Friday, September 19, 2014

Please excuse me if some of my frustration shows through in my blog but I have been bringing updates on Bob through my point of view.  I hope some of this will help others realize that if something major happens to your spouse or member of your family you will be somewhat prepared. I think we all need to dig into our policies to see what our coverage is and when open enrollment comes around one might want to make changes.  Also, couples need to at least know the other's jobs in the household so the other can take over when something happens.  This is so important because not only the new responsibilities of being there for the person who is sick or injured but all responsibilities have suddenly been added to your list. It is overwhelming.  So, Bob when you get well you are going to learn to cook.

All of these details will be worked out and we are going to be OK.  It is a day by day process.  They are trying to keep Bob at the hospital another week.  I really hope they are able to do that.

It sounds as though Bobs PT was much the same yesterday but more intense.  He is doing so well.  I have so much respect for his therapists, nurses and techs.  They are absolutely wonderful and dedicated.

Thanks yesterday to Dave who brought Spring Creek Barbecue and for your visit and for your friendship.
Also thanks to Andrew and Bob's other co-workers who stopped by that missed Bob but left a note.  There may be others that I don't know about.

Thanks to Helen who has been going with me to check out skilled home and rehab facilities.  She has done this before and her husband has been in bio med for over 35 years.  She has questions that I would never have thought to ask.

Thanks to Angie, John, Casey, and John D. who came up last night. It means so much to Bob and I.  Also thanks to Rob and Joy who took care of our house by mowing the lawn and taking care of the yard.  Thank you Joy for the things you did in the house and for the card and flowers.  What a wonderful thing to come home to.  I know I am biased but I have the best kids in the world.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Yesterday, after doing some research on some rehab nursing homes AGAIN because Bob's insurance won't cover the rehab we chose.  We originally chose Pate because it specializes in brain injuries.  Also after returning some shoes that didn't work with Bob's brace and doing his laundry which I take back and forth to the hospital every day I didn't get to the hospital until after 3:30 PM.  This didn't allow me enough time to kiss away his tears and fears.  I am so thankful for my good friend Helen who insisted on having lunch "salsa therapy" for about 45 minutes during these errands.

Of course, if we had Blue Cross of Texas instead of Blue Cross of New York, Pate Rehab would have been covered.  But who knew?  Bob retired then started working for an agency who placed him in working for the same company he had worked for when he retired.  Didn't it make sense to buy insurance through that agency?  Blue Cross?  He had Blue Cross of California before. If he had Blue Cross of Texas he would have been covered because of a law in Texas which wants people with brain injuries to have that coverage.   But why then, would that not cover Bob because he lives in Texas? It doesn't stop there.  He found out yesterday Blue Cross of New York may drop him because he may not have been there long enough to take a medical leave. What??????   Bob with his "brain injury" is taking this in stride.  He said " I can get Blue Cross of Texas because of the Affordable Insurance Act (that most people in Texas are against).  I hope he is right.  It is all confusing. Bob has always worked and paid into insurance all of his life.  He has been a maintenance type person who always went to the doctor getting physicals and whatever is expected.  This should not be happening to him. Of course, I am older and I have medicare with a supplemental insurance which is Blue Cross of Texas. I should be good.  Right?

Yesterday Bob walked 6 minutes on the tread mill using a harness.  He is able to get in and out of a wheel chair without the assistance from anyone but is not allowed to do it alone because he still wares yellow socks. He was also issued a cane that wraps around his upper arm.  It has pink designs in it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

In the past few days Bob has been making improvements everyday.  Things seem to be more natural for him and he moves with ease in many cases.  He sits up and down in bed when lying flat without the slightest struggle.  He gets in and out of a chair with very little assistance. The physical therapists have been working with Bob while on the tread mill with the use of a harness.  Today he walked in three minute sessions twice. He can kick his left leg to his chest.  Bob will squeeze your hand but will not be able to release it yet.

Bob's sister Mary Ann was here and was showing Bob a video of their nephew Scott's baby girl putting her toes in her mouth. Watching his Grand-niece do that Bob said he had a moment of jealousy seeing her move and within 40 seconds of that he was moving his toes.

His speech is better everyday.  His therapist told him to make an imaginary circle on his arm or nearby surface while talking at the same time.  It surprisingly seems to help.  Today she worked on voice tone and. expression.

Sunday Joy brought some delicious chicken brochette she cooked from home  Several of our family members enjoyed eating it on the outside patio of the hospital.  It was nice being outside getting some fresh air and having a picnic. Two of Bob's co-workers, Evelyn and Ellen brought some homemade banana bread. The container said" to B and B from E and E."  It was awesome!  Thank you ladies.  Please don't mind me, I like talking about food every once in a while.

I took Mary Ann to the airport today.  Bob and I both felt sad she was leaving but very thankful she got to spend some time with us.  I am sure her husband Bill and kids Joyce and Andy will be happy to have her home again.  Thanks to Bill, Joyce and Andy for letting us borrow her for a few days.  

Today brought some disappointment.  I got a call from the Pate representative telling us our insurance will not sufficiently cover Bob's stay there.  We have to see about other options.  I will update everyone on these new possibilities as I know them.  


Friday, September 12, 2014

Every Thursday the hospital staff has a meeting to discuss the patients and what they will do for them the following week.  Bob was originally scheduled to leave the hospital on the 16th but they moved his stay until Sept. 23rd.  This is because his progress has been rapidly going in the right direction and they are in the middle of of important therapy. His therapist Caroline wanted to extend his stay because she doesn't want to interrupt his progress. Since most medical issues are resolved there is nothing to stop Bob's progress.  I am so excited!  He got his brace fitted yesterday.  He also took some steps with the use of a hoist. Wouldn't it be wonderful if he can walk out of the hospital and not have to have care at a living facility and come home. Then he could concentrate on rehab at Pate rehab only.

I also wanted to add he is moving his arm and hand just a little.  We are all so thankful.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My phone rang this morning at 6:00 AM.  It was a familiar yet unfamiliar voice I have heard for twenty eight years saying "Good Morning Honey."  Andrew, one of his bosses was visiting last night agreed with other members of our family that Bob now has a Russian accent.  Bob's speech has improved every day and can be understood easily even on the phone.

Andrew, realizing the improvement of Bob's speech said there were a few guys at the office that needed to ask some questions. Things were in progress when he had his stroke and there are many un-answered questions.  Bob said he would love to help so they agreed they would bring Bob a Hamburger and they would have a meeting.  Bob now on a non-restricted diet and not requiring eating supervision is looking forward to this. He said it would be good therapy.

When I went in yesterday Bob demonstrated that he could lay flat on the bed and lift his left leg, bend it and bring it up to his chest.  I asked if he did that in therapy and he said "no."  He was up half the night working on it and didn't get much sleep.  He is so determined.  I reminded him he needs his rest for therapy and he agreed. I doubt he will rest until he walks out of there.

Last night Andrew, Robert, Casey and Jack came up for a while.  Robert is coming up today to play cards with his Dad. Excited my sister-in-law Mary Ann is coming tomorrow for a few days I am running errands this morning and getting ready for her visit.  I had no food in the house when Bob's brother Ronnie came. We somehow made it by going through drive through restaurants and got to eat at a couple of nice "sit down" restaurants and all I can say is poor Ronnie.  I always try to be a better hostess but it was impossible this time. My daughter Joy reminded me yesterday I need to start eating more healthy and she is right.

Yesterday I had lunch with my friend Helen.  I always look forward to "salsa therapy" with her.  We talk about art and projects.  Yesterday she was telling me of a recipe to make a clay like substance which is easy to sculpt. She said it feels like silk and doesn't crack or brake easily.  It air drys.  I am anxious to try this and possibly use it for my mixed media paintings.  She has been using it for jewelry.  I can't believe I am actually getting time to even think about these things again.  This is such a good thing.

I wanted to also mention that Bob said his bladder situation was better last night so we are hopeful this problem will work itself out.

I am a mess with trying to organize and co-ordinate my pictures as they are being transferred to my computer.  I am trying to get them set up in Picasa.  This is what I am used to.  I hate changes and especially technical changes. I am going to have to call our friend Walt and see if he will help with this situation. This is a "heads up" Walt.  :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I spent hours with Bob at the hospital yesterday.  Joy went with me to visit for a while, then took a taxi to the airport to go out of town for work. Bob was in and out of therapy and is always extremely excited about any new movement or feeling.  I bought him two pairs of shoes the same but different sizes in order to house the brace he is getting to aid him in walking.  Disappointed they didn't fit I bought a couple more pair of shoes on line suggested by his physical therapist.  They should arrive by tonight and I think this will be his ticket to walking sooner.  He is standing and has taken some steps while standing in the same place. He is sitting straight, getting in and out of his chair with ease, (still with assistance).  He positions himself all over his bed and last night was able to pick up his leg, turn to his side and pull the left leg up and made a fetal position. He no longer has food restrictions, and his speech improves everyday.  He is really working hard at each task. Bob said that is his job right now.

We thought the bladder and kidney issue was solved but discovered yesterday there is still a problem. He cried and of course when he cries I cry but decided it is just another road block that he is going to work on. I do hope and believe the approach they are taking (and I am not going into detail) will work. It has been these little medical issues that have prevented Bob from getting farther than he has already in recovery but I don't think this one will stop him with his progress.

We talked a long time yesterday about different scenarios of what he will do with his life depending on the outcome of his recovery.  A couple of co-workers Daniel and Rolland, came in yesterday and they were talking shop as if nothing had happened. Always happy to see people he worked with Bob said he would really like to return to work.  As you know Bob retired last year and was contract/consulting at UT Southwestern at the time of his stroke.  When they left the room Bob said he really felt like he made a difference and how fulfilling it was for him to be working at UT and helping people.  How often do we all go through life doing work for the sole purpose of money and survival?  How often do we get to do things because we make a difference or for self satisfaction or to be able to help others with our knowledge of whatever it may be?
Bob said if it works out to be that way he will be very happy but if not he will try and find a hobby and be a volunteer somewhere.  You know, those things retired people do.        

Monday, September 8, 2014

This is a quick note about Bob.  He is doing very well and has been making improvements every day.  I have not posted for a couple of days because my computer is completely broken. Bob offered to buy me a new computer a few months ago but I refused because I didn't want to give up some of the old programs I can't have on a new computer. I am presently posting from Bob's I-Pad.  I need to get the home computer set up to do the blog posts.  Fortunately Bob's brother Ronnie was here last week. He installed Picasa and also added many of the pictures I had on my computer.  Once I get all settled in I will be start posting pictures again.

Bob has been doing standing and stepping on one foot exercises in PT.  In OT he has been doing reaching exercises and played scrabble with Simon today and beat him.  I noticed today Bob seemed to be more in control when sitting in the chair and actually sat down with much ease.

The Recreational Therapists invited us to the 8th floor to take our lunch and dine at a table with a table cloth.  There were a couple other patients and we had a nice conversation.  The room had windows from the floor to ceiling with a view of the Dallas skyline.  Just going to another floor and being in a room that doesn't look like a hospital room was kind of like going out.

Some of Bob's co-workers stopped by today.  Thank you for coming.  It means so much to Bob.  Angie is here right now and I am going to take advantage of that and ask her to help me get my laptop to my car.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Today Bob stood for two minutes with his right leg off the floor and lifted his right leg ten times in physical therapy.  That is just one of the exercises to prepare him to walk.  Bob has a bladder infection and they are starting an IV today for five days.  I hope this will take care of this problem.  Other than that Bob is in very good spirits and is speaking much better every day.

Below are a few of the pictures I mentioned regarding Labor Day.

Family Interacting in Occupational Therapy with Bob Playing Balloon Volley Ball

Labor Day: Pizza from Lou Malnati's Shipped from Chicago

Robert and Bob? or Bob and Robert? How about Father and Son!

Brooke with Grand-pa