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April
14
2020

April 14, 2020

Just a quick update:  I was able to FaceTime with my sister today and she was very chatty and upbeat. I had one of her kitties on my lap and she was so pleased to see her and talk to her!  We also have sweet peas blooming in our garden right now, planted just for Lindy, and so I was able to cut the first bouquet and share them with her. She said they were beautiful. I couldn’t tell if she understood why we aren’t visiting, but thankfully she didn't seem troubled in any way and was pleased to see us.  This face to face visit was just what I needed - praise God!

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April
8
2020

April 8, 2020

During this time when everyone is concerned with the wellbeing of their family and friends, I just wanted to assure my sister’s friends that she is doing well. She is still living at The Hills Postacute center only a few minutes away from my home. There are no cases of Covid in her facility. They went into complete lockdown early in March and so far, so good. However, as a family member, it is absolute torture to not be able to see her or talk to her!  Unfortunately she doesn’t have the ability to FaceTime or talk on the phone. I’ve been so worried that she doesn’t understand why no one is visiting her. I talk to staff regularly and they report she seems normal and doesn’t ask for anyone or question our absence. I think in her brain it is always today. There’s not really any past or future - living in the moment is supposed to be a good thing, I guess. But it makes me so sad to be cut off, something everyone is feeling now with Covid!

Thanks to her UCLA doctor she received several weeks of physical and occupational therapy, although it’s due to end soon. She hasn’t been too cooperative, stubbornly refusing to participate fully. One of her nieces, my youngest daughter, had a funny exchange with Melinda before the quarantine. Lindy admitted to her she didn’t like the PT because it was too hard. Emily reminded her about her own difficult college classes and Lindy’s work getting her masters many years ago - hard work is necessary. Lindy sheepishly smiled and admitted to Emily she was right. It was such a ‘normal’ exchange that showed Lindy has a lot of memories still and a greater awareness than we think. 

We’ve had a lot of good conversations that are so encouraging.  She’s allowed to be given water to drink now. I’m sure she’s ready for food, but the medical personnel don’t see her as I see her. So still a huge prayer need. She’s in a wheelchair daily and out of her room and around other people, which is wonderful!  But overall, stuck at a plateau, I think.

Please pray for good care for her during this quarantine.  Not even our amazing Sandy is able to check on her care, other than by phone.  We are forced to trust that she is getting the compassionate care she needs and deserves.  But God, in His great love, is surely looking down on her and providing what she needs.  I remind myself of that many times every day.  And I continue to pray for all of you, so thankful for your support, prayers, and encouragement and praying for your safety during this strange time of the virus and quarantine, loss of work and income.

 

February
15
2020

February 14, 2020

So sorry it’s been so long since an update!  No news is good news, right?  Melinda is doing well. No huge changes in her abilities or memory. But she is now out and about her nursing home in a wheelchair up to 5 hours a day. No longer stuck behind 4 walls and isolated from others. I’m very thankful that her world has opened up significantly. 

She has an appointment with her UCLA doctor next week and the hope is he will write new orders for physical therapy as he will no doubt see an improvement in her condition - a requirement for insurance coverage. I’m so very thankful to the Stand to Reason family for continuing to keep her covered by Blue Shield!

We are finally moving forward with renting her house to generate income for her care. That means our wonderful cat sitter is moving on and we have my sister’s 3 ‘girls’ to find homes for. So I’m requesting prayers for wonderful new homes for them. If anyone is in Southern California and might have a place for one or all three you can email me (cathymeier84@gmail.com).  They will live with my husband and me until something else comes up. Rest assured I will NOT send them to a shelter!  But they will be entering a whole new world with our own cat and large Australian Shepherd!  Both are very friendly!

I’m so thankful for your support and prayers!  I praise God daily for you and ask Him for an extra measure of His blessings for you all. 

December
25
2019

December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas to all our friends!  I had to add a quick update on this special night to let you know what a remarkable visit we had with my sister today. Niece #1, Becky, her husband, and 3 year old daughter are visiting from Michigan. We had the BEST visit with my sister, who knew everybody, was aware what day it was without prompting, was delighted over her little grandniece’s antics, and was really WITH us!  The improvement in the past two months is just so exciting!  We still need your prayers, but as 2019 winds down, I’m fully confident in Melinda’s condition continuing to improve and God blessing her with a return of more of her abilities. Thank you all for your support, encouragement, and prayers!  You are in my prayers, too. 
Cathy

November
30
2019

November 29, 2019

Things are going well for Melinda at her new home-away-from home, Carehouse. The staff is very friendly and responsive to our concerns and requests. There haven’t been any significant changes from my last journal entry, but I know so many of you are praying so it helps to know what to pray for!

She is up in a wheelchair everyday so she gets out of her room regularly now. It tires her and she complains of discomfort, but I know it’s so good for her and seems to have triggered increased awareness in the past 6 weeks. Last night we were having a ‘normal’ conversation about being cold and needing a blanket - something she wasn’t capable of 3 months ago. When one of her niece’s made a FaceTime call with her little 12 month old daughter in her arms, Melinda exclaimed, “It’s two of my favorite people in the world!”  So perfect!

I’m hoping she can continue to make progress with memory & recall. And then there is the whole eating/drinking issue. Please pray that the therapist sees my sister on ‘good’ days and is willing to TRY food with her. The concern is aspirating which could lead to pneumonia. So NO progress has even been attempted!  But I think my sister’s capabilities are being underestimated, which has been an ongoing challenge. 

Praise to God for the homier atmosphere, friendly attendants, and opening up Melinda’s world and mind up more and more!

November
1
2019

October 31, 2019

What a happy birthday today for my sister!  Two of her nieces and her 10 month old grandniece from VA visited with me and my sister was so enthralled with the baby, making conversation, cracked a joke, recalled a visit earlier in the day from her dear friend Greg, and was so happy and smiling the whole time. She definitely knew it was her birthday and even remembered her age - within a couple of years. She enjoyed looking at all of her cards and some beautiful flowers and balloons. It was a very festive atmosphere and it fills me with renewed hope for significant improvement. While most days she’s not this engaged or focused,  we know she is capable of it. 

Thank you all for the many cards she received, the friends who visited, and those who continue to lift her up in prayer. We have come so far, have a long way to go, but the race is already won and the victory is ours through our dear Lord and Savior. 

October
17
2019

October 17, 2019

Oops!  My zip code is 92867

October
17
2019

October 16, 2019

I’m happy to let you know that everything is going well at Melinda’s Long term home-away-from-home. The staff seem willing and intent on accommodating our preferences and wishes for Melinda’s care. That has not been the case at other places!  The management is working hard to create a wonderful atmosphere there and all of the staff are friendly, helpful, and seem happy to be there. The plan is for Melinda to be in a wheelchair three times a day and spend a couple of hours in the recreation room so she can be out with others and be stimulated by the activity around her. The long summer months were spent entirely within four walls and was depressing for me, so I can only imagine how hard it was for her!

The speech therapist is on board with my request to at least get her to the point of being able to eat and drink again for oral gratification, not expecting to reach the point of meeting all her nutritional needs that way. I want to bring her French fries again, fruit cups, tea & scones, chocolate - anything to brighten her life a bit. So prayers that she can reach that point again would be appreciated. 

Some days Melinda sleeps through my visits, but other days she’s very awake and responsive and cracks me up with her candor. I am comforted by my sister’s true company on those days. They don’t happen frequently, but are so sweet when they do!

Her birthday is Oct.31, so if anyone would like to send a card for me to share with her, you can mail it to my house:
2027 East Mount Vernon Ave. 
Orange, CA 92868

Thank you!