Saturday, October 16, 2010


Just had to let you know that I am almost well.  A couple of shots, a good lecture from my doctor/friend and a couple of days without hacking every second has made for some much better days. You cope better when you feel better.  I feel HOPEFUL.  I am not sure if that comes from just feeling better or that I really see some progress, either way I will take it. All of you have been so faithful to check on me and send encouraging notes… thank you.
Two weeks ago tonight I was probably sitting in the same place I am now, maybe even blogging, having no clue how our  world was going to change the next morning. A lesson learned…never take an ordinary day for granted. Another one…always have a small suitcase packed.
Jack has had a really good week.  I guess part of me does not want to share all the things he has accomplished for fear that the set back “everyone prepares us for” that may happen,will.  I still have not read the books on strokes…probably not going to.  It’s really been a week with ups and no real downs.  The pneumonia is gone, the bleed has remained the same and does not seem to be a concern now.  Jack is now back on aspirin and his heart meds, so that's a real plus. He has worked a minimum of 6 hours a day in the rehab gym and with the speech therapists.  He never had really slurred speech, just a monotone sound and tonight I would say that is 90 % gone.  He has some weakness on his left side, but he can stand and he made 3 circles walking around the gym just holding on to the back of a wheel chair.  He can stand, and tonight he rode down the hall in the wheel chair balancing squirming Grayson on one knee and wild jumping Jack on his other knee.  Not sure I could have done that. He is irritable and frustrated and even ask them to bring a little bike in the room for the weekend, since the therapist are off on the weekends. He was not happy about taking two days off. I ask him if he wanted me to bring some mums and pumpkins and put a wreath on the door and he told me “NO, do not make this room look like I am staying very long.”  The old coach in him has come out…BIG TIME.  He hates the food so Amanda has  made sure he had everything he wanted everyday…Some of the best cooks in town have made their specialties.  He has never eaten so WELL….He is not well, but for being two weeks out from being very close to death, I think he has made great progress.  In previous posts I have told you about Roger, our doctor friend that walked us through this last week in Dallas….He is eccentric (he will laugh at that and any of my friends that know him will be laughing too), he is brilliant, he is a say it like it is type guy, he makes my kids laugh so hard…they love his emails and would be upset if I did not forward everyone of them, he absolutely does not care what others think, and never ever bring up politics unless you really want to know what he thinks. He calls BS just that, even if it comes from a doctor. Someday I will do an entire post on him…he is one of those friends for life…he and I disagree on tons of things…one being Brett Favre and this was not the week for Brett to be in the news. We are the best of friends and can debate any subject for hours. He knows every sports, history, medical statistic that was ever written. I am really no match for him in a debate.  We just agree to disagree on some things.…but never have Jack and I had a more loyal friend.  When you are in the fight you sure want him on your team.
Last night I got my daily email from him, answering my questions (probably ones I have ask him 20 times)! The email was also telling me to just put gas in the car..that me along with Pres Obama (that's not exactly how he refers to him) are probably the only two people that don’t…See he really cuts me little slack….  but I had to laugh at his analogy of Jack’s stroke. If I told you all of the analogies he has shared with me in the last two weeks, you would still be laughing tomorrow. These are his words below…
As for Jack and the stroke, it is what it is. I am sure he will do everything he can to get well, if he can get back 90%, you’ll be lucky, but one way you could look at it is he was always 120% of a normal man so 90% of 120 is 108 so you still come out ahead.
and he is right!!!! as always….
I think Jack is on the mend enough that I can share a few funnies that happened the last 14 days…Our family LAUGHS…mostly at each other.  And sometimes the laughing is all that keeps you from screaming.  A caveat here ( I have no idea if I will feel encouraged tomorrow, but for today I do)
I am trying to think which of these stories I can share on the blog… I will share two tonight…maybe another night I will tell you some funnier ones.
THIS will explain preoccupied to you….on about the third or fourth day, Amanda had gone to the store and got me some chloraseptic, trying to help me get my voice back…Now stand in front of a mirror and pretend you are spraying your hair with hairspray….I am not talking about one spray…the entire motion of spraying it as you get ready to walk out the door…the only problem was it was not hairspray…I sprayed my entire hair with RED chloraseptic.  Did not smell it, did not even realize it until I put the bottle down.  Amanda is still shaking her head. That’s being very preoccupied with many decisions. 
On the day we were discharged, we had spent a couple of days deciding whether we would bring Jack home by ambulance or  in our vehicle.  The doctor along with Roger thought there was no reason we could not move him, as he had no IV’s, we would never be more than 10 min from a hospital all the way home and most of all, if we moved him, he would not think he was as sick..That was really our main reason…he wanted to go with us, so Micah and Greg were going to drive to the edge of Dallas and meet us and Amanda and I would switch places and they would drive him to the rehab in Shreveport  in case he needed to change positions, etc…they were stronger…At this point he had much less strength and Amanda and I could not move him…We got my SUV all fixed with pillows…pulled the front seat back so he  could grab hold of it with his right hand to steady himself…the hospital employees loaded him into the car.  Amanda and I had never been so glad to see a hospital in the rear view mirror. I have this WAY TOO FANCY navigation system…You need a 4 year degree in navigation systems to use it…It is really useless to me. I know Dallas well, but not the particular area we were in and we made a wrong turn, finally got on the right interstate and someone cut us off.  Amanda had to throw on the brakes and you guessed it, it threw Jack in the floor, as in wedged him in on his left side which at that time he could really not move without help (now he can lift that arm over his head over and over) and I am talking wedged in tight…This is the only time all week I saw Amanda just totally lose it.. She thought she had hurt him badly and all the time he was telling her he was fine…We debated calling 911, we were certainly rethinking the decision to move him ourselves..and we were both in a panic.  Jack was not…He knew we needed to get him up but no panic at all…Amanda pulled off at the first exit and we both jumped out and tried to lift him…could not budge I ran in the convenience store and ask if anyone could help us..that we might need 911 but maybe not..All this time Greg and Micah are coming to us..Two really nice men immediately ran to the car and helped us and we sat him up and put the seat belt around him and he was fine…and kept assuring Amanda  that she had done the only thing she could do, hit the brakes…and stop crying…he was fine.  Then we see that Amanda had thrown her purse on the floorboard of the back seat and all that time he had been laying on her purse probably getting the buckle right in his side, probably close to where he had this horrible incision from a botched central line.  The most painful thing he has had the entire time.  Now that all is OK, Greg has given Amanda a really hard time about throwing Dad in the floor.  And we have all laughed.  It was far from funny when it happened…
I will be back in a few days…Have I got everything worked out for the next few months? NO  Do I know what six months from now will be? Absolutely not…I am hoping for Disney! Do I think we will have more hard days? Yes   Do I think we will come out of this stronger, sweating the small stuff less, and having more compassion for others? Without a DOUBT!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I would give anything to write a post and tell you I am feeling positive, encouraged, full of hope, and all was right with the world.  Because I can’t say that and be real, I hesitate to even post.  I hope I get there,I think I will and maybe as soon as I can get better physically I will feel better mentally, but I am not there yet.  I did go to the doctor today and I have bronchitis and got a good lecture about taking care of myself and not feeling guilty about it. That if I didn’t I was going to have pneumonia.  I got a couple of shots and some meds but more than anything else, he said to me as I was leaving that he was never  more than a phone call away, day or night.  He talked to me about strokes and that my personality and stokes were not a great mixture.  I am a get it done, get it fixed, not very patient personality and stokes are slow recovery, non predictable, no quick fix and many ups and downs and different in everyone.  I want to walk in the room and Jack be the old Jack that I have loved for almost 40 years.  Instead I walk in and I feel like I am talking to a stranger.  Add this to hating anything medical from the smell to the look of the rooms I feel panic, real panic…For those of you that don’t have a problem with this, I am sure you are thinking what a wimp..That’s what I think too….I tried to think of what I could compare it to….maybe flying…I love to fly, have absolutely no fear, but I have friends that need sedation to just get on a plane and they are in a panic the entire time they are in the air. 
I would like to crawl in the bed and get up 6 months from now. With 75 Christmas trees to decorate that is not possible.  And if I ever needed to work, its this year…All my help has stepped up and offered to help in anyway to make it easier and I love them for that. 
Since we arrived home last Friday night we have been blessed by so many meals, gift cards, and words of encouragement.   Those people will never know how much their reaching out has meant.  The little's seem to be fine with just the words “Pop is sick”  They now go to see him for breakfast everyday. Micah, I love you for caring so much.  I know this is hard on you.   Jack is working hard in PT, OT and Speech Therapy everyday. He is having a hard time realizing his limitations and that's dangerous.  The doctor told me today that patients so determined like Jack end up being much more of a risk of breaking a bone because they believe they  can do anything.  Just another worry.  Tomorrow they are doing another MRI to be sure the bleed has totally stopped bleeding.  When I look back at my life 12 days ago, it seems like a dream.  Sadly its not.
For those of you that won ornaments they are coming…I promise….
In just a few days I am going to have a new blog design on my holiday blog….and we will start our holiday posts. That way you will have something to read other than doom and gloom. For right now, I need to post my real feelings….the good bad and some real ugly…Hopefully I will be able to look back and see how far we have come in the days ahead. 
I am not a good holiday packer after the season, but TERRI is GREAT, so I am going to get her to give you some tips on keeping your holiday things ORGANIZED. 
I have not commented on many blogs recently and read very few. I hate that I don't have the energy or time..but I will be back soon…you have all been so faithful to encourage me…
I have a long list of thank you notes that I need to get written to so many people that came to Dallas during last week.
Just in case I have not told you this…On the day that Jack had the stroke, within an hour the manager of the HAMPTON INN, called me and said that we could have as many rooms as we needed for as long as we were in Dallas at NO CHARGE…I don’t think that happens much anymore, so NICE STILL EXISTS in the BIG CITY. At the end of 7 days we walked out with a zero balance and they even left gift baskets in our rooms. 
with love to every blog friend. you have blessed me with your concern. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I have nothing today that you would want to hear, but Terri, my number one elf wrote a beautiful post last night.  The only things I could write about today would be weariness, fear(as in paralyzing), despair, a hacking cough that seems to want to live with me, and a legal page full of worries.   Hopefully I can get an elf to post on the holiday blog in the next few days. I promise to be back soon and filled with HOPE.  Today that's not where I am living…Since this goes to my FB friends too, if I have not returned your calls, its because I cannot make a sentence without coughing.