Monday, August 3, 2015

Goals and Perspective

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.

His goals:

  1. Be able to climb 6 steps into the motorhome
  2. Feed himself
  3. Shower without assistance
  4. Dress himself (maybe with a little assistance)
  5. Breathe without oxygen support
  6. Stabilize blood pressure
  7. Get rid of the wheelchair
  8. Walk without a walker (his goal – I think that may be a little too ambitious)
  9. 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.



  1. Birthday greetings to Don. Wow, there is always someone else with less to be thankful for. So nice you can be by Don's side and you both have the support of so many friends. Bless you both.

  2. I was just getting ready to contact you since we haven't seen an update in awhile. One thing about the walker, I found, was that in the RV you have a smaller area and you can use the counter top and furniture to lean on.

  3. Keep the spirit high and tell Don we all are rooting for him to reach his goals before Aug. 11. I've already sent Don a Birthday greeting via FB. Hope he enjoys your special dinner.

  4. Thinking of you with happy birthday wishes for Don. Hoping and praying for continued progress and strength. Hugs from Minnesota!

  5. One step at a time, small victories every day. Your positive attitude is wonderful. Happy birthday to Don, many more to follow!

  6. Moving forward, GREAT. Live Strong!!!!!!

  7. Happy Birthday to Don. It sounds like he is making steady progress and I know he will be happy to get out of there on the 11th. Gerry says Chicken & Long Rice sounds yummy and hopes you put the recipe on the blog. Hint hint!

    Keep up the great work Don.

  8. What a great update on Don! He has accomplished so much already!! I know you both will figure out where he can go for dialysis and still travel, where there is a will, there is a way!! Wow, Aug 11th is the big day, we know he will accomplish what he needs to to get "sprung" and once he's home he'll do even better!

  9. Oh and Happy Birthday, Don!!! Enjoy your day!! Sharon, an awesome sunset picture!

  10. One of our neighbors at Valle del Oro in Mesa 2 years ago was on dialysis. He did it at home, every night while he slept. He had been doing that for several years.
    Tell Don happy birthday.


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