Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Update on Larry

It's been 11 months since I updated the blog. Mostly, because I wasn't ready to notify everyone that Larry would not be returning to work (there are several Lockheed employees who read the blog), and partly because I wasn't ready to admit that to myself yet.

Larry has improved since October 2009, but not enough to be able to work. His biggest handicaps are his short term memory loss and his inability to process information. He does a very good job communicating and most people wouldn't know there was anything wrong. He does occasionally use the wrong word or just can't think of the word he wants. But, all-in-all, he gets by. He is not able to do very much around the house as he cannot remember where things are or how to accomplish a task. He spends his time reading, playing Scrabble online with his mom and working on the computer. He has a very difficult time when a lot of information is given to him at one time. It overwhelms him. When you speak to him, please be sure to speak slower than usual and don't give too much information at one time.

I am currently in the process of trying to get another job. I am currently working 1 day a week and have had some temporary work in addition to that. I am putting out my resume at this time.

Thank you for all your prayers and concerns. I apologize that it has taken me so long to write this.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Update on Larry - 10/08/09

Well, it's been 3 months (almost) since my last update. It's been a time of ups and downs -- tears & laughter -- pain & sorrow. Today is his first day on LTD (Long Term Disability) which means a 50% cut in pay. Larry will get a check tomorrow, one (probably a partial check) on the following Friday and then no more Lockheed checks until he can go back to work. We don't get his LTD check until 10/27 which is supposed to last us the month.

I'll try to update you on everything:

CPAP Machine - This is going well, he no longer has to have me adjust and we are getting to bed at a more decent time.

Rehab - He was going to Rehab 3 times a week up until the week before last. He is now finished with his Rehab. He had his neuro psyche re-evaluation last week. The test lasted form 8:30am to 6:00pm. This will determine his ability to return to work. We get the results on Monday, 10/12.

Driving - He still is not driving. He needs to be tested by Emory who will give him both a written and driving test. He has been cleared by the Neuro Ophthalmologist to drive. We feel he will pass this test without any issues. We have not scheduled this test as we are awaiting the results of the neuro psyche test. The driving test costs $500 and we don't want to have to take it twice.

Short Term Memory - Larry continues to struggle with this but works hard at improving it every day. He will always have issues with this but Emory has equipped him on how to compensate for this.

Processing Skills - Larry still take time to process things. To most people, he looks and appears to be normal. This will be the hardest thing for him going back to work because he will appear to be like he was before. He's not. When he returns to work, Emory will only let him go back part time for the first few weeks building to a full work week.

Sight - Larry's sight continues to improve. He has only a small area that is impaired. His eyes make up for this deficiency.

Other - Larry has been able to deal with life in general pretty well, now. He no longer has problems when there is a lot of things going on at one time. He can sit and watch an entire movie without any problems.

B/P & Cholesterol - Larry's Cholesterol is excellent. His bad Cholesterol was only 65. This is great. His good Cholesterol is 29 and could be a little higher. Larry's diet is the reason for this great improvement. His BP has been pretty good until this past week. It's been down in the 110/70's. The doctor lowered the dose of BP medicine. I think with the stress of realizing that he hasn't been released back to work yet, mainly because of the financial burden and stress that puts on me (his words, not mine) has cause his BP to go up to 140/92. This is still not that bad, but Larry is concerned. The doctor adjusted his meds accordingly.

My Work - I'm still working 1 to 2 days a week, depending on what else is going on that week. My boss has been quite accommodating re: my work schedule.

Nathan - He started college in August and is doing well. He goes to Georgia Highlands College and attends the Cartersville, Paulding & Southern Poly campuses. He goes to school Tu - Fri.

We'll update you when we get the results next week.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Update on Larry - 7/13/09

A lot has gone on and changed in the last month. I didn't update at first because there was nothing to report -- then we got so busy with Rehab & my mom came to stay so I didn't have time to update. Larry has had great success with the CPAP machine which prevents his Sleep Apnea. No more snoring!!! Now he says I snore but this is due mostly to the lack of sleep. It's a huge process for him to get ready for bed. Sometimes we do not get to bed until 2 am. Then I have to adjust to his machine and him getting up early in the morning. I told him that it's a good thing we don't have small children as he's pretty scary to look at with his mask, hose, chin strap, etc. If he'd let me take a picture, I'd post it :-)

Larry has rehab at Emory 3 times a week, (I'm working 2 days a week). I could use help taking him to Emory especially dropping him off on Wednesdays. I would still like to be able to work in the Library but Wednesday rehab prevents this unless I can get someone to take him. If you are interested, please let me now. I can bring him to church and you can take him from there. I'll pick him up from Emory.

Nathan got his license back -- yeah -- so that is one less person I have to tote around. Amen!!! My mom is here until mid August. Please pray for the interaction between all family members and my mom. It can be difficult at times.

Larry has had extensive evaluations at Emory including one by a NeuroPsychologist. We will receive the results of that evaluation on Thursday, 7/16. This will tell us where Larry is psychologically and show his ability to work, etc.

Larry mostly struggles with short term memory loss. He remembers people's names now with little trouble. Most people can barely tell he had a stroke. He still struggles with day to day processes and remembering where he puts things, etc. It takes him a long time to do things. They are working with him at Emory to improve this. He feels like he works so hard all day long and gets nothing done. Pray for him.
Larry's ability to handle multiple things and what I call "Chaos" has greatly improved. He even managed to plan me a 50th Birthday Celebration which was so nice. I do not have any pictures yet of that event so I can't post them. If anyone took pictures, please send them to me. I forgot my camera!!! He attends church now and likes to go to the mall or Walmart to watch people. For some reason, the activity of watching people stimulates his vision and it improves every time he goes. If anyone ever wants to take him to the mall for an hour or so, please contact us. Larry's moods have also evened out and we have fewer up and down days.

Larry had a follow-up visit with the Opthamologist a week ago. His vision has GREATLY IMPROVED. They did a "Field-of-Vision" test and where originally (immediately after the stroke) half of his vision was missing, now only maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of his vision is impaired -- it's mostly distorted. This is huge. He still has another 3 months where he could greatly improve.

Next week we meet with the Neurologist and Medical doctor. I'll update you once these appts have happened.

Thank you all for your prayers and concerns.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Update on Larry - 6/9/09

We saw the Pulmonary Specialist this morning. She read the test results and said that he was waking up at least 10 times in an hour when he didn't have the mask on. After getting tested with the mask -- he only woke up once. He also was only sleeping about 39% of the time. Oxygen level was lower than 80% which is NOT good. The mask is on order and he should have it within the week. So, once we get this mask, we are praying that this will lower his BP.

Occupational, Speech & Physical Therapies will start shortly. They will want him to come in 3 times a week to Emory. I have requested mid day appts so that we can avoid traffic so I will really need to get help transporting him to and from Emory Rehab in Atlanta. If you would be willing to do this once a week or once every couple weeks, or just once... please let me know.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Larry made it to Nathan's Graduation 5-23-09

Had to write a quick note and let everyone know that Larry made it to Nathan's graduation. We had to leave early, but Larry got to see Nathan walk and get his diploma. Thanks for praying!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Larry's Update - 5/21/09 - Thursday

We have lots of MAJOR news to share with you today, but let me preface that with the words from Larry's journal this morning (I don't think the man ever stops thinking):
"Today is another day. The elephant tromped through the extremely ta
ll bountiful grass disturbing the rodent tenants asleep beneath the lush foliage."
Note, he's practicing his writing, not writing a book for children. The rest of the words were too technical to write but Larry says they are true.

We met with the PCP (Primary Care Physi
cian) this afternoon and got the results from the Sleep Study TEST they did last week and the Sonogram they did yesterday. First of all, NO BLOCKAGE at all!!! Praise God. Secondly, Larry has "Bad" Sleep Apnea (I could have saved the insurance company $4,000 and told them that). It's the worst case the doctor has ever witnessed. This may very well be why his BP is so high. At one point, he did not breathe for 79 seconds. That's a long time. Stop and count! What does this mean? :

1) He can now be put on Ace Inhibitors to control th
e HBP which work much better.

2) He returns for a 2nd Sleep Study Test at the end of next week so that they can determine if the mask will work to help him to not snore and stop breathing. P
ray for great results. The doctor has prescribed Lunesta for him to sleep and he had his first decent night's sleep last night in weeks. He slept 11 hours total only getting up a couple times.

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This coming Saturday, May 23rd, Nathan graduates from High School and we are praying that Larry can make it to the graduation ceremony. The following Tuesday, May 26, Nathan turns 18. Where has the time gone? Sorry, had to brag about Nathan's photos. He's very photogenic and the studio had him sign a model's release so they could put his photos on their wall. The black & white one is my favorite of Nathan as it is so natural. The photographer let me pose a couple of the photos (I was going to go to Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA at one time -- then I decided to join a folk rock band and live in the back of a VW Van -- go figure!) Anyway, it was fun to get to work in a studio. Hint--I posed the photos with his guitar.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Larry's Update - Friday 5/15/09

We saw the Primary Care Physician (PCP) on Tuesday. He is not concerned with Larry's arm/leg issue but wants us to see the Neurologist sooner than the 6/2 appt. He wants to make sure that Larry gets Physical Therapy (P/T). They are supposed to come Friday.

Saw the Neurologist on Thursday. He says that the issue with the heavy feeling and lack of control with the arm is usual for stroke victims and often happens after the stroke like this did. He said that the fact that his BP went up so high when he had to call 911 might have been what caused it to appear. He is very concerned with Larry's BP. It has been around 145/90. He wants to see 90-110/60-80 and wants us to call the PCP to see about increasing the meds. He doesn't want Larry to have another stroke. I called the PCP and he wants me to double his Toprol and see him in a week.

The PT came today and evaluated Larry and said that Larry didn't need him. This is frustrating. The PCP and Neurologist want him to have PT but they keep saying he doesn't need it. Urggh!!!

Larry's vision is continuing to improve. He is encouraged with that. He seems really good today. We continue to create an environment that is stress free. Thanks again for the prayers and meals. They are a blessing!!!