Growing up too fast....

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bitter Sweet

Cant belive that the girls are almost 6 months and as most of you know its been 8months since dads' stroke. Sorry I have been so bad about updates for him but there really hasn't been much to report until now. Mom, dad and Aunt Faye headed to Picton Canada for more aggressive therapy and for dad to recieve the bariatric chamber(oxygen tx) below is a letter mom wrote giving an update. Speaking for myself and a "few" conversations with siblings this has been difficult to watch for all of us but we are so thankful for our continued support from friends and family.
Pictures taken right before mom and dad left for Canada last week. June 1st.
Dear Family and friends,

We arrived in Picton, Ontario, Canada on Sunday evening and it was a most beautiful drive here and actually passed very quickly. Virginia is a beautiful state and was surprised to see NY state was also very pretty. Lots of farm land with country homes, very simple, but very neat. There are no road signs in NY state or in Canada, for that matter.
We were up early this morning, expecting to have treatments at 8:00, but our orientation was not until 9:30. They are very laid back, but very nice here. It is a simple dwelling, which we are thankful they spend the money on the patients and not the facility. Everything is very clean and everyone so helpful. There are mostly children here for treatment of CP, MS and one little girl, two years old had a stroke after her first birthday. She is beautiful and mom says she is making good improvement with the treatments.
Will have to tell you more details when I get home regarding the place. I don't think they have DSL and this computer took me a long time just to get my e-mail up this evening.
Jim had his first dive this morning at 11:00 and his second at 4:00 p.m. There has to be at least four hours between dives. I went in with him both times. IT is quite humbling. There are five other adult stoke patients here with us and they all got into the chamber together and I was able to help them with their helmets to make sure they were on tight. IT gets very hot at first, then very cool. Jim did well. They had him chew gum and drink water until he had to put the helmet on. It feels very much like you feel when you fly and need to pop your ears, but not uncomfortable at all. I slept after the patients had their oxygen filtered into the chamber. They have a video you can watch or you can read or nap while in there for the hour and a half. There is three hours of dives everyday, seven days a week and then they do what they call conductive therapy. A hungarian lady (very young and very pretty) does the therapy and all the wives or husbands helped her with their spouses. She does not let you do things for them, but makes them do it and there were some unhapy men, saying they could not do it, but she made them. They told us today that she was aggressive with treatment, but we would be very happy with her progress with the patients when she completed the session. She pushes the patients to do better.
I think Jim was very pleased with himself. There are two young men, under 30 who have had multipal stokes, but survived and are doing quite well with walking and talking and one of the men told us he couldn't say a word for 6 months or more after his stroke in 2007.
Well, I don't want to tell too much, but will try and keep you posted weekly while here. Faye and I found out there is NO time for sightseeing, but we are spending all day with Jim, working out, cooking meals and washing clothes. We share a common kitchen, but we are never all in there at the same time, so it gives us time to meet one another and there are people here from all over the world. The one young man is from Fayetteville, NC, someone from Minnasota, Fla, TX, Burmuda and many from Canada, of course.
Hope all is well with you folks and we look forward to getting back home and Jim's continued improvement.

Love to all,

Jim, Judy and Faye (Judy's sister)

P.S. Don't know what I would have done without Faye. She has our meals ready when we get out of the chamber, keeps everyone in line with the cleaning. She has been wonderful support and we are having fun at the same time.

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