was easy to forgive being sent in 20 degree weather to two Road Races on the wrong day - but then the windows to the truck didn't work. Yes, they are up, but still think about all the drive-in windows I can't use. People telling me they are coming to help: parts falling off the WC. Windows to be locked down. My hands are shot. But don't "fit" us in.


This week did it though. Two snow storms due - we are in the big one right now. So I have to plan ahead. Bitter cold weather, so Bruce did not get out. I noticed that the furnace was recycling funny. Called our company and bless them, they had someone in the house (Erma was here with Bruce) within an hour. That is the advantage of being with the same company for 15 years. Well, thermostat was busted, but even worse, crack in the furnace and carbon monoxide. They called me right home from work. Now I have had many hours out of the house, but not so Bruce. Furnace shut down and immediate replacement. I was lucky to have a small electric heater in the basement that kept us comfy for the six hours until the crew and new furnace could get here.


Watched weather report last night. I wanted to go to work for a few hours this morning, but also wanted some treats since we would probably be snowed in until Sunday night earliest. So I had Bruce get me up at 6am and off I went to the grocery store. Light, dry snow. On the way to work, two crazy drivers sent me home and must have been my sign. Because Bruce was on the floor in the bathroom. Did not press his button. He is fine, some lacerations. I did have to call Paramedics to get him up. I couldn't manage holding him up and getting the WC under him. But they did spend a long time with Bruce explaining that he had to push the button. And they even unloaded my car and shut the garage down for me.


But tonight, Bruce comfy and in bed. Medicated with some tylenol for the pain I know he is going to have. We had a great day: paid bills, finished up Christmas cards. I had picked up lots of reading material for Bruce, which he loved. Watched a movie.


Now the fear and panic set in. What could have happened. Bruce and I laughed that dying together in bed was not a bad way to go, but like today - my fault. Letting down the guard. I ignored the morning routine and also did not put him into his AFO. Thought for sure he'd be OK for a few hours. And the furnace was recycling funny over last weekend - but my family was here and I was enjoying that. Did not call for service until Thursday because everything had to be done for Tuesday's snow storm and then Wednesday to recover from that. This is the down side of being organized because one becomes inflexible, unable (or unwilling) to "fit" in the situations that are not on the "list." Being unable to vary from the list.


Right now I want a cigarette and a vodka on the rocks. A hot bath and some comfy pjs. But I have a kitchen to clean up, laundry to be done and a bathroom to clean.


Colleen: having the same kind of time as you and yes, like you, so sorry had to blog this, but hope everyone celebrates and are thankful for the good times. When it rains, it pours. Debbie


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Debbie :


reading yours & collen's blogs made me realize my problems are so minor compared to what you all are dealing with but ofcourse to me at the time felt like end of world lol. I feel even ashamed to blog about it now lol. I never thought downside of organized person. post stroke I am becoming organized person but I still usually go with flow & always thank God for making chips fall right way in our life :)


I am so happy Bruce was not hurt & you learnt from the incident, at the end of the day as long as we learn from our mistakes then every experience counts in enriching our life.



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Everyone's problems are unique, and they are no better nor worse than anyone else's in the end. But when more than one come together at the same time, it is overwhelming on top of all else. I used to have a buffer zone before I freaked out, it's not there anymore. And a carbon monoxide/oil burner problem is extremely scary. Almost as bad as my fire alarm that likes to go off at 2AM for no good reason. I've learned where the fuse box is so I can get a few more hours of sleep before dealing with it.


Oops thanks for reminding me, I have laundry in the dryer myself. OK I'm back. So why did everything seem like it was getting better a month or two ago? What a dirty trick. The holidays are here but we're not supposed to enjoy them? With you quitting smoking, you have some hard hills to climb. Regardless, I too feel like there is very little wiggle room before I melt down lately.


I leave Ray for an hour or so twice a week, to go to my gym classes. He is supposedly asleep in bed so shouldn't be a problem. The only time he has called is when I am five or more minutes late, usually because I am chatting with my old friends there at the end. Once in the very beginning, he didn't know better and tried to get up for the bathroom while I was gone, I came home to find him crying on the floor. He could have called but didn't. I wouldn't go back for a long time after that, but now he knows better. He weighs less than me, so I can always get him up myself, but the few times I had to call EMT they have been so comforting. Maybe I should call them once in awhile anyway, just to come hang! They're great with the gallows humor.


Like I said, my tolerance of disturbances is so miniscule now. One thing I can take, maybe two, but when they start adding up I fall apart. I am hoping this will all be a distant memory in 10 days, when Christmas Eve rolls around. I have the seven fishes ordered, cookies baked mostly and plenty of time to get ready, just hoping no more cogs in the wheel til the end of the year.

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OH - my girls--- we gotta do something to break the bad flow... Dan and i have been doing OK -- i shouldnt type that ... but i know exactley where you guys are coming from.... i know i am not flying to NY for a while anyhow, ( exchange one cold for another no way).. but you two should get together at one of those nice casinos ... i know debbie is a master at finding the good deals -- you two better get on the phone with each other and make a date for you and the guys a nice day or two together overnight... hmmm wouldnt that be nice and totally DOABLE so you two "silly geese" do it.... !!!!!!!!!

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I could go for a day or two in NYC, some museums and a bit of gourmet food shopping plus a nice funky meal out. Since I'm dreaming! We're snowed in here though, at least by our standards (one inch or more!)

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Oh my God, I'm so glad you 2 weren't ephixiated! Praise the Lord! It must be the season, perhaps the grinch used to be a little nice person who always tried his best and finally thru in the towel on that one!


Things have been hitting the fan like crazy over here too, so if it's any comfort, it's not just you getting it (somehow that always makes me feel less picked on by fate). People keep falling dead over here, no one real close to me, thankfully. Bob also fell just a few days ago. I don't know how he manages, but the instant I try to give him the tiniest piece of freedom he messes up. I had him in the hallway, that has the softest thickest carpet you've ever felt, so even if he fell, it would feel like falling on a bed! So I told him to keep coming while I opened his room door and turned on the light for him. As I do that, I hear a crash and turn around and guess whose on the floor? Guess who is NOT on the hallway carpet, but managed to spin around and end up falling on to the hard ceramic tile on the bathroom floor? I swear, seeing him on the hard floor when I felt so smug about the carpet being there if he did fall.... I thought my head would explode! He seems ok, but has a bruise the size of a large grapefruit on his butt, and winces when ever he has to scoot into bed. Just when you think you have it figured out, it doesn't work like you thought, it wasn't as safe... afterall... grrrrr....


I decided Bob would not be able to use the button because they are not as simple as you think, you have to hold them in for a certain amount of time and you have to comprehend what you are doing. But, I still have it for me, which was my original fear.


Glad you 2 are ok!

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Oh dear Debbie, I have just written a little moany blog and now reading yours my troubles are just so insignificant. Mind you I HAVE been there done that.


Hope you have a better week ahead of you. And if there is a glimpse of blue sky try and get outside for a while. Just being out in the fresh air is real pick-me-up

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Hey, I fully understand and know what you are dealing with and still working too as my wife does! She calls me to see if I'm OK and it's been 10 years of recovery for me now on my own at home!


The greatest thing for me is I drive and got my scooter!

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I'm there guys with two things also. it used to be just having another stroke that was my concern. (had 3 in under 2 years, will like have another but when) then Monday dermatologist took a little spot off face which she said was like basal cell, but guess what, wrong!. it was a squamous cell. so now two things.

but in fact the squamous cell may be my chance to exit before I have n strokes and no longer am aware.


I think that what all this is doing is making me a little more aware of the present and that its not going to last forever.


thank you ethyl for your blog and hope your "two" things works out well



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Debbie, no cigarettes! Voda yes, hot bath yes. If you have been through this without the smoking, you can beat it.


I think the thing that we as caregivers go through is we have to get it fixed ourselves. Nothing like being responsible for every little thing that goes bad!


Hang in there, things will get better.



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Update: the snow removal team quit today. Apparently they sold the business in the summer (landscaping) but forgot about their winter customers. I had called on Friday and told them that neighbor was away and I did not have to be out until Monday AM. That reminded them - LOL. They split up, took their families along for help, did a once over lightly on all their customers and dropped the news.


I have spoken often of our house facing south. If we get any sun and get the big stuff removed, our ramp and driveway will be dry by dinner time. I waited until it warmed up and the sun came out and then went out and finished us and the neighbor up.


I'll ask around but can't make any commitments for my neighbor who is due home next week.


Bruce is much better today. Lacerations on his hand, shoulder and leg. Still a bit sore.


And yes, I think Jules that for me, at least, I can handle the immediate issue but then have to figure out the follow up. And my buffer zone is diminished as well. One just hits overload. I knew the furnace was old and that I should consider having it replaced. Bruce and I spoke often about changing the whole house over to gas (the addition already is) and it is on the list. I just never knew about Carbon Monoxide being a factor. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all Bruce's knowledge was passed on to me when he stroked.


I had a glass of wine and went to bed. I still have to get through tomorrow and leaving Bruce alone again. I am thinking exactly like Colleen did with Ray's fall - maybe just time to retire and stay home. But my Bruce reminded me tonight that we can not be responsible for someone else's safety 24/7 and Sandy was right with Bob. Stuff just happens.


We have that funny little elf who reports back to Santa every night and when he gets back home, you find him in a different place in the morning. Ours is on Bruce's table with the button in front of him and his little hand on the button - LOL. This is when I wish my telephone had a camera. Bruce will enjoy that when he gets up in the morning.


Thank you all for your concerns and good wishes. Debbie

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Debbie please that everything turn out okay with Ray and the heating. Please you had your glass of wine. I know we all have that brick wall, when we just can not take any more. like I said never though of you caregivers. Sorry.


I can not imagaine the weather, I live in Florida, and it is warm for December! I saw on the televison that Florida was the only state with no snow!!!!!!!!!!!!


Debbie, you and Ray have a Merry Christmas!



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Debbie, they have those fire alarms that also detected gases. Even new furnaces can have a problem. Anyone with gas or oil should have the gas detecting alarms.... actually, if you are buying a new one, anyone should just go ahead and get that kind anyway, because different things burning give off gas before other things are detected, so they are the safest kind. We even had cases of some all electric houses blowing up because leaking gas traveled underground and came up in their house!

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