Saturday, August 30, 2014

Get Well Card from Jane to Bob - Bob and Jane have a Snoopy thing go'in on.

Get Well Card from Jake for Grand-pa

Today was good.  It is so nice to see Bob feeling better.  It seems to make all of those things he has to do for rehab a little easier.  He has made so much improvement. I know he has a ways to go but I am encouraged by his will power.

I had to stay home this morning to wait for AT&T to fix our internet connection. Angie and Brent covered for me here at the hospital with Bob.  I am grateful and I know Bob liked it.  While they were here two friends from where he used to work came to visit. (John M. and John C.)  Bob just loves it when his friends come to visit.  Once Bob is well and at home we are going to have to set up visiting hours. He is going to go through withdrawal not seeing these people. I think that is one thing that has kept him going.

While waiting I thought I would take advantage and clean a little to get ready for Bob's brother who is arriving tomorrow from Seattle.  Joy stopped in and helped me.  She brought some sausage gravy and biscuits that Rob made at home this morning.  What a treatI Thank you Joy.  

I think PT tired Bob out tonight.  He is quiet and said he has a headache.  I guess it's common but I still hate seeing him in the slightest pain.

Today I opened an envelope for Bob from Jane, Ben and Jake.  They want to be here so bad but the distance from Chicago to Dallas/Ft.Worth and their schedules with school and work makes it too difficult.
We know their hearts are with us.  The pictures above are cards made by Jane (our daughter) and Jake (our grand-son).  


Bob Shaving After his Stroke

Friday, August 29, 2014

Fruit Bouquet!

                  Thank you, Athar, Bryan, Jeff and Kevin

Up-date on Bob - He had a scan today and they found the clot in his leg is resolving itself. Great news! He is going in the right direction for good health and recovery.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Today is good so far. Bob did well with his PT. When you look back on the past two weeks it is amazing to see the difference.  He is supposed to have a scan today to check on the clot in his leg.

Bob's doctors and Physical Therapy group met today to estimate a dismissal date from the hospital. They said Sept.16th is the projected date.  After that he will go to an in-patient facility.  There are a couple he qualifies for and are recommended to chose from.  I will update that info as we decide.  Those facilities are designed to rehabilitate in intense detail. They rehab for 6 hours a day and live in a place similar to an apartment where they learn to do everything for themselves with a health care person.  The bus picks them up to go to rehab.  They can have visitors in the evening.    

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Today was very good.  Bob did well in therapy.  If he is lying flat on the bed and someone pulls his left knee up high enough and he puts his left knee at that same height and when he lifts his hips he can either scoot from side to side or push himself upward in the directions of his head. I was impressed with that. He also practiced on his reach and posture.

Joy covered for me while I went to the cardiologist today.  He gave me a clean bill of health. My blood pressure was good.  (surprising after all that has been going on) my EKG was good and my heart checked out good.  I will say I have put that bovine aortic valve replacement to the test in the past couple of weeks. All I have to say to that is "Mooooo"

Ellen and Evelyn who work with Bob dropped in again today.  Bob was sleeping a lot while they were here but I enjoyed talking with them. They said the next time they come they are going to bring some cards to pass the time with Bob.  This has been encouraged by his therapists.

Robert came by tonight for a while.  Bob and Robert talked for quite a while.  It was good and also good to see Bob is more aggressive in his conservations with people. Robert thanks for the new mouse.

After I had my doctor's appointment I met my friend Helen and her daughter Christy. We had lunch at Anamia's in Southlake.  It was so great to sit at a table with friends, while being waited on and having a nice conversation.  We call it a Salsa Therapy.

Joy who was covering for me was caught in traffic this morning and called the hospital to tell them she would be late.  Bob has to be watched while eating his meals especially since he graduated to the mechanical diet last night.  Tonight I want to thank Claudia (the tech) for being with Bob and assisting him with breakfast. Also thanks to Joy for being here up to and past lunch.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

To God be the Glory

Today was an awesome day.  When Bob's Physical Therapist came in this morning to get him she was checking his legs.  Bob asked " would you like to see me move my knee and leg?"  She said "can you do that Bob?"  Bob raised his knee taking his leg with it about 6 or 7 inches from the bed.  She asked him to repeat it and he did.  This was done on command and this is the beginning of the end for rehab.

Bob also graduated from a Pureed Diet to a Mechanical Diet. They did a swallow x-ray on him and his speech therapist said he did better than she thought he would do.  I ordered some spaghetti for dinner and for dessert he gets ice cream and lemon cake.  They also eliminated thickeners from his liquids. I ordered him a coke. I thought these things would be a treat for him. I feel sorry for the poor lady taking my orders for Bob every day because I am learning and have so many questions regarding these diets.

Today I am thanking Steve Miller.  Steve is Bob's boss here at the hospital where he is contract/consulting.  I think he may have played a role in Bob being alive today.  He took Bob to the emergency room when Bob told him he thought he was having a stroke.  Steve has often been checking in on Bob bringing co-workers with him to visit. Bob lights up when these friends and co-workers come for visits.  Yesterday they came bearing gifts and a card with loving signatures and messages.

Tonight I am going home to sleep because I have to see my Cardiologist in the morning. I am glad  it is my annual exam because I am wondering how I am doing.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Bob is doing much better after going through a few hurdles which set him back a little from rehabilitation. Some of them are due to side effects from the feeding tube. The tube is out and he is doing so much better. Bob is well on his way to rehabilitation.

Bob was exhausted today from rehab.  He was up all morning and very busy.  In occupational therapy he played card games and even played volley ball with me using a balloon with a smile face.  

In physical therapy he wheeled his chair to the therapy room and stood up. The patients are taught to hold their head straight without leaning, to work on balance, posture and  etc.

Bob is such a good sport.  He said he didn't mind if I post the picture of him on the equipment used to put new stroke patients in bed.  He calls it his baby Huey air lift.  I am happy to say he doesn't have to use that much anymore.  He is learning to get in and out of bed himself.  He still needs assistance. Isn't it wonderful though, that they have equipment like that?  His nurse is Robin.  Rock'n Robin.  And, she rocks.

The other picture is of Katie and Lindsay, his occupational therapists.  They are the cheeriest girls here. They threaten to sing and dance if Bob does not cooperate.  I like those girls.  They are so spirited and make things fun for the patients. 

We have so many family members and friends to thank that I would like to thank someone each time I post something.  Tonight I choose our son John.  John, Thank you for spending so many long mornings with us helping at the hospital. John has been so much support especially to me. I know this is about Bob but if I am not good then I cannot help Bob.  When I get frustrated about something John always says "it is what it is." Don't ask me why but that seems to calm me. He also brought me breakfast every day. John mowed our lawn and took care of some things at our house. John is selfless and never expects credit for anything. With all of this saying, his wife Casey was out of town all week with their daughter.  He had to take care of Jack and go to work.  Thanks John for all you have done and all that you do.   



Occupational Therapists, Katie and Lindsay with Bob

Robin Assists Bob into Bed with Special Lifting Equipment

Sunday, August 24, 2014

It has been a roller coaster the past couple of days.  Sleepless nights for Bob and I because Bob was coughing up flem constantly from an irritation in his nose due to his feeding tube. Encouragement from our kids and I we were able to convince the doctor to remove the feeding tube.  They are allowing him a 48 hour trial period of time to see if he can eat enough.  After speaking with his dietitian yesterday she said he seems to be doing pretty well.  Those of you who know Bob know that eating is normally not a problem but the pureed diet is a challenge.  And of course,it is just a challenge getting his body back to a normal working order.  Almost as instantly as they removed the feeding tubes he stopped coughing.

There have been some other challenges as well not seemingly related to the stroke but it's all a part of getting him back to functioning normally again.

Once Bob's coughing stopped the night before last the kids insisted I go home to sleep after not sleeping much for three days.  I was actually a walking zombie. I couldn't think straight anymore.  When I saw how peaceful he was sleeping I went home and got a good night's rest.  I was rejuvenated when I returned at 7:00 AM yesterday ready to watch Bob start his day of rehab.  I like observing as much as I can so I can understand what he is going through, his progress and things I can do to improve his progress. He has learned to get in and out of the chair with assistance, how to guide the chair with his right foot and right hand down the hall, he has learned to stand up for a while and is getting prepared to walk.  Bob gave himself a shower yesterday.  How we all take for granted the body functioning skills we do everyday until we lose them.

 After a long day yesterday I thought I would go home and sleep for the night but Bob asked me to stay. How could I refuse those puppy eyes.  Well, I tried but there are too many interruptions and hospital activities during the night. I got three or four hours of sleep so a couple of naps today should help.

I know they will be in here soon to start a day of therapy.  Bob has been doing great with the therapy.   He is certainly an inspiration to me.

Lets go Bob!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

I am sorry I didn't get to post last night.  Bob was moved to Rehab and as soon as he got here he was sick. He was miserable with a head ache, vomiting,  and coughing.  They had the doctor come in during the middle of the night and he prescribed a cough syrup. The syrup did the trick. This was after the news they found a blood clot in his leg.  They said it is superficial and is common in stroke patients.  They are giving him blood thinners and hope they don't have to insert a filter in his leg.

After such a horrific night I never imagined he could have such a good day. He started his therapy this morning with eating his breakfast and learning some personal health care skills all over again with what he has to work with.  He sat up in a wheel chair then learned to guide it down the hall and back with just his right hand, arm, leg and foot.  I couldn't believe it.  He also spent some time with his speech therapist. After that he took a nap and when he woke up he had some visitors from co-workers.  He was Chatty Cathy. His speech has improved so much. We were actually having a conversation together without prompting.  I said "lets just imagine we are at a hotel on vacation for the next few weeks.  He said " the service is great except for when they stick you with needles."
It is true though,  the people are marvelous here and sincere about doing an excellent job. They all have happy faces and are so sweet and compassionate.

I am so grateful for the staff here and appreciate all that they do. We are so fortunate to live in a day where research has solved so many problems. I know God is at the head of the board here because so many prayers have been answered.

It has been a roller coaster and I know we have a long way to go.  But how wonderful to have a day like this with so many blessings.  

Beautiful Smiling Face of UT Southwestern Medical Center, Zales- Lipshy Adorned with Yellow Flower In Her Hair

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tonight's update on Bob:  I first want to answer some of Maria's questions.  Where am I sleeping?  I posted a picture below of the bed beside the window.  It is about 36 inches wide and approximately 6 feet long.  It is fairly comfortable and I am thrilled with it. When it is not being used for a bed there is a long padded cushion to lay across the back that makes it look like a couch.  

How are the headaches coming along?  His headaches seem to be less and less but they still seem to occur at least twice a day.  They are giving him medication for it as soon as they start and Bob has learned to ask for it.

How do they know if there is still swelling in the brain?  They won't know a true measurement and damage until he has his Angiogram which is not until about 6 weeks from the stroke.  They do look at his pupils periodically. They can tell by looking if there is pressure on the eye.  Once they don't see pressure signs they know it has gone down a little.  One of the doctors told me he wouldn't be doing everything he has been doing if it hasn't gone down a bit. Their goal is to let it all happen naturally and it takes a while.

Did Bob ever get his eye drops?  They gave him ointment for his eyes and it is scheduled everyday.  His eyes are better.

Now, as for today and last night:  He had a really bad night because of allergy problems. He was sneezing over and over intensely.  Then his nose would run. He was miserable. I would give him ice chips to moisten his mouth.  His nose was irritated.  He even somehow ripped his feeding tube from his nose.  It was a constant, all night occurrence. I was constantly calling the nurses in for help.  I felt so bad for him.  The doctors scheduled Claritin  for the day time and Benadryl for night. He is sleeping very soundly now and is also dried up.

Bob had rehab today.  I was not there but it sounded as though it was very much like yesterday's rehab.  He was exhausted all day from no sleep last night and rehab today.  He never complains.  He just does what is asked.  I know he really wants to get well.

I went home for a nap and shower today.  I was exhausted.  My brother Tim called.  I cried when I heard his voice, then he cried.  He has and still is very, very sick.  

Bob had several visitors from his co-workers today.  He loves seeing those encouraging faces even though he may not say much yet.  Robert was here with me this evening then followed by Tamara and Phylene and John and Jack. Phylene is visiting from Australia.  Tamara brought all of the fixings of a chicken taco salad and prepared it on a taco shell at a table in the small lobby on this floor.  Both Robert (young Robert) and I had some. It was delicious.  Tamara is a really good cook.  We called it table side taco salad. Some of the Mexican Restaurants in our area serve what is called table side guacamole. The table side taco salad was a take on the table side guacamole. We had a few minutes of fun and laughing.  I think we all needed it.

I want to add that this is my daughter-in-law Casey's Birthday.  She is in Austin getting her daughter Peyton situated for school at UT.  I think sometimes we take those little birthday celebrations and family gatherings for granted.  Happy Birthday Casey!


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hospital Guest Bed at Zale Lipshy

Bob was moved today from "I See You"  to the 5th floor today to continue with recovery.  He had physical and speech therapy for about an hour.  He sat up with his feet handing at the side of the bed for about 25 minutes.  They worked with his posture, balance and just strength skills to hold himself up.  Fortunately, there was a mirror just in the right place where he could see himself and how straight he was and etc. He did really well and also well with his speech therapy.  All of this tired him out so much that he was in and out of sleep most of the day. There will be about an hour a day of therapy on the 5th floor.  I hope his endurance will build and eventually become less tired after therapy. He is doing terrific but has to take baby steps.

As for me, I am just thrilled I can spend the night at the hospital.  I have a cozy corner in front of a window overlooking the city.  My computer sits comfortably in the window. Bob is finally sleeping peacefully and my mind is at ease.  

Dallas Skyline View From the 5th Floor of Zales Lipshy

Sunday, August 17, 2014

This was an amazing day for Bob.  He fed himself breakfast and dinner.  The most remarkable event of the day was when he moved his knee on command. He did this twice. This is big!!!  His speech has improved and has even started some conversations. Headaches are still a daily occurrence but medication has taken care of the problem.

Bob plays a computer game called "clash of clans" and he chats with the players and seems to have somewhat of a relationship with them.  I don't understand because I'm not much of a game player except for Words With Friends.  He wanted to let the people know he has been sick so today he found his way into the game and I'm not sure exactly what he said but it was a short message. Tears began to flow and I was wondering what happened.  He said they were keeping him in their prayers.  He was very touched.

I am so happy tonight and thankful.

Bob Must Be Feeling Better!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

This is going to be a quick review of the day.  I can't believe how exhausted I am!

They say there will be good days and bad days.  Bob had a very good day today.  I fed him breakfast and dinner for the first time.  He did very well.  Of course they are still feeding him intravenously to insure he will get everything he needs.  Tomorrow he will feed himself.  Bob said he enjoyed just having food in his mouth to taste after only having ice chips for so long.

They may move him out of ICU tomorrow.  I am so happy.  He had a few visitors and he is always so happy to see his friends and family. I can't express enough how it brightens his day.  He doesn't say a lot but he is totally there. (unless he drifts off to sleep)  He remembers everything. All of the nurses marvel at his sharpness.  So thank you for those visits, those email, those messages and texts.  I may not get back to you right away but I will eventually.  I am so touched and so is Bob.

Please continue to hope and pray for Bob's swelling to go down in his brain. I was told it takes time and everyone heals differently.  
I normally plan to give updates as often as I can after the day is done.  But it is amazing how much a good night's rest made me feel.  I hope to see that difference in Bob today. I wanted to share this because I was alone and started laughing out loud this morning all by myself.  (this one if for your diary Angie)

For everyone who has been following my family and travel blog for the past six years knows we are a blended family since 1986.  And, all our Ex's moved to Texas after we did. We strive for a mutual friendly relationship with everyone because it is best for us all. Some have said we are the most functional ,  dis-functional family they know.

Yesterday Angie and Robert's Mom texted me for an up-date on Bob. When I began the text it was quiet but as I was texting (and I often use audio to speak my message) the room became full of people and there was much activity.  I spoke with some updates and sent the message without editing.  This morning I had this text from Donna saying I put a smile on her face.  What?  What did I say?  I re-read the text and and when I spoke ICU it came out "I see you."  

Today I am going to visit Bob in "I see you."  It make sense though.  They are watching over him.  Thank you God and thank you UT. Southwest "I see you" medical staff.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Bob's symptoms improved from yesterday to today.  More than a three syllable word is no longer a problem for Bob. Tonight he was saying something about a Margarita. He laughed and was feeling proud he could say it. He is also constructing sentences.  This morning he was talking and writing to the nurse telling her he thinks he may have gotten the stroke because when he was a boy he stabbed his finger with a pencil.  The led has been working it's way up to his head and that is why he stroked. Of course that is not it but it is amazing he is trying to figure it out.  I am sure after he recovers he will do his own case study.  He knows everything that is going on and is trapped in his body right now. He has involuntary movement with his arm, hand, leg and foot.  When someone pinches him or even rubs his feet he feels sensation.  These are all positive signs.  

Because of the swelling in his brain he is having a lot of head pain.  It is very difficult to see this.  After a long day and feeling exhausted I have to admit I went in the ladies room and cried.  I think I can deal with his frustrations of trying to talk or move a limb but to see him hurting is too much. Please pray the swelling will go down and we can get him out of ICU.      
Bob had a stroke Wednesday afternoon.  I was shocked when I got the call because he had gone to the doctor on Monday and it appeared to his doctor he had a pinched nerve. The next few days are critical and they are hoping the swelling from the blood on the brain will be reduced. Last night he showed some improvement. He had some movement in his left arm, hand, and leg for a moment encouraged by his nurse.  He said it felt like pins.  He also started saying three syllable words and putting them in sentences. This is huge.

During all of this Bob has not lost his wit and sense of  humor.  I believe he must have been thinking about what to do when he would see his Grand-son Jack, eleven years old knowing it would be traumatic for him to see Grand-pa in this condition. Because, when Peyton and Jack walked in for the first time yesterday Bob was in and out of sleep and not responding much all day.  I touched his arm and said "Peyton and Jack are here."  He opened his eyes and greeted them them asking for the notebook and pen by signaling me with a writing motion. He was writing a lot and I couldn't wait to see what he had to say.  He handed to tablet to the kids and they started to laugh.  Bob started writing the Gettysburg Address.  I know it broke the ice and Bob knew that too.

Our Grand-son Jake, 12 years old living in Schaumburg Il. was beside himself at the news. He said to his Mom "I know a much better thing to do than to send Grand-pa a get well card.  His mom said" what is that Jake?"  Jake said" Send Grand-pa a Lou Malnati's Pizza!"

We are all hoping to see that full smile on Bob again very soon.  Thanks to everyone for your good thoughts and prayers.  I will continue to post Bob's condition as often as I can for updates.

Bob Had A Stroke

Monday, August 4, 2014

Happy Birthday Joy!

Last week was Joy's birthday.  Our families got together and took a beach vacation on Orange Beach.  We had a wonderful time celebrating Joy's birthday with a barbecue by the pool.  I will have more vacation pictures soon.