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Some changes



I so wanted to blog since late January, but so much happening here and just so tired. Thank goodness we have chat, so I can vent and relax among friends, going through exactly what Bruce and I are going through.


Weather: unless you live in Southern California, all of us are having a very bad time this winter. I can only imagine what the cold and dryness is doing to Bruce. He rarely complains, but it has to be horrid. I know a lot of the focus is on us, here in New England. But Nancy and Julie, in the Midwest are perhaps much worse off. Maybe not the snowfall we are getting here, but certainly the cold. We are all so blessed to have our Sue - there in Australian summer with her sun and warmth, green and growth. And she is so willing to share - gives all of us something to look forward to, knowing it is coming for us. Puxatawney Phil or not!


So to my Bruce. From the last blog you all know he had his checkup with his PCP. Week ago, Wednesday, after his nap, I find him on the landing going either up to the bedrooms in the addition or down into the bedroom that was also his office. It is now a storeroom. Bruce wants to go down the four steps to his office because he is "curious". Now you have to understand: if I make Bruce angry or feel unacknowledged, he will placate me and then try it on his own. He is that stubborn. I explained to Bruce that he has not walked or done steps in 6 months. I called Bruce's Godson, Dan; explained the situation and Dan assured Bruce that he would come and just be in the house when we do this. It is important that just Bruce and I do it together because Dan, or anyone else, is not always going to be in the house. There were other, smaller things: he forgot to feed Kira, he poured juice into his cereal, he took a new bowl of cereal and milk into the kitchen and dumped it. So, OK now, I am in panic mode. I called the Doctor. We ran down the usual list and decided on bloodwork and a urine specimen. Fortunately Erma was coming on Thursday. I just waited until lab tech and Erma got here before I went to work.


I knew Friday, when I did not get a call from Doctor, that physically, at least, all was well. But I took the day off anyway. I ran Bruce ragged for three days. I think I counted that I took that WC up and down 18 times: errands, out to breakfast, grocery shop, car wash, jewelry store. They were cold days, but sunny and I left him in parking lots and driveway. He took good naps, slept well overnight. So I am thinking part of this was certainly cabin fever but it may also be a positive - moving up a level in cognitive thinking. But while I am loving this possibility, I also have to think of safety.


The good thing was we got everything done. And with the weather this week, a blessing. Monday: 8 inches of light dry snow overnight. Today 9 inches of the heaviest, wettest snow I have shoveled since our blizzard and Hey Babies - another due on Sunday.


I have no time or energy - LOL - to reflect on any of this. All of Bruce's labs were fine. So far he seems OK knowing Dan is coming, understands why it can't be this week. Has had me home from work for a week-he is loving that, but it will wear thin LOL. And I am hoping he understands my concerns about his safety.


He has been so patient about me having to be outside clearing the ramp. I have a phobia about not being able to accomodate 911 if I have to call them. I don't see a lot of discussion about that here. And sometimes I think it is just me - Mary Beth often laughs about this. Maybe it is just the EMT-Nurse in me.


So that is a quick update. When Erma gets back from her vacation, you can be sure Bruce and I will be off for a few days of rest, relaxation and waiting on Debbie - LOL. Right now it is hottest shower I can stand, a glass of wine, medications for Bruce and off to bed. But hey Babies - 3 snow free days, maybe. LOL. Debbie


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I used to freak out about keeping the walkways clear in case we need EMT, but this year with all the snow I finally gave up and made myself stop worrying. I am sure they have had to fight their way through much more than a little snow to get to their patients: I mean like cutting people out of car wrecks, hoarders houses where they can't even find them right away and the like. I have left the snow a couple of times overnight, I have a lot more energy in the AM anyway.


Yesterday, despite the horrid weather, I had an oil burner cleaning scheduled in the afternoon, plus around 11 both the nurse, and the social worker, called to stop by. Obviously had cancellations, I usually get a call around 8AM which makes it possible to plan my day around their visits. I was annoyed but went into high gear and shoveled just the driveway to the garage, didn't feel like doing the front walk and porch too. The oil burner guy figured it out and came through the open garage door, but both in home women trudged through the snow to get to the front door, even though I told them to call me to open up the garage for them. So I think we worry TOO much about stuff like that.


They are saying as of last night that Sunday may only be a couple of inches, here's hoping.

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Debbie, even Bruce gets cabin fever and wants to see what is what in his own home. Larry seldom leaves the family room except to go to the kitchen to eat or bedroom/bathroom. I tell him to walk around the house and look outside the front, etc. lol Unlike Bruce, Larry prefers to stay indoors especially when he sees the temperatures and wind chill. He is already saying we can't make church this weekend.


I hope Bruce's independence keeps him safe. Things are definitely changing with him and he is doing more and more.



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It seems to me that there is very little that is linear in stroke recovery. There are improvements and then set backs that take us backwards a bit. I know you have seen some wonderful improvements in Bruce. His cognition seems to be making leaps. Then...he pours juice into his cereal. Who can figure it out? I don't even try anymore! I'm glad he checked out ok physically. Yes, safety is such a concern. Those cognitive leaps are welcomed but they do seem to come with poor judgement as to safety.


You are doing such an amazing job with Bruce. He feels loved and cared for. That must be such a solid foundation for him in his recovery. You provide him with a sense of safety. That makes things crazy for you at times because you are aware of this. Keep trying to care for you as well. You know this. I know you do, but when we are caught in caring for the one we love, it is easy to sidestep our own needs. Do you have enough spare change to pay someone to shovel for you? Some with snow blowers can get the job done so quickly. I know when it just keeps snowing that is a never ending process. Maybe someone else could at least take the burden off a few times and make it easier for you to keep it off. Just see this as a nudge to think of ways to make it a bit easier on you too. :)


Keep seeing the green--it WILL arrive one day! ~~Donna

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Debbie :


fortunately I don't have any cognitive deficits, though since my right brain was involved doctors tested me thorougly. but I can tell you from survivor point of view more my husband trusted me with my abilities better I did with my recovery. just a thought.



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Hi Debbie, please stop worrying if 911 can get up the drive way, Iam sure they figure it out! You take sure goood care of Bruce, that he feels he can do so much more. Like Asha said, maybe you need to trust more in his abilities. I know itis a saftey issuse, but after my stroke I get so mad at hubbie and daughter for hovering over me. I felt thatthey needed to trust me more, and let me "go". I would fall, but I needed to try things for myself made me feel like an adult.


The weather is a stinker. I live in Florida, and yesterday it was 84, today it is down to 66 and cloudy and cool, I have a cold it because of the weather changes.



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Donna: our snow removal team quit the first snowfall this year, back in December. They did us and our neighbor. Gloria and I have searched to no end to find someone new. Our neighbor Cliff agreed to help us out, but come Spring, the push will be on to find someone new.


I understand what all of you are saying about 911, but remember I was 911. 4 minutes of no oxygen to the brain -vegetable. I am not willing to watch emergency personnel try to figure out how to get to or in my house. My front door is always open when I am not here.


And I do trust Bruce's abilities. But think about it. You have not walked or done stairs in six months. Do any of you really think that is safe to let him do without someone in the house spotting him? We can do it. He does best with me anyway. But if he goes down, I need someone to help me get him up. And again, back to square one, do I really want to wait until 911 shovels their way in to help us?


Thank you all for yor responses. It has been a long winter. Always is in New England. Seems every year brings new challenges. Spring is on the way!

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I hear you with the snow removal. I do not have a regular source and I am feeling it. I tried shoveling again yesterday but waited too long and got down to where I could not shovel as it is too hard. My driveway is like a ski mogul. lol


I got out tho!!



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I'm so glad to hear that Bruce was not injured when he fell. Bob hasn't pulled anything lately, thank God. He has enough cognition to realize he doesn't want to fall again! He still does things... I mean before, he PLANNED things and did them, and had a fall. Now, it would just be one of those things, because he is not planning things to try on his own. Like when I got him up from his chair to change rooms and he went to turn off his desk lamp and leaned over a little, letting one foot off the ground. I told him no, don't do that again. That is the kind of thing we need to practice, before you just try to casually do it, iwthout thinking.


I worry about my ramp too, and the idiots just seem to want to spring around on it, with me standing there telling them to stop, slow down, get your hands out of your pockets - they laugh it off, and I want to slug them!


I really need the stuff to melt out front, but doesn't look like a chance of that till Wednesday.

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Sandy: Boy, I hear you about the snow melt. Back of our house faces North. After that freak 30 inches of snow overnight, two years ago and having to call the contractor to send a team - now I just worry and look for moisture on the bedroom ceiling again.


I have a call out to contractor about those Gutter Caps. People have advised they are really only for leaves and that the real solution is a roof rake. I know Cliff has one and uses his, so I will have to ask him about it.


Thank you for the kind words. I know you are in the middle of a huge mess, but it was nice of you to take the time and send some support. You know you and Bob are in my thoughts.

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We have pending facia, sophit, gutter w/ some kind of leaf deflector in our future. I can't make up my mind on who I will let work on it, I don't want it half done, but everyone is half doers these days. What is this roof rake.

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