Sunday, October 4, 2009

Autumn coming in the door

We've been usual with rehab....and daily living.

It's that means F O O T B A L L ! !
I am not complaining....Paul is finally interested in keeping up his football schedule.
Which means I am in charge of the on time....newspapers in order....channels arranged.
Thank God, there is a Last-Channel-Viewed button on the remote. It makes it so much easier for Paul.
He can't figure out the numbers on the remote.

It is amazing the things that are impossible for him to do.
Simple things that he understands but can't quite get his body to perform.
He understands that the games are on 2 and 5 today....but there is no way he can find that on the remote.

The toughest aspect for him to conquer is speech.
We do the exercises over and over and over.....
doe doe doe doe doe
but he can only do them if he mimics what I do.
Most of the time he can mimic...sometimes he hits a glitch and can't make him mouth do what his brain is telling it to do.
(lol for those of you that know him well...your saying "what else is new?"
he always blurted things out without thinking.)
There are a few words that he uses...No and yah.
He is much better with NO.
He also gets the answer correct most of the time....but there are times when he says YAH and means NO. I can usually tell if he's off his mark...I ask again.
"are you sure?" He's usually surprised that he hadn't said it correctly.

We're working on gestures.
He usually starts with the "I have to go" gesture as a response for everything.
"nope wrong just went"
He shakes it off and then tries again....and again and again.

Again and again and again and again times a million.
That is our life now.
Paul does not give up.
There is no one that can compete with his perseverance.
I'd put him up against anyone!!
Maybe there should be an Olympic competition for perseverance?

Yesterday Jonathan and Marge and MDavid drove out from the city to meet us for lunch!!
I can't believe the effort that so many make to keep in touch with Paul.
Once again Paul won the eating-the -most competition.
He also won the falling-out-of-his-chair event.
It was a soft roll...and then a soft landing. Not a big thump and his head was spared.
It did draw the attention of the rest of the diners...and I'm thankful for the assist from the big guy at the neighboring table.
I guess Paul's ass is rounder than it use to be?

Art Rooney Jr sure knows Paul....he sent chocolates.
Paul loves a piece of candy or two in the evening.

I'm sure you are all wondering...."is he packing on the pounds?"
No way....he is exercising non-stop, even on the days he doesn't go to rehab.
We start out the day with a round of massage...then he does some bench presses and over the head lifts.
He uses his cane as the bar.
He follows up with shoulder lifts...shrugs...etc.
Vocal & facial exercises round it off....
and that is before he has breakfast.

We are coming up to the year anniversary of Paul's first stroke....November 22nd.
November 22nd used to be the day Kennedy was assassinated....not anymore.
We've actually gotten into a good routine...and I try to remain patient....I surprise myself.
I think that it is possible to keep a better attitude because Paul is so upbeat.
We help each other.

I am planning a break in November.
I'm going with my sister...we have taken a trip every year during football season.
Last year I went with my good friend Barbara. Gail was home with her daughter.
This year we are heading out together again.
Paul is very supportive.
I am terrified...I have spent dozens of nights worrying.
"How will he get by without me?"
"Will he be safe?"
"Will he be able to make himself understood?"
When I tell him my concerns he laughs and waves them off....he doesn't want me to worry.
But I worry!
But I also really, really need a break.
I need some creative time.
This sounds nuts....but I'm actually looking forward to the flight. Sitting still and doing nothing but listening to music.
It's been months since I used my iPod.
When I am next to Paul we listen to his music and if I go into the next room I have the monitor on and I'm still listening to his music.
Really I am not please no messages about how terribly selfish I am.
I know....I'm a selfish don't have to tell me!!

When my sister was here in August I went to several places to find just the right place for Paul to go when I am away. It was the 6th place and it felt just right.
Everyone seemed happy....and very active and supportive of each other.
Paul will have his own he'll have time alone.
He likes some solitude.
You wouldn't believe the process of getting him ready. The doctor's visits....nursing evaluation..forms...shots....TB test.....the packing......the hauling. Paul just shakes his head.
"Just put my stuff in a bag and drop me off"!!

Please wish us luck...I'll leave on the 1st of November.


Anonymous said...

Anybody who has the everlovin' nerve to call you selfish doesn't know you. I am so excited for your trip!


Anonymous said...

I would never use the word selfish to describe a caregiver (having been there and done that). I am sure you do need a break and, whatever you do, do not feel guilty about it. You are allowed some enjoyment in your life.

GregAlex said...

No one who has ever been a full time caregiver will ever criticize you for taking a break. It is a responsibility that can consume you. Take the trip with a good conscience. YOU will be a better caregiver for it. And "Z" will be better for it in the long run. Have fun.

Bob and Rosemary said...

Selfish would be the last word I would think of when I think of you. Selfless would be more like it. I am so in awe of what you do every day. I only hope that if I am every in your shoes that I could be half as good as you. Enjoy your time away. I'm sure it's essential for you to be able to come back refreshed.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to hear that you are taking some time for yourself. It would be selfish not to!! The amazing Linda needs to re-charge whenever she can. We got a book inquiry from A Paul Zimmerman and my heart just about stopped, but it wasn't THE Paul Zimmerman, of course. We miss you both and send you lots of love from Q & B, Beth F.

Anonymous said...

I hope you have a safe and restful break and come back with a plentitude of beautiful images to share with everyone who follows your blog. Please let Dr. Z know that, while Don Banks is doing a fine job on the SI Power Rankings, NO ONE has his breadth of knowledge, depth of insight, or "voice." At least one of his readers misses him.