Once again I’ve had Lorraine attempt to write her section of our blog. It’s taken her awhile but I can see improvement over the last time. Anyway, here is her thoughts.
April 26, 2015 Lorraine’s report
So I would like to let you now one more time I will be having another surgery (16 so far) This one is going to be in my vein (right side) and in my brain. Who knew it would come to this. I know this isn’t the end of the world, but it feels like to me. So I’m asking for thoughts and prayers for all my friends.
This week have been busy with all therapy. It is sure hard to go back over lots of the work I did the last time I went through work therapy; since November 13. And it is still as hard as it was before. After working on three classes, I’m beat, I have head ache and I need to got to bed.
It is still hard to write for the blog, but after many tries, I finally make it. But please keep me in your thoughts and prayers, I will need it. Thanks for everything.
4/26/15 Chuck’s report
We didn’t do enough to warrant writing a blog last week so this one will cover both weeks once again. And even at that, this one is not going to be filled with exciting things we’ve seen and done as there just aren’t that many of those.
Two weeks ago was spring break from school for Katie so we planned on having her around with us a bit more than usual, yea. And it was also a week filled with Katie’s 10th birthday. Her Dad had gone to China a couple of weeks ago and bought her some presents from there. Seeing as he had to work that evening, she was able to open them in the afternoon, she was really excited to open them for sure. She got Star Wars figures and such plus a neat looking keyboard. That was only the first of many present opening times for her over the next few days.
We later went to dinner at Katie’s favorite “steak place”, Black Angus. I don’t know if she likes the food as much as she likes the plate sized, hot chocolate chip cookie for desert. But whatever, she enjoyed herself I think. Later that evening she opened some presents from her Mom and some from Lorraine. She got more Littlest Pet Shop and My Little Pony toys plus some clothes and such.
On Saturday the 18th Katie had her party with her friends at Pump It Up, a place full of trampolines and set up for kids to have their parties there too. She had her party there last year but was in foot cast due to a broken bone so she couldn’t get on the apparatuses, a bummer time for her. So of course she was really looking forward to this year’s exciting time.
I think there was a total of 10 kids at her party plus they had at least 5 other kids celebrating their birthdays at the same time plus others just being there. All this to say it was a busy, very noisy place with lots of happy kids running around and having fun.
Once again Katie got to open birthday presents, once again lots of My Littlest Pet Shop and Little Pony toys plus other stuff. I suggested she may have to get rid of some of the things she already has to make room for the new toys. (Bet you can figure out the answer to that suggestion!)
Anyway, things were going real well until right at the end when Katie was in one of the areas and a bigger kid jumped on the same area where she was and hurt Katie’s foot. On Monday she went to the doctor for x-rays, no broken bones this year, just an apparent strain. She didn’t get a cast but does need to use crutches to keep weight off it for awhile. If she continues to have lots of pain they may put a cast on her in two weeks.
Afterwards Katie got to open more presents from Mom, Dad and Nana. She sure got lots of stuff and I even got involved opening the boxes and such. Boy they sure pack those toys in plastic and tied down, some really take awhile to get opened. But eventually she got them all unwrapped and with the help from all the adults, got them opened too.
Katie has been back in school this past week but her Dad is teaching an after school program there so he’s been picking her up most days although we do get together later. One thing for sure, I need to stay away from the birthday cakes and such and loose some weight.
Susy had shoulder surgery in February and seems to be healing nicely from that although she does have some residual pain and stiffness. She did see her doctor about some pain issues but they think it is a ligament, not anything to do with the surgery. Sure hate to see her suffering though.
Now on to Lorraine’s recovery. She has been having in-home therapy from all three disciplines twice a week. But her case manager is the physical therapist and when he thinks she has recovered enough, they stop the in-home therapy and she has to go to outpatient therapy. And of course, they all have given us some work to do on the days they aren’t here, homework for Lorraine so to speak.
On Thursday Lorraine saw her eye doctor again, it’s been two weeks. He ran some tests and was pleased with the amount of recovery she has, yea. She is still having double vision issues when she read while doing her homework and still has no peripheral vision on her right eye but even that’s getting better.
Then it was on to her regular doctor for a check-up. I had a list of questions for him, most important was why didn’t he put Lorraine on baby aspirin and Plavix when we first saw him after her first stroke, what the neurologist told us should have been “stoke therapy 101”. He sort of hemmed/hawed, said he couldn’t find anything in her records then tried changing the subject. With that kind of “help” we think that Lorraine needs to find a new doctor in this area so we are going to be interviewing a couple this week.
He did say he would send a prescription to the place we found for outpatient speech therapy. He didn’t have a good suggestion for anywhere, just told us to let them know when we found a place. Lots of help there.
He did give her a new prescription for Plavix, a blog clot preventer that all stoke victims should take and Lorraine has been taking since she was in the hospital. When we filled the new prescription from Wal-Mart, it came with a few pages of info, which I read. It said not to take one of the medicines that Lorraine was taking along with Plavix. I called the doctor’s office and talked with his nurse who said she would pass on my concern to the doctor. She called back later and said, yes, she shouldn’t be taking them together and would get a new prescription to replace the original one. Another strike against this doctor, he didn’t take time to review her medication list before writing a new prescription. For sure she will be getting a new doctor now!
Friday was the last of the in-home therapy, good news – bad news kind of thing. Good because she is getting better and can do out patient therapy, bad because it is more of a hassle and she does like the speech therapist she’s been seeing. None the less, we must move forward.
We checked around and found that if she needed physical therapy, there were lots of places that could help us. But speech therapy is a different thing, we could only get it at retirement centers or hospitals. We checked a couple of hospitals and found they didn’t have speech therapy, only physical, shoot. But finally we did find a place associated with Good Samaritan Hospital.
When we checked them out, they told us to have the doctor fax them them his orders except their fax machine was broken. Then they sent us to the second floor to check out a supply place and the elevator is out of service too. When I couldn’t find the supply place, I asked around and they said they had never heard of such an office but it might be on the third floor. But once again, no one on the third floor had ever heard of the place either. This place wasn’t giving a good first impression for sure but we did make an appointment to see the therapist anyway.
This past Thursday Lorraine had an appointment with a Radiology and Endovascular Surgery Specialist. This guy checked over all the records we have from Lorraine’s stroke and he wants to do a Diagnostic Cerebral Angiogram. This is where they put a camera in a artery in her leg and send it through to check out her carotid arteries and then into her brain to check the blockage there. They do not plan on putting in a stent at this time but mostly just want/need this info for any further work on her.
This procedure is scheduled for this Friday at 10:30, need to get all the prayers and good thought headed her way for this one. The doctor said this procedure usually doesn’t cause any other problems, less than 1/2% have issues but still cause for concern. She will not be asleep as they will need her to answer questions during the procedure but will be heavily sedated. And once again they will be putting in a dye contrast for x-rays to check out the blood vessels and arteries in her brain. Sure hate to have Lorraine going through this stuff but have high hopes for a great outcome. And we both have a good feeling about this doctor, seems really nice and knows his stuff.
He also said she should have been on the aspirin/Plavix therapy since her first episode, also said it might have prevented this latest stroke but of course can’t say for certain. He said if she has three episode or problems after being on “this first stoke therapy medicines” they may consider putting a stent in the artery in her brain. If I read his body language correctly, he was not pleased with the “care” Lorraine was getting from her current GP and when I asked, he gave us the name of someone he would recommend.
Later Lorraine had her first visit with the new outpatient speech therapist. They hit it off well and the gal wants to see Lorraine twice a week for awhile. She told us that she has hope for Lorraine to recover fast, well and should get back to normal based on how fast she has recovered so far, great news. So we made some appointments and will be seeing her over the next few weeks. She also said that she has lots of supplies and handouts and that I shouldn’t buy any as Lorraine would “outgrow” them quickly. And she also didn’t know of any supply office in the building like I had previously been told and sent on a wild goose chase trying to find.
We have been doing some spring cleaning in the coach over the past week or two. Lorraine and Susy went through a section of her closet to purge some of her things. I carried four large garbage bags over to the Goodwill shed nearby and got rid of those items. We also shampooed all the carpets and throw rugs in the rig. And we found fleas on Misty so had to treat her and the rig for fleas too.
We were giving the ok to stay here at the Elks lodge longer than the two week maximum. But we will be needing to move for three days the first week in May then will do the two weeks in, three day out until we leave the area or until we find a place in the local, private campground. It’s full now and has a large waiting list but we are on it and will probably move over when our name comes up unless it takes too long.
The weather has been really nice the past two weeks, even had three days of rain showers too. The high temperatures have been getting to the mid 70s most days, even into the 80s a couple days. Night time temps are pretty nice too although we do need the heater to take the chill off.
I know we have taken lots of pictures this past two weeks, mostly of Katie celebrating her birthday. I’ll go through them and add some.
Katie opening some presents from her Dad on her birthday. Her picked these up when he was in China.
More presents later. The one on the right is probably her favorite Littlest Pet Shop toy.
All dressed up with new clothes, including new shows that have lights on them.
At her birthday party with friends.
Susy and Katie at her house on the right.