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1/23/2017 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. On March 24, 2016 Dan was diagnosed with ALS/Lou Gerhig's disease. Now we know he actually had symptoms since December of 2014. However, we were glad we did not know of his terminal diagnosis until then. We met with the ALS Clinic of HCMC in Minneapolis which we have been very thankful for. We have been blessed by loan closets in Minnesota and Wisconsin for various equipment. Now as a family with a member with ALS we are so grateful for loan closets. ALS progresses. What works this week with the disease, probably won't work next week. While paperwork is being filed, one may move on to the next stage. An example of this is his special leg brace. He was fitted, measured, paperwork applied for. Cost $1500. It arrived after 6 weeks. He wore it one day and then no longer able to move the leg if weight of brace on.
You might wonder what this has done to Dan. We can tell you he went from a cane, to walker, to wheeled walker, to a fall in September ending any further ability to bear weight on his legs. He has been in a regular wheelchair, with ability to get transferred in and out of care, to no longer having that ability. He now has a power chair that he can work some. The best part of the power chair has been the ability to tilt backwards as his body can no longer sit upright in sitting position.
Probably the worst of the symptoms for him to accept has been the loss of his voice in gradual stages. For him a former NFL broadcaster, this was huge. At first it was only in the evening with muffled /garbled sounds on some words. But now it has progressed. He can still help us to understand though what he is saying and is teaching all of his family patience.
He has made the choice that he will not use a feeding tube nor breathing devices. He will instead accept meds to help with choking, pain and other issues. As of January 18th he is now under the care of Hospice in the Western WI town we live in. We appreciate their help and care and suggestions as we deal with this terminal disease.
His faith is good. Our church family has been excellent as of course, has our kids and grandkids. While he wished he could hide us from the pain, sadness and grief of this disease, he now realizes he cannot. We must walk thru this disease together as a family. We have a Care Connection team from church that has been excellent since March in walking this walk with us. Sometimes that means, picking up supplies, making food, sitting with Dan while Nancy runs errands, and most of all, praying for Dan every step of the way.
We ask for prayers for Dan as his journey progresses. We ask that God walk every step with us. That Jesus shows His face daily so we have His love. We ask for God to send Angels to also minister to Dan when we his loved ones no longer can.
Unfortunately we do not accept phone calls as our lives are filled with cares, and needs. Since he cannot speak on the phone well, it only frustrates him. We ask for your prayers for sure and thank you for that GIFT. It truly is a gift!!!! If you care to send him a card, our address is Dan Rowe, 1430 6th Ave, Baldwin WI 54002. He does enjoy his cards. They also are a huge gift you can share.
Why did we use Caring Bridge, this site? Because it is a great way to update many people on regular basis. Our lives are so crazy that even a two minute phone call to respond to people, or sending out individual emails to others, takes time. Time is very precious this day. Our social worker at Hospice says we must let others know of our needs. So that is why we choose Caring Bridge. By the way, you see a donate button. That money goes to the website maintenance, not to Dan. It is a very reputable site and you need not fear about privacy issues. When you do post though a message for Dan, others will see that. They won't share your email though if you do not wish them to.
Thank you to all who take the time to read our updates. And especially thank you to all who take the time to say a prayer for Dan and our family. This is Nancy, his wife writing on the site. May you all hug your loved ones tonight too. Life is so short!