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She's got her voice back!

Hello all.  

I am sorry for the lack of posts.  I'm not surprised to report that soon after Mom & Dad were together that we faced the beginning of busy season with our business.  I am not surprised because it seems like God's timing to me.  He gave me just enough time to care for her until I was no longer needed.  

Most likely, I will only get busier & busier from here.  

Dove is continuing to visit as often as possible, and she is handling all the finance/business affairs of Mom & Dad - mostly pertaining to their application for Medicaid at the moment.  

And Barney & Glory are continuing to visit when they are able.

The big HUGE news is that Mom is talking now!  

It was so delightful to hear her voice for the first time in so long.  She is working so hard with the speech therapist and my dad.  She's got exercises multiple times a day, and she even ate some ice cream the other day.  

Today Ellie and I visited and she talked a lot.  We held up a book (Power of Praying for your Adult Children) and she read a paragraph out loud while holding the book up on her own. 

Watch the video to see & hear her! 

My dad is doing a great job caring for her, but his memory is still pretty bad.  He has to be reminded of a lot of things, but he remembers daily that his main job is to care for Mom.  

We would love your prayers for continued restoration for both of them!  

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Finally some peace!

As Jewel said Mom got to Lindan Park on Thursday. I drove up to Dallas Friday to go get Dad and bring some decorations for their room. When I walked into Lindan Park after having been gone 11 years, still 7 people who I worked with are still there! I was filled with peace knowing they are in such good hands. My friend who is the speech therapist there called me and spent  20 minutes on the phone with me letting me know the plan for Mom. Occupational therapy had gotten her up and in a wheelchair for an hour. All good news! The best part is they are together. Such a burden has been lifted! Thank you for all the prayers!!!



Great news!  Mom is leaving the hospital as I type!  

Quick recap is that she's being doing well with physical therapy.   She got her G Tube (also called PEG tube) place on Tuesday and they started feeding through there yesterday, with everything going smoothly.  This is the tube that goes through her stomach (vs her nose).  

She got discharge orders today, and she's headed to Lindan Park Nursing Home in Richardson.  The whole nursing home search has been a bit of a nightmare, but we are relieved for her to finally go to a facility owned by a family friend and where Dove used to work.  The only reason we didn't choose there in the first place is because of the distance from our homes, but we're all glad they will be in good hands.  

I'm off to meet them there.  Dad will join her there tomorrow hopefully.  We are so excited!!!!    


Mom has new digs

Mom is now moved to the Neuro PCU which they say is a step down from the Neuro ICU which is in between that and the regular side of the hospital.  

The room is a nice corner room with a nice and the first couch we've had that pulls out into a bed.  On this floor they have nurses and techs.  So far, I really like the techs.  We met the other neurologist, a woman, and we like her a lot too. Overall they seem to be dragging a bit on the peg/G tube (I've heard them call it both things; this is the feeding tube through the stomach).  The cardiologists and neurologists think it should have already been placed.  I think because the MRI shows that the strokes are near the part of the brain that controls swallowing AND because they all agree that 2 weeks is too long to have the temp feeding tube through the nose.  But the hospitalist on call seems to be elusive, and I haven't heard there is an official order.  I think the specialists make the recommendations, and the hospitalists agree or disagree and then actually place the orders.  Either way, I was told by a nurse, it's a Monday through Friday type procedure, so it might be Monday before that's done.  We eagerly await that because soon after hopefully she'll get discharged and then will get to be near my dad and closer to us.  We live 30 minutes to an hour away from the hospital and the nursing home where we want them both to go is about 5 minutes away.  More importantly though, they'll have each other as companions.  

The kids can now visit, so we're off to the hospital to see Mom! 


Hand of God Neurologist

Update on Dad:  His memory seems to be worse.  He only remembers the current day, sometimes only the most current moment, unless sometimes prompted.  We are still working to get an MRI & EEG ordered so we can get some answers there.

Improvements with Mom:  Physical therapy is going great.  She's working so hard, and has an excellent spirit.  She sat on the bed on her own yesterday, and today she did that again and stood up twice!  Once for 20 seconds and the second time for 30.  At this point she should be doing a lot more though, so short term goal is to get her well enough to be discharged to a skilled nursing home that can provide more intense and longer therapy.  Same idea with speech therapy.  

Blood:  Anti-Cardiolipin Antibody Test. Patients that test positive for this test are at higher risk for stroke and blood clots.  Mom tested positive.  It doesn't change the treatment (blood thinners for life), but it gives them more information.  They have to test again in 3 months to confirm confirm.  

Difficulties:  She is having bowel issues adjusting to the feeding tube.  Most likely they will recommend getting the one through her stomach today.  Which will make her a better candidate for discharge.  Also she is having difficulty sleeping.  They tried letting her sleep on her own last night, but it didn't work so great.  They will go back to giving her Trazadone earlier in the night.  

Plan:  They definitely want to do the surgery to close the hole in her heart but will recommend 4-6 weeks to recover from the strokes before doing it.  

Mystery of Movement: The neurologist says the most likely scenario is that she's been having strokes since her legs stopped working at Sundance because the MRI shows multiple ages of strokes, some old, some new.  The respiridone theory is no longer being considered because he says it typically makes someone stiffen up all over, different than what she had going on.  

Awesome moment:  The neurologist was in today, and he keeps emphasizing not giving up.  He looked her in the eyes and told her God decides when it's time for her to go or stay.  If it's our time, no one can save her and keep her here, if it's not our time, it's our responsibility to use all of the tools he's given us.  He was basically saying if we are here, we should really be here and in her case recover excellently.  And not give up.  It was a really cool moment.  Frosting on the cake, he kinda looks like how I imagine Jesus.


Results In!

Thank you for your prayers!!!!

The procedure went very well. The risk in it came from my mom being on blood thinners and a risk of her bleeding, but that didn’t happen. They were faster than they promised. The doc showed me the video of her heart and the bible study. It was fascinating. They confirmed she does have a hole in her heart, and the blood is able to go from the right to left and left to right. It is called an atrial septal defect. This is not good as unfiltered blood (or clots) gets to roam free through the body, including the brain. They and we are thankful that they have found the culprit of the strokes. The plan of action is to recover enough to have surgery to close the hole. And they want all of the blood clots to resolve first. These things could take months.

Minutes after the team left, and the nurse was trying to wake her, Marcus walked in (unexpectedly). Mom went from out of it to grinning from ear to ear. She even audibly laughed. I told the nurse that he has that effect on women.

Mom saw physical therapy again and PT said she improved. They said they would recommend a skilled nursing facility for rehab since she may not be strong enough to handle 3 hours of therapy a day. We and the hospital are working on getting Mom and Dad together.

Her spirit is wonderful. And she prays for healing so that she can serve others again.


Prayers requested for TEE procedure - happening now

Hello!  Pray for Mom as she is about to undergo a procedure to help figure out where her blood clots are coming from.

The TEE (trans esophageal echocardiogram) is happening now.  Sonographer (to do ultrasound), anesthesiologist (will administer anesthesia similar to what is given in a colonoscopy), nurse and cardiologist are in there.  I couldn't stay in the room.  It will take about 20 minutes.  It's fascinating, and I feel she is in excellent hands!  


Very hopeful

Last night one of the first things Mom spelled on her communication board was for me to pray. I prayed with Glory, Dad and Mom. It’s so difficult to see her after these multiple strokes.

But his mercies are new every morning! I brought Dad to see Mom and relieve Glory who spent the night with her. We talked to the neurologist, cardiologist and another doctor, all who said she looked good. One doctor told us she will have a much better chance to return to her baseline since she has had multiple small strokes (vs. a large one). Maya, her physical therapist had Mom sitting up, doing leg, arm, and neck exercises. She (and I!) were very pleased with her progress. Mom can say all her vowels and can make some numbers out. She is very happy when I tell her how proud of her I am. She is motivated by encouragement. A friend from her community group came to visit her today. Barney and Glory visited her this evening. Barney read her a poem, which she loved. She would welcome letters and calls, and of course your prayers.