Sunday, December 16, 2007

New update from my Mom:

Need to update before I lose this computer again!!

This last week has been full of many little surprises! The occupational therapist come out on Monday and tested Bob's swallowing ability. He did well on two tiny spoons of applesauce, but not on two other spoons, coughed a lot. So we will wait for a few days and try again. He is drinking water out of a cup, tho. James suggested that we cut a paper cup down about two thirds, so that he can hold it easily. All my cups were too heavy for him to hold. (With a little help). He also can have ice chips from a spoon four times a day. He loves it but says they are cold. He is moving his left leg from the hip quite well and just started shrugging his shoulders a little yesterday.

On Friday Hospice delivered a wheelchair and "Hoyer"---which is the sling and hoist to lift him into the chair. Jenny and Doug, Rick and a couple neighbors participated in the demonstration---it is definitely a two (or three) man job. So when Bob feels ready, we will try the wheelchair---could be a few days or longer.

He is talking more and out loud a lot more. He now smiles with both sides of his mouth except when he is tired. All in all, his progress is encouraging. He is still very fragile and tires easily. He loves company but often falls asleep in the middle of a visit. Feel free to visit every day except Tuesdays from 2:00 to 4:30, but please call first because we have found that we cannot hear the knock or doorbell with the oxygen pump, fireplace fan and sometime the TV going.

Thank all of you again for making my life easier, and all the encouraging cards, letters, prayers and holiday wishes.---Will update again, sooner, I hope. Keep praying, please!


Friday, December 7, 2007


Below is an update from my Mom. Her internet has been on and off, so it has been awhile since she's been able to update. Please feel free to pass this along to friends and family to keep them in the loop. Our apologies for not responding to everyone's individual phone calls and emails - it's so much easier to just do these big updates to everyone. But we really do appreciate the support.

Thank you. May you find peace, comfort and joy during this holiday season.



I am sorry that I have not written before this, but I have found Home Hospice the most overwhelming and demanding venture in my life. Hospice is finally realizing that Bob is not ready to leave us and is bringing the needed supplies and additional aides. Because they were told that he wouldn't live more than two or three days, I was given minimum supplies, which added to the stress.

Bob is holding up well; I see tiny improvements every day. He whispers a lot and makes sense about eighty percent of the time. He is also talking out loud a little. It is so good to hear his voice again! He is moving his legs and arms more every day. We are doing gentle physical therapy with him every day and he is responding with some resistance, which is great! He has had two massages and loves them, sleeps like a baby afterward. He has begun to swallow more and now wants to suck the water out of the mouth cleaning sponges, so after we clean the mouth, we let him suck a little. Since he is on constant oxygen, his mouth is dry. I am sure the cold water tastes good!

Bob loves company; he recognizes everyone and is able to stay awake for short periods. Because the mornings are so busy, we are limiting visiting to the afternoons. From 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm are good visiting times. Every day except Tuesdays---he has a massage on Tuesdays at 1:00 and sleeps the entire afternoon after that. Please also try to keep phone calls during the same time frame. This helps let the phone be available for health care workers to call in.

Thank you to everyone for the cards, food, prayers, emails, phone calls, visits, errands and general help. It is greatly appreciated. My refrigerator is full - so unless you want to buy me a new fridge (just kidding!) - please keep food limited to Tuesdays and Fridays. If anyone wants to volunteer to be my "food coordinator" - that would take some stress off of my plate and I'll just communicate through that one person. Please let Noelle know through email and she will confirm with you.

A special thank you to Carol Nohavec. She has done an incredible job coordinating volunteers from the church to help with different things. I'm surprised she hasn't sprouted wings by now.

Once again, thank you and please keep praying for his recovery.