Monday, September 29, 2014

Today Bob rode a stationary bike for 15 minutes.  Bob walked for 10 minutes on the treadmill but focused mostly on quality.
Greg and Gilbert stopped by and our dear friend Walt stopped by this evening.

Bob's son Robert had surgery today on his knee. It went well and he is doing good.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

We spent the past few days visiting with Bob's sister Angela and her husband Doug.  I took them to the airport to catch a plane home to North Dakota.  We loved having them here.  Thanks Angela and Doug for your support and help especially in getting the measurements in our house to prepare for Bob's home coming.  We miss you already.

Bob is continuing to walk on the treadmill working on his form.  He is also working with his arm and hand for strength and movement.

Bob, Angela and Doug

Friday, September 26, 2014

Bob Walking On Treadmill After Stroke

Zale-Lipshy was able to extend Bob's stay until October 7th at which time if he is ready he will go home. Bob will be doing a study for UT Southwest in physical therapy.  This will be a wonderful solution to some of his therapy needs and he will be helping others at the same time.

Bob's sister Angela and her husband Doug are visiting for a few days from North Dakota. It is great having them here.  Yesterday evening we all attended a support meeting at the hospital for stroke patients and their families.  It was really interesting.

Bob has been walking on the treadmill and working with his arm and hand.  He practiced getting in and out of the car yesterday. He has made unbelievable progress and is very determined.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Bob and His Sister Mary Ann

Card From Lee and Maria

Yesterday Bob did about 9 minutes on the tread mill with the harness.  The harness has been set to take 100 pounds from the walk and yesterday they set it to 70 pounds to the walk.

Robert came by for a while and Tamera later.  It had been about a week since Tamara had been in and she was amazed at Bob's progress.  She said she was going to call her Mom to tell her how well he is doing. (one of our best friends living in Australia) Also, Steve and Terrie from work also dropped by.

Today Bob did about 12 minutes on the treadmill.  Bob's speech therapist gave him a cognition test. He tested normal.

At noon today Bob wheeled himself to the elevator.
A nurse yelled and ran over there to asked where he was going.  Bob said "I'm going to the eight floor to lunch bunch."  He told them he was not an inmate here he is a patient.  Even though Bob is seeming more and more back to normal he is still wearing yellow sox and the staff here take that seriously.  I laughed when he told me about it. I can just visualize it.

After I wrote this Bob told me he had permission from his tech to go alone and she was following with his food tray once it arrived.  It is wonderful to see Bob go from not moving to being so independent.

Joy called and said they were coming for a visit tonight.  Tomorrow Bob's sister Angela and her husband Doug will be flying in for a few days. We are looking forward to seeing them.  Also, tomorrow Bob asked me to come in a little early so PT can help him practice getting in and out the car. This is all so exciting!

Thanks to everyone who stops by.  Bob just loves it.  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Today Bob took some steps with the assistance of his therapist Caroline.  What a thrill this was for me to watch.  Bob had been holding his leg and knee up from a sitting position for three minutes at a time in his room to prepare for walking.  He has taken steps before but this is the first time I saw it.  I am hoping to get a video of him walking on a tread mill with a harness soon.

This evening I drove to Texas Road House and bought a Filet Mignon dinner for both of us to go.  We had dinner in his room.  It was nice.

Thanks John, Casey and Jack for coming today.

When I left Bob last night at the hospital he was sitting in his wheel chair in front of his bedside table.  On the table was his open laptop, his I-Pad and his phone and was conducting business and play.  He looked like his back to normal self.  Earlier in the day he called and changed his insurance to Blue Cross of Texas.  His communication in that matter was perfectly understandable to the agent and the transaction was made with ease.  This will be in place once the other policy has been dropped.  What a wonder privilege we have now with the right to get insurance after pre-existing conditions.

Bob has been working a lot with his arm in PT and also extends this exercise when back in his room.  It is paying off.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

My friend Helen and I visited a couple of skilled care homes yesterday and we both breathed a sigh of relief once we visited Life Care in Haltom.  It was the best of what I had to chose from. They really need to re-do their Website.  They are much better than their brochures or website.  It is not that the others were bad but they didn't seem to meet the needs for Bob.  I feel Life Care will be able to meet most of Bob's needs for what the insurance will cover.  I know Bob will rehabilitate himself with the things that are missing in therapy because he is so determined to be his total self again.

Last night Joy brought up some Pizza and Brent and Angie visited also.  Bob said he took about 10 steps with his cane yesterday with the aid of a strap and the therapists helping.

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

I will start with yesterday and go back to Monday.  Bob is doing better everyday.  Last night he was able to move his left foot a little on command.  He is experiencing feeling everywhere on his left side at times which is a good sign.  His spirits are still great and has a passion to be able to function normally again. 

Bob's brother Ronnie has been here this week and has been helping me with the watering of the yard and some things around the house.  He has also helped me with some techincal challenges regarding the computer and etc.  Because we had no internet on Tuesday he helped me deal with the AT&T Technician and that transistion was fixed but it took all day running to and from the hospital as to meet schedules with the technician and etc.

Yesterday we spent the whole day visiting rehab facilities and their residences.  We chose Pate. We took pictures, had brochures and discussed all details of the rehab centers.  Bob altimately made the decision.  Both rehab centers were highly qualified for brain rehabilitation but Bob felt Pate would be the best for him. 

On Labor Day some of the kids were at the hospital.  They brought pizza from Lou Malnati's which was shipped from Chicago.  It was the second day Bob was able to leave his hospital room In a wheel chair.  We took him to the ICU waiting room area where there is an outside patio. It turned out to be a party until the Occupaitional Therapists came looking for Bob and found him there.  They were so sweet to let him continue the party and incorpated his therapy with the party by allowing him to play games with our family members.  Everyone enjoyed it and I could see these moments were very special to Bob.  A special thanks to Lindsay and Katie. Once I return to the hospital today I will include some pictures of the party which I need to get from my computer.

Yesterday Joy visited Bob at the hospital and cut his hair.  Thank you Joy. Ronnie and I spent yesterday evening with Bob.  Angie and John came up also.  Since Bob is no longer criticle and is feeling better I am not spending as much time at the hospital.  I am not aware of everyone who stops in now and can not mention everyone who visits but please be assured he really appreciates it.  I know rehab is a slow process but I couldn't be happier with Bob's progress so far.

I also want to mention that Bob has been used to me being at the hospital most of the time.  Yesterday while meeting with one of the rehab representatives I recieved a call.  It was Bob.  He tracked me down by reaching for the hospital phone and dialing my number.  He said "I just called to say I love you."  That made my day.   

Monday, September 1, 2014

It seem every day brings a blessing or two.  Yesterday Tamara came by to stay with Bob while I went to the airport to pick up Bob's brother Ronnie. Thank you Tamara. Ronnie lives in Seattle.  What a pleasure to have him here this week.

Bob's weekend therapist Rudy was successful getting some commanded movement in Bob's left foot, leg, and arm.  One of the things he did was to tape Bob's hand to a golf club and told Bob to move it to the left.  He encouraged the move by shouting and hitting the spot he wanted Bob to move his arm to repeatedly. I think this was to get Bob's total focus and encouraged it by shouting and hitting the aimed spot he should go to finally got him to move.  Fascinating!  He also started rubbing and stretching his feet and was able to get Bob to do some command foot, toe and leg movement.

So anyway, the doctor said we could take Bob for a walk in his chair.  That was the first time he was out of his hospital room since the stroke.  We walked around the hospital then went on the patio outside.  I was trying to get Bob to move his foot using Rudy's methods by shouting and pounding on the area I want him to move it to but he didn't respond.  He looked at me, smiled and said "I can not take you seriously."

Angie and Brent stopped by for a little while on their way to dinner.  Ronnie and I ended the day with a late dinner at Johnny Carino's. Yum!

Bob with his Physical Therapist Rudy

Bob with his Brother Ronnie