Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Greetings Everyone,

A year ago today Bob was brought home from the hospital and we were told he had two days, three at the most to live------Wow, what a year this has been---to see the progress he has made is really phenomenal. It has been a couple months since I have written an update; my excuse is that I have been too busy and/or too tired.

About six weeks ago he started climbing stairs, (beginning with two or three and working up to now the entire 14!) first one at a time with both feet and then about three weeks ago one stair after the other. He would back down---always with an assistant about two steps behind him. About three weeks ago he began coming down the stairs face forward, one at a time, (wearing the belt) also with assist. Both Connie and Kay have worked with him on falling techniques. If he is going up and becomes unsteady, fall on his knees, if coming down face forward, fall on his bottom. His balance is improving so much that I am not too worried anymore. About two months ago he was sitting on the side of the bed trying to reach his shoes and slid off the bed and hit his right rib on the corner of the night stand. Kay and her husband helped me get him into the wheelchair where he went into shock. That called for an ambulance ride to the ER, where we spent the afternoon---X-rays showed no lung puncture, interior bleeding, cracked or broken bones. He had a bruised rib which healed in a couple weeks. It did slow down the progress he was making, but he is once again determined to move forward.

He has had a couple other falls, one, we forgot to put the brakes on the wheelchair and as he was sitting down, it moved away from him. Another, as he was moving from the wheelchair to the bed by himself, he slipped----these were lessons for all of us, but he did not get hurt. The rug is pretty well padded. He is doing so well, it is easy to become complacent.

He walks with the four wheel (big wheel) walker down the driveway and almost to the end of the street (that runs by our kitchen window) and back---that is well over a block---he does this twice a day most days--with Connie, Kay, me or anyone else who will walk with him!! Yesterday he walked without the walker, Kay was holding on the belt. He did not walk quite as far as his posture was different without the walker and he was totally exhausted. Even he said that he over did it!

He also walks with the regular walker, but he complains that the tennis balls wear out too fast and make him skid! He also walks from the fireplace to the carport door with the "quad" cane---four footed cane. Always with an assistant or me. He has also walked a few steps all by himself! It was great seeing the smile on his face! Connie Birse and Kay Simon are so very good with him---he does different exercises with them that he will not do with me!

These ladies are so patient and very innovative. I know that they are responsible for much of his progress----and we are so appreciative. They alternate days and times.

Bob is able to eat everything now, once in a while will choke a little---I told him that he has to chew every mouthful 28 times, he has slowed down and tries to do that!! Apple skins, walnuts and peanuts were the last hurdle and he does well with them now.

Bob is also reading more (even the daily paper which he lost interest in a couple years ago!) and taking interest in scientific TV shows---all progress--. "JAG"is still the favorite! (on DVD's) "NCIS" a close second!
I am getting a bit more sleep, he usually wakes me once, sometimes twice a night. If I sleep three hours or less at one time, I basically take care of Bob the next day---if it is three to four or four and a half, I will get dishes and some laundry done. When it reaches a five to six hour point, I actually get the floor vacuumed!! And over six hours---life is almost normal----those days are few and far between tho, so I still ask that we receive no phone calls until after 1:30 so that I can take a morning nap when Bob does. And I almost always take an afternoon nap when he does----

Better close for now, thanks to everyone for the prayers and encouragement, and we are still getting goodies!!! Thank you!