Sorry for the long delay since my last post. Things have been very busy around the house. I will try to write a good long post sometime this weekend.
Today is the first day that felt like we might just be getting into a bit of a routine. Too soon to tell if it'll stick, but I think we are figuring some things out.
I got up this morning, woe up the girls, grabbed my coffee and worked on email for about half an hour. Kept checking on Joanne because for our entire lives she has woken up before me, but not today. At 7 she was still asleep. So the girls got up and got ready, had breakfast and did the many little things they had to do before getting out of the house. After about 7:15 I actually checked Joanne's breathing because she was still totally out of it, but in the process she sort of woke up. So we got her up, and she headed downstairs for coffee and time in the Bible--this is core to who Joanne is so it is good to see her get into the word every morning.
Gran showed up at 7:30 and we were out the door. Dropped the girls at school and headed to the Springs to make radio. Today's show was really cool because Ryan's mom was on and she was just delightful to get to talk with. I really enjoyed her stories and insights. Definitely one of my favorite all time broadcasts. After that did a little more work with Ryan and headed back to Denver. A few errands and picked the girls up from school.
During this time Joanne and her mom headed over for a doctors appointment, which Joanne was not to excited about. She was going to see the doctor who gave the theCortisone and Botox injections last time. She said if her tried it again she was going ot punch him. And I am 100% sure that she meant it. So we all ended up back at the house around the same time.
Joanne went upstairs to rest--outings still really take it out of her. And the girls tackled their homework. Kristen called to see if the girls wanted to join them for dinner out which they both did. So at 4:45 Kristen picked them up and I put aspaghetti casserole in the over. Around 6 Gran and Papa came back for dinner so it was just the four of us and that was actually rather nice. Papa and I got the scoop on Joanne's appointment and we all had a nice conversation.
Girls got home at 6:15 with Kristen and Ava in tow. But at 7 approached is was time for Joanne to hit the shower--one of the tr highlights of her day. So we got her in and she made the most of it. Love the water pressure,t he hot water and the fact that thebathroom gets nice and steamy. Showers at the hospital always ended with her beingfreezing cold. Into PJs and into bed. Kristen and Ava took off and our girls got their baths and that's where we are now.
Joanne is asleep and the girls are on their way to bed. The house if quiet and cool and all is well. Interested to see if this becomes our new idea of a normal day. Here's what I liked the best. The whole family was around the house: Gran and Papa, the girls, Kristen and Ava. I just love having family around. And I love knowing that I can go to work in the morning and that Gran is here with Joanne. It is a blessing beyondexplanation to know what good hands she is in. Gran, there will be jewels in your crown!
What else...Oh, we have gotten a lot of the medical/therapy appointments set up. We had a calendar meeting last night and I think we are all on the same page and know where Joanne will be going for the next weeks and what time and to see who. Lots of logistics to work out.
The girls only have a week and a half left of school and then there will be another "new normal" to figure out, but I am really excited for the summer. First off, I think the girls are ready for a break. They have kept it together and made the best of school having been thrown into a new situation in January. I am so proud of them and feel like they have earned a rest.
I feel like I'm rambling but just wanted to give you a "day in the life" sort of update. Maybe tomorrow I'll go into deeper detail about how Joanne is handling all this.
1. I think Joanne has entered her anger phase of dealing with what has happened. Totally natural but hard to watch her go through it. I so want her to be a peace! Please pray that God will grant her a peace that passes understanding.
2. Pray for flexibility and patience for the family as we feel our way along these early days of Joanne being home.
3. Our friend and fellow stroke survivor Heather is headed home from rehab today. The Noce family could use our prayers as they start back into life at home.
In just a couple of hours Joanne will have been home for two days. I am realizing that we have a lot of ground to cover before we get to our "new normal." I think I expected that, so no big shock, but it is definitely different being here than being at the hospital. No duh, right?
Friday night Joanne didn't sleep well. There was a situation with one of her prescriptions that didn't get filled and it is the slow release painkiller that she takes before bed. Well, we thought we would give it a try without it and just use her regular daytime pain med. Bad idea! She was up multiple times. So we got the prescription filled for her night time med yesterday and it seemed to help.
My parents came for dinner last night and we had a nice visit. They brought dinner which is always a plus and took the girls out on the town for a few hours which they seemed to really enjoy. If they are home the girls are working on getting their rooms put back together after 4 months away. So getting out for a little bit was a welcomed relief for them.
Then we got Joanne a shower, which she loves. Papa got the whole thing set up with grab bars, a new shower head and a great shower bench. So Joanne can just sit in there and let the hot water pour over her. After sub par showers for the last four months, a genuine hot shower for as long as she likes is a real treat.
This morning Chef Emma made Joanne some great looking oat meal and she got her meds all taken. Yesterday she took meds on an empty-ish stomach and couldn't keep them down so today we called in the big guns. If oatmeal can't qualify you as having a full stomach then I am at a loss. Hopefully her meds will stay down.
Off to church this morning if all goes well. Joanne loves to go to church--last weekend was her first time back in 4 months and she had such a good and meaningful time. So she is determined to go again today. Hopefully the car sickness will stay at bay--she has some medication that is supposed to help with that. Our church is about 20 minutes away so it is a bit of a trek.
Tomorrow we are going to get our handicapped hang tags for the car! We are going to have awesome parking places for the next months! We have gone out a couple of times to run errands in the last 48 hours and it is a real chore to have to try to park in a normal space--not much room to maneuver the wheelchair. So being up front with a little extra space is going to be great!
We have had a few people come over and work on the back yard, getting plants put in and it is looking really good. The Franklins came yesterday and did a bunch of herbs...
OK, that was an hour break to get Joanne ready for church. It takes a while to get stuff done! I think God is going to be teaching me a lot about patience and pace of life over the next months. I think I have probably been pretty selfish with my time: I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it. But that has changed. Now I am here to serve. Not too bad of a lesson to learn :)
OK, another 5 hours have passed! We went to church and then to the mall to try and get a new iPod case for Audrey. Church was good. Things at the mall went fine, but it is clear that we are going to be working at a different speed for the time being. There is no such thing as a "quick trip."
We are now at Gran and Papa's for Sunday dinner. Audrey is at home because her room is still a disaster and I have her locked in there until it's spotless. After dinner we will be back to the house for a nice long shower for Joanne and final preparations for this we. We will undoubtedly learn a lot about this new life is going look like!
1. This is a discouraging time for Joanne. She still needs so much help with things and she wants so badly to be independent. She'll get there but it's going to take time. We all need patience.
2. That home health-care will get set up soon and smoothly.
3. We would love to get to our "new normal" soon than later. If we could get some scheduled stuff worked out that would be great!
Joanne is home! In fact at this very minute she is asleep next to me in our big bed. I bet she sleeps more soundly tonight then she has in a long time. No nurses to wake her up with meds and no lab techs showing up at 4 a.m. for blood draws. And when she wakes up in the morning there will be someone right here to bring her a cup of coffee in bed.
Yesterday I went to the pharmacy to pick up her needed medications that Miguel the PA had prescribed. They brought them to me in a small grocery sack there were so many bottles. I think this afternoon and this evening I got her everything that she is supposed to have, but it is going to take some serious pill organizers to whip this pharmaceutical frenzy into shape!
I can't tell you how nice it was to be at home today and tonight. Usually, at differentpoints during the day, we are at the hospital. Tonight we all had Costco pizza for dinner and then Joanne got ready for bed and went to bed and I didn't have to follow that up with a 20 minute drive home! I'm already here! And the whole family got to be around the table together. We usually pulled that off once a week on Sundays. But now it'll happen all the time. It feels almost too good to be true.
I think tomorrow we are going to do absolutely nothing. There is stuff to be done, to be unpacked and put away, but if we don't get to it, so be it. A whole day of nothing sounds like the best deal ever. Then my folks and sister are coming up to bring us dinner and hang out tomorrow evening. Man, it just keeps getting better and better!
Of course there are challenges to our new arrangement, but you know what? I'm not even going to talk about any of that tonight. At this point I am just too excited to all be together.
Sleep, sleep and more sleep for Joanne.
P.S. I need to write a 'thank you' post tomorrow or Sunday to everyone who is blessing our socks off right now. You know who you are :)
Joanne is coming home tomorrow. The girls and I have moved back into our house tonight after 4 months and 2 days of being at Gran and Papa's. It's a weird and wonderful feeling all at once. Everyone is excited for Joanne's return but it is kind of scary too because we won't have a whole team of medical experts just outside our doors ready to spring into action to help with whatever we need. Still, the excitement outweighs the fear.
I feel like I have much more to write but I want to get a few more things done around the house before tomorrow. I promise I'll write more this weekend.
Smooth move home for Joanne!!!
Here's one yhing I've learned in the pat four--fOUR! months of this season of stroke and recovery: (CRAZY THAT IT'S BEEN THAT LONG--SO GLAD TO BE GOING HOME ON FRIDAY THIS WEEK!!I still need my mommy! i may be nearing 40 and be a mommy myselfm but at heart I'm stilljust a girl who needs her mama everyday for life to be okay.
so thanks, dearmom, for bring at the hospital with me everyday, for shavong my legs, forreading to me, for painting mty nails, for keeping company, for warding off loneliness, for puttin g your life on hold for four months because you love me. Iloveyou.and I want to be the kind of mommy you are when i grow uupbecause you are the best there is. Hands down-- no competitionompetition!
The steps of a man are established by the Lord, Psalm 37:23
Papa is writing this Saturday morning about more praises we wrote on her calendar yesterday. Barry had Joanne walk from the nurse’s station to the gym using her 4-point cane, but without his assistance! This last Thursday, Audrey & Emma spent the day with Joanne doing therapy baking chocolate chip cookies, which she of course dictated from memory. Friday, they all worked with Lori (speech therapist), since Joanne’s emotionless speech will limit her mothering skills. I’ve finished reading Joanne Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald, and we’ve started Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood, while she concentrates on manipulating her left arm – sometimes willing it to move a small amount. Each day, I stretch her left hamstring. Kay & I also work on passive range of motion in her left arm, but a couple of times I’ve put her up to a #8 on the pain scale, even with ever so slow & tender movements. AND, her discharge date has been accelerated several days to Friday May 13th, mainly because if she is discharged on a Monday, there’s not much therapy on weekends. For instance, today Joanne has 30 minutes of PT at 10 AM, and then is free for the day. So Toben has permission to again bring her home for lunch at our house. Kay is also getting her first time off in weeks (other than being sick in bed several days this week) and will pick up our other daughter Kristen to go to the first outdoor Paris Street Antiques Market of the season. I’m off to get sprinkler systems running, and purchase and install the last grab-rail needed at the Heim house.
Prayer items: So … we’re starting to think about this new phase of life, not knowing if it will be easier or more difficult. Certainly, it will be wonderful for the Heim family to be together in their own home. Toben will be carrying a lot more responsibility – as night nurse and medication provider. Audrey & Emma will need to step to a new degree of responsibly. Kay and I will remain on 7-day duty, but we’re not sure of the details yet. At some point, my time will become more valuable than my income, and I will retire again to be an equal care partner with Kay. This next week is important, as Toben gets medication instructions for the transition to Kaiser pharmacy, and medical appointments for Joanne to get “fully inside” the Kaiser network. We need to work with Kaiser to set up “skilled home nursing & therapy”. This phase of her recovery has remained very confusing to us, but we believe it will entail therapists coming to their home until she is able to travel back to Spalding for more outpatient therapy. As the sun rises, it again all seems pretty overwhelming, but our Lord faithfully provides enough grace for each day.