Category: Family

Mainely Improving …

Didn’t realize a couple of days have slipped by without an update. The routine has been mostly the same, the Traveling Sisters Care Team continues to feed us, and they handle a lot of Lou’s needs as well. My main job is providing motivation, and it is working. It turns out he really wanted to dress himself, since he was never sure what he was going to end up with after I finished helping him.

The best news of all – Lou sat up on the bed and got his leg on the floor all by himself. The only assistance we provided was holding the walker steady while he stood up (without assistance). He can than do his morning chores without help. He even dressed himself today. And he took another shower, feeling much stronger as he scrubbed. The physical therapist comes tomorrow and will work with Lou on stairs.

The girls made carnitas for dinner one night, including Catherine’s especial crispy shredded pork. Beth made a super tasty guacamole. Some photos from this special evening:

Natasha got a little excited. She says Cocker Spaniels love carnitas!

Friday was a typical day, another lobster celebration for the Care Team:

On Saturday, the TSCT went into Belfast to visit the Farmer’s market and the special Belfast Art Festival that was running this weekend. Catherine shared some pics, including some nice artwork she purchased.

Sunday (today) was a busy day for all. This is the day Lou made his big strides, doing lots of stuff on his own. I had a golf tournament, and the Care Team was in charge for the morning. They did an excellent job!

We will be back tomorrow with more updates!

What is Happening in Maine?

Things are going well. Lou continues to improve each day, and we continue to improve our care techniques 😂. So far, I have only made a few mistakes (backwards underwear, two feet in the same leg, and backwards pants). Today was change the sheets day, so the Traveling Sister Care Team did a quick switch. Catherine fixed breakfast and Lou ate sitting on the edge of the bed. One thing we don’t have is a proper height chair for him to sit in upstairs. He is just starting to feel like sitting up more. He has been doing a great job keeping his leg elevated, and the TSCT has done an excellent job powering up his ice machine.

We do have some great news – the TSCT changed their exit date from this Saturday to next Tuesday. Hopefully travel will not be as crazy during the week, and they will be providing much needed care here for the old folks.

Here are some more samples from the culinary arts provided by the Care Team:

Lou and I gave the girls a break yesterday. Neither one of us was very hungry so we didn’t need a big meal. So the Care Team picked up a couple of lobsters at Hannaford (only $9.99/lb), and made themselves a lovely lobstah dinner. Catherine took these excellent photos:

The Traveling Sisters Care Team deserved a nice meal on the deck.

Stitch was with them every step of the way.

I told Catherine I didn’t even have to come and get photos because she did such an excellent job. (With her new iPhone; did we mention she dropped her other one in the spa?).

Lou’s Physical Therapist comes today. That is about as exciting as it gets, which is a good thing.

Stay Safe!

Day 6 Update

Apologies for not posting this update yesterday. The day was a whirlwind, and I fell asleep with a dog in my lap when I sat down to write a post:

The Traveling Sisters Care Team has been a Godsend. They have taken over snacks and meals, and are providing general entertainment. Some of the meal selections from the past couple of days:

Lou hasn’t wanted much to eat and he requested pasta for dinner. He didn’t request hamburger stroganoff; that was a belated birthday gift to me. The peas, however, are Lou’s favorite.

There is a story with that last photo. We are all so focused on taking care of Lou’s every need, we forgot to feed him lunch yesterday!!! I was actually on lunch duty, since the TSCT was doing grocery shopping and more. I was rushing trying to assist Lou and get to my afternoon physical therapy appointment. I got home at 3:30 and realized he hadn’t eaten anything. So I whipped up a gourmet charcuterie board, except it had no charcuterie and came in a paper bowl. (To be fair, he doesn’t always want lunch …but he might have been feeling abandoned for a few hours.)

After serving lunch, I left the TSCT in charge and booked it back to town. I had to go into the walk-in clinic for a lab test and a prescription. This is the first time we have used the urgent care/ walk-in clinic, and it was convenient and a good option for the future. The Sisters made a delicious dinner, hamburger stroganoff, as a belated birthday dinner for me – yum!

I am saving this very special gift for when the TSCT leaves and I am on my own. This most thoughtful and helpful gift came from Louie in Florida. He thought this might be helpful to both me and Lou ❤️

This does bring up another point – I am plotting how we can keep the TSCT in residence for a few more weeks. I have not ruled out kidnapping.

Here are a few more photos from the day – click for larger pics:

The last photo is the family enjoying dinner together. Lou is sitting up. I stuck my foot up so you would know I was there.

I skipped right past Father’s Day … the girls had cards and gifts for Dad, and it was nice they could be here to celebrate the day. Stitch and Natasha did not want to be left out:

And yes! The missing luggage did arrive on Monday, so crisis averted. It is now Tuesday morning in real time (as opposed to blog update time). Lou has been up once and is now resting before breakfast. He is supposed to get visits today from both an Occupational Therapist and a Physical Therapist. I have a golf tournament so will be gone for the afternoon, but I am quite sure the TSCT will manage everything just perfectly.

I leave you with this pretty view from this morning:

Day 5 Quick Update

The Traveling Sisters Care Team finally arrived in Maine! They spent Friday night in a hotel in Washington DC. On Saturday morning, they had breakfast and made a short visit to the Smithsonian before going to the airport for their 1pm flight.

Once on the plane, there was some concern about whether it would actually leave. A somewhat disgruntled pilot arrived and there was more delay. They finally took off and arrived in Bangor at 3:20pm. Then began the real fun, as they got to play the “Where oh where is my luggage game.” Turns out, there was not one single piece of luggage on their plane, and it was filled with passengers from the previous night’s cancelled flight. Apparently 14 hours was not enough time to organize baggage.

The most important outcome of the day – the Traveling Sisters Care Team arrived safely, and we (especially me 😂😂😂) were delighted to see them both. They looked a little worse for wear upon arrival, but soon sorted that with a visit to the spa and some pizza.

Zombies arrive in Maine

They still don’t have their luggage. After hours of frustration trying to contact American Airlines, they have finally been told it will be delivered today. Our advice – don’t fly cross-country right now unless you absolutely have to. The personnel situation at the airlines is a total mess. We thank the Traveling Sisters Care Team for making this sacrifice to help us out for a week.

As for the patient, no news is good news. He is doing well, and not complaining about anything except our stupid mattress. Tomorrow we have an Occupational Therapist coming to tell us how to prepare the house for his recovery and rehab. LOL- might have been nice to have that conversation last week. Physical therapy comes again on Tuesday.

That is all we have for this morning. Will update later if anything exciting happens. And Happy Father’s Day! We will have a little celebration sometime today.

Stay Safe !!!

Day 4

I was hoping to announce the arrival of the Traveling Sisters Care Team, due in from California. But, their plane was cancelled last night and they have spent the night in DC. Hopefully their new flight is not cancelled, and they should arrive this afternoon.

Fortunately, Beth and Catherine are traveling together, so they can entertain each other. And yesterday was Catherine’s Birthday. We plan to celebrate it all week, once they get here. Here they are at the start of their journey yesterday.

Their plan today was to go out to breakfast and visit a museum before going to the airport.

We finished yesterday’s story with us arriving home and Lou trekking up the stairs to the bedroom. Things have gone reasonable well, although getting comfortable in the bed is sometimes difficult:

Stitch was disappointed he could not lay his head on Lou’s chest, so he took over the ottoman for the night.

Lou had a visit from the Homecare Physical Therapy group yesterday morning. Renee was quite helpful and also checked his bandage. She got him up and moving around, and gave him some exercises to keep the leg from getting too stiff.

The hardest part about this right now is Lou getting up from a sleeping position, then standing up. I try to hold his leg and keep it fairly straight while he turns off the bed. Then it is difficult for him to find a good place to leverage his weight as he pulls himself up. I imagine this will get easier as the days go by.

Looking good

It has been hard to get him to eat. I am sure that is not a reflection on my abilities in the kitchen. I made him a ham and cheese sandwich last night. Maybe it didn’t look exactly like this one, but I did toast the bread and put lettuce and tomato on it.

We slept reasonably well last night. At least I did. I was sound asleep at 4am when Lou woke me because he thought the dogs were into something. They seemed to be sleeping, but that was the end for me. I had already enjoyed a deep sleep so it was all good.

Lou has been up and got dressed. His knee pain is higher today, as they said it would be. The pain med they infuse into the knee is gone now, so he has to take his pain meds and also do his exercises. Since the TSCT did not arrive yet, I had to come up with breakfast. I went with a staple, English muffin with peanut butter and raspberry jam. The strawberries were a nice added touch 😉. And notice the real plate.

It is almost 11am, and I think the patient is napping. I expect he will be texting shortly to get out of bed. Check in tomorrow for more adventures.

Almost forgot, we woke up to a beautiful morning. Just got a note from Kathy, and she commented how the rain we have been getting is really making everything grow. And it is so green, as you can see here:

Stay Safe !!!

Update on Lou

Surgery went well. Lou will spend tonight in the hospital and come home tomorrow. It was a long day, but glad the surgery is done. He could have come home this evening, but his recovery nurse and I decided it was better for him to stay there tonight while he adjusts to moving around on his new bionic leg.

Here are a few snaps from the day. You can see, they got him up a few hours after surgery. The tiny physical therapist wasn’t much bigger than his leg!

Just got a text from him, and he is in a room and had some soup for dinner. I came home to relieve Teresa of dog duty. I will pick him up sometime tomorrow.

He was one of the last patients to be operated on today, and it was after 6pm when they came to get me to go see him. By this time, I was the only one left on the waiting room…

Stay Safe!