Friday, August 31, 2012

8/31 Update

Well Alison seems to have had a better day today than yesterday. I think her therapy sessions went well and she had a couple nice visits from friends. This evening we finally got caught up on Downton Abbey. We're looking forward to the long weekend with not a lot planned. Thanks for your continued support.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

8/30 Update

Well Alison's not had the best day ever. She had a couple rough therapy sessions where she wasn't quite able to do the things they were asking of her. And that just kind of snowballed into the rest of the day being a bit off. But these days are going to happen, and she's still been doing really well - especially in the last week or two. So this is just a minor set back and hopefully we'll get back on board tomorrow. Thanks for the continued support.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

8/29 Update

Alison's had another pretty good day. The physical therapist reported that Alison continues to improve in core strength and is able to roll her body from her back to her side almost entirely on her own. She also showed good head/neck control with the occupational therapist. Her dad got into town today for a quick visit but heads back to Buffalo, MO, tomorrow. Overall, it's been a good day though. Oh, and we officially closed on our house today. It was delayed a few days, but it wasn't a big deal. Just one more thing out of the way. Thanks for the continued support.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

8/28 Update

Well Alison has had a pretty good day today. We celebrated eight years of marriage today with eight hot pink roses (same as our wedding) some nice cards and some really good cuddle time tonight. All things considered, it's been a great day. She had a full day of therapy and our pastors stopped by for a visit this afternoon. We've been pretty excited the past couple weeks because Alison really has begun to show a good amount of new movement. Not only does she still have really good movement in her left leg/foot, she's recently shown signs of life in her right foot, left hand, left shoulder and head/neck muscles. Now most of these are subtle, but they're not involuntary and they weren't happening before. All that said, we're pretty excited about what's to come. Thanks for following along, praying and supporting us in so many ways.

Monday, August 27, 2012

8/27 Update

Well Alison had a good day today. It was her first day of increased therapy. She had sessions of speech, physical and occupational therapies plus a visit from our PT friend for range-of-motion exercises. And she hung out with her brother and his wife for most of the day. Then this evening she had a nice reunion with one of her best friends who hadn't been able to visit until now. Before bed, Alison told me she needed razors. So we're back to her making the lists and me going to the store. But it was a busy but good day today. She continues to show little bits of movement in a few new places. So as long as we're making progress we'll keep pressing onward. Thanks for your continued support.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

8/26 Update

Alison's had another good day today. After a good night's rest, we took it pretty easy on a rainy Sunday. We had a visit from some good friends then Alison got a nap in this afternoon. We did manage to squeeze in a couple more episodes of Downton Abby before Alison's shower this evening. But it's been a good weekend. Thanks for your continued support.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

8/25 Update

Well Alison and I have had a really nice Saturday together. This morning we played on the computer a bit and she was doing really well spelling things. I was wearing a Chicago Bears shirt and she wrote "Dabears." That was pretty funny. Then a bit later in the day I just happened to ask if she had any movement in her left arm by any chance and she lifted her left toe for yes. So I started bending at her elbow and asking if that was it and she said no (toe down). Then at her shoulder, still no. So I was thinking what else could it be, then I saw her moving her fingers! She is now able to move her thumb, index and pinky fingers on her left hand!! That's pretty incredible!! I jokingly asked her how long she was going to wait before telling us that. And I asked her if there was anything else we should know about and she said no. But that's still great news! Tonight we've been catching up on season 2 of Downton Abby. But she and our dog, Piper, are sleeping well. Scratch that. Alison's now giggling. Now it's a proper slumber party. Thanks for your continued support.

Friday, August 24, 2012

8/24 Update

Well Alison had a pretty good day today. Her birthday-boy brother and his wife hung out with her this morning. They brought a tiara for her computer, Princess Dy, so that was funny. This afternoon, our new friend, Amy, who is also a brainstem stroke survivor and now physical therapy assistant student, stopped by for training with our normal therapist. She's offered to help Alison with extra therapy on a regular basis and we're super excited about that. This evening we sat outside for a bit then came in and worked on the computer. The capabilities of Princess Dy are endless and we've merely scratched the surface of what could be. But it's been another good day. Thanks for your continued support.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

8/23 Update

Alison's had a pretty good day today. She had a couple good therapy sessions and spent another afternoon hanging out with her brother. This evening we sat outside for a bit and enjoyed the nice weather. Then I had to run across town to clear out the last of our things from the house and leave the keys behind. It was bittersweet, but I know it's for the best. When Alison comes home to the apartment it'll all be worth it. But it's been a good day. Thanks for the continued prayers and support.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

8/22 Update

Alison's had a good, full day today. She had two good therapy sessions and spent the afternoon and early evening with her brother. This evening she hung out with a friend while her brother and his wife helped me continue to set up our apartment. I went over afterwards and helped get her ready for bed. This morning I signed papers on the sale of our house. And we had a final walk through with the buyers after work. All went well and in a few days it should be a done deal. Thanks for your continued support.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

8/21 Update

Alison's had a pretty good day today. She had good speech and physical therapy sessions, and this afternoon she had a nice visit from her brother and a good friend. This evening we had a good time not doing much of anything. I had to cut out a bit early tonight to go sell our washer and dryer set at our house. I'll go sign the papers on our house sale tomorrow morning, and we'll close on Friday. But the house is empty and ready for the new owners. But it's been a good day. Thanks for your continued support.

Monday, August 20, 2012

8/20 Update

Well Alison's had an alright day today. She had a good speech therapy session and we had a nice time hanging out this evening. There weren't any visitors today, so I think she got a little bored. Tonight she said she wants to ramp up her therapies even more. So I'll be requesting they up her to having a session of speech, occupational and physical therapy every day of the week. We'll take as much as they can give and/or she can tolerate. And she said she's beginning to feel the effects of the Botox injections so that's good. Thanks for everyone's continued support.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

8/19 Update

Wow, what a gorgeous day today. Alison and I are sitting in the shade back behind her facility listening to the cicadas and enjoying the breeze. It's a great way to wrap up a busy weekend. Earlier we continued working on getting the apartment set up and we're getting pretty close. The kitchen and bathroom are done, my bed is setup and clothes are unpacked, so I'm functional. The last part is decorating. Alison's been good but sleepy today. But a nice evening like this will make anyone relax. Her dad and his wife are on their way back to Buffalo, MO, tonight. They helped out a ton this weekend. Thanks for your continued support.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

8/18 Update

Well it's been a busy, but productive day. I started the day early with lots of help from friends to get us moved across town. It went smoothly and we had everything moved by about 1:30pm. Alison's dad and his wife spent the morning with her while we got moved. Then this afternoon, my mother-in-law helped me get unpacked and the apartment set up. We still have a ways to go, but we made some good progress. Tonight Alison and I watched Hunger Games as part of our Saturday night slumber party. She had read the book, but the movie came out just after her stroke. We'd been waiting for it to come out on DVD and it was pretty good. We're both in bed now and hopefully a restful night is ahead. Thanks for your continued support.

Friday, August 17, 2012

8/17 Update

Alison's had a pretty good day today. I took the day off from work to prepare for our move on Saturday. But first thing this morning we met with a company that helps people in situations like ours transition back to home. They help with the logistics of arranging for continued care, ordering special equipment, making home modifications, applying for the different programs offered through Medicaid and more. So this morning, we had a screening for the Physical Disability Waiver program through Medicaid. The people we met with were very nice, knowledgeable and helpful. It was exciting to have real conversations about how we can eventually get Alison back home. After the meeting, I spent the rest of the day finishing packing up the house. I feel it's in pretty good shape - all things considered. It's a little sad thinking about how this will be the last time I'll sleep in this house. But it's bearable knowing I'm one step closer to being able to sleep with my wife again every night. We're sure going to miss our neighbors and the neighborhood though. Thanks for your continued support.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

8/16 Update

Alison's Botox appointment went really well today. They were more thorough with the injections than we had anticipated. She received most of the injections around her neck and left arm/hand, but they also gave a few injections around her right hand and ankle - which both have been tensing up a bit too. The doctor was very nice and Alison endured the multiple shots like a champ. This evening she got to hang out with her brother and his wife. And after that, a couple girls from church stopped by for a visit. The extra company allowed me to get over to the house and work on getting the garage packed up for our move on Saturday. I've taken Friday off work to further prepare for the move. But Alison's had a good day. We're eager for the Botox to start working, but that takes a couple of weeks. Thanks for your continued support.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

8/15 Update

Well Alison had another good day. She did well in her therapy sessions and enjoyed some good company with girl friends this evening. She's excited about the Botox appointment in the morning, so hopefully that'll go smoothly. We should start seeing positive effects of it in a couple weeks. Thanks for the continued support.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

8/14 Update

Well Alison had a really good day today. She spent most of the day with her dad and his wife. And this evening she hung out with me, my mom and nephew. She was in a really good mood today. She had two good therapy sessions: speech and physical therapies. In PT, she achieved 90 degrees of bend in her right knee that had been stiff as a board for so long. That's a big gain. And she continues to do good with soft food trials in speech as well. So a good day overall. My mom and nephew head back to western Kansas tomorrow. It's been great having them here though. Our big move is this Saturday, and I still have quite a bit to do in preparation. But I'm mostly packed (thanks mom and Jeri) - just a bunch of little things remain. I'm sure it'll come together in time. Thanks for your continued support.

Monday, August 13, 2012

8/13 Update

Well Alison's had a pretty good day today. She had a couple good therapy sessions, and her dad and his wife came into town for a visit. My mom and mother in law made a lot of progress packing up the house. And Alison got a haircut tonight. She just had a bit of a trim, but it feels better I'm sure. And our dental hygienist friend, Megan, stopped by for an oral consultation and teeth cleaning. We now have some ideas on how to better help Alison address the ongoing grossness in her mouth. Hopefully it will be better in the future. Thanks for your continued support.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

8/12 Update

Well Alison's had an alright day today. After our slumber party last night, I got some packing done at the house while my mom and nephew hung out with her. I came after lunch and we took a good nap this afternoon. She's been a bit uncomfortable this evening so we've been taking it easy. Our Botox appointment is Thursday morning. That's lots sooner than we were expecting, but she really needs it, so no complaints. Thanks for your continued support.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

8/11 Update

Alison's had a good day today. We got outside a couple times to enjoy the cool weather, and tonight we watched We Bought a Zoo. It was good. Alison fell asleep before it ended, but we had a nice time. Piper and I are taking a break while Alison gets ready for bed. We missed our slumber party Saturday last weekend, so it's good to be back on track. On the home front, we've begun the daunting task of packing up the house. Our big move is next weekend, and we officially close on 8/23. So wish us luck that everything comes together in time. Thanks for your continued support.

Friday, August 10, 2012

8/10 Update

Alison's had a pretty good day today. She spent most of the day hanging out with her aunt and cousins before they had to leave this afternoon. This morning she typed she wanted to go outside - so they did to enjoy the nice weather. Then this afternoon a friend stopped in for a visit before my mom and nephew arrived around 4pm. When I got there after work, Alison was back up in her chair and on her computer. We had been joking earlier about how her talking computer needed a name. So she was supposed to think of one and let us know. So the computer is called a Dynavox, and it talks with a female British accent. So I told Alison to think of a name and let us know when she was ready to tell us. Soon afterwards she started laughing and lifting her toe a lot. So we put her on the computer, and she named her British female Dynavox, Princess Dy!!! It was HILARIOUS!! We were cracking up big time! She's so clever. : ) This evening a few of her friends came over for girls night. I'm not sure what they did, but most of the husbands were at our house watching Act of Valor. We had a good time, and I'm sure they did too. And no news on the passing of the swallowed swab. But it's not painful at this point and hopefully will pass without incident. Thanks for your continued support.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

8/9 Update

Well it's been a pretty stressful day for Alison. This morning she accidentally swallowed a mouth swab. I'm not going to get into the details of how it happened - as it shouldn't have. But we've been at the hospital getting x-rays tonight to make sure it's not going to be an issue. And the doctors think it will most likely pass naturally on its own. Let's hope so. But she's doing okay and we'll be leaving the hospital tonight. It was pretty intense this morning when it happened though. Thankfully my mom was there shortly afterwards to help. But Alison can't feel the obstruction anymore, so it's moved into the GI tract. Her aunt and cousins came into town this afternoon and have been good company to have around through all of this. Hopefully she'll rest well and the swab won't cause any issues over the next few days as it works its way out. Thanks for your continued support.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

8/8 Update

Well Alison's had a pretty good day today. She had a nice time with my mom and nephew during the day. And she had a good speech therapy session. This evening we did absolutely nothing but hang out together. It was really nice. So nothing too big to report. Her aunts and cousins are coming to visit tomorrow, so that should be fun. Thanks for your continued support.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

8/7 Update

Alison's Botox evaluation went well today. They confirmed she is a great candidate that could really benefit from a treatment like that. Now we wait for the insurance to approve it and will be back in a couple weeks for the injections. Alison was very happy to hear they could help her. So it's been a good day overall. My mom and nephew had a fun afternoon with her and we had a nice evening together. She has a low fever still, but seems to be improving. Thanks for your continued support.

Monday, August 6, 2012

8/6 Update

Well Alison was discharged out of the hospital back to the long term care facility this evening. And she was enjoying seeing the familiar, friendly faces there when I left. We met with a neurologist this afternoon and he confirmed going for the Botox evaluation tomorrow was a smart move to help with the involuntary muscle spasms - especially the ones in her neck. It was good reassurance that we are on the right track. Now that we're back on track, we're going to really ramp up the therapy sessions. We're almost out of therapy days through insurance, so we'll be in a private pay situation by next week. But the therapy is critical, and Alison indicated she was ready for it. She wants to focus most on speech therapy, so that's what we'll focus most on. I took a half day off work to go with her to the Botox evaluation in the morning. Hopefully all goes well there. Thanks for your continued support.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

8/5 Update

Alison has continued to improve and moved out of ICU and into a normal room at the hospital today. She's still running a low fever, but she's on antibiotics to treat the UTI and her other vitals are good. We've had a good day together and had a nice visit from some friends, and my mom and nephew arrived in town this afternoon. I'm hopeful she'll rest we'll tonight. We're slated for a consultation with the neurologist tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes. Thanks for your continued support.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

8/4 Update

Well Alison's stabilizing well in the ICU at the hospital. The doctor said she's doing much better but they'll keep her in ICU until tomorrow to make sure the infection continues to subside. We had a visit from some friends today that was nice. And she's been in okay spirits throughout the day. She was pretty emotional this evening - mainly just sad about her circumstances. But she wasn't in physical pain or uncomfortable - just sad - and that's to be expected. I hope she'll be able to rest well overnight. They're taking really good care of her though. We'll probably stay inpatient there for another day or two. We're hoping to be seen by a neurologist while we're there, and perhaps a specialist that might be able to evaluate her for the Botox injections. We want to take advantage of the high level of care while we are there. Thanks for your continued prayers and support.

Friday, August 3, 2012

8/3 Update

Well Alison ended up back in the hospital today. The UTI she's been fighting got real nasty - causing her heart rate and blood pressure to spike and she had a fever as well. Those things caused her spasms to get very severe and overall she was looking pretty rough. They have her at Shawnee Mission hospital and they've got her on three different antibiotics to treat the UTI. This happened about noon, and she's calmed down substantially since then. I'm sure they'll transfer her out of the ER and into a normal room today and we'll prob be back to the facility by Monday. It sucks that we'll likely be fighting these UTIs as long as she has a catheter. It should get better once she can communicate her needs better with us. Thanks for your continued prayers and support.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

8/2 Update

Well Alison's had an alright day today. We had a good care plan meeting today with the staff. And we discovered Alison's retainer requests were because of a gross feeling she has in her mouth (thanks Susan). So we've started using lemon glycerin swabs throughout the day to help. And she seems to be feeling better now that we've begun treating the UTI. But she was in a pretty good mood this evening - obviously feeling better. Thanks for your continued support.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

8/1 Update

It's so good that Alison's able to communicate with us some now. This evening she was really uncomfortable and I was having a hard time figuring out what was wrong. Then I put the computer in front of her and she typed, "UTI." Then I asked what the symptoms were and she typed, "pain bladder." So these past couple days when she's been spasming so bad, it's been partially in response to the pain from a UTI. Gosh. So glad she can tell us these things. And she asked for the retainer again. I couldn't find it the other night. She said she wants it "for getting rid of the crap in my mouth." She hasn't worn a retainer in probably five years, so even if I found it I'm not sure it would fit. Any ideas on how a retainer could help someone with limited mouth movements have better oral control? I've never had one and am not sure how they work exactly. But otherwise we've had an alright day and I'm sure she'll be doing better after we get the UTI in check. Thanks for your continued support.