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The Hummingbird



Bruce is part Native American and has said often over the past 25 years his totem was the "Sparrowhawk"=hence Sparks. When Mary Beth was here in the early days, she came out of the room that is now the bedroom with a bunch of feathers tied together. She said to me, what is this? I said it is Bruce's totem. She was taken aback and threw it out. She said there will be no voodoo in this house. I could only laugh at the time and have shared that story with Bruce. We have had many positive things happen this week: Bruce's right leg is kicking in the pool, he had his Botox, Docs moved up his Baclofen trial, Antidepressant seems to be starting to work, while no movement in his right arm yet, it is loose and the fingers are now unclenched. He also received Botox in the fingers-a first-so we will see if it helps. But he continues to do nothing for himself without prompt or an argument. Says I have the "premonition" to foresee all his wants and needs and therefore does not need to do anything. Takes no interest in anything except the TV, has to be forced outside even though I purchased the ramp so he doesn't have to step down, has to have a list of chores and be threatened if he does not do them, etc. Tonight I was contemplating this on the deck while I was making him do the dishes when a Hummingbird took to our flower boxes. Ruby=throated. We do not have a lot of hummingbirds here in the northeast and I think the last time I saw one was a few years back. She(I knew it was a she because no ruby throat)went from pot to pot. Kira could not figure out what she was and that in itself was funny. Maybe my Mom coming to comfort her baby or maybe just a glimmer of hope. Anyway tomorrow is a new day and the start of our busy week. Weekends are always tough with no therapies or work scheduled but I keep hoping something will grab him. Debbie


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Wishing and hoping and planning and dreaming, I know that is part of a song but don't remember which one. It certainly describes my attitude the first two years of Ray's recovery after the 1999 strokes.


The PT, OT etc did pay off and he did get back maybe 80% of what he had been - minus the ambition and the ability. He did learn to walk slowly with a stick but driving was vetoed at the end of the first year and I don't think he ever recovered from that. Driving was so part of how he defined himself.


It is not easy to adjust to the "new normal" and acceptance comes a fair way down the track. Maybe Bruce is sitting there wishing etc that he will wake up and things will be the way they were and watching TV passes the time. Ray thinks it is "my job" to look after him, once that was the norm.


You are doing well getting Bruce as much help as you can. He is responding to the treatment and exercise and maybe will get more back - minus the right arm. Even that may improve. After a few years Ray could hold his left affected arm in a cup shape and carry things in it.


Keep on doing what you are doing.



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Bruce sounds like William. I need to prompt most every thing. I had to hand him the shaver to shave. He asked me to help him. I decided to hold the mirror. He says that it hurts to shave. He was complaining today about being stuck in his chair or bed. I get home and say that we can walk around a bit. But, he only wants to walk to the chair and says that I push too much. I push because i want him to walk. I have noticed that his leg is moving more on its own. I would usually push it but recently it moves it self and surprised me. This gets him a little off balance but it is exciting. He is in physical therapy again. She told him that he needs to stand longer. I had him stand for 1 minute and he wanted to sit down. I actually prolonged it to 1-1/2 minutes. I told him that I need to work up to 2 minutes. He can do it. He just did not want to !! That is frustrating! He needs to participate and initiate this stuff. It is coming along slowly.


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I hope it all works out for Bruce and for you! I'm glad the Botox is working for him and let us know how the Botox fingers do after a while, OK?


I still can't find a doctor to get the Botox done. Most of them don't recommend the shot in this area.

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Dana is only just over a week post stroke, but it seems he is more mopey than anything, and will allow his parents to do a lot for him. I am afraid this will be come a nice little place of heaven for him, where he can avoid the hard to work and a faster recovery. Being told that he will recovery completely, one would assume he would be happy and work hard, but I think his mind is more working out why and what for and how come him and not someone else. All these fellas seem to have the same issues in different degrees. I hope we can all encourage our others to do their best and work hard and that we will be granted patience as families and caregivers.

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