Monday, July 16, 2018

A LITTLE CATCHING UP

Sunday, July 15 -  It's been awhile since we posted on our blog. We thought we better send out an update. We are currently in our summer home in Canton, Ohio. Those of you who follow our blog regularly may recall that Marsha suffered a stroke on April 11, while visiting Paul's brother in Amelia Island, Florida. We extended our stay in that area so Marsha could attend physical, speech, and occupational therapies. Once released by the doctor, we took our time traveling to our summer home in Canton. We arrived here on May 11 and immediately visited doctors in this area. Marsha worked very hard on therapy and is currently doing home therapy as needed. Her writing and typing leave a lot to be desired, but she is still plugging away trying to improve those skills.  She still has some speech issues she would like to improve upon. For some strange reason, she has acquired an Italian accent. Paul finds it a little exotic, and Marsha, family and friends have humorously enjoyed having a little Italian gal around the house this summer.

One of the tests the doctor ordered for Marsha was  a 30-day heart monitor, She wore it from mid-June to the middle of July and will get the results at the end of the month. She doesn’t wish that 30 day misery on anyone. What a pain. And as funny as it sounds, Paul’s cardiologist had him wear one for 30 days also, due to his afib problem.  We go to different doctors and were wearing them for different reasons. Our appointments were on the same day, at the same hospital and back-to-back times. The gal that set us up said she never had a husband and wife wired up together. What a hoot. 

To complicate matters, Marsha's dad, who just celebrated his 90th birthday this past November, has had some health issues of his own and has just recently moved into an assisted living facility. Thank God for Marsha, her brother and sister-in-law, Rick and Chris, dad has improved significantly and is comfortable in his new home. He wouldn't be where he is today without their dedicated and hard work. They continue their efforts with getting his house ready for sale and trying to satisfy the rest of the family. We do see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Carrie, dad, Kelly, Dave
kids-with-grandpa

We have really enjoyed spending time with our oldest daughter, Kelly, and husband, Dave. Kelly is pregnant with our first grand baby. She is due in late November. She and Dave tried for three years to get pregnant with negative results. They decided to try IVF. Thank God it took the very first time. Kelly’s pregnancy was confirmed the same day Marsha had her stroke. We are all so happy and can’t wait till the little one arrives.

Kelly and Dave are so excited!
dave-kel-together

Our daughter, Carrie, had a return flight to Houston this morning after visiting here in Canton for nearly a week. We had a great time with the entire family together.

A little fun playing bags
carrie-paul-bags

kel-and-dave

Marsha gets to enjoy all the fun.
marsha-in-chair

She tried her hand at bags but is still a little weak.
marsha-throwing

We don’t know who looks more pregnant…Kelly or one of the boys.
all-pregnant

And to add to the excitement, Kelly and Dave are in the middle of remodeling their kitchen, which Paul enjoys helping with. Kelly has taken a new teaching position in their home town of Chardon, Ohio. For the past six years, she was teaching in Parma, Ohio, nearly an hour drive from home. She looks forward to teaching at the nearby high school after her childcare leave.

We plan on remaining here in Ohio until after the Christmas holiday to spend time with our new grand baby and the rest of the family before traveling to Houston, Texas, to escape winter for several months. Hopefully, Paul can slow Marsha down a bit, but it has been a difficult struggle.

Hope this updates everyone on what we've been up to and what we plan for the immediate future. We want to thank everyone for the kind thoughts and prayers through this troubling time. Amazing how an event can change your life so quickly. The cause of Marsha's stroke remains a mystery to her and her doctors. She was in good health, exercised regularly, never smoked, wasn't over weight and lived a pretty healthy life. We hope and pray it was a “one-time” event and she will recover completely…..although Paul thinks he'll miss having that sweet Italian lady around the house.

We hope every one has a great rest of the summer.
family-photo

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you back soon.  Have a great day!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE THERAPY, BABY!

Sunday, May 6 - We remain here at the Bow & Arrow Campground in Yulee, Florida. We are just north of Jacksonville, Florida and about 20 minutes from Paul's brother, John, who lives on Amelia Island.

We arrived here on April 5, for a short visit with John, but on April 11, Marsha suffered a mild stroke. She spent a short time in the hospital but returned home to the 5th wheel soon after. She has been working hard at physical, occupational, and speech therapy, three days a week, on an outpatient basis. Her progress has been going well with only a minor set-back. She suffered through several days of exhaustion and even returned to the hospital emergency room for a check-up. There were no signs of another stroke, so it was assumed she was overdoing her rehabilitation or had come down with a minor virus. She needs to slow down and do some resting.

Marsha continues with her therapy and has an appointment with a neurologist on Tuesday, May 8. We are hoping that he will clear her to travel to our summer home in Ohio. We hope to depart on Wednesday. We are planning on taking three days, only traveling about five hours per day and will take the doctor's recommendation on what is best. We already have appointments with doctors in Ohio and will continue with therapy if necessary.

At physical therapy, Marsha spends the majority of her time on balance and strengthening her right leg.  She has numerous exercises she also does at home. 

marsha rehab

At occupational therapy, her goal is to regain her fine motor skills. She does eye-hand coordination drills, as well.  Regaining strength is a major goal.

marsha rehab

marsha rehab 

marsha rehab

She’s been focusing on her writing skills.  This is one of the area of the brain that was affected by her stroke.

marsha rehab

Adult coloring. Who would have believed? No Marsha! It was recommended as a great exercise for her fine motor skills.

marsha rehab

Loss of her typing skill is one of the hardest pills for Marsha to swallow. She actually taught personal typing in high school years ago. She is anxious to regain this ability as quickly as possible. She practices everyday for short periods. Her forearm just isn’t strong enough to do much more.

marsha rehab

Marsha uses therapy putty, containing small beads, as another fine motor skill exercise. It helps strengthen the fingers, as well.

marsha rehab

This is an unusual exercise called mirror therapy. The mirror image ‘tricks’ your brain into thinking that your affected arm is moving like your unaffected arm. Mirror therapy involves the use of a mirror to create a reflection of Marsha’s unaffected arm in place of your affected arm during therapy. Our sister-in-law, Chris, a nurse, said it gets great results. Here she uses her left hand to trick the mind into thinking she is putting the stones in the slot with her right hand.  She does this exercise for three minutes, twice a day.

marsha rehab

In speech therapy, she spends time on teaching lips, tongue, and throat how to make proper sounds. She learns how to use the diaphragm to make correct sounds. She has numerous mouth exercises to do and has made a notebook full of sentences to read out loud. Here she is reading the sentence out loud while watching how her mouth forms the words.

marsha rehab

So in summary, Marsha is working hard at therapy and has shown considerable improvement. She is in good spirits and is nearly back to the happy, passionate, warmhearted lady we all love.

We hope our next post will be from Canton, Ohio, and we'll include a picture of Marsha working in her flower garden.

marsha rehab

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you back soon.  Have a great day!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

BLOG IS GOING ON HIATUS

Saturday, April 14 – We have extended our stay here in Amelia Island, Florida, due to an unexpected health issue. Marsha was awaken from a restless night on Wednesday with a minor stroke. Luckily, we were near a large city (Jacksonville, FL). Within a very short time, we were at Baptist Hospital, and Marsha was receiving emergency care. After extensive testing, it was determined she had a minor stroke on the left side of her brain. She has some difficulty using her right arm, a weakness when walking, and minor difficulty forming thoughts into words. She was released from the hospital Thursday evening to return home to the RV.

It is amazing the progress she has made in just a very short time. She is doing home therapy which they taught her in the hospital. Monday she will begin physical, occupational, and speech therapy on an outpatient basis. We are spending our time exercising, taking short walks, and getting Marsha back to her fun-loving self! With hard work and support of medical staff, she is expected to have a full recovery! Paul is confident that we will be able to move on in a very short time.

We are remaining here in Amelia Island, Florida, until her neurologist releases her to travel. We will then travel to Canton, Ohio, our summer home. The manager here at Bow & Arrow Campground graciously permitted us to extend our stay to a month, even crediting us the cost of our first week. That was very thoughtful, and we thank him for his kindness.

We will not be blogging until Marsha is healthy. Marsha won’t be doing much computer reading as she cannot leave a comment. We will update her progress and keep our “blogger” family informed. Marsha is doing well and on the road to recovery. She would appreciate your prayers and encouragement.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back soon. Hope you have a great day.