Friday, May 12, 2017

New Beginnings

I have a lot of friends and family who are texting, emailing, and inquiring often about how my husband Rich is doing after his stroke.

I was told that if Rich didn't have someone with him 24/7 that he would have to go to 'rehab' until he was able to function at a certain level. Well that was a no brainer for me. He could go to a rehab center for a small amount of time if it was really necessary, but if I was home for him...

Well, I went to my part time job and told them that I couldn't come back. Of course they wanted to talk me out of that. They wanted me to do FMLA. I reminded them that I didn't qualify when he had cancer and I didn't qualify at the current time.

Besides he'd had a severe TIA 2 years ago and now experienced a very serious stroke. If I had left for a shift at 2:30 in the morning, I would have missed the early signs and his stroke would have left him perhaps on the floor for up to 14 hrs, until I returned from work. I don't care to think about what that scenario may have played out like.

Our days ahead will be full of challenges. 

I can conclude that I am married to a most amazing person. I considered moving the details and stories of this to The Long Road, which was the blog I used to detail our experiences with Throat Cancer. 

However everything that we are now doing effects our farm, the animals, our way of everyday life in a rural area. It has in one moment changed my life for a long time.

I am not complaining.

So I will continue mixing up my blog with whatever interests me for the day.

Currently I am now no longer employed. I had been thinking about leaving that job within the next year anyway. The hours were all over the map which were becoming difficult for me to handle. I was sure that having no patterns of good sleep would begin to affect my health.

Not having bizarre hours has already shown me that I can handle being more patient with MY patient and husband. I don't need to get a large list of things done in a very specific amount of time so that I can rush off to work.
When Rich wanted to have breakfast, or he wanted to go over what day it was, I had to stop what I was doing and sit down with him. Communication on one subject may take us 45 minutes to resolve. 

I can see that I am going to have to pick up a white board today to help with our talks. 
We have worked out that he wants to talk to people on the phone but didn't want to risk sounding stupid because of his language issues.

We came up with a simple solution. Phone calls are made with the handset on speaker phone. When he gets stuck on a word, he can look to me for help. That experiment worked out wonderfully yesterday.

He talked to his mom, his daughter, and in the evening, we called my son Ed and his wife.
Something as simple as a phone conversation helped him immensely with his attitude and self confidence.

Yesterday afternoon he got into his skid steer and drove it around. He stuck to some basic things like offloading some round bales. These are things he has done for years and I think the muscle memory is there. 

I didn't want him to do it, but he was able to get in safely and out safely. His balance seems to be pretty good.

When he went into the sloppy muddy calf pen and decided to climb out of the skid steer and move the hay feeder, I about lost my mind. The doctors and nurses had said NO heavy lifting, and to TAKE it easy for at least a week or so...
I climbed the gates and slopped through the muck which tried to pull of my boots and lost my temper. He looked straight at me and waved me off like a pest.

Last night we had a discussion about what he had done. He still forgets that he had brain surgery. 

However. Let me say that our quiet moments sitting together on the porch were nice. He called Morris over and petted him and fussed over him. We watched the sun begin to set and held hands.

And so ended our first day home together.


  1. Your post warms my heart, Val. Please tell rich that he has a fan here in Georgia that is wishing him all the best, and you, too. But you already know how much I adore you!

  2. Thank you Rachel, I will!

  3. What a blessing for both of you that you have each other. I love how you're thinking outside the box to help compensate for Rich's memory loss. Sending prayers and good thoughts for his full speedy recovery.

  4. Val, you are an amazing woman. I am sure Rich will continue to improve with your excellent care. Tell him that a former work buddy wishes him the best. Best of luck to both of you.

  5. Thanks Will, we sure are working on things slow but sure, day by day. He wants to go fishing, that is a big summer goal!

  6. Your commitment and loyalty is inspiring. I hope you will also have some time to go with Morris out in the woods for fun.

  7. I wasn't aware prior to your facebook post. Sorry you're going through this but it sounds like you have things pretty well under control. One day at a time. Wishing the best for you two.

  8. Great post! You are so patient!! Rich is so lucky to have you. When we saw him yesterday he seemed sooo happy and I bet a big part of that was being able to come home to the place and person that he loves the most! Thank you for being amazing! See you soon! More well wishes ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  9. And so your new life begins! Retirement is a great gift and this is the right time for you to be at home. It will make such a difference. Rich is some trooper!!!

  10. I was so unaware Val, I guess my head has been in the sand. Sending you love and hugs. Together you both begin a new life journey. Blessings to you and Rich

  11. For those that didn't know, don't feel badly. I didn't really publicize what was going on until I felt I had a fair handle on the situation.

  12. I'm afraid I was oblivious of what you've been going through. Being sick for several weeks and having a new grandson has kept me out of touch. I am so sorry for what you are both going through but as always, amazed at how you handle things. Healing thoughts and prayers are sent your way Val.