Above is Rachel, of Flagstaff; and Doc, also of Flagstaff. Rachel and Doc are giving Austin, Max, and Kacy
a strong challenge in the "Most Wholesome Photo" category. A horse always helps. And a Hollywood starlet smile. And mountains in the background. Rachel is a renowned horse-woman (within the family, at least!) She is Mom's grand-niece(?).
This is Lynn and Sam
. Lynn is Rachel's Mom, and Nancy's niece. It's hard to say who is happier in this photo: Lynn, or Sam. You're welcome to vote in the comments. Lynn sent these pictures for Mom's collage of family photos. They are so nice, I decided to put them up here.
I do notice that Rachel's horse is standing still in the top photo, yet Rachel nevertheless wears a protective helmet. Lynn, in full "over age 29" flight, wears no protective helmet. Of all subjects in these photos - Rachel, Doc, Lynn, Sam - who is in greatest need of a helmet?
Mom's blood pressure is still highish. However, her systolic is consistently below 200, which is a relief. Dr. Johnson continues to diligently jigger with her medication dosages, in an ongoing effort to bring her blood pressure into a consistently normal range. I send him a list of her blood pressures every week, and he is very loyal about studying them.
I asked Dr. Johnson if we would ever know what caused Mom's blood pressure to rise. He evaded my question, and hustled me off his phone. I take that to mean we will never know - and only a foolish/bothersome layperson would ever ask such a question.
Mom understands her neurologic circumstances very well - and how close she came to a less exciting outcome. She is proud of her progress, and is determined to make a full recovery. She gets frustrated because, so often, she seems to be extremely recovered - only to be reminded, by something innocuous, that she still has a ways to go. She gets her confidence and hopes up - only to be exasperated by a simple neuro-mistake.
I spend the night with Mom sometimes. I got up one night when I heard her moving out of the bathroom. I asked if she felt comfortable and safe moving around in the dark.
Nancy: (confidently and declaratively) "I do, because I am very careful about my movements."
Nancy and Greg: (spend a moment silently marvelling at her progress)
Nancy: (Surveying her empty bed) "Where's Vachel?"
Greg: "He's not here."
Nancy: "Yes he is. He was just here last night!"
Greg: "Well, it's 4:00 AM. He hasn't been here after midnight. And he wasn't here before midnight, either."
Nancy: (takes a silent moment to realize she has dreamed/become confused about Vachel's presence. Takes a second silent moment to become exasperatedly angry with herself for becoming confused.) "Shoot!"
It was the most emphatic epithet she could reach for.