Thursday, February 28, 2013

2/28/13 Update

So Alison's had an alright day today. She had all three therapies, so that kept her busy for a bit. I was here for speech over lunch, and she had a bit of a frosty. Then we worked on vocalizing a bit - which we really need to get back into doing more often. I wasn't around for PT or OT, but Alison told me the OT, whom she hasn't seen for a month (we've been seeing the assistant), told her she's progressed since last time. That's always good to hear. And tonight I had to run some errands, but then we watched the finale of Top Chef. So not a bad day overall. Thanks for your continued support.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

2/27/13 Update

Today's been a pretty good day for Alison. Nothing too exciting, but it's been good. She got a shower this afternoon, and this evening she hung out with a caregiver friend while I went to a Male Book Club (haha) with some guys from church. It was a fun time. This evening all is well and it's off to bed. Thanks for your continued support.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2/26/13 Update

Alison and I have had another good snow day together. I gave her my first solo shower this morning, and that went well. And I also successfully gave her the IV antibiotics today too. It wasn't too bad really. Otherwise, we took a nap this afternoon and lounged around watching TV tonight. Nothing too exciting, and all is well. Thanks for your continued support.

Monday, February 25, 2013

2/25/13 Update

Well Alison's had an alright day today. Our appointment at the hospital for a picc line and the first round of IV antibiotics went well. We were even able to make it home before the snow got bad. But I'm sure tomorrow's going to be nasty. If it's as bad as they say it's going to be, no one's going anywhere - including the home health nurse that is supposed to come administer the IV meds tomorrow. If they can't make it, the plan is to walk me through it over the phone. So we'll see how that goes. But all's well this evening. Thanks for the continued support.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

2/24/13 Update

So Alison and I have had an alright day. We took it easy this morning and lounged around watching TV. Then I managed to finally get my car unstuck from the snow. And because of the next snowstorm on the way, therapy wanted to see Alison today in case the roads get too bad again this week. So we had a PT/OT co-treat session where we got Alison up into the stander for 20 minutes. She did really well. While she was up she did some really good work with her eye, head and neck control. After that I had dinner with a friend and ran some errands. This evening we just took it easy. Tomorrow at 1pm we're to go to the hospital for the picc line and the first round of UTI antibiotics. Hopefully we're back home before the weather gets too bad. Thanks for your continued support.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

2/23/13 Update

So it sounds like Alison had a pretty good day today. I left mid morning to go snowboarding with my brother in law and his brother in law at Snow Creek in Weston. We had a lot of fun and no one got hurt! Alison spent the day with one of her caregivers and it sounds like it went well. This evening Alison and I have just hung out and watched TV while catching up on the day. Tomorrow we'll be on our own until 3, but that's by choice. With all this caregiver help, sometimes it's nice to have some time with just the two of us. Tonight before bed she told me to set the DVR to record SNL. We'll watch it tomorrow morning just like we used to do. It sure is nice having her home. Thanks for your continued support.

Friday, February 22, 2013

2/22/13 Update

Today's been a pretty good day for Alison and I. I worked from home since our caregiver couldn't make it, and it turns out my car is stuck pretty good anyway. Oh well. The van is now accessible and the snow will melt eventually, right? We took it easy this morning before physical therapy showed up about 2pm. Right around that time the doctor's office called to tell us Alison's UA results came in and they want to start her on an IV antibiotic. But she'll need to go to the hospital for a picc line and the first round of medicine to make sure everything goes well. We thought we might go today, but it'll be Monday instead. It'll just be a short stay thing and we should be back home after a few hours. She's not symptomatic of a bad UTI, but we don't want it to get that way. Hopefully she can ride out the weekend with no issues. This evening a caregiver came by and we gave Alison a shower. It went well and she's resting comfortably now. I'm excited to go snowboarding at Snow Creek tomorrow with my brother in law. It's been quite a while but it should be a good time. Let's just hope no one gets hurt... Thanks for your continued support.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

2/21/13 Update

Well it's been an interesting snow day for Alison and I. We had a caregiver come last night and stay over since we knew it'd be bad today. This morning when I got up around 6:30, it didn't look too bad out. But as I was leaving for work, the snow had picked up considerably. The drive in was okay - kinda fun even. But after a couple hours, the few of us there knew we needed to leave soon before we couldn't later. So I drove home at 10am, and it was terrible. I don't live very far, and I consider myself to be a pretty good driver in snow, but it was bad. I barely made it home. I ended up not being able to get back into our parking lot and had to park on the street behind our building. It could have been a lot worse though. I saw many commuters much worse off than I was. Needless to say, we haven't left since. And our caregiver for tomorrow already said she's not going to risk it in the morning, so I'll be staying home again tomorrow with Alison. Our caregiver from today finally got a ride home from her boyfriend around 7. Her poor car is buried. But it's been an okay day for us though and we're headed to bed early. Thanks for your continued support.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

2/20/13 Update

Well Alison's had a pretty good day today. She had a speech therapy session this morning where she had some chocolate pudding. And this afternoon she had a Botox appointment that went well. She received another round of injections in the areas that still need improved muscle spasticity (less tension). We'll see the doctor again in six weeks for a follow up and develop a plan from there. After that, Alison got a shower before settling down for the evening. She watched some I Love Lucy with her caregiver friend, Josie. And later we got caught up on Parks and Rec. We're as ready as we're going to be for the pending snow storm. We'll see how it goes. Be safe, everyone. And thanks for your continued support.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2/19/13 Update

It sounds like Alison's had a good day today. She didn't have any therapy, so it was pretty quiet around the apartment. But she's getting along well with her new caregivers so that's great. Things definitely feel like they're starting to settle down a bit - which is nice. For example, I went to the gym tonight for the first time in nearly a year. (Long overdue.) After that we watched the season finale of Downton Abbey. But all's well. Alison has another round of Botox injections tomorrow afternoon, so we're looking forward to that. Thanks for your continued support.

Monday, February 18, 2013

2/18/13 Update

Alison seems to have had a pretty good first full day with her new caregivers. She also had a big therapy session with both OT and PT at noon. And after that her friend came over for more PT, then she got a shower. So it was a pretty busy afternoon. Tonight we hung out with our other new caregiver then watched the latest episode of Revenge before getting ready for bed. But it's been a pretty good day. Thanks for your continued support.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

2/17/13 Update

I'm happy to report that we have two new caregivers who have committed to nearly 40 hours a week each! There's only one small gap for the coming week - including evenings! It's funny how we go from having hardly anyone committed to having almost more help than's needed. The lady I'd met with before, and was recommended by our payroll agency, came by this morning and met Alison. After working with her a bit, Alison told me she liked her and that we should offer her our weekday spot, so we did and she accepted. And we met with another new caregiver this evening who Alison likes a lot and has picked up most of our evening shifts. It seems like things are finally starting to come together! So it's been a pretty good day today. We didn't do too much other than get acquainted with some new folks and watch TV. It's so nice knowing we have a solid schedule of caregivers for the foreseeable future. Thanks so much for all of your support. Hopefully things will level out a bit going forward.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

2/16/13 Update

Well Alison and I have had a pretty good day. We had a caregiver with us most of the day, so that was helpful. The highlight was venturing out to Nebraska Furniture Mart so Alison could help me pick out a new computer. It went really well and we had a good time. Otherwise, we watched the latest episode of Downton Abbey tonight and are ready for bed. Tomorrow morning Alison will meet a prospective new caregiver. It's a lady who was recommended by the payroll agency we're using. She seems very capable of doing the job. Now we'll just have to see how they get along. And tomorrow afternoon another new caregiver is coming by for some training. Alison really likes this gal and we're hoping she might eventually be our full time weekday caregiver. But all's well this evening. Thanks for your continued support.

Friday, February 15, 2013

2/15/13 Update

Well I don't have any big news on the home front today. Still no full time weekday caregiver, but we have a couple options still in the works. By Sunday evening we'll know more. But Alison's had a pretty good day today. She had occupational therapy at 2pm, physical therapy at 3pm and a shower after that. It was a quiet morning and a busy afternoon. She told me PT worked her hard. I asked if it was too hard and she said no. Her dad spent most of the day with her before heading home this afternoon. We had caregivers from 2-10pm today, so that's been nice. Tonight we watched the latest episode of Revenge. Tomorrow we have a caregiver all day and plan on heading out to Nebraska Furniture Mart where Alison's going to help me pick out a new laptop. : ) That should be fun. But all's well this evening. Thanks for your continued support.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

2/14/13 Update

So today was an okay day for Alison and I. She was able to spend Valentine's Day with her dad, and that was nice. Her brother and his wife stopped by for a bit too. This evening we met with one of the weekday caregiver candidates. Unfortunately, Alison wasn't wild about her. We aren't ruling her out, but we're not ready to commit to her just yet either. It was pretty hard for me to take that news - as I felt she would work out pretty well. But Alison's the one who has to spend 40 hours a week with her, so her opinion is pretty important. One of the previous candidates is coming to meet Alison Sunday morning. It's possible she might be an option as well. So I'm not too distraught about it. But we'll see where we stand come Sunday evening. As for now, all is well. Thanks for your continued support.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

2/13/13 Update

Well Alison's had a pretty restful day. There weren't any therapies scheduled, and the only real task was getting a shower this afternoon. We're lucky to have one stable caregiver that comes three times a week for a few hours. This week it's been especially great so Alison can get a shower. And this evening Alison's been in a pretty good mood. I met with a couple more prospective caregivers this evening. One seems to be well qualified for the work, and nice, but probably not a great fit for Alison - personality wise. But she's coming Sunday to get a feel for things. The other prospect seems perfect. She'd have to leave her current CNA job for us, but hopefully we can make it work for her. She's young, has good experience, comes highly recommended and has a great personality. She's coming by tomorrow to meet with us. : ) Well tomorrow morning my mom and nephew head back to Liberal. : ( It's been such a blessing to have them here - especially during this week. But tomorrow Alison's dad is coming to spend the day with her. All's well this evening. Thanks for the continued support.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2/12/13 Update

Thanks for all of your help getting the word out about our need for caregivers. Today we got a few good leads on some folks that will hopefully be able to help out. Tomorrow I'm meeting with a couple more, so it feels good to have options. Today Alison had all three therapies. She said it was a "disaster." We've not been overly impressed with them. And home health therapy is temporary anyway. We just need to get through this in order to move on to outpatient and day programs at the Rehab Institute of KC. But we're doing okay tonight. It's been a long day though. Thanks for your continued support.

Monday, February 11, 2013

2/11/13 Update

Well we hit another snag in our caregiver situation. The state and the payroll company for our workers had some paycheck processing delays. And they weren't certain when it would be resolved (but it hopefully will be by morning). So our main daytime caregiver heard she wasn't getting paid and wasn't sure when she would and decided she couldn't do that. I understand not wanting to work somewhere if you don't get paid. But we talked Sunday evening and I asked for one more day (today) to get it resolved before she made a decision. And this morning she was a no call, no show. So we're back to square one with no full time weekday caregiver. Thankfully my mom is still in town and was with her today. And she's staying an extra couple of days to allow me to continue working during the day while I frantically search for another caregiver. We're essentially out of options of people we know. So we're starting to branch out. I'm meeting with two people tomorrow who had postings on Craigslist for CNA work. And I sent out pleas for workers to a lot of the CNA program schools in the area. So we'll see what happens. That's really been the day. Alison wonders why no one wants to take care of her. : ( And I'll soon be out of time I can take off work. But tomorrow's a new day. Thanks for your continued support.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

2/10/13 Update

I'll keep it short tonight because I'm getting sleepy... We had a good day. My mom, nephew, Alison and I all went to the aquarium this morning. And Alison's brother, Jeff, joined us as well. It was a fun outing and pretty impressive. The rest of the day we just took it easy. We watched the Grammys tonight and that's about it. But all is well. Thanks for the continued support.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

2/9/13 Update

So Alison and I have had a pretty good day today. Our main caregiver was here most of the day, so that was nice. I got some stuff done around the apartment and ran some errands. Alison had occupational therapy this afternoon that went okay. We were planning on getting her up in her chair for it, but we ran into technical difficulties with the lift. I think I've got it figured out now though. And my mom and nephew arrived into town this afternoon too! It had been a while since we'd seen them, so it's been really nice. I gave my mom my old iPhone, so it's been fun seeing her experience all that it has to offer. Her life is now changed forever (not necessarily for the better). ; ) And my six year old nephew thought he should have a present too since I gave my mom something. Turns out I found my old Samsung Instinct touch screen smartphone under my car seat the other day. It's about 5 years old now and doesn't have service, but to him it's awesome! Alison and I watched an episode of the Big Bang Theory tonight with my mom, then we all started winding down. If Alison's feeling up to it, we're planning on going to the new aquarium in the morning. As for now, all's well. Thanks for your continued support.

Friday, February 8, 2013

2/8/13 Update

So Alison's had an alright day today. It started a little rough for me as our caregiver didn't show up this morning. It wasn't until about 2pm that she finally called. Apparently she had a bad allergic reaction to some meds and was really sick. She sounded terrible, but is apparently feeling better and will be here tomorrow morning. Alison wasn't effected much by it though. She slept until about 10am before I had to wake her for some food and meds. I waited as long as I could though. And I was able to get some good work done around the apartment during my unplanned time home. This afternoon was pretty busy though. We had two friends, a therapist, an orthotist, a case manager, a social worker and three deliveries to coordinate from about 2-5pm. Good times. Tonight we got caught up on Top Chef and just hung out. But all's well. Thanks for the continued support.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

2/7/13 Update

Alison's had a good but busy day today. Around lunch time the speech therapist showed up and did some food trials with her. She was considering doing a swallow study, but after seeing her handle some vanilla pudding pretty well she's a lot more comfortable proceeding without it. After that a second caregiver came by for the afternoon and they hung out until the occupational therapy assistant came by close to 5pm. She was a lot of fun and actually has some experience working with assistive technology, so that's a plus. By the time they finished, Alison had been up for about six hours - during prime napping time - and was pretty tired. We got her in bed and she rested a bit while I had dinner. After that she woke up and we watched the latest Downton Abbey. By then it was about bed time. But all is well. Thanks for your continued support.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

2/6/13 Update

I suppose I'll go ahead and write my daily update. Alison has been zonked out since about 3:30 this afternoon with no signs of letting up! She got a shower this morning - which is actually a lot of work. And at noon, the engineers from Invotek http://www.invotek.org/ showed up to assess Alison's access abilities. These guys heard about us through a fantastic assistive tech doctor at Madonna in Lincoln. They are based out of Fort Smith, Arkansas, and specialize in helping people with disabilities figure out ways to access their world better. They were actually impressed by all that Alison could actually do. With her head, left hand and left foot movements, they have a few different ideas that should help her communicate more effectively with us. They've most recently helped a young man, who also suffered a severe brain stem stroke, begin communicating again and he was only able to look up and down. But they figured it out! They have a non-profit spinoff called Be Extraordinary http://www.be-x.org/ that helps provide funding for the expensive equipment often needed for situations like this. It's really pretty impressive and I encourage you to check them out if you get a chance. But they spent most of the afternoon with us and tested all kinds of options while brainstorming original ideas. It'll probably take a month or so to come back with some actual things to test, but we're off to a good start! This evening she's just been resting and I've been getting caught up housework. But all is well. Thanks for your continued support.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

2/5/13 Update

So Alison's had an alright day today. She woke up in the night, and again this morning needing some meds for neck pain. It's not new, and not severe, but it usually isn't that bad. But her dad came up to visit today and that helped. : ) She also had her catheter replaced - which is never fun. This time was especially difficult. I wasn't there for it, but Alison described it as a "disaster." But it's working fine and we're moving on. Right after that she got into physical therapy. We really like the new PT. It's too bad our time with home health therapy is limited. But I think she'll do some good things and leave us with good directions and goals to work toward. And of course our friend Amy, the PT student, was there as well. This evening she got to rest and we watched some more Top Chef. All's well this evening. Time for bed. Thanks for your continued support.

Monday, February 4, 2013

2/4/13 Update

Alison's first day home with me back to work went well. We've had three caregivers throughout the day - one of which is staying overnight tonight. But everything's gone pretty smoothly. She got a shower this morning - which with only one person is quite a task, but they managed well. And she didn't have any other visitors or therapies so she stayed in bed otherwise. Tomorrow her dad is coming to visit, and she'll likely get a visit from the home health nurse and physical therapist. This evening we watched Top Chef and are almost caught up. But all is well. Thanks for your continued support.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

2/3/13 Update

Well Alison and I have had a pretty good day today. One of our caregivers was here from 8:30am-2pm to help out and we got a lot of good stuff done. Alison opted to stay in bed today since we didn't have anything official to do. This afternoon we lounged around, and this evening we watched the Super Bowl. Neither of us cared much about the game, but it was entertaining. Tomorrow I'll head back to work after being off for Alison's first week home. The week has ended much better than it started. We have caregivers coming from 7:30am-5pm so I should be able to put in a full day. But all's well tonight. Thanks for your continued support.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

2/2/13 Update

Alison and I had a pretty good day today. Our full time weekday caregiver stopped by this morning for some continued training. She did well and will be starting Monday morning from 8am-2pm so I can go to work. This afternoon our friends Jonny and Amy came by for a NOPW board meeting. We're planning some pretty exciting things for the future - all with the goal of "Raising Awareness of Stroke in Young People." Alison, the Director of Communications, came up with that tagline. : ) Stay tuned for more info there. Afterwards, Alison took a nap before we hung out watching Portlandia and The Big Bang Theory this evening. We're not planning on getting out for the Super Bowl tomorrow; we'll just watch it from home. We're not vested much in the game itself, but the commercials are usually entertaining so we'll be watching. Thanks for the continued support.

Friday, February 1, 2013

2/1/13 Update

Well Alison and I had a pretty good day today. It's still surreal that she's home, but we sure are loving it. We had some help this morning and they gave Alison her inaugural shower in her new lazy boy style shower chair. It worked out very well. After that I stopped by work where my incredible coworkers chipped in to get some premade meals for me and a bunch of gift cards. You guys are great - you know who you are. This afternoon the physical therapist and our friend Amy stopped by. The three of us managed to get Alison into our standing frame for the first time. We just got it back with all of the add ons we needed. It went okay, but her right foot wasn't in a good position so we didn't stay up long. But it wasn't bad for our first time at home. It'll surely come in very handy. Tonight it's just the two of us. We watched The Bourne Legacy and are now off to bed. But it's been a good day. Thanks for your continued support.