Monday, July 31, 2006

Hip World

Mom has a hairline fracture in the outer sheath of her left hip bone. The fracture likely occurred two weeks ago, when Mom arose in the night, and fell, on the way to the bathroom. The good news: the hairline fracture will heal on it's own. No surgery needed. It will not cause any interruption, or slowdown, in Mom's therapy.

You could stop reading now - as you have the news. Everything else is detail.

Above is a random x-ray of a healthy right hip. On Mom's left hip, she sustained a hairline fracture in the little thumb of bone which protrudes from the top rear of the lower, outer sheath. Mom's little thumb of bone appears detached from the lower sheath of her hip bone. In this x-ray of a right hip, you can see such a thumb of bone protruding inwards, near the nine o'clock position - which is why I included this picture. The thumb of sheath bone is attached to muscle.

To the left is a drawing of a healthy left hip. The thumb of bone would be on the back side of the lower sheath of bone - near the three o'clock position in this drawing.
To the left is a cutaway drawing of the metal ball and spike used in a partial hip replacement. The metal ball and spike from Mom's surgery are undamaged, and remain perfectly positioned.

The hairline fractured sheath of Mom's hip has been partially pulled from the bone by attached muscle. Possibly as a result, Mom's left leg might be shorter than her right leg - by less than an inch. She should be able to live with that, with little problem. Possibly as a result, her left leg might be slightly rotated towards the outside, rather than positioned with her left foot and left knee pointed more forward. She can live with this also. It's difficult to say how many degrees her left leg might remain rotated towards the outside. As her muscle tone increases, Mom's leg, knee, and foot might be pulled more towards the front.

There is only the slightest chance the hairline fracture will cause a serious problem. That serious problem, if it arose, would be a new dislocation of her left hip, caused by a lack of muscle support to the area.

We did not know, until today, that Mom's hip had a hairline fracture. The ER Doctor missed the fracture on the post-fall x-ray. Mom saw her Orthopedic Surgeon today, and he saw the fracture. Hopefully, this will merely be a blip, as Mom has been walking further and further distances since the fall. She is currently travelling 400 feet per day(editor's note: not 400 at one time, as I originally wrote). Insert your own sports analogy in the comments below.

Previous to the fall, I had been a pest about hip precautions. Mom had not been happy to be pestered. After her fall, as she lay on the floor, Mom's first thought was "I can't believe I did this". Her second thought was "I hope Greg doesn't find out."

Pate Rehab now keeps someone in Mom's Sitting Room all during the night, to ensure that she doesn't get up, and try to walk, without supervision. Mom is strong enough to rise and walk on her own. Since her balance is imperfect, she needs her walker, and some supervision.


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Grilled Cheese Progress!

Mom, for the 6 weeks, has invariably eaten only 3 to 6 bites of her various meals. Something (likely neurological) caused her taste buds and/or her appetite to not be normal over that period.

Now, suddenly, she is eating better. Mom ate her entire vegetable course on Friday night. She ate an entire baked potato at Sat. lunch, and an entire grilled cheese sandwich at Sat. dinner. This type of eating has not happened before. A very good sign!

I hope this will turn out to be like her swallowing. She took therapy to help her swallowing - with little progress to show for that work. Then, after the hip surgery, during a period of zero therapy, something (likely neurological) shifted. Mom suddenly began swallowing perfectly - without aspirating.

I hope something (likely neurological) has shifted over the last days, and Mom will continue to display a normal appreciation of her food.

Happy Dogs

Atchafalaya(Chaffie) and Hoss say "get well, Nancy!", as they pose in front of the Hibiscus which Mom got for Bruce and Lisa last year. Bruce and Lisa can see the plant out their kitchen and breakfast room windows.

Chaffie and Hoss laugh at any cat, or child, who believe they can show out better than a cattle dog. Chaffie is so named b/c she is the color of the muddy Atchafalaya River. Chaffie and Hoss were involved in the famous "dog rescue" operation several months ago, when Lisa slid out of bed and broke her leg during the night. Chaffie stood over Lisa's chest, as if to protect her, and licked her face. Hoss leapt into Bruce's bed, moved close to Bruce's ear, and let out a sharp bark. The sleeping Bruce nearly jumped through the roof - then nearly jumped through the roof again, when he noticed Lisa was not in her bed.

Chaffie and Hoss have a puppy who became a champion herding dog in the Southeastern U.S. Chaffie is a Red Heeler. Heelers discipline cows and bulls by leaping up and chomping onto their noses, then either giving a quick twist, or actually bringing the animal to it's knees. After either of these actions, the cow or bull is willing to go where-ever the dog wants them to go. A friend once saw a bull leap a fence with a Heeler chomped onto his nose during the entire flight. The bull went to his knees upon landing.

Chaffie loves water, and will happily leap into any 2 inch puddle. Hoss loves to seek out animals and varmints.

Orange Hibiscus blooms were first created at LSU.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Speaking of Hairstyles...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Mary Long

Mary - Janice Romo Storey's mother - passed from this Earth last Saturday evening. Mary was president of her Sunday School class at Wedgwood Baptist Church for many years, and was a long-term greeter at the sanctuary for Sunday services. Mary attended a Sunday School class, no matter what town she was in, every Sunday, for 48 years. Remarkable.

Mary was a resident at WNH for some months, after suffering a stroke. Mom was fond of her. Mom extends her condolences to Janice, and to Mary's family and friends.

Janet 3

A comment! Hooray! Link:

"efficacious niece, Janet Dodson."

having the power to produce a desired effect.

Hmmm. Pretty good. But what is a "desired effect" Janet has the power to produce? Multiple appearances in the Nancy Update?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Ellyce and Bob

created a wonderful surprise, with a visit on Sunday, followed by kindly sending along pictures. I love Ellyce and Bob. We are lucky to have them in our family.

Notable: Mom's hair has been fluffed and styled for this pic!

Mom's room is directly behind her. You can see her windows, and her door, in between the photo subjects.

Ellyce and Bob had called from OKC, where they had attended a wedding, to get directions to Anna. If you ever need directions, or Nancy's postal mailing address, or my email address, remember that info is available on the right sidebar. On the other hand, if you're ever in OKC: call for directions, and come on down! But don't try Ellyce's trick: she correctly memorized detailed directions, w/o writing them down. That trick is only for trained professionals.

Monday, July 24, 2006

"...but, how is she DOING?"

Top three criticisms of the Nancy Update:
  1. "Those are nice grandchildren - but, how is she DOING?"
  2. "If you don't stop showing her without her hair fixed, I'm going to come after you. I told my husband: Don't you ever do that to me!"
  3. "Effervescent isn't quite right. Efflorescent?! Don't make me laugh."

Starting w/#3:
I think Janet is still flowering as a wise and interesting person - and that is quite an attractive trait. Nevertheless, I aim to please, and have a thesaurus on layaway.

#2: Fresh hairdos only happen every couple of weeks, and typically last just a few days. I'll try to bring a camera during those periods. Personally, I think the slicked back hair looks kinda cool. However, the first few times you see it, it is a shock to the system. Mea culpa.

#1: "...but, how is she DOING?"
Since 6/25, which was three days after her VPS surgery, Mom is doing fabulous. She has made steady, steady progress in physical strength; physical stamina; ability to concentrate and maintain focus; and orientation to where she is, and to what her circumstances are. If you saw her over July 4th weekend, you would notice she is stronger in all respects today.

It's difficult to quantify Mom's status. I have my own personal sense of it. It's difficult to communicate that - and it's only one person's opinion, anyway.

If you sat down to chat with Mom, you would have a lively and fun conversation. She would seem like she always has been with you. She would have a command of facts and memories at her disposal. She would display logical thinking. She would make jokes, and laugh at jokes. She would display her typical personality. In the middle of this fun conversation, Mom might try to get up, sans walker, to take herself to the bathroom, or to get you a cup of coffee. She is never supposed to get up without supervision, and she is never supposed to walk w/o a walker. She would have forgotten these basic rules during your conversation. You were probably just that interesting and delightful.

This is a short term memory problem. It is semi-exasperating. Mom is so sharp, in so many areas, and is sharpening up more and more each week. I can almost taste her return to normal activities. However, if the short term memory problem doesn't get better, Mom will never be able to go out on her own - to the store, et al.

How long might it take for short term memory to return to a normal level? No one knows. Brains are mysterious. Maybe another year. Maybe longer. Maybe never. Many brain injuries seem to resolve after 8-12 months, so there is no reason to over-worry at this time. Mom is just over three months out from her injury.

Later this week, maybe Wed or Thus, I will have some limited, but hopefully interesting, info about how therapists quantify and rate Mom's progress.

Have installed new type of comments at the bottom of posts. You can comment, easily and efficiently, w/o having to register with Blogger. You can also insert photos into your comments.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Brinlee Creek Ranch

Mom is a horsewoman from way back. I shot this late in the day, facing east.

Pivoting in the same postition, this is what we see to the south. This is Hilltop House. Mom stays in Room 10 - which is the first room to the right of the big windows. She can watch the horses from her window.

Rotating more - towards the southwest. The social workers and case workers office in the white temporary buildings. The brick building on the right is the therapy center. Pate has 35 patients taking therapy, from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm, M-F.

Rotating now towards due west, for a full look at the therapy building. 100 yards beyond it, up the hill, barely visible through the trees, is another house for residents. Just out of camera range - to the right, is the country lane you drive in on. This was taken facing 180 degrees away from where Mom continued feeding the horses.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Janet 2

Effervescent not quite right?! Well, I like it. A second try:

Mom, and efflorescent niece, Janet Dodson...

Friends; Stronger; Sidebar

Mom is making friends - which is a happiness, and a comfort, to see. The staff love her. They brag and dote on her. A place like Pate Rehab is made or broken by the quality of it's people. Pate is an outstanding place to be.

Mom is getting noticeably stronger: physically, cognitively, and in stamina. It is very nice to watch this happening. She is ready to receive visitors, postcards, pictures, or brilliant crayon drawings.

The news is not dramatic. Dramatic would actually be not the best thing. Instead, Mom is moving steadily forward in all areas. This is excellent. This is perfect. This does not make for a racy storyline. Still, mundane progress is what we are hoping for - although, when it comes to gaining brainpower, mundane is spectacular.

These will stay at the top of the sidebar links:

1: Anna: Address; Directions; Maps

2: 4/17 - 7/10: Nancy's Abbreviated History

Friends; Blue Devils

Mom is perfectly happy in Anna, and this is how I can tell:
The residents and staff in Anna are becoming her friends.

She and I watched the Blue Devils rehearse on Friday night. Upon returning to Anna, at 10:00 PM, Mom regaled the available residents and staff with tales of the outstanding Blue Devils' sound, and of the outstanding young man who is her grandson. I could tell she was extra interested in telling her tale to this particular group, as the people in this group are becoming her friends. They were appropriately impressed with the Blue Devils, and with Jake. Mom glowed.

Above are three of Jake's great friends: Jenny, Anthony, and Jordan. They drove almost an hour to watch Jake's rehearsal on Wed. night. They are soon driving to San Antonio, to hang out with Jake on his Sunday off day. Jenny plays flute(All District). She is going to Texas Women's University, to major in Fashion Merchandising. Anthony plays trumpet(All Region), was a Drum Major, and is going to Ithaca College on a music scholarship. He wants to be a journalist. Jordan plays Saxaphone(5A All State), was a Drum Major, and is going to some niche college I can't remember, on a music scholarship. The college is in the east. Jordan wants to play professionally, for a career. He is immensely talented.

Wed night: Blue Devils' rehearse, as dusk approaches. I like this b/c it shows the crowd of instruments on the sideline. 75 people sat in the stands during this rehearsal, and about 40 of them appeared to be high school or junior high band students. The remaining crowd was evenly split between band directors and families/friends.

The Blue Devils are the Yankees of DCI, having won an unprecendented 11 championships. In this season's competitions, which have each included from 6 to 12 competitors, the Blue Devils are undefeated. They own 22 consecutive first place finishes.

Blue Devils regroup for another run through. Jake is on the 34 yard line, in gray shorts.

Notice the backpacks and water jugs on the track. Blue Devils individuals drink through their personal jugs of water, then refill their jugs from giant water coolers, which are provided. Repeat as needed. It was probably 95 degrees when this pic was taken, approx. 8:30 pm. They typically practice about 9 - 10 hours/day.

In the above picture, which was taken during a break, you can see the flag corps loves to throw their flags in the air. They toss them, and toss them, and toss them, at every available opportunity. They must read each night's wind, and adjust their flag handling accordingly. The Blue Devils have a Japanese guy, who speaks very little English, who is supposedly the World Champion at individual flag handling/throwing/et al. Universities now give scholarships to Flag Corps members. Whodathunkit?

Thus, after lunch: Blue Devils practice in 102 degree heat - which is 120+ degree heat on the artificial turf. Jake is leading the far right group towards a midfield position between the hash marks. You can see the back of his shoulders, as he strides towards the 46 yard line.

Godfather theme: This religious cross will soon morph into a dagger. Jake is in the dead center of the crossed planks - but cannot be seen. Too dense.

Friday, July 21, 2006


Mom is doing excellently well. She is rehabbing steadily, and is making friends. More details in future.

Here is the first picture I've personally transferred from digital camera to computer: Mom, and effervescent niece, Janet Dodson.The caftan/gown is a gift from Cloe Harris.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Jake and the Blue Devils

My innocent child took off, the day after his H/S graduation, with this adult circus of marching band enthusiasts. They perform in competitions all across America: from CA to NC; from MN to MS; and points in between. They've performed in these 8 cites during the last 12 days: Dubuque; Indianapolis; Stillwater(MN); Mankato; Battle Creek; Louisville; Tupelo. You can see their entire July schedule here:

What amazes me is what big business the Blue Devils are, and what big business Drum Core International(DCI) is. The whole thing is a barnstorming tour. They roll into town, hold a giant competitive tournament, then roll on to the next town.
The skill level is quite amazing. The Blue Devils have mini-squads, which are sort of minor league development squads, for younger performers. Jake is one of the youngest performers on the adult squad: the A Squad. He is fortunate to be there - as several hundred tried out for about one hundred postions on the 2006 squad. Candidates came from other nations to try out. Here is the official page of videos which catalogue the 2006 season: The last 60 seconds of Episode 10 (train trip) show a nice sample from this year's July 8 show (Godfather theme) in Indianapolis. Jake is in there somewhere, blowing an Euphonium.

Several have said they wanted to go to Jake's July 20 show(Thus. night) in this area. Sadly, the show will be at Lake Highlands Stadium, in Richardson. The Blue Devils will perform at 10:08 PM. Tickets are $25 each. God Bless if you go to that! You can, instead, if you are an incredibly determined relative, show up at Blue Devil rehearsals and meals. The group will be rehearsing in Frisco on Wed, Thu, Fri. For that schedule, you can click on those days on the calendar:

Addendum: An account of Jake's and my trip home, during the Thanksgiving holidays, from a Drum Core team try-out. Its about the journey. Thankfully.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Haloscan Comments.

Pictures likely coming late tonight.
Brinlee Creek Ranch is lovely.
Pate Rehab seems outstanding.
commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Friday, July 14, 2006


For the first 10-14 days of Mom's rehab stay, Dr. Dickson says it is best to have no more than 3-4 visitors at a time.

If we ever have more than 3 to 4 visitors planned, we should call ahead, so the staff can schedule a place for us to hang out. Brinlee Creek Ranch has a large Recreation Room, with a large screen television, which is perfect for this purpose. The staff would love to reserve it for us, as the Rec Room maybe doesn't get as much use as it deserves. Ships are happy on the ocean. Dogs are happy on the hunt. Recreation rooms are happy with raucous families using them.

Vachel has already threatened 10-12 visitors at one time. Dr. Dickson is confident Brinlee Creek can handle that number - in the Rec Room!

Anna: Address; Directions; Maps


Nancy Cotharn
Pate Rehabilitation
10057 County Rd 472
Anna, TX 75409-8442

Hilltop House, Room 10

Physical Location:

Anna is about 10 minutes northeast of McKinney. In Anna, the Pate Rehab location is called "Brinlee Creek Ranch."

Yahoo Driving Directions(Updated):

8. Take TX-121 NORTH toward DALLAS

9. Take ramp onto US-75 NORTH toward SHERMAN - go 8.1 mi

10. Take exit #45 onto TX-121 NORTH
(Right) toward BONHAM
(Greg's note: the moment you hit the exit ramp off of US-75, you are 5.6 miles from your next turn. Check your odometer, and see #13)
- go 0.7 mi

11. TX-121 NORTH becomes TX-5 NORTH - go 0.4 mi

(Greg's note: this is barely notable. Bear right where the road splits.)

12. Continue on TX-121 NORTH toward TRENTON/BONHAM - go 4.5 mi

13. Turn RIGHT on RD 1220
(Greg's Note: This is listed as "CR-420" on the Yahoo map, but the real-life road sign says "RD 1220". Look for this marker: a white sign, propped up on the right side of TX-121, advertising "Whiterock Baptist Church".
- go 1.2 mi (of scenic farmfield driving. When in doubt, turn left.)

14. Turn LEFT on CR-472 - go 0.9 (winding) mi
(of scenic farmfield driving. Keep a lookout for crop circles.)

15. Arrive at 10057 COUNTY ROAD 472, ANNA, TX
(Greg's Note: Hilltop House will be the third permanent building on your right, located 130 yards up a sloping hill. It somewhat resembles a hunting lodge.)

Mom is in Room 10, with a smile for you.

Link: Yahoo Maps

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Anna Coyotes

80 miles, and 90 minutes, from Pate Rehab to the house. What does one think about during such a drive...?

I'm pleased that Anna High School's mascot is the Coyotes. It's always a missed opportunity when a high school ignores wordplay, or local symbolism, and selects a generic mascot such as bulldogs, tigers, or pirates. Coyotes is appropriate for the geographic area.

Still, Anna High School had opportunities for mascot greatness, yet could not steel themselves to take the leap. Consider:

Anna Bananas
Anna Kareninas
Anna Grams
Anna Hilators
Anna Nymouses
Anna Sthesiologists
Anna Gels
Anna Mals
Anna Oakleys
Anna Versaries
Anna Molies
Anna Tagonists
Anna Cedents
Anna Ticipation
Anna Dotes
Anna Archists
Anna Tipathy
Anna Condas
Anna Chronism
Anna Erobics
Anna Glyphs

Coyotes is perfectly appropriate - and yet, "Anna" is mascot gold. Sigh...

See below for my absolute favorite - a mascot which works on several levels, offers poster and cheer flexibility, and would've been a memorable part of mascot history:

Anna Cins

Forgive me.

Moving to Pate Rehabilitation; in Anna, TX

As I type this, Mom is in transit. Pate has a lovely, perfectly appointed rehab facility in Anna, which is 10 minutes north of McKinney. They concentrate strictly on neurologic rehab patients.

Leaving Baylor Rehab is wistful. Mom made tremendous progress while she stayed here. I've thanked the therapists, doctors, nurses, techs, receptionists, social workers, janitors, and nutrition staff. I hope they have a true sense that they have made a contribution to Mom's rehabilitation, and to her life - and to the lives of all of us who care about her.

Composing this post is my last act at Baylor Rehab. Everyone is thanked, and I am walking straight out the door in about two minutes. I will greatly miss this convenient computer. It is against the rules for me to be using it. A friendly staffer lets me break the rules, which is always delicious. People will help you, if only you will tell them what you need. Life is good that way.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

4/17 to 7/10: Abbreviated History

4/17 Subarachnoid Hemorrage + coded and revived.

Approx. 9:00 pm, went unconscious for approx. 10 minutes. Nancy regained consciousness for 10 minutes, then went unconscious again, as she was loading into the ambulance. She was again conscious in the ER.

Approx. 11:30 pm, Nancy coded as she was being wheeled to an MRI.

5:00 AM Nancy enters Neuro ICU.
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM Coiling Procedure to resolve 2 aneurysm.

Approx 4/19 Shunt placed in brain.

4/22 Responding to verbal commands. Goes off ventilator, but remains intubated.

Note: Between 4/17 and approx. 4/30, Nancy will be intubated three separate times. She will eventually have difficulty producing volume with her voice, possibly due to the multiple intubations.

4/27 Shunt removed.
4/30 Extubated for the final time. Goes onto CPAP.
5/5 Leaves Neuro-ICU.
5/6 Respiratory difficulties (low SATS). Nancy returns to Neuro ICU.
5/9 Leaves Neuro ICU for the final time.
5/11 PEG inserted.
5/12 Goes to Kindred Hospital.
5/16 This link gives a family/chatty overview of this period.
5/19 Walks 100’
5/26 Goes to Harris Methodist Rehab.
5/28 Breaks hip while walking to bathroom.
5/30 Successful surgery to replace hip socket.
Note: Nancy remains drunk (on anaesthesia) for 5-6 days after surgery. Therapy is extremely limited, and she accomplishes little during the therapy.
6/8 Passes Barium Swallow Test. Now allowed to drink and eat orally.
6/9 Nancy to BIR.
6/15 Increasing cognition difficulty is noted. Hydro-cephalus is diagnosed. Therapy is once again greatly restricted, due to rapidly decreasing alertness and cognition. She accomplishes little during the therapy sessions.
6/22 VPS successful, at Baylor’s Roberts Hospital.
6/23 Nancy returns to BIR.
6/25 Rapid cognition progress is noted.
6/26 Therapy begins. Nancy will display much improvement over the coming days.
7/10 Walked into speech therapy and confidently announced she was at Baylor Rehab in Dallas. Speech therapist noted that, just as Nancy has definitively determined where she is, she is about to be discharged...

Where Are We: Memory

Now comes immediate, and pretend-distraught, word from Patsy's granddaughter that Patsy's great-granddaughter was not about to cry; but was instead playing peek-a-boo. Let's pretend that suspicious peek-a-boo story is true. We'll pretend Abby is not actually thinking:
How long must I suffer the inane ministrations of this photographer? If someone doesn't save me I am going to cry!

If you think peek-a-boo, and you look at how Abby is calling upon all of her focus and concentration, you can almost see the wheels turning inside her brain. In a similar fashion, as Mom works to overcome short-term memory difficulties, you can almost see the wheels trying to turn in her brain.

Dad has described Mom, as best he could, as "not herself." Well-intentioned as that is, it's not my preferred description.
The wonderful thing about Mom is she is totally herself! She has her typical personality, she has her typical sense of humor. She cracks jokes. She remembers everybody, and everything, which happened before her hemorrage. She is wonderful to hang out and visit with.

In a good sign, Mom also remembers much of what has happened since her hemorrage. This is maybe an indication that her brain is slowly repairing the damaged parts. She remembers who visited through the July 4th weekend, and what they talked about. Mom can detail everything about her potential shift in therapy emphasis, even after she had only heard those details one time. Mom's nurse says, even when Mom was having the most trouble with hydro-cephalus, she amazingly knew the medications she was taking, and stayed mostly on top of her dosages.

Yet, other instances of short term memory leave Mom grasping for answers. To give one example, Mom has trouble remembering where she is: Baylor Rehab; Dallas, Texas. It could be that the little pinprick of brain which stores this info is traumatized. It could be that Mom is less motivated, or less interested, in remembering this info(compared to family chit-chat, or medication groupings).

A good sign is that Mom is starting to zero in on where she is. When asked, she will answer - Shakespeare-style: "That is the question." She will then begin to focus - looking somewhat like Abby in the above pic. Her focus and memory is improving! Ago, Mom variously thought she was in Louisiana, Waco, or Florida, etc. She variously thought she was in different kinds of buildings. Now, she remembers she is in either Ft. Worth, or Dallas - though she might have trouble pinpointing which. I'm confident the therapists consider this a sign that Mom's brain is slowly building synapse connections, to compensate for the traumatized areas.

Mom usually has her building location pinned down to one of three places: Cook's Hospital(where she did her early nursing), Harris Methodist(where she stayed for weeks as a patient), or "Baylor Rehab" ("They don't want us just to call it 'Baylor'"). For some time, she has been using that exact order to guess which building she was in. When she is informed that she is not in Cook's; and she is informed that she is not in Harris; you can see a relieved, understanding expression come over her face. She is now sure she is at Baylor Rehab! And that this grueling ordeal of questions can abate, for a while.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Patsy 3

To the right is Patsy's great-granddaughter: Abby. Now, I'm not an expert on childhood behavior, but that girl might be about to cry...

Patsy hasn't gained back any additional movement in her right arm and hand. She still has about 60% movement in the arm. She still can wiggle her fingers, but cannot make a fist.

On Saturday, Patsy had an additional incident of paralysis - also on her right side. The right side of her face became temporarily paralyzed. Today, Sunday, Patsy is speaking with no interference, and no problems. She told this story:

A lady came in to assess me, so I could go to a rehab center for therapy. She spoke to me as if I was a child. She said, "Can you push this two times?"

Well, you don't challenge me. I said "Lady, I can push that three times!"

She said "Oh no, you can't push that three times."

I said "You watch me."

And Greg, I don't know how I did it; and it was hard; but I was going to do it; and I pushed that thing three times. And she looked at me, and she said "Well, you did too good." Pushing that thing three times disqualified me from going to the rehab center!"

Saturday, July 08, 2006

First Trip Home

Here's Mom and Dad in the Plaza Beauty Salon. It is not the Plaza Beauty School. Mom's back-up beautician, Helen, is peeking from the back. Helen does Mom's hair on the days Yvonne is out of the shop. Helen did today's hair. Kudos!

Here's Mom with her loyal friend, and excellent nurse: Janice Romo Storey. They are posing in front of Mom's new Yukon, which is, seemingly impossibly, a bright midnight blue. It is beautiful - especially in the sunlight. It glimmers.

Janice spoils Mom by bringing her numerous gifts - some of which I play with, like a how-to calligraphy set. Janice has been at WNH for 27 years. Janice was my grandmother's nurse, and was with her on the night she(Ruth Post) died, in 1980. Janice and her husband, Ray, sent these pictures for the Nancy Update. Gracias.

It was wonderful to have Mom back in her own home. Before her hair appt, she hung out with Blake and Abby Boatright. She also studied pictures, and heard stories, from Doug Melton, about the latest dramatic production at WNH. It sounds like a two thumbs up, PG rated type of show(edging towards an R rating?!).

After Mom's hair appt, she took a two-hour nap in her own bed. It seemed like such a luxury.

Friday, July 07, 2006


Tomorrow(Saturday), 82 days after Mom's hemorrage, she will ease into a vehicle, then ride to Ft. Worth for a day-visit to her home. I look forward to being commanded in various clean-up and straighten-up activities. The plants, thank goodness, will receive a professional inspection. It will be a nice day, and one I will be grateful to see.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Patsy 2

Updating and correcting some info in the post below:

  • Doctors can't decide whether to call Patsy's incident a TIA, or a stroke. They are still running many tests.
  • Patsy has regained some movement in her right arm - maybe even most movement. However, she is not near any full range of motion in that arm. She has regained some movement in her right hand: she can wiggle her fingers. She cannot make a fist.
  • The incident happened at 8:45 AM, on Monday, July 3. By 9:05 AM, Patsy was at the hospital Emergency Room.
  • Patsy thinks Doctors think that the movement in her arm and hand will likely return. Doctors have told her she will need therapy.

Patsy and Larry had a wonderful time on their cruise. Their stateroom had a wide balcony, which overlooked the ocean. They visited these Baltic Sea(ish) cities:

  • Amsterdam
  • Berlin
  • St. Petersberg
  • Stockholm
  • Copenhagen

Aunt Patsy

Monday afternoon, approx. 1:00 PM, Aunt Patsy suffered a Transient Ischemic Attack(TIA):

A TIA is a "warning stroke" or "mini-stroke" that produces stroke-like symptoms but no lasting damage. Recognizing and treating TIAs can reduce your risk of a major stroke.
TIAs occur when a blood clot temporarily clogs an artery, and part of the brain doesn't get the blood it needs. The symptoms occur rapidly and last a relatively short time. Most TIAs last less than five minutes. The average is about a minute. Unlike stroke, when a TIA is over, there's no injury to the brain.

By 5:00 PM, Aunt Patsy seemed to have made a virtually complete recovery from the TIA(according to Jimmy). She seems feisty as ever, but you are welcome to remember her in your prayers.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

July 4th: Family

Some happy grandchildren, with a proud grandmother. Clockwise from bottom left:
Austin: going into second grade.
Baron: going into eleventh grade.
Courtney: going into sophomore year at Louisiana Tech(Elem. Edu. major).
Kacy: 4 1/2

Thanks to Sharon for Mom's July 4th scarf and berets! Sharon is Activity Director at WNH.

Some happy children, and a happy mother. We are looking festively July 4th in this pic! Clockwise from bottom left:
Lisa: forty-...uh... maybe I better stop the age thing now.

Can you can pick out, in the above picture, which person(s) might've voted for John Kerry?

Here's a group pic of everyone. Dad has snucken (should be a word) into this picture. I call this one:
"Portrait of a Happy Family and a Tiring Matriarch"
Thanks to Brooke Dodson for the photos! Bruuuoohhhkkk!! Someone might have helped Brooke out, but I can't seem to recall...

Note how Kacy and Austin (and, really, Courtney and Baron also) are workin' it in this picture - without even trying. "Wholesome" is oozing out of every pore, as if it has a life of its own. It cannot be restrained.

Ah. Youth.