Archive for February, 2011

coming around the mountain…

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Hi dear friends and family. Sometimes we can’t see the other side of the mountain until we round the bend… and there it is! “our goal.” I can’t say reaching the goal will be easy, but we can see the final path. Dr. H, our highly recommended neurologist, called and I told him how lousy Chuck feels when he takes the Kepra… Chuck wakes up, feels great, walks with Dave and does shoulder exercises feeling good, eat breakfast and take pill…. feel lousy (oh I hope it’s not my cooking….) so go for a 3 hour nap. And repeat in the evening. Watching Chuck try to counter the nausea and odd feelings is painful… You can see the drug working. Cousin Carol pointed this out when she was here. He gets lethargic in the morning about 1 hour after taking the pill. So I just told the doctor what I just wrote. Can we start to reduce the meds with a goal to stopping the meds? yes. Starting today Chuck takes no more Kepra except at night and stops totally in 2 weeks. So… we have to watch him. watching…… Poor dear still can’t drive for a month and has to take it easy for a while longer until we get clearance to do whatever it was he did before. We will see Dr H April 1 (really - no fooling.) The rest is up to the angels to clear his head and move forward. Meanwhile I’m hacking and choking because all the mango trees in the neighborhood are in full bloom. Time to turn on the air conditioning. (oh? is it still winter out there?) Love Susie

When we get on our knees

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Hi dear friends. When we get on our knees we are so low that we don’t see that we are giving all to our Creator who reaches out to touch us all the time. As I said in the Baptism class I teach… He’s always pouring out his spirit, it’s just that I am too busy looking at me and my troubles to notice. But I remember my friend Peter who saw me so desperate and scared that he put his hand over mine and stopped my blubbering with, “Susie you need to pray.” It’s almost like, “give it up kiddo, you can’t do anything much except keep going along… so pray.” Is it just pray and ask for help? I’m not sure what it is, but things go on. We have an appointment with the neurologist we had at Baptist (Dr H) this coming Thursday and I think Chuck is so good without the meds that I’m going to ask if there is any good in the meds - do we really need them? If not, then….. let Chuck fly without them. We’ll watch Chuck. He’s not running or jumping. He’s napping daily and being good. I’m fighting the battles gently and he seems to be recovering physically. I will get back to my watching and not worry when he notices “you’re watching me…” ! Also yesterday the silent workers comp people called. It’s been like water torture working with the worker’s comp people. If they approve the claim all bills will be paid. If they don’t approve the claim (and they have until April to notify us) then we owe a lot of money. Well?????? I’ve done everything they said except I chose to stay with the neurologist we had in the hospital (highly recommended Dr H.) Workers comp came up with an alternative in Broward county but never made an appointment (well they did but I never got the notice of appointment) - which is a good thing because driving to Broward county is NOT something you want me to do too often all distracted and anxious as I was (am). Anyhow. They called and they will be sending a private car to pick us up and take us to their Broward county specialist on March 1. I figure if Chuck needs ongoing help, let the worker’s comp doctor prescribe it and I can give up the expensive out of my pocket specialist… God works for those who love him.
This is a very special time when Miami is the only place in the states that has temperatures of 70-80 and indeed on the weather map: it is so! As I was reading this morning my thoughts were broken into…. with song. I listened and sang out! “the Martins are back!” We have a little special bird house out in the back by the lake. Every year a little brown/black bird flies up from Brazil to live in our Martin house from about this time (when it starts to be warm again) to mid June. They sing and sing!!! They have little singing parties and chirp and fly around and have babies. Every year we love them when they are here and it’s sad when they leave. Their return is like someone makes a promise and it’s kept. Life goes on and all is well. Chuck and Dave are out walking and Chuck will be OK. I’ve been a little down lately and now I have a drippy head cold, but I thank you and want you to know… all’s well. Our yards are lovely because Dave and I have been tending for a lake wedding. Life is good - Thank God. Love sue

Need some prayer

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Hi dear friends and family. I’ve been thinking we need to pray more. That will buttress me up… I guess even though I know this recovery thing will take a long while and we might get a little different Chuck back … even though I KNOW that… I’m not acting so. So I pray for patience and gentleness in the face of our Chuck who says he doesn’t want any fussing, but then says I don’t take care of him. Who says he doesn’t want ice or ibuprophen but then says I never ice his shoulder… yikes!!! I come at him swooping in with ice and he grumbles like a son of a gun and says I make it hurt. Oh boy am I growsing today!!!! That’s why we need prayer. I’m praying that Chuck is just foggy from the seizure medication which he still takes 250 mg morning and night and then gets foggy and “feel lousy” … I hope that the 250mg Kepra is what is making him foggy anyway…. I have considered just stopping the med but I’m also thinking I crossed the doctor line before and maybe just this once I need to ask the neurologist and then listen to him… …. I’ve been asking for another meeting with neurologist to reduce even further the med and consider stopping it so Chuck can be without drugs to let his brain start working at 100% and also to see if thyroid number comes down. Chuck is at 5.7 which is considered hypo thyroid, but some studies say brain trauma can affect thyroid. I think we need to see what the unmedicated person can do and then move from there. And then we can see what we’ve lost and work on that. Send advice and pray - I’ll accept both. Love Sue

Moving right along with Susie

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Hi dear friends. I jumped the gun a little bit and our friends advise Chuck shouldn’t be driving without express consent of doctor… Since we forgot to ask the doctor for permission during our visit, he is grounded for a while and I’m still mistress of the auto. He’s feeling lots better; he says the fog has lifted somewhat with meds halved. Chuck and Dave are still walking almost every morning and Chuck is doing shoulder stretches and PT and OT 5 days a week. He has done everything the OT people have to offer, his handwriting is neater than it has been in years, and now today he is going to teach the OT doctor how to do Suduku (Chuck is still having trouble with Suduku so the doctor thinks he can break through the fog with teaching.) We’ll visit Thelma and Aunt Trudy in the Keys this weekend where the clothes washer at our house just broke. It’s always something…. Today is a beautiful sunny day - has been a beauty all week. God is good with flowers on my little lake. God bless you dear friends and help us to pray. Love Susie

I now will need rehabbing

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

We met with the neurologist in his den and he did what I wanted… the neurologist has cut Chuck’s seizure meds in half… how’s that for getting exactly what I wanted? … What fun it will be to have Chuck not so sleepy or anxious. He drove the last two days and he is driving a little fast. “Oh,” you say, “why doesn’t Sue do something about that?” Have you ever seen a 100 pound woman holding a full grown Saint Bernard on a leash? You know darn well when he wants to go, he’s going. Chuck has driven to rehab and back. It’s about 2 miles on 107 Avenue to Kendall drive. Straight shot, but this is Miami where aggression is top of the line, and the speed limit is only 40. So more prayer please for our boy who is off to OT while I stay home and wait for someone who is coming by to get paid for a job he did for us. Chuck really likes OT. He doesn’t have his handwriting back yet, and they are playing mental agility games with him. Keeping it light. meanwhile… the shoulder hurts like… well think of your worst hurt. He was really groaning with pain so I managed to get 600mg Ibuprophen into him at great protest (It’s what the doctor ordered and neurologist says OK). Chuck is the man who doesn’t take medicine. The shoulder doctor said 800mg three times a day… I barely got 600mg in once. Actually the next time I asked, and I don’t ask often, the shoulder felt better.

OK so what about me? I have changed roles from Mother dog protecting her man in the hospital system… and I have become the PT (Physical Therapy) mother dog. He has to work that shoulder twice a day at least… and I feel bad when it hurts, but the alternative is manipulation by the doctor under anesthesia… NO WAY. When do I get rehabbed? Soon, I know. Happy hopefully warm day, Love Sue

normal again thank God we are normal

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

I can’t sing enough today…. “Thank God! Chuck’s shoulder is normal! Thank God.” The shoulder pain has been awful and still is… and when he groans I come running…. “Are you OK?” I swear I am so glad men don’t have babies as their shouting and groaning would be heard around the world….
Chuck had an MRI for a possible tear in the tendons or rotator cuff etc etc. I use such non-clinical words. The MRI report is loaded up with “need to look these words up in the dictionary…” but the bottom line is the shoulder is normal for a man his age…. mild bursitis, mild arthritis, a bump on the top of the shoulder … I got a sheet full of indications, findings and impressions and there is one sentence the neuro surgeon circled: Prominent capsulitis particularly along the anterior and posterior inferior capsule of glenohumeral ligament…. could be adhesive.” Go figure! At least two big words to look up in that sentence. It happens often after neck, back, and head surgery. I think the Operating room people tie the patient down to hold him still and then Chuck might have jerked or had a seizure and the shoulder didn’t move…. The MRI uses the words “moderate” and “mild” for all the 63 year old man things going on with the shoulder. The bottom line is it can be rehabbed. The doctor, a big, nice guy, did promise if Chuck doesn’t rehab the shoulder and fight through the pain to rehab the shoulder, the doctor can go in and manipulate it in surgery and break through the scar tissue. No!!!!! if we never see the inside of an ER, OR, and Recovery room again that will be the best. I personally will stand on his back and pull at that shoulder - I hope I don’t have to do that. Chuck is out walking with Dave and swinging his arm. I am making blueberry pancakes. All is well. Tomorrow we see the neurosurgeon and work to get the Kepra (seizure medicine) decreased so Chuck can take motrin to lower shoulder pain. That’s OK we can deal with that. Have a wonderful day and stay warm my northern friends.