Sunday, March 1, 2015

Part 3 of 3 - Through the Eyes of a Daughter

Before I begin this week's article:

This week I am presenting the video of the Strike Out Stroke event at the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game:  Click Here

By the way, if you liked that white Strike Out Stroke T-Shirt or baseball cap you saw in the video with the 


emblem on the front you can get one at our SOS online store: Click Here  

As you continue this series I need to remind you that I have an Android tablet with 4.4 os and I was unable to get the videos to play. However, I was able to play them on my laptop PC. --------

November 4
"Dad was unable to have surgery this morning due to a blood clot in his right leg (calf). The vascular surgeon was suspicious as he noticed swelling in his right calf so he ordered a Doppler ultrasound which diagnosed the DVT (blood clot) and he immediately canceled the surgery & started dad back on his blood thinner. Dad's aggressive outpatient therapy at Madonna is on hold now for 2 weeks due the risk of the clot dislodging and traveling to his lungs. He will follow up with the vascular surgeon in 6 weeks at which time a decision will be made to have the carotid surgery or not. Dad is very frustrated & discouraged of course but as I explained to him, it is a blessing the Dr found the blood clot as the alternative could have been much worse. God was watching over dad & the medical team today. Everything happens for a reason...every day is a gift. My family is so thankful for all the amazing care he received at Madonna the past 6 weeks as well. He will continue to improve...this is just a little bump in the road. Dad is looking forward to going home today to sleep in his own bed & hang out with his angel dog, Buddy! Thanks everyone for your continued support, encouraging words & prayers. God bless!"

November 12
"Dad started the Madonna Rehab Day Program for OT & Speech this week. He's in better spirits the past couple days especially after receiving a call that he was able to get in to see a vascular surgeon at UNMC tomorrow for a second opinion on his carotid surgery. He has been very discouraged & impatient about having to wait a whole six weeks before maybe scheduling surgery again. He will do anything to have a chance at getting some movement back in his right arm but more importantly, the surgery could help prevent another stroke from happening. Keep the prayers coming. They are working!"

November 24
"What a difference 9 weeks makes! Dad's stroke was already 9 weeks ago today & tomorrow he will take another big step on this journey...he will undergo surgery to place a stent in his left internal carotid artery to increase blood flow to the left side of his brain & help prevent another stroke. 

This is a video of him walking today in therapy. 

We are so thankful for how far he's come thanks to all the amazing clinicians at Madonna who have encouraged him to keep fighting & never quit. He will be in wonderful hands tomorrow at NMC as well. Thank you all for your ongoing support, love, and friendship. Please pray for my dad tomorrow. God bless!"

November 25
"Update on dad: He is out of surgery & in recovery. Dr. Longo, vascular surgeon met with my mom & I and said everything went well. He was able to successfully place the stent in the left internal carotid artery. He did say the internal carotid artery was very "tight" meaning only a trickle of blood flow was getting through to the left side of his brain. He also explained that because the artery was so occluded (blocked) the tiny anterior branch off the internal carotid was having to provide blood flow to the entire front of his face & over the top & side of his head. It's a blessing he has the movement & sensation he does have on his right side of his body. The plan now is for him to spend at least one night in the neuro ICU at NMC so the doctors & nurses can closely monitor his blood pressure, blood flow to his brain & pressure in his brain. Dr. Longo explained when an artery like dad's has been so tightly occluded the sudden increase in blood flow to that entire left side of his brain can cause headaches & possible fluctuations in blood pressure so they want to keep a close eye on him at least overnight. He still needs our prayers. He has received awesome care thus far at NMC. Dr. Longo & Dr. Thorell are amazing. My family & I are so thankful & feel confident knowing he is in good hands. Thank you all for your love & support!"

November 27
"Family selfie! Our family is especially thankful this year. Dad is home & doing well. Thank you to all our family & friends for your love & support. Happy Thanksgiving!"

December 4
"Dad started back in the Rehab Day Program at Madonna this week. While the carotid surgery went very well last week he's continuing to struggle with worsening shoulder, hand & wrist pain in his right arm & this is very frustrating for him. It's so incredibly hard to see him in pain & to struggle to make the smallest movement in his arm or to find the word or phrase he's trying to say. No one said this was an easy journey. No one prepares you for this. The stroke affects the entire family. We all grieve the "loss" of some of dad's previous abilities & have to help him adjust to his "new normal." All we can do is continue to support one another & most importantly not let dad give up. Please keep the calls, emails, texts, visits, and prayers coming. Thank you all..."

December 11
"Quick update on dad:
We had a meeting today with his therapy team in the Rehab Day Program at Madonna. They were all very encouraging and complementary of dad's hard work & progress he's made. The plan is to transition from the Rehab Day Program around Jan 9th to the traditional outpatient program at Madonna a couple times each week in addition to doing his home exercise program and walking at home. He continues to work so incredibly hard and is so determined to keep getting better. His right arm is slowly "waking up" but he is still unable to move his hand or fingers. Dad is walking better all the time. He did have one minor setback this week when he fell at home Wed morning and hit the back of his head on their tile floor. Thankfully everything checked out ok as we were very worried since he's on blood thinners and is more prone to a brain bleed if he hits his head too hard. My family & I thank God everyday that he is with us as we get ready to celebrate this holiday season. Please keep praying for continued progress and healing strength...."

December 17
"Just had to share....Dad was able to hold onto the TV remote last night while supporting his affected arm & wrist! Those of you who know him well know the TV remote is quite motivating! 😀 Its amazing how much concentration & work it takes to make such a small movement. It's so easy to take our own health & wellness for granted. I know Dad would say how important it is now to live every day to its fullest & celebrate the small successes with those you love. We are so proud of your determination & hard work Dad! Excited to see what the next few months have in store..."

January 6
"Dad continues his rehab journey at Madonna starting off strong so far in 2015. It's been a little over 3 months since his stroke and he is still making steady improvements, walking further with a cane, gaining strength in his right leg, and continuing to do daily exercises and electrical stimulation on his right arm and hand to try and facilitate motor recovery. He has even begun working on the driving simulator at Madonna hoping to return to driving this year. I admire his determination, hard work & courage. This is not an easy journey but he refuses to give up hope. We have so many of you to thank for your ongoing support, encouragement and prayers. God bless you all..."

January 12
"Dad and several other patients got a surprise visit by one of the original Harlem Globetrotters, Buckets Blakes today during therapy."

January 22
"Graduation Day!"
"After nearly 2 1/2 months in the Rehab Day Program at Madonna dad is taking the next step in this journey and will be transitioning to traditional outpatient rehab 2-3 days/week. He continues to amaze us by his strength, courage and determination to keep going even though the progress has slowed down somewhat. He is walking independently with a cane, is able to do all of his daily activities independently, has improved language and cognition along with increased strength and muscle activation in his right arm (2/5 strength with 5/5 "normal" strength). "

"Mom has been his rock through all this, sticking by his side 8-9 hours each day in the Rehab Day Program and learning how to help him do the FES (functional electrical stimulation) bike to strengthen his right arm and leg. She even managed to get his insurance company to cover a very expensive electrical stimulation device (Bioness H200) he can use at home to continue to gain movement in his wrist and hand."

"Dad has also started working towards his goal of driving again thanks to the driving simulator and the driving retraining program at Madonna. Dad was a little emotional today as he said "goodbye" to his Rehab Day team...they have all done so much for him and we are so thankful. We also have SO many of our friends and family to thank for your continued prayers, support and encouragement. This journey has not been easy but with your love and support and our faith in God's plan for dad the future is bright! Love you dad!"

February 5
No cane! I came out of my office this afternoon and saw dad walking without his cane! What a change from just over 4 months since his stroke. We are so proud of you dad and love you very much. You are such an inspiration to so many.

March 1
Editor Comment:
As of this posting Bob has been back at home for a while. He is able to get around the house on his own, take care of his basic needs without assistance, able to prepare his own sandwiches and light meals and is currently training on a driving simulator with hopes of being able to drive again in the spring.

Stroke Survivors, Never Quit!


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