Sunday, May 22, 2016

22 May 2016 - Shrimping

A week of preparing students for the Seminary assessment. Trying to finish up the last of the Old Testament.
Wednesday Stephen went on a Shrimping trip with Don (from his work) who had purchased a new boat with sonar and an enclosed cabin. Stephen came home with 80 prawns and we had some that night.
At the back of the boat.

Always following the boats.

Don and his friend in the cabin.

Going under the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

15 May 2016 - Home Again....

A busy week as usual. Coming back from St. George, Utah where I took care of Francene at the Red Cliffs Health and Rehab.
Francene smiling on Monday.
   On Monday a nurse who had admitted Francene was back on and she noticed that from Francene's admit to that day there had been some significant decline in her abilities to communicate, focus and respond physically to command. She was talking fairly well at breakfast time but after PT she was too tired to respond anymore though she requested to be outside in the courtyard and I complied (she did get sunburned even sitting in the shade). Her physical therapist's name is Dawn and she talks to Francene and lets her know what she is doing and why. She sat Francene in front of a tall mirror and asked her to straighten herself up which she did. She stated that it was as important to open the hands up as to practice gripping. She explained that Francene needed to have core strength so that they could work on other areas. They worked on some balance but mainly just sitting up straight and keeping her head up. She has PT every day during the week. That afternoon the Speech Therapist came by in her room. He shut the door and told me not to say anything as she needed to concentrate on his session. He asked her questions about the day of the week, what month it was, what time it was, etc. to determine her orientation. She answered everything correctly. She was sometimes get distracted and look at me but the therapist would draw her attention back and get her to answer correctly. He showed her 3 pictures for 45 seconds and then hid them and asked her to tell him what the pictures were. She got the first set correct but the 2nd set she said "newt" instead of "frog". She took time to answer some of the questions especially "how long have you been here?" If she didn't know she would look at the wall with a glazed look until he brought her attention back and gave her more clues on how to figure out the days. She would get distracted from sounds outside the room but did fairly well. That night Jay and Mindy came by for FHE. Laura gave a lesson on courage then she planned a talent show for everyone to participate. She did a magic disappearing bear trick and Lydia say to Frozen and Clayton did some basketball shots. Jay was a juggler and Mindy did the hula hoop. Francene and I just enjoyed ourselves. 
Jay and Mindy doing their thing.

Clayton shooting hoops. 
Jay the juggler.

Lydia singing with her microphone that she made.

Laura making the bear disappear.
The courtyard where Francene likes to eat.
  Tuesday was better than the rest. Francene was in the eating area for breakfast but the food was not there. When it came I would put food on the fork and then ask her to take it and feed herself. She was able to accomplish that task without too much spillage. She did leave the fork in her mouth a few times and had to be reminded to take it out. She lifted a small glass of water to her lips and drank and almost made it back without spilling. She seemed pretty happy with her efforts and she did well.           After breakfast we sat in the courtyard until the van driver came for us to go to a doctor appointment. It was actually the PA who has been seeing Francene for several years. He did not know who asked for the appointment and did not know about all the strokes etc. that Francene has had. He works with the doctor who saw her with one of her strokes and he wanted a follow-up. It was fortuitous since she needed an order for probiotics and to stop crushing her pills. We took care of both those issues. He said he would follow up with the doctor and he seemed very nice and concerned.
This afternoon was the meeting of the care center for discharge planning. That was essentially to discuss her long term plans. They wanted to know if she planned on being back in her apartment and we had already agreed that that would not be the case. What we would like to see is her improving to the point of living in an assisted living facility. They agreed that that would be a good goal and Francene seemed pleased. The Social Worker came by tonight and asked some of the same questions. I mentioned that we discussed Francene moving to the Seattle area where she has family 2 nieces, a nephew and myself, but there would be logistics to take into consideration and all would depend on if Francene desired to do so. The SW seemed pleased that we would consider Francene's desires and she mentioned that most families there just tell her what they plan for the client without asking their desires. 
   Francene was much more alert and able to hold a conversation though still in a whisper. She held up her right hand and had picked up her right leg. She told me that she would be alright after I left so I hope to see her continue to improve. I mentioned that Leonard would not be available to visit until the 18th of May and Catherine spoke about coming again around the 20th of May. I also hope to return with Stephen soon.
  On Wednesday, Francene had her hair permed and cut. That was after breakfast and PT so she was exhausted and couldn't really focus on Speech therapy. She did seem to enjoy her hair style though. That evening Mindy and the kids came by to spend my last evening there with Francene. We played with balloons that I had purchased to help Francene raise up her hand and bat at the balloon for PT. She seemed pretty animated and she actually spent the whole evening awake and talking with me. She was ok with me offering a prayer before I left and I didn't feel right about leaving her alone while she was still awake.

  Thursday was just a half day with Francene and then I flew home. The airport in St. George is new but very small. The only open the security lanes 1 hour before your flight and there's only a few flights per day. Mindy had to take me there early so she could go see some houses that were on the market. I flew to SLC for a 45 minuter layover then on to Seattle where Stephen picked me up after all of his visits to members in the stake. We got home around 10:30 and it was too dark to see all the work he put into the house and yard. 
While mom was gone Samuel got his braces
off. Now his sporting a super white smile.
  Friday after I taught Seminary (Daniel 6-12) I came home and cleaned a little prior to going to the last class for the school year on the Old Testament by Shauna Seamons, the CE regional supervisor over our stake and others. It was a great lesson on Jonah and being a "finisher". The church has noticed that there are a lot of members who do not "finish" their covenants, their missions, their church activity. They are concerned. Youth today are not taught how to handle disappointment and trials so they just give up. It was a good lesson.
My birthday present in my secret garden

Look at the new garden box down below the arbor. We put
in pumpkin on the right side.

More garden box on the left with butternut squash.

Front yard trails to the left.
  After I came home from class, Stephen took the car and went to get his blood drawn. That left me home to do laundry and clean around the house and start on the yard. Stephen had put another strawberry/garden bed under the Kiwi arbor and we needed to fill it with dirt. I dug out around the blueberry bush and pulled tons of weeds. We also finished up most of the front area that needed more dirt. By the time we could go to a movie or something we were too tired and I had to work the next day so a late night was out of the question. 
Front yard starting to flower out.

Back yard with new fern and vine maple.

Secret Garden flower are getting bigger 
   Saturday, I worked at the Birth Center for the first time in awhile. They gave me 3 antepartum patients so it was very easy and I was grateful even though they were in 2 halls and there was a lot of walking between rooms which was good exercise for me. The Lord blessed me not to forget too many things, for which a was very grateful. By the time I got  home I had an hour before we were to go to the Senior Presentation, where Stephen was the keynote speaker. He did a great job. We were treated to a dinner of lasagna, bread stick, salad and cake for dessert. I was pretty sick to my stomach after that so I went out and sat in the car as soon as I good get away. When we got home Samuel, who served at the dinner, wanted to go to the youth dance at Maple Valley so we were up late again.
  Today at church Sr. Lisa Manning spoke along with Joseph Woodland. Stephen was not there due to a ward conference of the Young Single Adult ward. In RS the lesson was on tithing and I commented  that there is no such thing as a part tithe payer. You either pay 10% which is a tithe or you pay less than 10% and that's just an offering not a tithe. I think I may have offended a sister in front of me so after the lesson I spoke with her to make sure that she was OK. She still seemed a little upset but she said she understood and she was alright. Choir was after that and we are now home and trying to keep the Sabbath day Holy. What a blessing  the Sabbath day is for all of us.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

8 May 2016. - Mother's day

   I have such a wonderful husband, without whom I would not be a mother. He is the joy of my heart, the light of my path and the motivation for all things good. I  can't imagine life without him. I have a beautiful new pair of gold hoop earrings thanks to him and a beautiful daughter in the jewelry business and another daughter who drove the 1st here. Thanks to all of them!
Seeing Francene at breakfast on Saturday.
   The news. I taught Seminary three days during the week so that I could leave for St. George on Friday after Seminary. Since Sr. LeDosquet likes the book of Daniel so much I left those lessons for her and I jumped to Haggai, Joel and Amos, three of my favorite prophets. Stephen took me to the airport on Friday morning and I flew to SLC and had a 2 1/2 hour layover before flying to St. George. I was picked up by Mindy Langford, Jay Langford's wife, and their kids and taken to Francene's place where I got ahold of her old Nissan Sentra that was pretty much falling apart but still worked. I then followed Mindy back to the Rehab center where Francene was to be brought back from the ER. We waited there for a little while and guess who shows up but Jessica and Sarah. Their good husbands let them come to support me and their aunt Francene. It was so wonderful to see them and I was very grateful for their presence.
   I figured it would take a long time to wait for a discharge from the hospital and transportation (knowing ER behavior), so I went with my daughters to the ER. We found Francene alone in a dark room and when Jessica spoke to her from her left side she did not recognize her but when I spoke to her on her right side and got her attention she recognized me and Sarah. She has minimal recognition and use of her left and has "left-sided neglect" due to the trauma in the R frontal portion of her brain. The ER doctor came in and spoke with us. He said that there was no further evidence of another stroke and that the major area on the R side of the brain was "evolving". I had not heard that term so I asked for clarification. He said that since the damage to the brain causes cells to die that continues to affect the cells around the dying cells and they swell. He showed us the current CAT scan and pointed to the area on the L side of the brain that was the original infarction about 0.25 cm in size which affected her right side with weakness and numbness.    
   Then he pointed out the R side of the brain which area was about 3 cm in size in the frontal area. This affects her left side with almost complete paralysis to the extremities and some facial involvement. It also affects areas of communication, emotion, attention and some cognition. Her tests for blood and urine indicated a possible UTI so she is being treated with Keflex antibiotics (unfortunately that gives her major diarrhea and the staff is concerned with C diff). She was transported back to the rehab center via ambulance and we watched as they assisted her to bed. She seemed confused and scared but continued to recognize everyone that was in the room. She did not verbalize much at all and when she did it was a whisper. 
Saturday morning with me and Francene.
   Saturday, we came to the center and entered from the East door as we were earlier than the time they open the west doors close to her room. We passed by the eating area and I glanced over to make sure Francene was not there and I spotted her dress and hair. She was face down on her plate of food. She had been seated up to high in the chair and does not have the core strength to hold herself upright. With the help of my daughters we sat her up and helped her eat her breakfast. The aide that was assisting the patients was by himself and there were too many "clients" to take care of their needs. I did not fault him as I was unsure who put her in that position. Also he had another client that appeared to have a seizure and slip out of the chair. Sarah and I went to help lift him back up and the aide was relieved. I felt sorry for him but also concerned for Francene. I watched very carefully to see if this was going to be typical of the treatment she would receive. They told me that she had already had PT and there is no other therapy during the weekend so I waited until Monday to assess the therapy care. For the remainder of the day Francene spoke little and would sometimes appear to "space out". She will shake her head "yes" or "no" but then say the opposite of what her head movement indicated. Sarah did a little test on her by writing several letter "B"s on a blank white sheet of paper and then she asked Francene to circle all the B's. There were about 12 on the paper and she circled 3 of them all on the right side of the page. She did not see or recognize the left side but when told to circle all the B's she would recircle the ones she had done before. This was indicative of the Left-sided neglect that she is experiencing. Also during a conversation she told my daughters to "Be loyal to the Royal" in you and started to cry, which shows some labile tendency in her emotions but mainly she was appropriate. 
Checking out Francene's storage room. It took us a long time to
find this one in the first place as Francene gave us the wrong
Sunday was church starting at 9:30. She was again to high in her chair and she stayed slumped over during most of the meeting. It was RS followed by Sacrament meeting so it was a long time for her to be seating and she slept through much of the service. They did give her the sacrament which she managed alright. Her ability to feed herself was very limited. She could almost get the fork or spoon, that had food put on it, up to her mouth. She was able to drink well from a straw and could drink from a cup if it was held up to her lips. Many times during the day she just fell asleep or would stop responding to any questions if she was tired. She would start to look "vacant" and then close her eyes. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

1 May 2016 - Open House in Kent

Ruth made a wonderful cake of the big layer
made of chocolate with a raspberry filling and
the two top layers of white with lemon filling.
Very yummy.

A table decor. Pictures of the couple and
a trivia card about both of them by
Sr. Bonnie Fredericks.

On the left is the light curtain where the line received guests. 

Table decor of a low bowl with star-gazer lilies and soft
polymer beads.

Another vase of flowers.

Stantions made by Stephen and globes over the lights on the

Serving rootbeer floats and ice cream sundaes.

Serving tables.

Stephen made 3 tall tables and we covered
them with linens and pictures.

In the enterway.

At the guest table.

First table.


Cake table

Rebekah at the Open House.

Popcorn was served.