Saturday, December 18, 2010


Last Friday Dan and I made the trip back to the Salt Lake VA for a follow up appointment with Neurology. I always enjoy the trips to SL because it's totally undivided time with Dan. We left early that morning and took our time because the roads were rather slick - at least till we got to about Brigham City. After that the sun was shinning and it was a lot warmer down there. The snow had turned to rain and everything looked so pretty.

We saw a new Neurologist (one we hadn't seen before) and we both really liked him. He checked Dan out pretty good, gave him the usual Parkinson's and Alzhiemer's check list. Dan did really well on both counts. Although when he was walking down the hall the doctor turned to me and asked, "Does he always walk like that?" I told him "Yes, especially since he's fallen so many times." It looks like a rather LARGE duck on a slick surface. CUTE!! On the memory test he was able to remember all the previously taught words and could even spell "ocean" backwards. I was really impressed with that one because I was still trying to figure out what comes after "n".

Then the doctor called in another Neurologist (older gentleman who'd been around for a while). He gave Dan another "1,2" and declared that DAN DOESN'T HAVE PARKINSON'S NOR ALZHIEMER'S!!! Again, it was the Lithium that was presenting as such. They took him off all meds for those two disorders and sent us both home very, very happy!!

(Of course, we spent the night in Orem where Mark, Peggy, Omaei, Kalani, Haini, Kristi, Sitani, Marley and Elijah all joined us for dinner at the Asian Buffet and swimming at the hotel afterwards. We just had to celebrate the good news!!!)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Birthday Boy Hits 60 While Hitting the Floor

Yes, the Birthday Boy hit 60 this week, but only hours before he hit the floor.
Dan was sleeping peacefully in his bed when he woke up and decided to turn off his box fan sitting on the floor. However, he didn't quite turn it off like he intended to. Instead, he fell on it and it turned off never to turn back on again.
In the process of falling he tried to catch himself with his only "good" arm, the left one, which resulted in him throwing his shoulder out of joint. Immediately after that his head hit the hardwood floor and splat! It was not a pretty scene.

When he screamed, I came running to find him face down and unable to move. He was yelling and I was trying to help him up. Everything hurt!! Finally we got him rolled over and slowly we got him up. I gave him a cloth with ice in it to hold on his head but since his shoulder was in great pain and the right hand doesn't work so good, he had a real hard time keeping the ice in place.

We got him to the emergency room where they gave him a nice shot to put him to sleep while they worked on him. They put the shoulder back in place while I was watching and I didn't even know they had done it. The nurse said, "Well, the shoulder's back in place." and I said, "Wow, that was fast." Then they stitched his head. That took a lot longer. They had to put 5 stitches in the cut because it was so deep and 13 on top to hold it together.

When he woke up (I was begining to wonder if he would wake up) they let me take him home. I cleaned him up and changed his clothes and he laid down for a few minutes while I cleaned up. Cleaning up his floor was like cleaning up a crime scene. YUCK!! But, we had an early morning (8:00) appointment with the hearing clinic in Pocatello and needed to be there.

We hurried the best we could and we were just a little late for the appointment. I didn't think it was too bad for having spent the night in the ER.

After the appointment we went to breakfast at Perkins in Pocatello and took an Apple Pie home for Dan's birthday. It was good breakfast and it was good to relax for a few minutes that morning.

Back home, Dad laid down and I changed clothes to go to work at the pharmacy. We had a piece of pie that night when I got home and then Dad finished it off the next day.

Some days are just like that; but it's usually not on your 60th birthday.

Here are some pictures of Dan. Which one do you like the most?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Three Months Later ~ and Great News!!!

Lots has happened over the past three months and most of it has been great. Dan continues with his therapy, works hard at his exercises, gives his very best to all he tries to do and he's come a long way! Here are a few pictures of him with his PT Derk (Jolene's son-in-law, Jody's husband).
Derk was wonderful with Dan and helped him a lot but his services have been discontinued by the VA. We are in hopes of getting more PT services soon. However Aaron, his OT continues to come to the house twice a week (when we're home). Today, they explored the garden and Dan helped cut down the lettuce. They brought it in the house and washed it all off. My guess is we're having a salad for dinner tonight.

We went to SL for a re-evaluations with the Neurologist and the OT on June 11. The OT was very impressed with what Dan is now able to do with his hand. She worked with us for a couple of hours and showed Dan several new exercises to do to help loosen up the fingers. After the Neurologist examined him she suggested we get an x-ray of his shoulder and do a test on his arm to see where there might be damage to his nerves. Those have yet to be scheduled by the VA but we'll try to stay on top of them both.

We also went to see Dr. Kearl in Pocatello again last week. Dr. K examed Dan and made some suggestions for the hand/arm as well. He took lots of time with us and then said, "I'm pretty sure you don't have Parkinsons." WOW!! We are both so excited that he's going to be ok. Dr. K said that his slowness is more from his hesitency to move for fear of a fall and from muscle weakness. He thinks that in time Dan will regain his use of his hand and the brain will also clear out of the lithium.

We're talking about possible missions when I can retire. Anyway, it's been a busy couple of months and you can catch up on all the other exciting adventures we've endeavored since Dan's come home on our other blogsite:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday, April 11

Wow, the weeks just seem to slip right by again. Things are settling down great here at home. Dan works on his exercises everyday and when I come home to show them all to me. He really is getting stronger every day. He even went to Church today ~ all three hours. I helped him get ready this morning before I went to the pharmacy and he went with Tessha and Alisha. I'm so proud of him!!! No pictures, just lots of love!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saturday, March 3 ~Easter Eve

Yes, it's Easter Eve and although we don't have any little children at home to hide eggs or baskets with and no new Sunday clothes to wear we are forever grateful for the miracle of the Savior's resurrection. Literally, it touches close to home as we continue to celebrate the return of Dan. We know he was in the hands of the Lord and that our prayers were answered in his return to us. Also, to sit and listen to the Prophets and Apostles speak from the pulpit has been an awe inspiring experience.
Why is it that the Conference sessions seem so short whereas they used to seem so long? Regardless, as far as I'm concerned, General Conference could last for days.

One of the things Dan had me do as soon as he was settled in his new room was to put up his picture wall. Tada....

Than he went to reading all the family blogs from his bed. He's missed a lot of blogs but has been very busy catching up on them all now. As much as he loves reading the blogs he really loves making comments. He has been working the muscles in his right hand especially hard this past week just so he can start doing that again. Work it Daddy!
And the highlight of the day was when Dan and I got dressed up, went out to dinner and then to the Priesthood session of Conference. He wanted me to go with him just in case he needed to leave a little early and come home. Since I was with him we both sat out in the foyer on the couch but we still had a great view of the monitor in the chapel.Wonderful Easter Eve!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday, March 28 - Karly's Baptism Day

Coming Home from Church - Doesn't he look great?

Oops, I missed some days in there, didn't I! Sorry about that.
Actually, things are going very well. Friday, the Social Worker, Tyler came by and said that he would set up things with the VA for Dan. I got to meet Aaron, the OT in the drive way as he was leaving and I was coming home. He seems like a very nice guy who had some great ideas for Dan. He thought that the swelling in the hand was from lack of movement. Dan's pretty protective of it since it's been the source of much pain. However, he suggested that keeping it moving would keep the swelling down. And true to the test, Dan has been bending the fingers and making a much of a fist as possible. He's getting pretty good at it, too. Aaron will come by three times a week for a while and will help provide things like handles by the toilet and tub.

And guess who was inside when I went in. Dirk Andreson, Jolene's son-in-law and Jody's husband. He's going to be Dan's PT. Now, can you even ask for better. I said not. We are so excited to have him coming and helping Dan learn to get around again.

The nurse came by later and took his blood pressure, temperature and listened to his heart and lungs. She checked his feet which were white compared to the terrible blue that they've been.

Everyone is very nice and I'm sure will be a great support to Dan as he recuperates.
We are so very thankful for all the help.

Perhaps I was just tired or maybe forgetful when I went to bed without a post but we are doing great.

Saturday a nurse's aid came by and helped Dan shower and he looked so good when he was done. What a great way to start a Saturday. Dan continues to work on making a fist with his right hand. He's getting up to go to the bathroom when he really needs to. He also has a little urinal by his bed for those times when it's just too hard to get up. He still needs some support as he walks with the cane but he's getting stronger all the time. He knows to stop when he's dizzy and to go when he's comfortable. He's eaten at the table with us at least once a day and then I try to take his breakfast into his room.

A good friend of mine from school, Jackie, got us one of the nicer rectangular tables on wheels that they use at the hospitals. It's been wonderful to roll over to his bed or chair.

Then today he thought we should try to go to Church. I was pleased. It's been so long since either one of us was there. I had thought about going but didn't want to leave him home alone. And then he said, "Let's just go." We decided that I would wait at home with him and get him ready during RS and SS time and then we would try to be there before Sacrament started. Well, we tried pretty hard and if I hadn't forgotten to give him his noon meds before we left, and if we didn't have to turn around and go home for them, we might have made it before Sacrament. As it was, we got there just as people were going into the chapel. Dan made his way slowly but we were seated when the meeting began.

Being Fast and Testimony Meeting, Dan told me that he'd like to bear his testimony and asked me to go with him to the stand and stay beside him while he spoke. He was the second one to bear testimony and he did so in his strong and fervent manner. He expressed thanks to the ward for all the help they have provided, meals, prayers, comfort. And he bore witness that the Lord lives and loves and provides for us. He was kind and appreciative.

When he returned to the congregation, Pres. Reilly and Brother Park took him gently and helped him to his seat. Again, those Righteous Nephi warriors were by his side. It so reminded me of the morning we left home. Brother Cowley was in the rear and helped him to the car after the meeting. I can so see in my mind's eye a beautiful picture in a forest type setting where three Nephi warriors dressed in the amour of Priesthood gently and kindly carry a wounded warrior off the battlefield to the safety of the trees. Oh, that I were an artist! How I'd love to present to each of them a copy of this picture.

Dinner is done and Dan is resting on his bed. I will return to my room to work on Gracie's temple apron. Our home teachers are coming later. It is a good day!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday, March 25

I couldn't tell what day of the week it was most of today. It felt like Tuesday some of the time and like Friday some of the time. Some of the time I was right when I thought it was Thursday. I guess being back home with the Salt Lake thing behind us has stirred the pot in my head. I'm going to try real hard to remember that tomorrow is Friday and I don't work at the pharmacy again until Monday. Maybe by then I'll be straightened out.

It was wonderful to see and talk with Dan this morning when I got up. We had some things to take care of so it gave us a little time together. He is so patient waiting for help that it makes it all the sweeter to help him. I think I'm going to like that time each day. However, I am going to have to get up earlier to get it in before I leave. I'm so used to just getting up, taking care of me and going that this will require a little more time. But then, that's just what I wanted - more time with Dan.

The nurse from Creekside came over to assess Dan's needs today. Bless Tessha's heart for being here, answering questions and taking notes for me. I'm not sure how it will all works out, but I know it will. Dan is doing well enough that many of the concerns we had (wheelchair, widening the doors, etc.) will not be necessary. The PT will come tomorrow and see what we need for him to get around in the house. Thanks to Bill and Jeanne we now have a tub chair so bathing is going to work out good. We truly have been extremely blessed and we are forever grateful.

I'm off to bed now because tomorrow is Friday!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday, March 24

This is the day we've been waiting for. After 58 days of The Dan Diaries and 49 days with Dan in Salt Lake we are finally blogging that all is well again. DAN IS HOME!! We got his things all packed up, put on the awesome "BALTIMORE" jacket that Daniel and Dalynn sent for him,

checked him out of the Rehab Center, got him in the car and we enjoyed a nice ride home together. The last time we were in the car together he was unconscious and I no idea if we'd ever ride in a car together again, not to mention if he'd ever be awake again. Today we talked about what was ahead of us and gave thanks for the extra time with each other. We also talked with several of the children on the phone. I think we are all extremely grateful to still have Dan with us. Thanks to all the prayers and blessings and to a kind and loving Father who hears and answers those prayers.
Dan is now settled in a smaller but just as nice room upstairs where I can be close by. We got a monitor tonight so the girls can hear him downstairs and I can hear him in my room, too. My Visiting Teachers brought us in a wonderful dinner and we had a nice visit and then after dinner the High Priest Presidency came over to welcome Dan home. We are so blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives!!!
Here is the "Before" and the "After".


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday, March 23

I'm here in SL again and it seems like it's been forever since I was with Dan. It was so good to see him tonight. He was sitting up in his bed watching some TV. That's the first time I've seen him do that since before he was admitted. Perhaps it's not the first time he's done it but it was still nice to watch the "normalcy" of it all.

We had a nice visit and he told me how he was grateful to be coming home. He was very kind about what the family has done to help him. We also talked about some things he'll need at home. He suggested a "tub chair" that his roommate Maloy told him about. Ta Da... we now have a "tub chair" on the back seat of our car THANKS TO BILL AND JEANNE NELSON!!! They were so kind to let us use a seat Jeanne had bought for her mother. It's like brand new and will be perfect for Dan. Another problem solved. Besides, I got to see Shauna(spelling??) Nelson for a few minutes when I picked up the chair at her apt. Thank you!!!

Beth, the Willow Wood Care Center Social Worker had not send in the Aid and Assistance application that I completed and left for her over a month ago. It was still in Dan's dresser drawer tonight. I have spoken to her several times about it but... She's supposed to be going on vacation, but hopefully she'll be there tomorrow when we check Dan out. I'm really hoping that she'll be able to take care of it tomorrow. If not, Dan had the idea to take it right up to the VA hospital on our way out of town. Now, that sounds like a good idea.

Also, several (almost all) of the clothes I've brought down for Dan have disappeared. They may be in the laundry, but since someone else's shirt was hanging in his closet, I have to wonder where his clothes are hanging. We'll sort it all out tomorrow.

His right hand is swollen up again and there is a lot of dry skin on the palm. The therapist doesn't know why it swells up and then goes down and then swells up again. I hope we can find an answer to that soon. He has a hard enough time using it when it's not swollen and I'm mostly concerned about taking him home and not having a good dr. nearby. We could be "up a creek" again.

I can't believe the time has finally come for Dan to return home. He's excited and so are we. One more night.

Tomorrow whispers joy and today is going to be a great day!! Jamba Juice anyone?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday, March 22

Today Dan said that he was able to touch his right thumb to the index finger and he could feel both of them. He's excited to come home and we are soooo excited to have him come home. Tomorrow I go down and Wednesday we BOTH come home. YEAH!! I still have to say, "Thank you, Heavenly Father for letting him extend his mission a little longer. We still need him."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday, March 21

I know the time is drawing near when Dan will return home with us, but today was especially hard since it was Sunday (a day I normally would have spent with him) and because I wasn't working. It's easier to not think about it when I'm busy with work; pharmacy or school.

However, today I did get to pick up Amanda here in IF and take her back to Logan. Penny's back in the hospital, this time in Logan and Amanda needed a ride home, so...
we headed out of town around noon and enjoyed a nice ride. The weather was wonderful with sunshine and low winds. Somewhere close to Preston we called Willow Wood and talked with Dan. He was back from lunch and laying down in his room. He sounded good and we talked about what the plan to get him home this week. He said he has the strength in his legs now and can stand alone but he still has trouble walking because of balance. He has to have someone close by to help him. He said the PT was telling him that he will probably get movement back in his right hand but that it might take a while still. He can't grip and has to eat left handed. We talked about putting up a hand rail in the hall and also about using a four-footed cane. He knew a walker wouldn't help because he can't hold onto the right side enough to keep it from tipping to the left. When we get him home we'll be able to see just what we need to do to help him here. At least his room is ready for him.

We picked up some things from the apt. that Penny needed at the hospital and then we went on over. When we got there Granma, Kelly and Julia were all there. We had a real nice visit with everyone and then I headed home. I think I'll work a little on Gracie's apron and then turn into bed. Tomorrow is a full day again!! But Tuesday is just around the corner. :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday, March 20

I just got home from the pharmacy and called to say good night to Dan, but he's already asleep!! I missed my chance. The nurse asked if I wanted to leave a message in case he wakes up later and I asked her to tell him that I love him!!

Only two more days before I get to see him again and three more days till I bring him home. Miracles~

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday, March 19

It's late but I'm done. With the help of Bishop and Brother Anderson we were able to actually finish everything we needed to do today. I started early cleaning out Alisha's room and although it felt like it took forever, I did finally get it done.

I had three bags close by and things either went into the DI bag, the packing bag or the trash bag. We moved her things downstairs and arranged the room upstairs for Dan. Bishop stopped by and moved the vanity into the van to take to the DI and the desk into the garage. And with Mike's help they moved Dan's chair from downstairs up into his new room and Alisha's boxes into the garage. After that, all we had to do was make the beds. I'd kept the washer and dryer going straight since 10:00 or so this morning and the bedding was the last to come out.

Around 2:00 the nurse from Willow Wood called to say that they were changing one of Dan's meds. His blood pressure has been really low and they think it's because of the prostrate medication. They are going to try another prescription to see if it will work without affecting his blood pressure. He'll be on it for a week or two. I hope they'll have a dr. in Poc. for him to see by then. I tried to ask if I could talk to him, but she hurried and said goodbye before I got it out.

Regardless, I'm pretty excited that we were able to do the rearranging today. I have to work in the pharmacy tomorrow afternoon and I won't have to worry about his new room again till he gets home and we find out what he'll really need.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday, March 18

It's one day closer to Friday, again. But, this time I'm don't get to go to SL to see Dan. I'm already missing that time but I'm trying to focus my thoughts on getting the house ready to bring him home next Wednesday.

There's so much to do here that it will take all the time I can give it. I'm going to begin tomorrow by cleaning out Alisha's room. That may take a month? Hopefully, just one day because that's about all the time I have to give it. On Saturday, we'll do a through cleaning, ceiling down to hard-wood floor and then we'll put the furniture he'll need back in. I work in the Pharmacy Saturday afternoon and I really don't want to be doing this on the one Sunday that I have to go to Church. So, we will work quickly to get it done.

The exciting part of the day came early this morning. I was in my classroom at 6:30when my cell phone rang. It was Dan!! He was calling to wish me good morning and give me the good news that the Urologist had examined him and said, "Well, you're good to go." Take it as you like, it's still good news. That's the appointment that he had yesterday. I thought it was an appointment with the Neurologist but it was the Urologist.

He also told me that the PT has him sitting in the wheelchair and reaching out to a "ballet bar", holding on and trying to lift himself out of the chair. His right hand still doesn't work right and he can't grab with it yet. He's trying to lift himself out with only his left hand/arm. He said he could do it 5 times but no more. He asked for patience because he still isn't as strong as he'd like to be. Can you imagine. We're just so grateful to have him with us. He also said that his balance is still off a bit. He said he tends to lean on the person who's walking with him. He's walking, right? Miracle of miracles. He's walking!

I'm getting nervous about bringing him home and hoping that the Poc. VA will provide the help that he needs. I know I'm worrying about things I don't know, but the history there hasn't been great and currently I'm not too reassured that it will get better. We'll just wait to see and then turn to Plan B if it doesn't work.

I tried to call Bill and Jeanne Nelson to thank them for their letter, offers of help and the gift they sent. I had to leave a message but hope to reach them soon. Jeanne has a chair that she bought for her mother to use in the bathtub. She's offered to let us use it if we'd like. I think we'll take her up on her offer. It is so kind of her to think of us. I will treasure her letter for a long time.

Will just sent me an email about a blog written by the mother of a little boy who drowned, went into a coma and after many days has returned to life. It's a great story and I'll include the blog site here for anyone else interested in reading her story. It reminded Will and me of Dan's story. Here is her blog site and you can also read the story at: You'll have to copy and paste since I don't know how to add a link right here. Anyway, it's a wonderful story of faith and testimony. Thank you, Will! Thank you for everything, especially your thoughts and faith in the Lord. You were right on!

Well, it's time to get to the Pharmacy so I'll leave it here for the day. Tomorrow I'll get back with dirt on my hands, laundry in my basket and dust in my hair. You've just gotta love it. I love you!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wednesday, March 17

This is going be a short one tonight. I called Dan this morning but he was gone to a Neurologist appointment. I didn't realize that he had one today, but I'm glad they're stay on top of things! I guess I'll find out what they said later.

I called Bobby Hackworth and left a message that I'd be bringing Dan home on the
24th. She called back to say that she'd sent over a nurse from Creekside to see what he needed when he got home. I sure hope we're not going to be dumped on by the VA again. I'm a little nervous that they won't really be of much help for us when Dan gets home.

Blessing!!! In the mail today there was a sweet note from Bill and Jeanne Nelson. They are Mark's parents and although Dan and I don't get to see them too often; weddings, baby showers, etc. some of our kids have spent quite a bit of time in their home with Mark and Laura. Well, Jeanne wrote this very kind letter and offered us a bathtub chair that she had bought for her mother but didn't need anymore. She offered to help in any other way we might need and I so appreciate her kindness. She also included some cash for us. I still cry when I think of it. It is too late tonight so I'll call her tomorrow. She mentioned that she was on her way to the temple and would put Dan's name on the prayer roll, too. WOW!! One of her last statements was "Life definitely mixes the blessings in amongst the trials." She's right. Life is full of trials but it's the wonderful people we know who bring the blessings; people like Bill and Jeanne.
Well, it's late and I need to braid Alisha's hair for her track meet tomorrow so I'll go and get that done. My bed is calling me tonight.
Love you all!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday, March 16

Good news!!! Good news!!!
I didn't get to talk to Dan today, but... (of course, that's not the good news)
Drum roll... tada... The catheter and foley are out!!! YEAH! Good going, Dan. Oops, that doesn't sound exactly appropriate, does it? I don't mean literally, but I'm excited for him. He's wanted that out since he woke and found out it was there. Now, freedom. I know it sounds silly to be so excited over that little thing, but it also means that he'll be able to handle being home better now. I was just a little worried about it being in and him coming home and having problems. But, nada nada.

Also it was the reason for the infection that's caused the low grade fever he's had most of the time. Now they are giving him antibiotics for the infection and he'll actually be able to get over it.

Small steps toward improvement means HE'S GETTING BETTER!!!
One week from today and I'll be going down to get him and bring him back home.
Who ever said miracles don't happen anymore? Let this be a testament - they do!! and the Lord continues to bless our lives. Dan's awake, alive and coming home.

I just listened to my cell phone messages and guess what. The first one was from Dan!! I couldn't believe it. He said he was just calling to tell me that he loves me and appreciates what I do. He told me how good it feels to have the catheter out and the fever gone. He did say that he still isn't too strong but that's ok. It will come with time and therapy. Wow, I probably won't delete that message for a long time. At least not until I can hear him in person.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday, March 15

Every week has it's Monday and today was this ones. I don't mind Mondays at all. Actually, it's usually the day I have the most energy. After that it starts to fade.

I talked with Dan this afternoon. I think it was more of a bother for the nurses because one asked, "Don't they have a phone in that room?" Without a phone, they have to get Dan up from the bed, in a wheelchair and take him to the phone. Then they have to take him back and put him back to bed. I know it's a hassle for them, but I really wanted to check on him so I asked them to get him for me.

He said his hand is waking up. He has feeling in all by the little finger now. However, it still really hurts him and he needs pain meds for it. He had OT therapy again today but he didn't say much about it. He did say that they had given him some pain meds last night and he finally got some good sleep. They haven't taken out the foley and catheter. I talked to them about taking it out last night before I left, but they are hestitant to do it. He had a fever today and I think it's probably from an track infection. He's battled them ever since he had it put in. I do wish they could take it out and get him on some antibotics for the infection. Perhaps I'm just impatient, but I am.

Before we hung up, he told me over and over that he loved me and thanked me a hundred times for my help. He said, "No matter if our plan doesn't work, please know how much I love you." That was kind of scary because I thought our plan was working and wondered what he knows that I don't know. Honestly, I don't know and he kept reassuring me that he loves me. I'll leave it there.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday, March 14

Home again,home again, jigitity jig. I won't go any further because I think it says something about a pig going home. Pig or not, I am home again; another weekend with Dan at it's end. I'm getting good at packing and unpacking quickly. I've learned that I don't need much on these trips and it's lots easier when I get home to leave some of my things in the suitcase for the next week.

Next week? Just the thought of it make me sad. I'm not going down next weekend. I'm going to stay home and get the bedroom ready for Dan. However, I am going down on the following Tuesday and will bring him home on Wednesday. By then it will have be 49 days since he's been home. That's just short of the number days he was gone on Reforger when we were in the army. I thought it was a long time back then and I'm sure it's a long time now. It's going to be so nice to have him home.Well, we'll wait till he gets here to shout Hurrah. This weekend was good enough for now.

Today I went to the Home and worked on my computer while he was at lunch. I couldn't wait till someone brought him back to his room so I went and got him when he was done with his lunch. He wasn't feeling very good today. He said he didn't sleep good last night so he rested while I worked on my computer. However, before he went to sleep he wanted me to read him the blogs from this past week. Obviously, it didn't take nearly as long as last Sunday when we read them all.

He reminded me of Robert Hulet's name and of the second thing he told me that I had forgotten. He said that it was about his right hand. It was beginning to heal and he had more feeling in his fingers. (I told you he would remember and he could tell me, even if I couldn't remember at all.)

Like I said, he didn't feel too chiper today so I worked on the 2009 blogs - three more to go while he slept. He was having some pain in his hand so I told the nurse and she gave him some ibuprofen for it. I hope it helps him. They also said they'd make sure he had some more before bed so he could sleep tonight.

I headed home around 5:00 and it was still light when I got home at 8:00. It wasn't snowing or raining, but there was a cold wind all day. We went to daylight savings time today. Spring is coming!!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday, March 13

I'm back at the room a little earlier tonight. Dan was getting ready to go to dinner and I want to go to Provo and spend a little time with Kristi and the kids. Haini is working tonight. I actually just came back to get the gift that the Christiansen's sent for my "grandkids". I didn't have it with me when I saw them last night so I'll get it to them tonight. Here is a picture of the darling crayons that Alexis, Lucy and Chase and Candice made for Sitani, Marley and Elijah. They're going to have so much fun with these.

This morning it was raining really hard and now it's snowing lightly. Of course, I pack my coat every weekend except this one. Oh well. I do hope it's not snowing tomorrow because I don't particularly enjoy driving on slick roads.

I had lunch with Dan at the Care Center and we sat with another couple who live there. The gentleman (I'll have to remember his name later)(Sunday- Dan says his name is Robert Hulet)had grown up in Pocatello so I told him about how both sets of my grandparents lived there. I told him I used to visit them in the summers. I asked him if he knew where Walker Monuments on 5th S. was. He said that he did and I told him that my mother's family lived in the basement house next door. He said, "The Allison's owned it." and I said, "Yes, that's my mom's family." He knew Uncle Dean real well because Dean's wife, Aunt Joyce is his sister-in-laws sister. (I think that's how it went.) Anyway, he knew about Dean working at Martin's and laying carpet with Fred. It was very fun to meet him and hear his stories about Dean.

After lunch we went back to Dan's room where he rested most of the afternoon. I read my book and we visited now and then when he would wake up. He was having some pain because he was passing clots in the catheter. They said they will take out the foley tomorrow morning and then practice getting him up to go to the bathroom. The clots are probably from an infection and it won't heal up with the foley in. Hopefully, that will go smoothly. It's one of the big steps left.

I was able to get a copy (partial copy) of the Dr. report from Thursday and the Neurologist said that the new diagnosis is "Possible Drug induced Parkinson's". They are speculating that the Lithium has caused Parkinson's like symptoms but they aren't sure. So, because the Sinemet appears beneficial Dan will continue with the current dosage. He also said that the "weakness is likely lingering weakness from hospital." He recommends continued OT/PT, remove the foley catheter and continue Sinemet. Dan has an appointment for a Movement Disorder on June 11.

Here is a picture of Dan's night stand. It's fun because the pictures are from home, the apples are from Paunie, the white card from Gwenevere and the flowers from Bev and Julie. Sitani drew Dan a picture of the Holy Ghost. Can you see the "Hole"? Marley painted him a beautiful pink picture and Grace hung up her 7th grade Student Body card so that she was included on the Wall of Fame.

I'd better get headed down to Provo before it gets any later. I need to see the Sugies~~

I'm back and here are the Sugie kids with fun, new crayons.

Thank you Alexis, Lucy, Chase and Candice!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday, March 12

No, it's not Thursday anymore. It's Friday and I'm love it. I'm in SL tonight and I've spent the afternoon/evening with Dan. He's doing so well. He was sleeping when I got there so I just sat in a chair and read my book until he started waking up. I didn't want to disturb him till he was really ready to wake up, so I just watched as he turned side to side and slowly opened his eyes. As soon as he saw me I jumped up to go to him and he said, "Oh, hello. How long have you been there?" I assured him that I wasn't there very long but was glad he was awake.

I sat on his bed and we talked about everything that had happened this last week. He was able to share information from his Dr. appointments and he followed my talk about what's going on at home. It was great to be able to communicate again.

His right hand is slightly swollen again and although they've taken x-rays and determined that it's not broken, something still isn't right with it. I rubbed eucalyptus lotion on both of his arms and hands. They were so dry and he said it felt good to have them rubbed.

Gracie, Stephen and his brother Chris stopped by. Gracie had been tending Jace in CA with Laura this past week. Mark was getting home today so Gracie and Jace flew into Phoenix where Mark picked up Jace and Gracie came on into SL. Stephen and Chris picked her up at the airport and came over to visit Dan. It was fun to see them but while we were visiting, Dan had to go to dinner. Soon after that the Sugies also came up to visit. We had quite the family gathering and when Dan was done eating he joined all of us in the Family Room.

After everyone left, we got Dan ready for bed and when he was tucked in I headed back to my room.

Hey Gracie, "Today was a GOOD day."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thrusday, March 11

Now it's really Thursday and tomorrow I get to go see Dan. I'm so tired tonight that I don't quite have the umph to be excited but I'm sure I'll get there by tomorrow morning. I was going to pack tonight but even that can happen in the morning.

I called the Rehab. Center today around 2:30 to see how Dan's appointment with the neurologist went, but he wasn't back to the Home yet. I knew I was going to be at the pharmacy till much too late to talk to him, so I guess we'll talk about it tomorrow.

I'm going to bed now so I can be rested when I make the drive down.
Good night.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday, March 10 ~ It's Thursday, right???

It's Thursday, right??? Please, it's Thursday? I'm so excited to go to SL and see Dan again that I think I can't wait more than just tonight. If I'm not careful, I'll get up in the morning and head south instead of north.

I got to talk to him today and he sounds soooo good. He said Cornell was there and they had just gone outside for a little bit. It's been beautiful down there so I'm sure they enjoyed the fresh air. Thank you Cornell!! Also, he said that Julie and Bev had stopped by to visit him. I'm so glad that he's had visitors. I'm sure he really appreciates it, too. Thank you Julie and Bev. I just wish I had been there to visit with you, too.

He said the Therapist had him up and walking for short distances today. He's getting stronger in his legs and he can tell it. He said the X-ray on his arm showed no breaks but there's some pretty damaged tissue there.

We talked about him coming home in a couple of weeks and what he's going to need. He seems to be thinking pretty well about things and he had some suggestions. I'm excited to have him upstairs for a while.

And.... drum roll.... ta,da!!! Guess what was in the mail today. Yap, you're right... a little yellow envelope, sweet card that said, "Hope this helps with your next trip to see your sweetheart." Another gift card and some more cash. Even if I never believed in Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, a Fairy Godmother or any other fictitious hero, I know there is goodness all around us. Thank you someone!!! and thank you everyone!!! We have been so extremely blessed this past month! Thank you, Heavenly Father.

Oh my goodness! I just went into the kitchen and there is ANOTHER WONDERFUL dinner from the Christensen's. I admit, I ate some before I returned to the computer but Thank You Christensens. WOW!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tuesday, March 9 - Dalynn's Birthday

It's Tuesday night and it's getting later as it goes but I didn't want to go to bed without posting about Dan today. The bummer side of it is that I didn't get to talk to him again. However, I talked with quite a few other people about him.

I talked with Bobbi Hackworth, the Social Worker at the Pocatello VA and she was a big help. She said to let her know a few days before we bring him home and she'll send a team up to do a house assessment to determine what we'll be needing. She really seemed to know what she was doing and when I said, "You're good at this." She said, "Yap, I've been doing it for a long time." We talked about PT and OT therapy, respite care, home health care and something else that I can't remember right now. I think she'll really help us get things together when we know what we'll need.

I also talked with Beth Starr, the Social Worker at the Nursing Home and she said she'd get the applications for Home Health and Respite and Aid and Assistance going. She also said that at their meeting today they talked about Dan's progress and said the OT had him up working on balance and walking. They took another x-ray of his right arm/hand today but she didn't know the results of that yet.

I told her I'm looking at picking him up on the 24th of March if we can work it out. He can stay until the 25th but I think we'll try for the 24th and get him home and settled.

I came home from the pharmacy tonight to a wonderful, hot, yummy dinner from the Christensen's again. Can you believe it? I am blown away, but I'm full and happy.
Thank you so much!! Tessha say's Amy needs to start a cooking class and she'd sign up. I'll second that!

Some other things happened today, too, but I can't remember what they are. Maybe I'll remember tomorrow.

Anyway, this is what I have from today~ for now. :-)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday, March 8

Not much to say tonight. I didn't even get to talk with Dan today. I called there early this morning and tried to reach the Social Worker. She wasn't in today and the receptionist didn't know anything about how Dan was doing. I thought I'd get a chance to call later in the day, but not so today.

I did call Bobbi Hackworth, the Social Worker at the Poc. VA. She called back around 5:30 but I was at the Pharmacy. She left an encouraging message on my phone as asked me to call her in the morning. I'll try again then. I'm still not real sure what Dan will need when he comes home. He's making progress everyday so who knows how he'll be in a couple of weeks.

An OT friend of mine from work was telling me about a tub bench that is used for a regular tub. It might be something Dan could use, saving remodeling the bathroom right now. It needs to be done, but not yet. She also had some other ideas to explore.

I know he's going to need someone around who can help him but again, how much? I don't know.

I miss talking to him but it's really too late for me to call now. I guess I'll just have to wait till morning. I've got to call Beth Starr back in the morning anyway. Maybe then I'll get to talk to him.

Until then, I'll just go to bed!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday, March 7

Another full Sunday, but I'll admit I slept in a little this morning. It felt soooo good to take it easy for a while. But soon I was getting anxious to see Dan so I packed up, checked out and headed across town. It's funny how my routine has changed from my normal everyday life to frequent trips to SL. I almost feel at home down there now. I drive down a street knowing what I'm going see next and where I want to go, rather than guessing like I did before all of this. I wondered if in a few years I'll look back and remember driving through Salt Lake City. You know how when you have a flashback of somewhere you've been before. Just a thought..

When I got to the Home Dan was not in his room. It almost unnerved me to see his empty, made-bed. Like, "Where is Dan? I want to see him." I guess coming that close to losing him has really made an impact on me and I don't ever want to get that close again ~ at least not for many years to come. Maybe not even then!!

However, all is well and I actually found him in the dinning room having dinner with the other patients. He looked so natural sitting there at a table of four visiting with his roommate, Maloy and another older couple. I could see him in my minds eye sitting at a dinner table with other superintendents and just chatting away about things.

When he saw me he said, "Hi honey, pull up a chair and sit down with us" which I promptly did. Right off he said, "I have three things I want to tell you. I'll tell you now so I don't forget." I got the impression he had given this quite a bit of thought before I'd gotten there so I was excited to hear what he had to say.

"First of all, thanks for coming to visit me all the time. I know I'm not easy to be with but I really appreciate you always coming." I'm sorry to say that I can't remember what the second things was. (And he's worried about his memory.) I'll have to ask him later what it was and he'll remember! The third thing was that he'd been thinking about my dad a lot. He said, "Remember when your dad had his first heart attack? Remember how he couldn't reach his arm out very far and how difficult it was for him to walk? Well, he just kept working on his arm, stretching it out further and further until he could finally make it straight. And he started walking, little bits at a time but he kept at it till he could walk a long ways. I want to be like him that way. He didn't complain, he just kept working at it. I want to be like that, too." Those were the things he wanted to tell me. When I remember, or when he reminds me of the second thing, I'll let you know.

Anyway, I left them to eat their dinners and I went to his room. We had talked on Friday about me reading the Dan Diaries to him so he could hear what had happened to him in a sequential order. He still wanted to do that so I went down and hooked up the laptop. I was pleasantly surprised when I could get a wireless connection without any trouble.

I worked on moving my 2009 blog posts to Word for a while and then I went down to see if he was done eating. He was just patiently waiting for someone to wheel him back to his room. He thought he'd like to sit up in the wheelchair for a little bit while I read so he could see the pictures better.

I started with my other blog post explaining why I was starting The Dan Diaries and then we worked our way right through the whole experience. About halfway through he said he wanted to lay down so we made that change and then I just kept on reading. Now and then he'd say something like "I don't remember that at all." Mostly, he didn't remember anything till he was out of ICU but still at the hospital when Tessha was there. But, he didn't have any idea what she meant when she'd tell him that he was at the VA hospital. Now and then he'd tell me what he could remember about something. He said again today that he could hear me tell him that if he needed "to go" it would be ok. He said he was in the Celestial Room and he could hear me calling his name but he couldn't find me. He said he looked around everywhere but I just wasn't there.

I read right through to last night's post and we were both pretty tired by the end of it. I fed him one of the "peaches and cream" jellos that Haini brought up to the hospital for him and encouraged him to eat the grapes that Paunie brought for him. Then I gave him a drink of Apple Juice that Haini brought and a good bye kiss.

I can't say that it's getting any easier to leave him, but it does help to know that we can visit again next week.
I had a good ride home with nice clear skies till Tremonton where the snow on the ground was getting sparce but the clouds were low. I called Dalynn and told her that I was passing Portage. That was something Dan always like to do wherever we'd pass by. Dalynn grew up there so he'd call her and let her know we were driving by. We had a nice visit tonight and it broke up my drive a bit. Luke also called me and we talked about Karly's baptism. He's going to look at flights for me and let me know if it's something that will work out. Daniel and Dalynn's family are also planning on being there. Should be fun.

Well, I'm home and unpacked and in my pajamas. My post is done, I've read it to Alisha who is sitting here on the floor by me and I'm on my way to bed. Tomorrow will be much earlier than today, for sure!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saturday, March 6

Obviously, Sitani and I had a great time last night and it felt good to sleep in a little this morning. When we did get up we went downstairs for breakfast. The little guy ate a whole waffle. I guess he was hungry. Pretty soon Gracie got here and we visited a little before Kristi and Haini brought Marley and Eli.

After they had left for the Temple, Gracie and I took the kids to the K-Mart around the corner. It was a good way to spend some time. Gracie had to leave to go back to Provo because she was going snowboarding with some friends. She gently asked if I really thought I could take care of all three alone at the pool. Duh? I don't think so. So, we didn't get to go swimming but that was best because they were all pretty tired. We fed them a little lunch and by then Kristi and Haini were back to pick them up.

I've so loved having this time with the kids and grandkids. It's been one of the blessings of it all.

After they all left I headed over to the Nursing home. Dan was aware and eager to talk today. Paunie and Larry had already been there and had left some fruit and cookies for him. He had lots to tell me. I eventually got out a pad of paper and pen to write things down so I wouldn't forget anything. Dan told me he could remember Tessha being with him but he thought they were in Baltimore.

He also told me he had seen himself at the Hawker Funeral Home all laid out in the casket. Only thing was he wasn't dead and he knew it. He could quite figure out to let us know, too. Again, he told me about traveling across the country; being in Colorado and other places. He said he could hear me talking to him and he tried to find me but he couldn't.

He is able to move himself around in his bed a lot better than before. He can use his feet to push himself back up to the top of the bed and he can slowly and painfully turn from side to side. It's hard to watch because you can tell it hurts him, but he just bites his lip and keeps moving. His left hand was a concern for him today. He said the therapist has told him to work on moving the fingers a little. He spend lots of time this afternoon holding his hand up in the air and trying to move the fingers. He says he can tell a difference from before. I think that in time he'll be able to use his right hand again, however he is getting good at feeding himself with his left hand.

He sat up in the chair to eat his dinner and did a pretty good job. He only needed my help getting the last of the soup and apples out of the bowls. It's good to see him eating and gaining his strength back.

I will need to connect with Bobi Hackworth from the VA in Pocatello to start the application for Respite Care. Beth said the other day that she didn't think I needed to start that yet, but we might be bringing him home in a couple of weeks and I'd love to have as much ready for him as we can. Also, the Nursing Home team is meeting on him next Tuesday. I won't be able to be there but I'll talk with Beth afterwards for any information I need. He has an appointment on the 11th with the Neurologist at the VA. I really do wish I could be there for that one, but...

I sure hope we can keep his health care professionals here in SL rather than in Pocatello. I'm really going to push that whenever possible. I think it's essential to him.

Well, I think that does it for another night. I'll add some pictures of when the kids were here this morning and then I'm going to bed. Love you all!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday March 5

Friday finally came and yes, I was ready!! My bag was packed and my errands were done and I was on the road by 11:00. I thought I was going to run into some snow because the skies were cloudy and drops were starting to fall. But, by the time I got to Pocatello the rain was stopping and the skies were clearing. It wasn't what I'd call "sunny" but I sure felt warm inside just knowing that in a few short hours I would get to see Dan.

I checked into the room and the desk clerk recognized me, told me it was good to have me back and gave me an upgraded room (just to be kind). He even asked how Dan was doing. I really like this place because of things just like that.

As soon as I could I left for the Nursing Home. When I got there Dan was just chilling out on his bed. He said he'd had PT that morning and was pretty tired so I just sat with him and we talked about how things were going. He asked me how he got from the East coast to the West coast. He said he'd gone from one to the other but he didn't know how. I honestly didn't know he'd even done that. I think it might have been a thought he had while he was unconscious. He also said he made the choice to come back. He said he looked for me for a long time but couldn't find me so he fought real hard to come back.

He thought he'd done a lot of traveling and kept asking me if I remember when......

I told him that we'd gone to Baltimore in Oct and he remembered that. I told him we went to St. George after Christmas and he said that was the last thing he remembered. It was soon after we got home from St. George that he became so ill. I tried to tell him that he began not eating, drinking, walking or talking and that one morning I found him on the floor by his bed. He said today that he remembered Dean Cowley being at the house but he didn't know why he was there. He didn't remember the trip to SL, listening to his sisters on the phone or the ER room. Needless to say, he didn't remember the ICU, either. He did remember me telling him to relax and if he needed to go, it would be ok. I think he's remembering little bits of things at a time.

I taped up a bunch of pictures of the family on his wall for him. We talked about each one for a few minutes and he remembered all of them, where we were and what we were doing. He could even name the kids.
After that he tried to sign some papers. He had to use his left hand and it was very difficult for him but he really tired hard. His right hand doesn't work very good and he says he doesn't have any feeling in his right baby finger or ring finger. His hand and arm aren't as sore as they were but they still hurt. He said the PT said it was "waking up slowly".

Beth came in and we talked about filling out the application for assistance. She said to just leave it with her and she would fax it off next week. She's been so helpful and kind. I hope I've done it correctly. Kristi and Haini had come up by then so they signed as witnesses of Dan's signature. They even brought Dan up some yummy treats; apple juice, cheese and crackers and (eat your heart out Alisha-) colored Gold Fish.

We visited a few minutes with Dan's roommate and then turned off Dan's light and covered him up for bed.

The Sugies and I went for a hamburger at Artic Circle. Elijah just couldn't get enough of Kristi's cone. He hung on for quite a while. Look how red his face is. Sitani had his bag packed to stay the night with me and even as I write this, he is jumping on the bed and eating popcorn. While I was adding pictures to the blog, he was taking pictures of our room. He's pretty good with the camera (just like his mom). Here are a few of his shots.

I need to finish this off for the night so that I can play with him. Haini and Kristi are bringing Marley and Elijah back tomorrow and the kids will stay with me while they go to the Temple with some friends. We're going to go swimming and sit in the hot tub while they're here. After that I'll get to go back over to see Dan again.

Sounds like a great weekend for me, uh!!!