For the many friends and family members who have asked about Don, here’s a quick update. He’s doing very well with physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. He still has some burning pain in his belly, but the docs have reviewed everything and can’t determine the cause of it. His heart is doing well, he’s getting stronger every day – walked farther than ever today without getting tired – and is learning all the things that he needs to be able to do in order to live at home, hopefully starting with his estimated discharge date of August 11.
- Be able to climb 6 steps into the motorhome
- Feed himself
- Shower without assistance
- Dress himself (maybe with a little assistance)
- Breathe without oxygen support
- Stabilize blood pressure
- Get rid of the wheelchair
- Walk without a walker (his goal – I think that may be a little too ambitious)
- Get stronger, including his right hand that was the most affected by the stroke
He’s well on his way toward all these goals, but not quite there yet. This morning his blood pressure kept dropping whenever he stood up, so he didn’t get to take the walk he wanted, but he walked really well after lunch.
We continue to realize how fortunate we are compared to so many others. Our hearts go out to them because their future sometimes looks dim.
Given this perspective, we count ourselves among the lucky ones who will bounce back from our personal experience, and will likely be able to resume a fairly normal existence. Yes, dialysis will dominate our lives and our travels. And it will be challenging to follow a diabetic-renal-cardiac eating plan. But we will keep a positive attitude and make the most of the life we live together.
Tomorrow is Don’s 71st birthday. We will celebrate on Wednesday, since Tues is a dialysis day. Don has appreciated the greetings he has received from so many friends and family, and loves hearing from you all. I’ll be attempting to make one of his favorite dishes for his birthday – Chicken Long Rice – with help from his brother Dave and SIL Charley in Hawaii for sending the recipe and some of the ingredients that might have been hard to find in Tucson.
This update wasn’t very quick after all. But I hope you all know how important it is to Don that you’re all cheering him on. And I appreciate you all as well. It helps so much to know we have your thoughts and prayers for good days ahead.
A sunset view out my window a few nights ago.