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About this blog

Just my wandering thoughts

Entries in this blog

Checking In

A short bio since I've been off of StrokeNet for almost eight years.    I live in Indiana which is in the middle of the US.  My husband, Dan, stroked in 2009 and passed away in 2013 as a result of surgery.  I truly can't believe that he's been gone so long, I still think of him and miss him every day.  People say that you eventually get over the death of a loved one, I don't believe that to be true.  I don't think you ever "get over" it rather you are able to accept it for what it is. 

MaryJo

MaryJo in General

Closure and Peace

I wasn't sure what to do with Dan's ashes after his memorial mass. I scattered some of them along a trail he used to enjoy visiting, some of them were scattered with his mom's ashes at her parents gravesite with some mums. The rest of them, and the bulk of them, I decided to take to Maine were we loved to visit. When we lived in Massachusetts we used to visit Kennebunkport, ME every fall. Oh, what beautiful country! We usually went after peak foiliage season because the rates were lower...ev

MaryJo

MaryJo

Lazy Sunday, feeling sad today

Our weather has changed drastically. We've dropped over 20° in the last few days. I love the cooler weather, I just wish the sun would shine. I started my day with plans of cutting back the daisies, cleaning up the day lillys, and pulling weeds. All of the above are about two weeks overdue. None of them got done. This morning I was sitting in the kitchen reading the Sunday newspaper, drinking coffee, and planning my yard work activities. Then I started remembering Sunday the way it used to

MaryJo

MaryJo

Just Me

I'm having a problem not thinking of things in terms of "us" and "we". I'm doing blah blah to the house vs we're doing blah blah to the house. Need new kitchen chairs, what style, what color, how much to spend. Sounds silly, but I've been half of a WE team for a long time. Even though the last four years I've made all the final decisions, I still asked for Dan's input...good or bad...Dan's color choice for kitchen chairs would have been purple (no, we're not getting purple kitchen chairs). T

MaryJo

MaryJo

My Life

Dan's been gone six weeks now. His memorial mass was a week ago. I was so very touched by the number of people that were there. Two of his high school classmates (graduated 50 years ago), a friend from Tennessee, friends I worked with 40 years ago, neighbors, a lady that I baby sat for her daughter 50 years ago, brothers, sisters, niece, nephews...oh my! The "church ladies" put together a luncheon after the mass and family came to the house after the luncheon. The in-laws left for home the

MaryJo

MaryJo

Dealing with it

Reality is starting to hit me. Dan has been gone for two weeks yet I still tend to plan my activities around my old schedule of when will someone be home with Dan, what time do they need to leave, no weekend activities because Dan needs someone with him, so on and so forth. It is difficult to change old habits. I know this isn't unique to me, I've reread some of Sue's blogs and she stated she did the same thing. After being together for so long it's hard to realize that you are alone. I don

MaryJo

MaryJo

Dan is finally pain free and at peace

Dan passed away Monday, June 17. He was at home and he is finally out of pain and at peace. I am ok. I've been grieving for four years over the loss of the man I married; now I'm grieving over the loss of the man he became four years ago. He made me laugh right up the the end, I think that's what I will miss the most, he could make me angry one second and laugh the next. Even post stroke he had such a quick, dry sense of humor. He was a lot of things, but he was the most honest, dependable,

MaryJo

MaryJo

Words can't describe

Dan's surgery was a month ago and he's been in a nursing home for rehab for two weeks. I've seen Dan frustrated, angry, tired, connected to machines with tubes going into and out of his body. I have never, in 36 years, seen him this mean and hurtful. Not just to me, to everyone. He is verbally abusive to everyone at the facility, to Jeff, and to me. He never used to curse and now it comes out of his mouth like the air he breathes. The F word is now used as often as any other word coming ou

MaryJo

MaryJo

Recovery is a rocky road

Dan was moved to ICU Sunday evening. He was having a lot of problems breathing, his BP was up and down one hour 175/?? the next 85/?? he was hallucinating very badly, trying to get out of bed, refusing to let anyone help him, resistant to anything and everyone. He's been on a ventilator since Sunday and heavily sedated. Just talked to the nurse and he's off all sedation and they're taking the breathing tube out this morning. Time will tell.   I keep wondering how much more he can take. I

MaryJo

MaryJo

Successful surgery

Dan's surgery was two days ago. Surgery was successful and, so far, he is doing very well. They have him in a monitored room, not ICU, where they can watch his heart and breathing. The nurses and aides are all so good to him. He started flirting with them as soon as he was out of recovery. lol The doctor says he'll be in the hospital probably 6 or 7 days. First guess is that he'll come home straight from the hospital and get in home rehab. I really hope so because I really hate nursing ho

MaryJo

MaryJo

What was I thinking?

Spring has finally made it to central Indiana. The sun has been shining for two consecutive days!! Indiana winters are very drab and dull. It's interesting how everyone's mood changes with the sun. I was in the grocery yesterday and everyone was smiling. I've gotten a little yard work done but it needs to be just a little warmer before I can plant some of the annuals Dan has purchased. He still has all of these great plans of things he's going to do in the yard, he just forgets that he can

MaryJo

MaryJo

I get so tired of everything...

Sometimes I just want to walk out and never come back. Sometimes I think my brain is shutting down. I've been on a bit of a crying jag this last week. It started a week ago last Wednesday when Dan started having severe lower abdomen pain right after I got into bed. I got up and nothing would alleviate the pain and he didn't want to go to the hospital. Finally after three hours of moaning and groaning in pain he agreed that he needed to go to ER. Called 911, sat in ER until 5am when he was

MaryJo

MaryJo

Cold but sunny

The sun makes everyone feel better even when it's cold. We've had a good week. Dan has been very pleasant since I got home. We went to a museum in Indy today and stopped at Olive Garden for linner, that's what we call a late lunch and early dinner combined. It warmed up to 25 and it was sunny all day.   Dan had his surgery consult yesterday and the surgeon wants to try another med and to go to yet another GI doc for a consultation. We are very fortunate to have IU Medical Center in downt

MaryJo

MaryJo

Back to the real world

My Florida trip was fantastic!! I went with three friends, two of them are caregivers, one a caregiver a few years ago to her husband. I'm the youngest of the four, the eldest is 87. What a group!! I was the chauffeur, which is odd because I don't have any sense of direction and can't remember where I turned five minutes ago. Thank goodness for the GPS on my phone! lol We rented a condo on Treasure Island in St. Petersburg. The condo was a couple hundred feet from the Gulf. We had four d

MaryJo

MaryJo

Another year come and gone

We are having a very uneventful day, which is good sometimes. Jeff took the holiday off so it's just me and Dan. The morning routine wears me out so very much. We were going to go to a movie today but Dan was just too tired. In all honesty, I was too tired too, so I was a little relieved that he decided not to go. He seems to be so tired lately. He's told me several times that he's tired of being tired.   Dan has an appointment Jan 23 with a surgeon about his impending surgery. I know i

MaryJo

MaryJo

Winter is here and I'm going to Florida!

Dan is in bed, has been since 6:00pm. I'm just sitting here messing around on the computer and doing nothing productive. I've had a good day. Got a massage, had my teeth cleaned, and did a little shopping. Dan sleeps a lot more lately. He's ready to go to bed by 3pm and I have to tell him NO, it's too early. Of course he argues. It's so hard telling someone who was such a strong independent man that he can't do things, like go to bed at 3pm, eat candy bars all day long, spend $20 on break

MaryJo

MaryJo

Time passes too quickly

I can't believe that it's almost December, where has the year gone? It seems as if I just got the Christmas tree boxed up and stored in the basement and yet it's time to get it out again. The retailers moved straight from Halloween to Christmas and I just can't seem to get into a holiday mood. Maybe it's the weather. It's been much warmer than normal in central Indiana. I'm not complaining, I could take 50° to 70° temps year round.   I had foot surgery a week ago and I'm just now hobbling

MaryJo

MaryJo

25th Wedding Anniversary

We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary last Wednesday, 10/17. We dated for 9 years and knew each other for two years before we started dating. Sometimes it seems like yesterday. I hardly remember not knowing Dan and can't imagine life without him.   We took a two day, one night trip to Nashville, IN. We've been going there since we started dating and Dan wanted to go there for our anniversary. Nashville is located in Brown County, IN. There's a very nice park and Nashville is an "art

MaryJo

MaryJo

Handbags and Ice Cream

Life can be so exhausting. One day you're up the next day you're down. I get so tired. Not sleepy, just tired, if that makes any sense.   Dan gets so angry in the evening. Sometimes it seems as though I can never do anything that makes him happy. Last night I was told I was "invading his privacy" and "invading his space". It started out when he had a glob of ketchup on his chin. I gave him a tissue to wipe it off and he tossed it away. I asked him to please wipe it off and he said no.

MaryJo

MaryJo

Just another day

I never really know what's going on with Dan. For two weeks he's been very lethargic, seems to have lost his appetite yet again, and could sleep all day. I was sure he had a UTI. Finally got a urine sample, which is NOT easy for someone when he can't go "on demand" as he tells me. Results came back negative. Then yesterday he passed a couple of blood clots from his rectum. He has no colon so it really concerned me. GI doc said to get him to the ER. Five hours in the ER with blood samples

MaryJo

MaryJo

Meltdown

I had a bit of a meltdown today. It happens occasionally. If I wasn't through menopause I'd say I had PMS! lol   Dan's caregiver was out sick Monday and Tuesday so I was on my own for two days. I had forgotten how tiring taking care of him all day can be. With Jeff out two days and because of doctor appointments I hadn't had any time to myself since last Friday. So today it caught up with me. After spending an hour on the phone with the insurance company trying to find out why a drug t

MaryJo

MaryJo

Attitude

Dan's attitude has been horrible this week. He's usually very easy going and loves to joke and make people laugh. He's been grumpy but I figure that everyone has grumpy days occasionally. Jeff took him to rehab on Friday so I could run some errands. When they got home Jeff said it was horrible. Apparently he was cursing, yelling, and he called the therapist stupid. His shoulder is sublexed, there's about a 1" gap. On Wed OT asked if anyone had ever taped his shoulder to try and help the p

MaryJo

MaryJo

Getting my life back

Dan came home Aug 13. He was in a hospital or facility for seven long months. I was really concerned when he first came home because it seemed like he had taken so many steps backwards. He was almost max assist on his transfers. He's gotten much stronger, he's back to almost what he was in January when he went to the hospital. He still has no endurance and no motivation, which is not likely to change. It seems as if all I ever do is remind, prompt, tell him what to do and when to do it. I

MaryJo

MaryJo

Food heaven

Dan was in food heaven this afternoon. We went to a local cafeteria and he had fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, harvard beets, and coconut cream pie. At his request I've made a dozen bibs out of hand towels with draw strings for him to wear around his neck. He calls them his drool towels. Today there were harvard beets everywhere. lol He has found his appetite again. From past experience and current patterns I know that I'll have to start telling him no to so much food. He coul

MaryJo

MaryJo

Weeds, weeds, and more weeds

I thought this title seemed appropriate when I re-read the one I posted about mud. The mud was replaced with grass seed. The spring weather was replaced with mid-western heat and humidity. The new grass that was looking pretty good is now replaced by weeds that love and thrive in the heat and humidity. Every morning and evening I water my weed gardens. lol There is some grass that's thriving. I talked to our lawn guy (never in my life did I think I'd have a lawn guy!) who tells me that th

MaryJo

MaryJo