Wednesday, January 28, 2015

These past few days the weather has been in the mid seventies.  We have enjoyed every minute especially realizing a good part of the country is covered in snow, cold and just terrible.  It is supposed to be in the fifties after today.  We have taken advantage and have tried to enjoy the outside when possible.  This past Sunday we drove out the the lake.  Unfortunately it is still down and the rain that has fallen has not helped much.  Hopefully this spring will bring enough rain to raise the water levels.

Bob is still working hard everyday trying different approaches to getting better and trying to do things to eliminate his tightness in his muscles and his pain. On Monday they tried some more dry needling in his ham strings and in his side.  It only helped for a short time then it even started irritating him in the back leg muscles.  I think he has decided this is not the answer.  On Monday he has an appointment to see a specialist to see if he will be a candidate for Botox.  If so, it will take about two weeks to get it approved by insurance and etc.  The somewhat successful things have been massage and a special massage which is called orthopedic therapy.  That is when they move you, stretch you, pull and etc.  Bob is up all hours of the night because of pain and tightness in his muscles. I hope something works for him soon.  So, Bob had a meltdown the other night yelling about something he later admitted was not a good enough reason to get so upset.  He apologized.  It is bound to happen sometimes.  He goes through so much frustration.  I am mentioning this in case someone in a similar position is reading this.  I mostly write about his success because he works so hard.  But, there are days that the frustration overcomes him and it overcomes me. We can only pick things up and keep going.

Tamara came over last week with her family.  We really enjoyed them and especially enjoyed the kids.  They are at such a cute age.  We went out to the lake and visited Joy, Rob, Austin and Brooke on Sunday.  Sunday evening John and Casey stopped by.  Young Bob came by and visited.  He has been helping his Dad walk by holding a belt around his chest.  This allows him to walk at a faster pace.  Last night Rob, Austin, Jack and Bob went for a boy's night out and had wings.  Joy and I had dinner together.  I really appreciate all that everyone has been doing to keep us going socially.  We are so limited on what we can do.  It helps to know we have such a great support group.  We love you all.  

Eagle Mountain Lake, Water Levels Still Down

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bob is currently recovering for the Catheter Angiogram.  He is doing well.  I spoke with the surgeon and he said they didn't find anything.  The vessels look good and they did not see a tumor.  These are good things but it is a little unsettling because we still don't have any answers as to why the strokes.  We may never know why. There will be more testing at the end of February.  That fact that the angiogram showed good vessels and no tumor is a positive.  There could have been a tumor but it could have desolved or there could be one and it's not showing up. There are a number of possibilities.  The surgeons and doctor will be reviewing the pictures more detail at a later time today. So far, we are looking at the positives and hoping for the best.

Bob and I got up at 3:00 this morning.  Bob is resting but still struggles with pain in his arm and is experiencing muscle spasms.  The therapists have been trying some new things and I will get into that later.  Bob has been walking better and is now able to open his hand most of the time on command. We think the Saeble has really helped.

We had a three day weekend free of doctor appointments and therapy.  Our friends Carl and Jackie came for a visit on Friday.  It was great to see them as we had not seen them for a long time.  Also, the kids and grand-kids came on Saturday for dinner.  On Sunday our friends Helen and Rick came over and we also went to John's for brunch.  The weather here in Texas was in the mid sixties.  It was just all around a nice weekend.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

On January 20th they scheduled a Catheter  Angiogram for Bob.  Hopefully this will bring some light to some of the problems going on with Bob. If not, they may have to wait until the blood goes away in his head and look at the tests scheduled at the end of February.  He has been pretty good since the last time he was in the hospital.  Therapy is the greater part of his days and if not with a therapist then he has several exercises at home.  Bob is so inspirational to me just watching him.  He has such a desire to get better and self discipline beyond most people I know including myself.  The biggest thing I struggle with is seeing him in pain.  His shoulder and arm bother him all of the time. It even interferes with his sleep.  When at Physical Therapy this past Thursday they did what they call dry needling into the muscles.  It is the same as acupuncture.  The difference in the two titles is that the insurance pays for dry needling. This proved to be helpful.  It may require more sessions.

I feel I am getting somewhat organized.  The trips to Dallas and Grapevine have been reduced to only a couple of days a week instead of four or five days a week.  I am cooking more than I had been but I don't mind.  I even got into the studio over this past weekend and started a painting.  Being a caregiver you must have an outlet.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Rays of Hope!

After spending a couple hours with Bob's Neurologist this afternoon going over recent MRI's and Tests he ordered a Catheter Angiogram to to be scheduled soon.

The Neurologist's conclusions from test so far show the following probabilities:

Possible Vascular Defect which could be from birth  (operable)

Possible Tumor  (operable)

Possible clot which created the brain bleed  (Blood thinning treatment)

Possible but most unlikely:  Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy (CAA)  (Not Good)

Please keep Bob in your prayers and positive thoughts.  We are hoping they can do something to FIX him.


Sunday, January 4, 2015


Happy New Year To All!

To all of my family and friends I am wishing you a most Happy New Year filled with happiness and good health.

I don't remember when I have not sent out Christmas Cards or at least sent them early in the New Year.  I have chosen to reduce my load this time by not sending them.  Please know my heart is with you and wish everyone the best.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Bob spent Christmas day in the hospital after having what they think was a seizure on Christmas Eve day. Joy and Jane brought a little Christmas to Bob on Christmas by bringing a small Christmas tree, a mistletoe toe, a Santa and some cookies.  Oh, and Joy left a trace of a kiss on his cheek as seen on the photo.

After many tests Bob was finally released yesterday evening.  Angie moved her Christmas Eve party to last night. A few family members and friends who are family attended her wonderful party.  She had a taco bar and many sweet temptations. We also played the Christmas gift exchange game. Angie has the perfect Christmas house.  Thank you Angie.

The tests showed Bob had a small stroke since the August 13th stroke but they are not sure when that happened.  They are pretty sure the Christmas Eve episode was a seizure.  There is new blood in the area of the two strokes which makes it impossible to know the cause stemming from these strokes. The doctors are concerned about a couple of (scary) possibilities but they are waiting a couple of months for the blood to go away before they can do more testing to make any conclusions.  Although I cried uncontrollably the other night, Bob and I have chosen not to worry. And, to have hope and faith by living each day to the fullest with thankfulness to God for all that he gives us.  


Bob In The Hospital On Christmas Day!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Bob is still in the hospital.  I hope he will be able to come home tomorrow.  He has to get an EEG and another MRI.  They found new blood which indicates he had another stroke since his stroke in August but they are not sure when it was.  They did not see an aneurysm, which is good.  He has not lost any of his abilities to do things that he gained since the first stroke. (another positive)  Tomorrow they will be comparing the MRI from yesterday to the MRI from tomorrow.  This should indicate if the bleeding has increased or not. They think he had a seizure yesterday and they have been treating him for that.      

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

 Bob is in the hospital again.  He is in Plaza Medical Hospital in Ft. Worth.  They are not sure if he had another stroke or a seizure.  They took some tests tonight and will be taking more tests tomorrow. He seemed really good when I left him tonight.  He still had some numbness on his face by his eye. The tests they took earlier showed no signs of blood in his brain which is good.  He has been doing
really well lately and I hope they can  figure out when the blockage is coming from. I will keep you updated as I know.  Please remember him in your prayers.  Thank you and Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Bob using the Saebo.

Bob is using what is called a Saebo.  It aids in closing and opening his hand. It has been helping him more than any other exercise aid.

In the past couple of weeks he has been getting a massage and it is helping a little with the pain in his shoulder.  
Thanksgiving has come and gone. We had a smaller group but I didn't take many pictures. Until Bob is a little more mobile I have my hands full just taking all of the things he needs when we go somewhere. The camera is too much. I did upgrade my phone with a nicer camera and editing capabilities. I'll probably take pictures with that for a while. I hope to get a lot of pictures at Christmas. Ben, Jane and Jake are coming the week of Christmas and we are very excited to spend time with them. I had a birthday last week.

I am always happy to get another birthday. Bob says " getting older is contageous" " if you hang around long enough you will catch it."
Bob works every day as if it is his job going to therapy and doing the exercises. His walking has improved a lot. He graduated from an arm cane to a regular cane. His study at UT ended last week. We go a couple of times this week for tests so they can evaluate the results. He is doing Occupational Therapy a couple of times a week. His shoulder brings him a lot of pain which makes it difficult for him to do exercises. But, he keeps trying. They are trying to make a decision about what to do about the pain. The most difficult thing is just doing the normal everyday things that we all do without thinking most of the time. For instance, getting ready for the day. Showering, dressing, struggling with compression socks, braces and more. It's so time consuming. I have started to allow 2 hours just get myself ready and assist Bob with his needs. Otherwise we are late for appointments. We still have a lot of hope and realize Bob is very fortunate to still be here. It is just going to take longer than we originally thought. The best way for us to deal with this is to go back to how he was originally and see the progress since. Bob's attitude keeps us both going.