It’s been the most amazing 6 weeks of our lives. We never thought in our wildest dreams this kind of medical situation would happen to us. We hear about it happening to others, we read about it and watch videos concerning strokes, but the chance of it happening to one of us was not something that ever crossed our minds. Now we are leaving the stroke rehabilitation, after 6 weeks, it’s time to go home.
For the past 30 years, we have eaten so well, nothing but organic veggies and lean meat, and very few carbohydrates and absolutely no refined white sugar in our diet. We have made sure we have exercised in one form or another through our 49 years together.
Stroke Rehabilitation: The Last Week In The Hospital
Two weeks ago I heard that my stay at the hospital was going to be extended one week. Not that I wasn’t progressing as well as the Rehab Department wanted me to, but it was because I was doing so well they wanted a final push to get me going on my way. That meant a lot to me because I really gave it my all. Working out every day in each of the three therapies I attended. It was my goal to leave Rehab giving all the gusto I could give. And then to move on to the next level of this season of my life.
- Physical Therapy – Matt worked very hard every day to push me in my capabilities. I gave him my all plus a little bit more. We would go from 20 full squats. Then over to the therapy bed where I did leg lifts and other leg exercises. He and I would walk almost every day; I ended up walking 800 to 900 feet. I have a lot of assistance with my Hemi Walker, soon that too will be a memory of the past. One of my favorite exercises was the stairs. I have to admit, I was really proud of myself for tackling that piece of equipment.
- Occupational Therapy – It was not easy learning how to function with only my left hand. Terry and her team were great coaches. They encouraged me and gave me so much hope that life was going to become easier and better quickly. I can now dress and bathe which I thought would be impossible. It’s also a blessing to Lisa because she can now concentrate on other tasks that come our way with the transition of going home.
- Speech Therapy – Of all the hard work I have put in these past 6 weeks I think Speech Therapy has been the most difficult challenge to overcome. If anyone knows me well knows I love to talk and communicate what’s in my heart on a variety of subjects. This has been a difficult task since the stroke. I’ve got some words in my head and heart, they just won’t come out of my mouth correctly. I’m working on it. Chris and Wendy have both been excellent at coaching me to slow down and over pronounce the words. I find singing a great help, so I will be pulling out all the old worship songs from years back to help me in this new season. I enjoy singing.
A Huge Thank You To All My New Forever Friends
I can’t go much further and not say “thank you” to all of you who have become so near and dear to my heart. I will be forever indebted to your service to make my life whole again. From those of you who saved my life back in the ER in Springfield. I know I was a problem to you with a blood pressure reading of 323/160. That was quite a night of uncertainty as Lisa reminds me.
Then on to ICU and the Stroke Unit up in Springfield – I can’t say thank you enough helping me through the first days of my new journey. I remember you all were so kind and gentle with my situation. And I am so very thankful for your service to myself and Lisa as we were trying to understand this new season of life.
Transferring to The Acute Rehab Unit in Branson was at that point was an exciting/fearful experience for me. I couldn’t do anything for myself, how could I participate? In Springfield, they were calling it “boot-camp”. I was going to “boot-camp” to give it my all. It wasn’t long and life started to look up in a wonderful way. With so much encouragement and help, I quickly lost the fear and became motivated and ready for whatever was set before me.
I will never be able to thank those who took such awesome care of me for that full month. If it hadn’t been for their tender kindness and thoughtful ways of caring for me I would not be at the point I am today – whole and healing and on my way to a new season in my life. Going back to my previous ways of life is not an option for me, God has brought me to this place for such a time as this. And I’m looking forward to this “new season”. One that will bring “new” direction, “new” insight, a “new” appreciation for life and most of all, a “new” fresh walk with the number one love of my life – my Father God.
Transitioning To Home
I really miss my three dogs. We will have a homecoming reunion with Blanco, Buggy, and Dutchie. Lisa has said that the dogs are in depression and morning because they can’t find their dad. I’m looking forward to sitting and loving on them for as long as they can stand it.
We have many areas to tackle once we get home, but I’m sure all will work out in the end. I just need to remember to slow down, take a deep breath and give it my all. We have awhile to figure this out.
Again I want to thank you all for your prayers and concern for me during this time I’ve been in the hospital. I have so much more sympathy for those who ask for prayer in different areas, I will be diligent to pray for you as you have for me. Thank you, neighbors, friends, our church family and our immediate family for all your love.
Blessing to you all, Lisa and I will see you next week here at Over The Hill Homesteaders.
Don’t Ever Forget, Love God – Love People – Impact Lives
John & Lisa – overthehillhomesteaders.com
In the southwest corner of the beautiful Missouri Ozark Mountains