Monday, September 8, 2008

Greetings Everyone,

It is hard to believe that a month has gone by since Bob's birthday party. The party was wonderful!! His greatest desire for a long time was to reach the age of 80, and to walk! And he accomplished both!! He was so pleased with all the people who came to celebrate with and honor him, he still gets emotional when we talk about it. Thank you, all of you who participated in any way to make it the successful day that it was. And a big thank you to the neighbors and friends that helped with the yard, food and house the couple days before the party---you all helped make the day very special!!

We also want to thank everyone that sent cards, notes and letters, and those of you that traveled long distances---wow--what a compliment to him!! (Thanks, DiDi!!)

A couple days before the party I found out that several people had not received an e-vite, I am so sorry, I understand that some receivers are not able to receive them. But it was too late to rectify that because I had no idea who did or did not get an invite.

Bob is getting stronger every day, and more mobile. He walks with the walker two or three times every day--through the house, into the carport, down the ramp and outside in front of the hangar and around the apron for 150 or more paces---Eli (physical therapist) has measured 150 feet several times now. His arm, shoulder and leg strength are noticeably stronger every few days. Getting in and out of bed and into the wheelchair is easier ----as well as bath mobility. He is so determined, it is inspirational to work with him. The therapists and Connie and Kay do a tremendous job with exercising him. The difference just since coming home from rehab is so noticeable. He takes some really good naps after these workouts!

Well, here it is a week later and I need to finish this! Bob has gained even more strength, dexterity, etc... since last week. He buttoned all the buttons on his dress shirt by himself this morning----impressive! Prior to this he would button about half and his fingers would get too tired.

Three different people have said to me in the last month---what do you do with your time now that Bob is walking----well----I have been trying to think of an answer that doesn't sound like I am whining or complaining, so I will give you a sketch of my day---please feel free to skip this!! We get up at 7:30 (7:00 if the therapist is coming at 8:30)--take the BFS (fasting blood sugar reading) help Bob (assist or minimal assist) out of bed, help him dress, go to the bathroom---He wheels to the breakfast table and takes him own blood pressure reading and shaves. I prep freshly cut fruit or juice and a balanced protein, carb and fat breakfast----usually pretty healthy. After that, the morning meds and the long term (24 hr) insulin and a few supplements. Depending on therapist schedules, he may take an hour nap or read the paper until the OT, PT or helper has arrived. During that time, I eat breakfast, then empty the urinals, spray, wash and rinse them (sterilize them about once a week)--he uses three or four a night. Therapy is usually at 1030--1100. After an hour of therapy, he takes a nap, About 1230--1:00 I start with lunch, fresh fruit, healthy combination---we eat, then- depending on how well we have slept, it is nap time for Bob or both of us until the exercise lady arrives---4 or 4:30. Then dinner prep, eat, take meds and supplements and maybe go for a walk with the walker---watch TV, get ready for bed, he brushes his teeth, I check his BS reading and give him his insulin. While Bob is having his therapy, exercises and naps, I run the dishwasher almost every day, some hand wash; about 5-6 loads of laundry a week, clean Bob's bathroom a couple times a week, vacuum two-three times a week---the area we use most----if I have enough energy, do some cleaning in the rest of the house.
Also, this is full assist; give Bob two shower/shampoos a week, and one sitz bath a day, sometime more. Also, make sure he has at least two pitchers of cold water a day, clean cups and straws. Every week to ten days, cut fingernails and toe nails, clip mustache, other facial hair---an occasional Epsom salts foot bath, and lavender oil foot rub.

I give partial or stand by assist about seven times a day to the bathroom, also several assists a day into and out of bed, morning and night and two or three naps a day. His legs and arms are getting stronger all the time and he is almost able to raise himself out of bed on his own.

In addition to this, I am trying to muddle my way through medicare and insurance forms, do the bills, go thru mail, plan healthy menus and all the other things that all of you do every day! Nothing extraordinary, but I am really tired at the end of the day.

Now, I have to address another issue---in the last couple months, several of you wonderful people have asked me to go to movies, concerts, plays, lunches and /or shopping with you. At this time, that would be more stress than I could handle; maybe in six months or a year. Some of you have even offered a "Bobby sitter"! I so much appreciate your offers----- but I would take a sitter for a couple hours and go up and sleep undisturbed for two-three hours or take advantage of your generosity to run errands; pharmacy, bank, post office, groceries etc..... Bob still wakes me from one to four times a night. Many days I take as many naps as he does to try to catch up. His reasons for waking me are as varied as his pillows being uncomfortable, being too hot or cold or having to change some bedding or clothing, to his feeling vulnerable---what would happen in case of a fire, etc.... He usually falls right back asleep while I , after having been up, stare at the ceiling for minutes to hours!!

My sister, Delphine, has stayed overnight several times and given me a welcome break; my sister-in-law Mary Lou, (from Brea, CA) has stayed here two weeks (one each in JAN and July). They answer the phone, door and deal with any other item while I sleep!! Also help with Bob's needs during the night. And fold clothes and iron, etc..... Kay Hanson, Carter and Noelle have also helped with the overnights. In August, I hired my great nephew, Jonathan Kampa, (David's son) [Brea, also] to help for a week. What a responsible, helpful and gentle person he is! It was so great being able to go up to sleep knowing Bob was in such capable hands. I caught up on enough sleep that I have not fallen asleep at any red lights since then!! In addition to taking such good care of Bob, Jonathan helped with various things that needed doing. Wish he lived closer------

Better close, this has become much too long!!!


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Bob's Birthday

These are exactly 1 month and 1 day after the big event... these are pictures from Lisanna and from my camera. Enjoy!

Thank you for everyone's birthday wishes and for those who were able to make it! I know my Dad was very honored and humbled by the celebration.