Monday, May 30, 2011

Fran, May 30

Fran walked three laps around the kitchen island today, and demonstrated clear extension control of her left leg at the knee.  Trish, the physical therapist, was very excited by the phenomenal progress Fran has made in the past few days.

PLUS, we have this photo of baby Miles. More in coming blogs.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fran, May 28

Developments now are gradual, so I am not posting as often.  Fran continues to develop her walking.  Yesterday one of the therapists suggested locations for some railings, which would enable Fran to get around the house.  The therapist also had me order a quad cane, so we are optimistic about walking soon. (The cane is for Fran, not me.)

Last night Jerry and Alice brought over another great Ina Garten meal, a fusili pasta with tomato, lemon and arugula. Plus Jerry brought his skill at Martini making. It was another lovely evening. Tonight we are reprising the burgers from the party on Wednesday, but with the pickles and cheese slices that were left out last time.  We also have the benefit of experience.

Isela and husband Brent dropped by with their two younger children Kyrie and DD.  The kids said they wanted to move in here, which Fran approved immediately.  They are impossibly cute.  Unfortunately, Isela and Brent insisted on keeping them.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fran, May 25

Yesterday we had our reunion with Dr. Kocharian.  She was great.  She wants Fran to progress faster.  Isela and Katerina are on the same page, and had Fran walking laps around the island in the kitchen this morning. Fran has an old knee brace, which enables her to bear weight on the left leg, so she can pretty much make it around unassisted.

Dr. Kocharian ordered a scan to make sure Fran had no bleeding in the stroke area.  We got the scan today and everything was fine.

Today, we hosted Deborah's birthday party, created by Gale, for about 10 people.  In addition to the cake we had grass-fed hamburgers from a recipe from Food and Wine. Fun party and good food.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Fran, May 23

Today was a really big day.  We loaded into the car and drove to Scripps Encinitas. Grandma Fran met Grandbaby Miles and held him close.  Miles is in the neonatal ICU under observation because of a bug he acquired when Rachel was in labor for over 20 hours after her water broke.  Meanwhile, Miles is handsome and looks very healthy.  But he will have to stay in the unit for 7 days.

This afternoon Trish, the physical therapist, came and had Fran walking along the counter for a few steps.  Fran can swing her left leg forward, but it cannot yet bear her weight.  The progress is huge though, and we all cheered (all is me, Isela, Katerina, and I think Barbara was there too.)

Tmorrow we visit Dr. Kocharian, our wonderful neurologist.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fran, May 21

Franma is now really a Grandma.  Miles Warfield was delivered via C-section this afternoon, at about 9 3/4 pounds. Maliq is already thinking about the best way to assist Miles in getting to the NBA.  Congratulations Maliq and Rachel.  Rachel did most of the work of course, including over 24 hours of labor at the end.

Fran is proud and happy to be a grandma, and is continuing to improve. She did some "walking" yesterday with the physical therapist.  This consisted of moving along a counter, and represents an important step.

Jerry and Alice Rost brought us dinner last night, baby-back ribs.  Alice again did a great job.  They also made martinis, which was part of the reason I did not post last night.

Both Susan Taylor and Gloria Khoury sent me emails about an exciting new device, developed at MIT (by nerds, I expect, my kinfolk). It is called myomo (my own motion) that uses movement and biofeedback to help people learn to control paralyzed arms.  We will be discussing this with Dr. Kocharian when we see her on Tuesday.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fran, May 19

Lots of visitors today and a good day for Fran.  She did well at standing and increased her left leg movement.  She even moved her left arm.  The physical therapist says they will attempt a step tomorrow.  I am not sure exactly what that means, but the therapist says it is a big deal.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fran, May 18

Fran had a big day.  We left the house to see Dr. Savage, a hematologist, at 10:30 this morning. We needed a decision on what to do with Fran's clotting. Dr. Savage ordered an ultrasound study.  Rather than come back, we decided to wait for the available appointment at 1:00 PM. We returned home just before 3:00, a very long outing for Fran.  She was great.  By the way, the study suggested no change in her condition, which I think is good.

We arrived home just in time for five visitors, which Fran enjoyed.  She has just gone to bed and I am sure she will sleep well.

Grandson Miles has not arrived yet.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fran, May 17th

Big day today, our first outing.  We went to see Dr. Peter Sacks, Fran's primary care doc, whom we have not seen since the stroke.  We resolved most of the prescription problems we had. She was taking a blood pressure med (beta blocker) at too high a dose and it was dangerous.  I had cut the dose and he agreed that is what we should do.  He also agreed that there was no reason for her to take Lipitor.  Finally, he liked our choice of Dr. Kocharian as Fran's neurologist, and I subsequently made an appointment with her for next week.  Those of you who met her will know why we chose her.

I was concerned about getting Fran in and out of the car, but Isela did a great job and we had no difficulty.

In the afternoon several of Fran's artist friends arrived at our house for a visit.  Having arranged it earlier, Bronle and Theresa brought dinner. I know what a good cook Theresa is, because we did a dinner party together.  Bronle is in the same league, as it turns out. The meal was very elegant and very good. We started with a roasted red pepper soup, which was followed by a vegetable tart, a bit like a quiche. The crust contained more butter than the dairy case at Von's.  We finished with a berry tart.  Each dish was superb, as was the 2009 Callaway Voignier they matched with the meal.

We are so lucky to have the wonderful friends we have.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fran, May 15

Not much in the way of news. K. J. Choi won The Players and we enjoyed watching LeBron's butt being kicked by the Chicago Bulls. Fran was pretty sleepy today, but did well at the things she needed to do. Our weekend caregiver did a great job, and made things easy for me. We had lots of visitors on Saturday, but not today. We have a big week next week with two Dr. appointments.  We have not been in the car since I drove her home from the hospital. It is a bit tricky getting her into the car, because of the low roof line.  But thank goodness for Marshall's ramp.

I was making chicken soup today. I checked email at about noon and found an email from our friend Cathy saying she was making chicken soup and would be happy to bring some by. Drat. Cathy is a great cook, but my soup was  great too.



Friday, May 13, 2011

Fran, May 13

The Google blogosphere was down yesterday, so I could not post.  Not much news anyway.  Fran continues to progress slowly but surely.  She has a slight ability to move her left leg. She retains her dry humor. She has a good time with visitors, but she also gets tired. Next week we will be traveling to doctors, which will be an adventure.

I took some time off today and played golf with Marshall, Christian Wells, and Cyriaque. This is a great form of relaxation for me. It seemed less relaxing for them, as we had a "who stole my ball" controversy erupt on the third hole.  On the first hole, a 340 yard par 4, Marshall said he hit his best drive ever, but he could not find it.  We did find a ball about 10 yards from the green, but mistakenly determined that it was not Marshall's. Christian pocketed the ball.  On the third hole Christian teed it up.  Marshall looked down and saw that Christian was teeing up with the lost ball from hole #1.  Marshall went off like an IED and it took several holes and a couple of double bogeys for peace to be restored.

This weekend Isela and Katerina are off and I will have a "professional" caregiver from an agency for Saturday and Sunday. I will miss them, as they are terrific.

Tonight Alice and Jerry Rost brought dinner to us and we had a dinner party.  Alice had prepared a wonderful chicken dish from an Ina Garten recipe and Jerry crafted excellent martinis. 


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fran, May 11

The day started out poorly.  We were all tired, and barely able to get Fran up.  When Isela arrived, I escaped for a short bike ride and felt a bit better.  Then Trish the Physical Therapist arrived and things changed dramatically for the better. 

Trish was able to get Fran to demonstrate repeated, voluntary movement of her left leg. Fran is not ready to walk, mind you, but this is wonderful progress. Trish showed us better ways to work with Fran, and completely revised our daily routine.  She wanted Fran up and out of bed more. We selected a comfortable chair in the dining room where Fran can sit.  Fran much prefers this to the wheelchair. Speaking of wheelchairs, Trish even had Fran propelling her wheelchair around the house, paddling with her right foot.

Yesterday Allison brought in a mattress pad for Fran's uncomfortable hospital bed, which was very much appreciated.  It certainly enabled Fran to sleep better.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Fran, May 9

Check out time at the rehab center is at 11 AM.   We were ready to leave when we heard Dr. Rosenberg speaking loudly.  I went out to the nurse's area and discovered that an important ball had been fumbled. Fran has some ongoing clotting problems and Dr. Rosenberg had suggested a filter.  In the meantime Fran had been getting anti-coagulant injection every day.  I did not know this and there was no provision to continue it in our discharge instruction. Fortunately, Dr. Rosenberg noticed this.

Apparently, Dr. Stone, who had been in charge of Fran, had left rather abruptly, for what reason I do not know.  But that is where the ball seems to have hit the turf.  So they brought in a pulmonologist, Dr. Savage, to figure out what to do.  (Plumonologists are in charge of clotting, except for clotting in hemophiliacs, which is owned by hematologists.) He ordered an ultrasound study to see what was happening currently, and ultimately decided we should continue the injections. 

We left for home at about 3 PM with about 10 prescriptions and a carload of flowers. Isela and Katerina did a great job with Fran at the house, I cooked up some angel hair pasta, we all had some wine, and Fran is very happy to be home.  Needless to say, I am equally happy to have her here.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Fran, May 8

Fran had a nice Mother's Day with lots of visitors, most importantly Maliq and Rachel. They brought dim sum, as Fran had mentioned she was hungry for it.

Tomorrow is D-day and I think we are ready.  Marshall and Cyriaque came over to the house and painted the ramp, Ana helped me move furniture, and their dog Mumu tore up my bed trying, without success, to find Natasha, our cat.

I have described the ramp to Fran and she wants a street sign for it.

I suggest no visits on Monday, as we will be trying to get settled.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Fran, May 7

Not a very eventful day.  I got some more training, Fran was in a good mood, and we are pretty much ready for the discharge on Monday.  Fran is anxious to come home.

All the therapists were new to Fran today. The techniques they used were a bit different, so it was a good learning experience for me.

I do not expect tomorrow to be very eventful either, but Monday will be a BIG event. Stay tuned.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Fran, May 6

Today son Marshall built a majestic ramp up the front steps to the house in preparation for Fran's homecoming.  The ramp would support a fully-loaded semi, and will certainly ease Fran's entry.

Delivered to our house was all the equipment we need.  Our caregivers practiced their moves at the hospital and I think we are ready here.

Fran was in great form today, and I expect the hospital will miss her when she leaves on Monday.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fran, cinco de mayo

Today we put Fran in the car, drove to our home, and tested the facilities.  All the caregivers were there, with two hospital staff, Marshall and our granddaughters. Everything worked, though getting Fran into the shower will be tricky.  There are two steps into the house, which were not too difficult to negotiate in the wheelchair, but son Marshall is building a ramp. All the caregivers got to practice helping Fran, with Doug, the instructor present.

Dog Wesley was overjoyed to see Fran and tried to follow us back to the hospital. Cat Natasha was nowhere to be seen.  Too many people.

Doug has ordered all the equipment we will need, to be delivered to the house tomorrow.  D-day is Monday, and I think we will be quite ready.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fran, May 4

Fran's discharge date has been moved to Monday, May 9th.  Tomorrow we will take Fran to the house with an expert from the Rehab Unit to determine what equipment and techniques will be necessary.

All the staff at the Rehab Unit tell me that Fran has improved dramatically in the last few days in terms of the ease with which she can be moved from bed to wheelchair, etc.  According to Rachel, Fran was able to move her left arm one time, and according to one of the therapists, she is beginning to have some slight response in her left leg. So optimism is appropriate.  

Fran is definitely looking forward to coming home and to my cooking.  I am equally looking forward to having her here and also to not spending quite so much time at the hospital.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Fran, May 2

Fran is coming home on Friday. I spent my time today training on how to help Fran move from one situation to another, like from the wheelchair to the bed and back.  I have a lot to learn, but I can do it.  As Fran learns to help more it will be much easier.

I hired Katerina and Esella (sp?) to help at the house, and will talk to an agency tomorrow for more help.  The hospital is promising to arrange for all the equipment we will be needing.

There were few visitors and fewer flowers today.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Fran, May 1

Today was a day of visits. Our friends Ed and Bonnie came and brought some lovely flowers. Then Ana and Olivia came and brought more lovely flowers.  At the end of the day, our nephew Noah and wife Amy came with baby Tegan and brought even more flowers.  So we put all three together arrangements and took a picture for you. You can see it at the bottom of the page. They were all lovely and very much appreciated. And I am not putting you on.

Fran had some rest today, with no therapy on Sunday.  Next week is a big week, getting ready to bring her home on Friday.  We need equipment, we need to make sure that the house will accommodate a wheelchair, I need more training, etc.  Fran is very excited about coming home, and I am excited to have her back.  We will need lots of help, but I am certain we will get it.


Don't forget the picture of the flowers.