Gene Grogg Updates

On January 15, Gene Grogg suffered a stroke and was taken to Lutheran Hospital where he was admitted to Neuro ICU.  Updates will be posted on the WMC website as we receive them from the Grogg family.  Thank-you for your prayers and support!
 
Gene was moved from the Neuro ICU to a Neuro “step-down” unit at Lutheran.  Pray that he will receive excellent care, that the blood in his head would continue to dissolve and that he will be more alert. 
 
January 30, 2016:  1st  — thank you all for your prayers!  We are entering day 15 & so far no pneumonia.  That’s been a real blessing.  Yesterday was a good day.  He talked to several, had his eyes open a lot. Seemed to really listen & followed most commands  — you know Gene!  He has seemed to settle in to the new surroundings.  Many of you don’t know that Thurs. evening he was moved from the ICU, where we had been on Lock Down for 13 days, to the Neuroscience area.  He isn’t strong enough & awake enough to go to the Therapy Hospital – on Lutheran campus, but was not needing urgent care so we went to a “step down”  area.  They mostly work with stroke patients & brain injuries but have 5 patients to a nurse & he isn’t on as many monitors.  It was harder for me than him!  We are still staying with him day & night.  Last night Janene had a difficult night with him.  Breathing was labored, he wasn’t responsive so they called the Dr., had respiratory come & they did another CScan, plus internal blood work & chest x-ray.   All turned out GOOD!    I came at 7:30 & Janene was sleeping & so was Gene.  I came home around 8;15 to wash, get mail, etc.  Someone is taking me back soon.  Pray for Jeff & Janene as they have the night shift & it seems that’s when we have a crisis.  In the day, I can find a nurse pretty quickly.  All is normal says the Dr.  There may be lots of ups & downs yet to go.  Thanks again for all your prayers for all of us.                            Love, Janice
 PS  Don’t know whether we’ll stay at the motel after
tonight — we’ll confer today.
 
February 2, 2016  We are so thankful for all of you.  Many have helped with transporting me home & back, helped with motel bills, and sent goody bags, plus visiting or sitting with me.  I probably have missed something.  We definitely feel the prayers, as I have been able to sleep about 7 hrs. each night.  That keeps me going until Jeff or Janene come to stay the night with Gene.  We had a little break-through yesterday.  2 therapists worked to get him to sit on the edge of the bed.  Of course, they held him place but that’s the first he’s been upright since 1-15.   He was the most awake for the Drs. this a.m.  Dr. Canivotti & a Resp. Dr. saw him awake for 2-3 min today for the 1st.  We have changed rooms again.  He’s now in 356.  This one is much bigger & the nurses have more room to work & we don’t have to duck under their computer, etc!   We also can take calls here  so if you want to call, it’s okay.  I have learned to text but I’m slow at it!!!  He can have visitors but you might want to call first as we have some scheduled so I can get out a bit or go get lunch.   My cell # is 260-849-0425.  We know we have a ways to go but your prayers have meant a lot.  We are relying on God’s faithfulness.   Thanks, Janice
 
February 3, 2016  Gene says that he wants the Broncos to win the Super Bowl!
 
February 6, 2016  Hello Friends & Family,
 
    Some of you know that Gene was brought to Swiss Village Therapy Care Friday, Feb. 5th  — 3 wks after his stroke.  Lutheran has said he is medically stable so he needs different care.   We see that he is still very ill & he needs a lot of attention.  We ask that you send cards to our house – 1006 Mill Pond Rd  Berne, IN 46711 but we are restricting visitors at this time.  We want him to have time to adjust to the new surroundings & as much as he needs stimulation, he also needs time for his brain to rest.  We may continue to schedule some  to come mornings & afternoons, but please call  260-849 – 0425 before you make the trip here.  We have really been thankful for all the support & prayers & ask that you continue that for all of us.   One of us will be there so you can always reach us.    Thanks & love to you all, Janice
 
February 9, 2016  SWISS VILLAGE REHABILITATION CENTER   —  What can I say?  Gene has had several people in charge of his care —students, or mother’s of former students  at SA & also some I had at AC.  They are all great & trying their best to get him well.   Since we came to SV last Fri., there was no therapy until Mon. – just like the hosp.  He has been too sleepy to have speech therapy, so no new swallow test yet.  He had Occupational & Physical therapy yesterday.  They used a sling to put him in a chair for about 1 1/2 hrs.  they also worked with his arms & legs.  Mostly we need prayer for him to have wakeful times & that his lungs stay clear.  He has had some respiratory treatments here. He’s been pretty stable medically.  All are necessary for him to have proper care  for restoration of his body & mind.  Thanks so much for your prayers & help otherwise.  Extended family has been helping this week as Jeff needed to travel & will back this week end.  
 
We are just having scheduled visitors so please call before you come.  849-0425.   Thanks, Janice & family.  
 
February 13, 2016:  Hello!
 
 
 Gene has been at S.V. now for a week.  He has had about 3 good therapy sessions as he is very sleepy at times.  We have seen times when he is much more awake, he will talk  & one time we had a short conversation.  His answers always are appropriate to the questions and he knows Jeff, Janene & my names.  They’ve used a few scents with him & lemon is not his favorite!   He seems to have at least one period of the day where he gets very agitated & will take the oxygen off periodically.  He has continually said he is in no pain.  So far, his lungs have been clear & the respiratory treatments have slowed down.  We, as a family, have a few therapy things to do with his arms & legs for times when the therapists cannot be with him, especially the week ends.  Thank you for your fervent prayers for him & us as a family.  We need them for him to heal & for us to continue on this journey.  God has been good with supplying all our needs & we thank Him.
    I have been scheduling family so they are sure to have visiting time.  If you wish to come, just call me.  849-0425.   Afternoons late &  early evenings would be best for local people.  Note.  We haven’t put his contacts in yet,so he goes mostly on voice recognition.  Your normal voice is sufficient – it’s best to tell him who you are, tell him a few things & maybe ask a question or 2.   Long visits are not yet in our plan.  Thanks, Janice   
 
February 16:    Hi!                                                                   Tues.  Feb. 16, 2016
 Well, the last few days have been busy ones.  Not only have we tried to help with some therapy — range of motions exercises, but also went along to get his hair cut.   The barber shop is on the other side of SV & downstairs from the rehab unit.  It was a long walk & ride for him, plus I held his head for the barber.  He looks a lot more handsome now!  ha
         Family has come to stay with him while I try to run errands or continue to put away Christmas decorations!  The most pressing thing anyone has to do is trying to keep his hand from the oxygen tubing!  Of course, they talk to him if he seems restless or or is partially awake.  Mostly, he sleeps.  Today therapy will try to work with him in the afternoon, hoping to get his attention more.  He still doesn’t seem to have pain but will occasionally act irritated at something.  This is to be expected with a brain injury.   He mostly talks in short responses but definitely understands. 
          You are welcome to come for a short visit.  Calls are appreciated so we don’t have too many people at a time.   I’m still scheduling family so you (family) need to let me know when you’re available. 849-0425   Prayer is the most vital thing all of us need at this time.  Thank you all for being faithful.
Janice & the family
 
February 17:  Please pray.  Gene will be transported to Bluffton Regional soon with a possible infection.   Thank you.  Janice
 
Gene’s back at Swiss Village Rehab.  Everything checked out okay although there still is blood culture we won’t hear from for a couple of days.  It was a long , tiring evening but we’re thankful for your prayers & the good results.  Janice
 
Hi!                                                                     Sat. Feb 20,  2016
   Not a whole of new news.  This has been a hard week since he has slept so much.  Janene’s came home on Monday & he responded some on Mon. eve.  He really does not like the oral care so when I swab his mouth or the nurses do it, he frowns.  I told him that this needed to be done.  He told me,”No it doesn’t!”.  That evening I mentioned to Roger that I bet he needed his mouth cleaned again & he said, “I bet he doesn’t.”  That’s about the extent of his talking this week other than yes or no.  It has been 5 weeks now & I know we have a ways to go.
   Pastor Keith & some deacons came this a.m. to annoint him & the family was there.  We’re praying we see some progress & that he realizes that many are praying for him.  Your love & support is deeply appreciated & needed.  I still am getting about 7 hrs. sleep so I can continue to be with him during the daytime. 
    Short visits are welcome.  Family is still given priority.  Gene has had 2 sisters have accidents: one broke a wrist & the other was hit broadside by a car.  She will have surgery for a broken nose & clavicle, plus multiple other injuries.  Please pray for them also.     Thanks to all of you., Janice
 
February 21, 2016  Hello!
 
    Just wanted to report that Gene did awaken some yesterday afternoon & evening.  Jeff’s were here while the rest of us were at Nick’s last college game in Kokomo.  As they were leaving, he seemed agitated, they spoke to him & he spoke back.  When I arrived later, he responded to me.  It was wonderful to hear him again & this time he had a sort of smile on his face, not the scowl we’d seen all week.  PTL.  Thanks for your prayers.  Janice
 
February 23:  I am happy to report that Gene has had 4 days now of much more awakefulness. (guess that’s not really a word, but that’s all I can think of at this hr.)   He isn’t awake all day but enough that he talks to someone every now & then.  Mon. my sister & husband were here & he responded to them & they could tell improvement from the last time they visited.  Today a brother & wife from Dayton came & he was alert for quite a while.  A brother & wife from Huntington came around 6 & he was awake & tried to converse with them  They took me to Marc’s game (SA won & Marc had 22) vs Winchester & beat them 24 pts.  Janene & I went back to Gene ‘s room after the game & told him it was a great one.  Now he needs to work to get well so he & Marc can watch the video together.  
Thank you all for keeping up the prayers.  We can see some results of your faithful ness.  The staff has been great working with him so we hope the therapy will be able to help him get some strength back.  We have noticed some improvement with his left arm & hand.  Much progress needs to happen yet so we’re trying to be patient.
  This week has been such a blessing after a week of non-stop sleeping.  Janice & the family 
 
 February 27:  This week overall has been better than the last few.  He has been awake more &  seems to recognize people when they come.   He still speaks few words but does occasionally & then they are recognizable.  Many times he just mouths what he means to say but we usually can interpret.  We’ve had several visitors that stay for a short time.  He told some “Thank you for coming.”   Jeff & his girls were here last night & today.  He was awake quite a bit late morning & early afternoon.  Janene & Marc came & they all liven him up.  I think he gets bored with me! ha.  
   The therapy sessions are improving as long as they can keep him awake.  We try to do some range of motion exercises on the week ends.  I’ve been reading him cards again & we thank you for these.  It is an encouragement to me even if he hasn’t appreciated them yet.  He will be overwhelmed some day to see who all we’ve heard from.  We have valued your prayers & it is good to hear that you plan to continue.  God has certainly given us many good friends & family.  
   Gene’s sisters are recuperating with much soreness & bruises but we’re thankful they will recover.  I know many of you prayed for them also.  Janice – for the family
 
March 2:  Hello everyone!   We had an unusual start to this week..  Gene definitely rested on the Sabbath Day —   he slept the entire day & we couldn’t wake him.  Monday a. m. when I arrived I wondered what I’d find.  He was lying in bed, awake & alert with a smile on his face.  He seemed to respond to me so I decided to try to read some of the wonderful, large get well card with wishes from our church family.  I got almost all the first page read & I asked him if he wanted more -he said no!  Sorry people.  It took me quite a while to read all your notes so I really understand that it was tiring to hear but we do thank you for it.  Today we had company most of the midday when he was awake again.A friend came with me early & he responded to her voice. A brother-in-law & sister came & he waved at them. He had therapy where he sat up on their table(with help) & they put him through some exercises.  I know this usually makes him tired so we went to lunch while he slept.  We came back & he was awake again.  This time we taunted him with the ball we’ve been trying to get him to throw.  He did pick it up & raise his arm but just released it so it rolled to us.  Pastor Keith came about then&made a hoop for him but he’s still thinking about that!
   Thank  you for your continued prayer on our behalf.  We do see small changes  on a daily basis & people who have not seen him for awhile think there’s definite improvement.   We are thankful to God for all he has done so far and anticipate new things to come.     Janice
 
March 5:  This has been a yo-yo week.  After we had a good Mon. & Tues.  he was a lot more sleepy on Wed.  He really has been awake a lot more tho in general.  One a.m he told a nurse that he was pretty good & called her by name.  He has been better with a therapist who will begin work to get him to swallow again.  Yesterday the occupational & physical therapists sat him on the edge of his bed & he was very alert for quite a while.  He talked to them in an audible voice, followed commands & even briefly sat by himself!   He is holding his head so much better.  Late yesterday afternoon as they put him into his chair, he held his head up twice very well until they readjusted & put a pillow under his head.  This may seem trivial but I’ve been told he has to have head control before he will sit up alone, so PTL!!
   I went to Marc’s tourney games this week. 
On Wed. we beat Adams Central 62-60 in a thriller.  Last night we played Bluffton, who we lost to Dec. 4   in a 4 overtime game.  We won on some slick shooting of Marc at the end of the game 49-46.  Early in the game he couldn’t the range & didn’t look like Marc at all.  Tonight we are in the final game with Canterbury of Ft. Wayne. I have a great-nephew who plays for them!   Church friends have been great to stay with Gene while I am away.  Last night he was still awake when I returned at 9:45 & so I told him about the game.  It has been hard to see him not be able to be at the boy’s games when he has enjoy watching both Nick & Marc for years.  Tonight
we will have lots of family at the game as Joy & Bob are here from Kansas & others are here to see them & Gene.  
    We have had some changes to his care at Swiss Village Rehab.  Because of guidelines he has not made some goals, so he will not receive one kind of therapy for awhile.  Please pray that he will keep doing better each day so he can be picked up again.  He will have restorative therapy with his limbs & speech therapy has been added.   He needs all the help we can have in this critical 100 days  so your prayers are vital.  Unless God helps him, we are bound by gov’t laws.  I really want to thank you for being faithful.  I still can report that I sleep every night  – even after these exciting games.  Friends & family have been wonderful support & Pastor Keith has been invaluable with advice & support.  Thanks to you all.  Janice  
 
March 8:  Hello!
    What a spring like day!   I really hate to let Gene know it’s so warm outside – just mention that we are having a warm winter.  Don’t know if he realizes the days are slipping away & it’s March already.  
    We had a busy week end with family.  Brothers & sisters of Gene’s were here from Ks, Mich, Ohio & IN.   Most were here on Sat. & they all got to see him but he was sleepy a lot of the time.  Sat. evening we all decided to go to Marc’s game with SA vs Canterbury at the Bluffton Sect. Final.  We had 30 people who went to support Marc & we lost by 3 pts.  It was a good game – we just didn’t hit well the 2nd half.  Sunday 3 couples of family who stayed overnight also visited Gene & he was awake & they sang to him & he responded to them.  I went to church & then about 14 of us ate lunch together.  I wondered after so much company how he would be this week.
   Yesterday I went in around 9 & he was awake & seemed ready for the day.  Good thing, as he started some speech therapy.  She worked with him an hour, cleaning his mouth really good, getting him to swallow water & following her directions with his head, tongue, etc.  Since Fri a.m. we have seen him hold his head up briefly each day 1 or 2 times.  Today when I went it was a different story.  I couldn’t awaken him even at 9::30, 10 & the therapist didn’t start with him until 11.  He had another good session & worked continually awake for around 45 min.
  This is such improvement.  God is answering your prayers & ours.  We have another C-scan tomorrow a.m. early, then he goes back to SV to rest until we leave for Dr. Canivati’s app’tm’t at 3p.m beside Lutheran .  We will have no visitors tomorrow.  Janene will be going to the Dr. app’tm’t with me.  Pray that the Dr. will be able to assess him awake & that he can tell us the improvement we see is noteworthy.  We continue to thank God for His care for Gene & especially that we’ve not had any major problems such as pneumonia.    Janice & the family.
 
March 9:   Good News!   Good News!     We had our last C -scan today  & we saw Dr. Canivati this afternoon.   It was all positive.   The Nurse Practitioner, Amy, told us she could see so much difference than when she saw  him at the hospital.  We related what things he had been doing in therapy & with the speech person & she was really pleased.  We asked if she thought this was really progress or wishful thinking.  She said it is definitely progress.   She answered all our questions & gave us positive feedback on all areas.  Granted we still have a long way to go, but it now seems possible & hopeful.  About when we thought our app’tm’t was over, in walks Dr. Canivati.  He was all enthusiastic & told Gene that the blood is 90% or more absorbed & that now healing can take place.  He said we should expect  to see real progress through the next 6 mo or so.  He didn’t guarantee anything but made us feel with prayer & hard work there is much to gain.  He said Gene wouldn’t need another C-scan & that another app’tm’t wasn’t necessary but we were welcome to come see him again in a few months.  Janene & I both felt that he expected more healing & progress to be made.  PTL & thank you for praying for today.  Janice 
 
March 12:  Hello all!
      This has been an encouraging week.  As I wrote earlier, Dr. Canivati, & his Phys. Ass’t, gave us good news on Wed.  Most of the blood pooled in the brain has been absorbed & now healing is able to take place.  We are so thankful this has happened already as no one knew how long this might take.  Now we’re told the brain can begin its healing process & we can expect progress toward restoration of the body.  We are very aware that we don’t know God’s timing for all of this, so we’re trying to be patient  & learn to wait on Him.  We’ve already learned that nothing will happen overnight or that it will be neat & tidy.  Some days Gene will still sleep a lot & if that’s a day that you visit, please come again.  We’ve been so excited to see that he has longer periods of being awake & that he is communicating more.  
     This week  we had speech therapy & he is able to swallow pretty well, talk to them aloud & follow what they’re asking him to do.  They have been pleased & tell him he’s doing good!  One day after a session, he asked me, “What did I do that was good?”  I told him that he followed directions &  cooperated with them.  It may seem silly to him but to us, it’s a big step!  Today a visitor came & we told Gene to toss him the ball.  He did!  That’s a 1st.  Usually he just raises his arm & lets the ball fall out of his hand.  His comprehension is improving daily.  We had several grandchildren in today & I’m very certain he knew all of them.  The therapist told him one was cute, he replied, “Very, very cute!”  Smart guy. ha  She also told him she was almost done swabbing his mouth.  He told her, “I’ve had 3 too many!”
    Prayer is definitely appreciated & needed still.  You can be assured that God is answering & we feel his presence daily.  Short visits are still recommended but it may take more than one for you to see the progress we are witnessing.  We also appreciate your cards  & good wishes when we see you.    Janice & the family
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March 15:    Since I’ve written, Gene has had some good days.  Sundays seem to be a little more sleepy but we don’t care.  He has no therapists coming so we want him to rest up so he can be at his best!  Sophia & I went to church & then went to see him.  He was comfortable & Jeff & Heather hadn’t arrived from Indy so she & I went to eat.  When we got back he was more alert but not necessarily talkative. 
Sunday is to be a day of rest so we let him have it & we played some games.  Later both Janene’s family & Jeff’s were with him & he communicated some with them.
Monday I came at 8:30 & he had been up since 7 & was very responsive to everyone.  He had a good speech session & later when I got my lunch he asked, “Is that for you or me?”  Surprised me as he hadn’t paid any attention to my meals before.  Told him his swallowing exercises were getting better so hopefully he could have a meal soon.  Not sure when that will be yet.  He was very alert until 1p.m. & I asked if he cared if I went to my neighborhood Bible Study.  He said it was ok & I figured he’d sleep while I was gone.  After school Janene came & he was ready to talk again.
   Today I came at 8 because I had an app’tm’t in Bluffton at 9.  I left 8:30 & told him we would be going to the dentist when I returned.  It’s across the street & I would be pushing him there.  Guess the speech therapist also mentioned that because when I got back he wouldn’t let me look in his mouth.  She said he also was against her doing anything today.  He has had some plaque behind his front teeth that we thought needed attention.  He must have heard us talk enough that he didn’t want it done!  Guess what!  When we got there, the hygienist & Dr. gave him an oral exam & we couldn’t find any problem in his mouth.  Is God good or what!  He didn’t have to endure it & I didn’t have to worry that he could swallow something he shouldn’t.  No one seems to know what happened to the brown gunk – maybe his tongue just loosed it but thank God he didn’t choke on it or inhale it.   Another milestone passed.  Continue to pray.  We’re hoping that he does start to think of food more.  That way he will continue to work to swallow.  And you all know  — he does like to eat!   Thanks for being faithful.  Janice
 
March 19:  Hello all.
 This has been a pretty good week overall.  He’s had good therapy sessions & he has been awake & alert quite a bit.  Each day he seems to talk more but we still have times when he talks so low that it’s hard to understand him.  Occasionally, he will be agitated about something & then he speaks loud & clear! ha   His neck muscles are getting stronger & he is holding his head up much more often.  Both arms are very active but not always purposeful.  He is able to move his toes but we’ve not seen a lot with his legs in general.  That is a prayer request:   we need more movement in his lower extremities in order to have more therapy with his legs.  Seems backwards to me but those are the guidelines again.  
    Today our eye doctor came in hopes that we could have him put Gene’s contacs in.  He has larger than usual contac lens & they are inserted with a plunger & full of saline solution.  He needs to be able to lean his head forward enough so the liquid stays in the lens.  This wasn’t possible yet.  I was able to put his small, old pair in & he said he could see some better, but we only left them in briefly.  It was time for him to be put back into bed so I used a another plunger to retrieve them.  We’ll probably try again next week.  This is something else you could pray for.
    We are thankful for each small step Gene is making forward to recovery but as you can see, we have a lot of things that need to happen yet.  Jeff heard him speak the most aloud today in all his many trips here.  Janene  & I hear him more but also hear some frustration from time to time.  Pray that he will continue to realize that his cooperation is needed for his recovery.   Thank you for praying for our patience  & stamina in this journey.  God has been faithful & we thank you for all your concern & prayers each day.  Janice – for the family
 
March 23, 2016:  Hello!
     I was too tired last night to write.  Since Sunday Gene has been rather sleepy again.   We’ve had the nurses checking his blood pressure pattern & it seems he has been lower than normal so they may ask the Dr. to adjust his BP medicine.  We don’t want low energy to interfere with his therapy sessions.   The Markle Medical Center, where we have doctored all our married life, has been reorganized under the Lutheran system so we have been left without our regular Drs.  Just last week I asked a local Dr. if he would accept us as patients.  Thankfully, last Thurs. we got word that he would take us.  He is a Dr. who visits Swiss Village so that would also be covered.   Right now I’m not having any issues but thought it would be wise to be set up.  Now all our Drs., eye, teeth & general,  are within 1 mile of our home.  
  Our prayer has been this week that Gene doesn’t get discouraged.  He hasn’t smiled as much lately & this is hard to watch.   He is so tired of having his mouth attended to & we sometimes find it hard to keep his attention.  Also, pray for us as we are with him that we do & say things that will be uplifting.  As you prepare for Easter, think of the new life God gave us , & remember to pray for a renewing of Gene’s mind.   If it is God’s will for Gene,  we are praying that his whole body & mind be restored.   I know this is a big request, but God is able and we’re trusting Him to do a special work in Gene.  The rest of us also need the grace to be able to help Gene.  Thank-you for your prayers on behalf of Gene and our family.  – Janice
 
March 26:  Hello!
Thank you for praying for Gene this past week.  He has had a little congestion this past day or so.  That is a concern.  We saw signs of more movement in his legs this week and they are continuing the stimulation therapy.  He looks good & all who see him are glad for his improvement.  
   Thank you for your prayers for me also. Today I was able to attend the funeral of Gene’s HS friend who also became my friend.  Diane had a great faith & stamina to fight cancer for over 20 yrs.  She was an inspiration to many.  
    Thank you for the prayers for our family.  Our son & daughter’s families are healthy & have been kept safe in their travels to see their dad & grandpa.  Gene’s sisters are all doing much better, for which we are grateful.
     Lastly, we wish each of you a wonderful Easter.  I attended a great service here at SV. on Good Friday.  Easter Sunday I get to help little ones learn of the risen Savior.  Thank God for his gift to us that we have the hope of being with Him in heaven some day if we accept Him.      
   –  Janice & all our family
 
Hi!
 
     We have had a wonderful day!   Since i wrote Sat. Gene has had congestion , fever & general sleepiness. 
On Sunday eve the nurse thought he had started something we didn’t want in his lungs so she called the Dr. & we got  dose of a good med.  From 9p.m. Sun. until 9a.m. Mon, there was a world of difference in this looks, demeanor & over-all countenance.  Thank you for praying for the concern I expressed on Sat.  Oh yes, an xray of his lungs yesterday showed an all clear.  PTL!!
     Today when I came  he was alert, talking & generally more like himself.   The speech therapist came early since he was awake & ready.  While having this, a local man Gene knows well came to his bedside & Gene held out his hand to shake hands & spoke several understandable sentences.  We were all praising the Lord.  Later he went to Occup & Phys. therapy & they had him sitting up for 20-30 min.  & it went well.  
    A sister-in-law came & got to witness some of this.  She blessed me with some of her good cooking & we got to visit awhile.  We were talking & eating when they wheeled him to the therapy room so when we went back to see him again, he was gone!   It was a good feeling to know he’s able to do many more things each week.   Thank you all for being faithful in your prayers.    Janice
 
Hello!
    I’m glad to report that we’ve had a pretty good week.   Therapy makes him tired but that’s because he is concentrating on it most times.  Gene has been awake & alert quite a bit this week but when he’s asleep, he’s really out.  I’ve had nurses & aides tell me that this was the first week they’ve heard him speak.  Another told me this a.m. that she saw him smile really big when a brother & sister- in- law came.  He has even come up with some witty one liners!
Thursday was another milestone  — he had his first whirlpool bath.  He probably had a shower on Jan. 15
so this felt really good to him.  They had to wait until he could sit upright & hold his head erect to try this even tho it was with the assistance of a sling & lift.   With the hard work of therapists he is able to hold his head quite a while without a pillow, he still needs help to sit upright but they’re working on him getting better.  They saw him kick his leg out this week  – I didn’t get to witness that as many times now when he’s with someone, I try to run errands, etc.   
    We are so thankful to God for all the blessings of the past weeks & the progress we see happening.  Please continue to pray for strength & healing for Gene as you have been so faithful in doing.  We thank you all for uplifting each of us.  Janice & all our family+
 
PS  We continue to have visitors each day.  Unless you’re local & stopping in for a quick visit late afternoon or early evening, please call to see if it is a good time. My cell phone is 849-0425.  Thanks
 
Hi everyone!
 
    It has been an interesting week again.  We have had our ups & downs.  Nothing dramatic but there’s very sleepy times and then times when he’s alert & tries to communicate.  He told my brother that Marcus was playing baseball and told a therapist that friends were from long ago & that they were a blessing  to us.  The therapists find him in different moods & many times he’s awake but not too overjoyed at what they ask him to do.  Another brother & sister-in- law was here today & we’re sure he recognized them & tried to speak but nothing audible came out.  That must be frustrating for him as well as us who try to decipher.  
   Physically, he is holding his head up much longer periods & even sometimes will not want to rest it on a pillow.  His oxygen counts have been wonderful – so much that he doesn’t have to wear it much during the day.  He sits in a broda chair 2 times a day & is more alert then.  His eye Dr. comes again tomorrow.  This time he may bring some instruments to try to evaluate & then perhaps see about the contacs again.  
   I wish I could say when to visit.  His times of being alert are very unpredictable.  We read to him all the cards & tell him whenever someone sends good wishes to him but I don’t think he comprehends yet the enormity of the compassion & concern all of you have for him.  God has been good to us & we appreciate you all so much.  Just keep praying that God will heal his body, and mind , if it is His will.
Janice
 
 April 8:  This will be a quicky note.  Gene is a lot tired out from his therapies & now a whirlpool bath twice a week.  While they are all good for him, it puts stress on his body & mind.  The eye Dr. tried to test him last night for glasses since he can’t yet wear his contacs.  No luck yet.  
     As of Thurs. we have a schedule for his activities.  You may want to think about these times if you plan to visit.  They plan to get him up into his chair by 9 & then he will have speech therapy at
9:30.  It probably won’t go past 10:15 anytime so then until they put him back in bed by 11 would be good. That is the time I go to lunch so you could see both of us.  He will be in bed until about 1 when they want him to go for therapy.  He will come back to the room & go to bed again.  His next time up will be at 4 p.m.
  Depending on how tired he is , he may be in bed by 6.  Sometimes he’s awake around 7:30-8 so if you’re in the bldg, just check & see if he’s awake.  Please don’t wake him if he’s asleep.  While therapy & visitors are both good for him, rest is also vitally important.  
    I will be gone for a few days.  Janene, Rog, 2 of Gene’s brothers, & some friends are going to be with him.  Thank you all for your  prayers  & acts of kindness to us. We continue to thank God for his provision & protection for Gene & ask that you keep him in your prayers.   
 
Monday April 11th
 
Mom was able to leave Saturday for Arizona after a few delays because of the “wonderful” weather!  She said they arrived to rain which is extremely rare in Phoenix.  Please pray that she can rest and have a relaxing, enjoyable time visiting her aunt and cousin.  
 
As for Dad, he’s back to being sleepy again for long periods.  He must have known it was
Sunday yesterday, because he slept almost the entire day. He’s got the day of rest down pat!  He was pretty alert this morning for several hours and we had a busy morning.  He was able to get a haircut and I did not give in to my desire to give him a Mohawk. HaHa  He then had speech therapy.  Lane, the therapist was pleased with his effort today and said this was the best time she’d had with him for a while.  He did like the blue raspberry sucker he had and asked for a cotton candy one tomorrow
.
The staff is sticking with his new schedule and he was promptly back in bed and sleeping soundly shortly after 11:00.  Back up at 1:00 for physical therapy, but not as responsive then.  We can tell he is gaining more movement slowly in all of his limbs, as well as being able to hold up his head and turn his neck side to side.  They also mentioned that he did not require much support when sitting on the edge of the bed.  Progress!!
 
However, he does seem to be down mentally.  He has not been speaking much lately and rarely has a funny comment or comeback like he had been.  Please pray for his mental state as he continues this long journey.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to be locked in a body that doesn’t want to cooperate with you.  He gets frustrated when we can’t understand what he’s saying so sometimes I think he is choosing just to say nothing instead.  He usually will speak to me even when he won’t talk with anyone else, and I’m having a hard time getting anything out of him.  Not sure how to brighten his spirits but welcome ideas!
 
My Uncle Ron (Dad’s baby brother) will be with him during the day tomorrow
 
Thanks again for your love and prayers,
Janene
 

April 19th

Hi!

 

    You know, they told us it would be an up & down battle for Gene to recover.  What they didn’t say was how hard it would be for us to watch!  As bad as the week end was, he had a good

Monday.  As soon as I went into his room, I knew it was going to be a good day.  He was awake, alert & ready.  His speech therapist came in soon after & he told her Good Morning.  He was told that since he was so awake she would like to try him eating.  She gave him some choices- vanilla or chocolate ice cream, pudding or  applesauce.  Our family would definitely think he’d take ice cream but maybe he heard the word (thickened) because he chose applesauce!  He ate 3 small teaspoons & swallowed very well.  Because of this, he has a more official test at Adams Mem. Hospital on Apr. 27th

to see if he can start eating food more regularly. Today she decided to try another angle.  She asked the same choices & added yogurt.  Surprise again, he said Yogurt.  He had 2 small bites & promptly fell asleep so soundly that he snored!  

 

    Later I was told that he had a reasonably good therapy with phys, & occup. & that the sp. ther. got to give him some more minutes.   It has been puzzling why he has fever so often at the start of the day and that may be why he wants to sleep more.  I know the therapy is exhausting since he is ready to go to bed for the night around 6 p.m.

 

  I’m trying to get out more each day when he sleeps so today I was able to buy him some cooler clothes that are easy for the aides to pull on & off.  I also went to the grocery store for about the 3rd time since Jan. 15th  & finally remembered it was time to get the car serviced.  Another lady at the Swiss Village Rehab has a husband there with a stroke.  She’s from Decatur & we’ve become friends.  She invited me to go with her to a Ladies Night Out at our Senior Center tonight. Would you believe – I won the grand door prize!  A basket full of things from Jay Co. REMC & Swiss Bucks from our Berne Chamber of Commerce.  

 

   I was reminded after being with my aunt & these ladies of the verse, The Joy of the Lord is my strength and the song has been going through my head.  I’m certainly thankful for all the Christian friends & family we have who are praying for Gene.  The Lord is certainly helping us through this situation    Janice

 

 

 

Hello again!

 

    I spent last week in Ariz. with an elderly aunt & 3 different cousins.  All are displaced Hoosiers.  My aunt does amazingly well for nearly 99 & I had a great time getting reacquainted with some cousins n. & s. of Phoenix.  It was hard to leave Gene but our trip had been planned in Dec. & I went with a sister & brother-in-law.    It was good to have some diversion but it was difficult to leave someone so sick.

 

    Gene slept most of the first few days last wk & then Thurs. & Fri. had some of his best days,  awake & talking.  His therapy went very well & then Sat. a.m. he had a fever & was very lethargic when we got home Sat. afternoon.  Jeff & Sophia picked us up at the airport so they didn’t have a very good visit.  Right before they left he got ill from too full of liquid.  He has needed more since a blood test showed he had a high sodium count.  Today I came early before church & found he had a temp again & they were giving a respiratory treatment.   He also had one later in the day & more temp.

 

    You can see that prayer is desperately needed for airways to stay clear & that he feel better so he can endure therapy.  We miss his smile & spunk when he’s like today so we pray for rest & recuperation from this another setback.  He’s been holding his head very well & has been sitting up better.  We know the swallowing has been progressing  so we’re hopeful that he might start eating some in the next few weeks.  Thanks for upholding each of us & we thank God for his protection this  far & for the time to come.      Janice & the family

 

April 23:  Hello!

 

    We’ve had a pretty good week.  Gene has been awake more & responsive for 5-6 days.   Today he was somewhat subdued but he’s had a lot of company the last 2-3 days.  Therapy has been able to work with him regularly & this Wed. we will go to the hosp,. for a swallow test.   He has been upright more with Phys. & Occ. since they have had him on a vertical board.  There have been times when we have heard him speak out loud but mostly it comes in whispers. Once  I asked him to shout what he was saying.  He said, “I can’t shout”  really out loud so Janene & I could both hear it. ha

    

    Wed. was a warm day so we had him outside for about 1 1/2 hrs.  Friends came as well as a sister from Mich.  She stayed with me until today so she helped with visits so I could do some errands.  We also attended our Joy Fellowship lunch on Thurs.  Last night we had family in & he was attentive but not very verbal.  Today several family members were here as Adrianna had a bridal shower.  I’m sure he heard lots of news & appreciated all the visits but was visibly tired by tonight.

 

   The rehabilitation unit has 13-14 patients right now so they are really busy.  You can pray that Gene stays stable  so he won’t need extra attention because the help really doesn’t have time for that.  Two nurses & 2 aides are kept running most of the time – no time for emergencies.  We are so thankful that he has been basically well as his brain continues to heal.  That blessing makes the waiting so much easier and we thank God for it.   Janice for all of us.
 

April 26:

 

  Not a lot of news.  The last few days have been decent but not spectacular.  He seems to be talking a lot more in but not verbalizing a lot.  I told him today that I needed to leave for awhile to do some things.  He asked,” What did I have to do?”  I’m there so much I just think he expects me to be a fixture.  With outside work beginning, I really do have more to do.  He is probably wishing he could be doing it.  We sat outside again for a short time but it soon became windy & cooler.  Don’t want him sick – tomorrow is a big day.  We leave early for Adams Memorial Hospital for his first official swallow test.  Pray that he will be fully awake & cooperative.  Guess the barium isn’t very good tasting & that is necessary for them to get a good reading on the xray.  Don’t know what he will be tasting but if he doesn’t open his mouth, it’s all over for that day.  Not sure he really understands that he must try hard to follow their directions.

 

  I’m thankful for each of you who prays regularly.  Many have offered to do things for us & each thing is greatly appreciated.  God is taking care of us & I’m wondering each day what might be happening next.  Gene has been well  & gaining some strength so we remind him that others here are also working hard to recuperate.  I think he is beginning to realize that therapy is work, but not a bad thing.   I pray with God’s help he will continue to move forward.    Janice

 

 

April 27:     Gene didn’t pass his swallow test.  We have to wait at least another 6 wks before they’ll do another one.

 

April 30  This week was unusual since I really don’t have much to report.  He has cooperated with therapists pretty well but it was a more non-communitave time.  He has slept quite a bit so perhaps that’s his healing time.  We didn’t have a lot of company but various family & friends have popped in.  His reactions to people vary so that he is inconsistent.  One person sees little response & others get a big smile & a few audible words.  I’m not sure he realizes what is appropriate some days.  He appears tired at times & other times quite alert.  Probably he is feeling some frustration at this point.  

 

   Prayers are certainly welcome & needed for his healing to continue.  Therapists continue to work on his swallowing, sitting up & overall purposeful movements.  I also ask that you pray for his peace of mind that he is doing all that he can at this point so he won’t become discouraged.  I thank God for keeping Gene in His care.    Janice

 

May 3;  Hello!

My days have definitely been interesting lately.  Gene has been more alert at times but not terribly responsive to therapy.   He is smiley as new people come into the room to see him but has spoken little.  I have begun to feel he’s in a rut & doesn’t know how to get out.  I’ve spoken with his Dr. & we have some new plans.  Our 100 days in Rehab. are soon coming to an end.  Decisions have to be made as to where his care will continue.  Please pray that we choose the best for Gene’s recovery.

 

    Last evening a friend took me to a brain injury/stoke meeting at Muncie.  It is in connection with Ball Memorial & the lady who spoke last night is a Speech therapy person who teaches at the University, I think.   She went through the sections of the brain with us & each of us had a model to follow her.  The group consisted of people who have recovered from some kind of brain trauma & each told their story.  After her presentation, many asked questions to further understand their condition & they all helped me.  I also asked some questions but mostly I came away thinking my goals for Gene may not be lofty enough.  

May 7:  Hi!

 

      Since I wrote Wed. a.m., not a whole lot has changed but a few things did.  Gene was documented as sitting up unassisted for at least 9 minutes this week.  His head is not as erect as they’d like when he sits alone but it is progress and we’re happy for it. Thurs. he had very good therapy sessions & then Fri. refused to get out of bed.  We wish we knew what he’s thinking but it may just be that he wants to be in control.  He was allowed to stay in bed & a couple of hours later cooperated, & let them get him in the chair & went for his ther. session.   Later in the day they were afraid he might refuse again but I told him he had grandson & friend coming & he agreed to be up.  Later another grandson came so I think he was glad he was up & able to connect with them.  

 

  Today was so nice that he & I sat outside for quite a while & then I took him on a walk in his Broda chair.  Probably not the smartest decision on my part as this chair is very difficult to maneuver & I’ll be sore for sure.  It was windy but he didn’t seem to mind, but he wouldn’t tell the nurse that I got an A+ for driving safely! ha  

 

  By next Tues. I should be able to tell you where we will be moving Gene.  We will still be here at Swiss Village but our 100 days  in Rehab ends the 15th.  I’ll give the room # & how to get there when everything is confirmed.  Also, his schedule may change some but will still have periods of rest between his therapy sessions. We are finding that many days he is awake around 7:30- 8 p.m. so that may be best for some to come since it it still light this time of year.  

 

   Thank you all for the continued prayers for all of us.  In doing this, you are such an encouragement to us.  I reminded Gene that God is faithful & that He is not finished with him yet.   Grateful to be able to report on progress made.  Janice

 

May 15:  Hi!

   What a whirlwind week!   Gene did make the room move to Edelweiss at Swiss Village on Wed.  It seemed to go very well for him.  I’m the one who has to get used to all the new things.  New schedules, new people, new layout, new things we provide, etc.  I have been tired just trying to figure it all out.  This week will be another learning curve since therapy will only be 3 days a week instead of 6.  I’m not sure where & when this will be so it’s wise to call before you come.  

 

   Friday night & most of the day Sat, I spent at Huntington Univ. with college friends.  This is my 50th year since graduation so our class was honored & we marched with the current graduates.  Janene’s spent some time with Gene last night & Jeff’s came about noon today & just left at 8p.m.  Two nephews from Huntington came & they all provided Gene with a lively afternoon.  Yesterday before Rog & Mary Lou Skinner & I left, we visited dad & he wasn’t showing that he knew who they were.  We also stopped this a.m. & he was very sleepy since he’d been mostly awake since 6:30 a.m.  We returned at 6 this evening & he was alert & seeming to enjoy all the hub-bub with 6 people in the room laughing & talking.  Who knows what to expect!  I was glad all could be with him in a more natural mood.  Think he was worn out though so we all slipped out as he went to bed.

 

  Today was also a big day for our granddaughter Adrianna who graduated from Purdue this a.m.  Tomorrow her fiance graduates at Purdue .  School is out for South Adams students this week so Marc & Janene will have a little more free time.  We definitely have appreciated all the prayers for Gene & me this week. Now the next big hurdle is to get Gene well enough to attend the wedding coming in June.  We thank God for the progress so far & are trusting he will take care of him in the weeks to come.   Until next time…..  Janice

   Today as I go in, pray that we all look at Gene with new eyes & try to decide what is best for his recovery not for his comfort.  I need wisdom to handle my feelings & yet boldness to see he gets the best care possible.  I know the Lord has Gene in His hands & I want that to be my focus.  I just feel that He is not finished with the work He has for him.  Pray that Gene can still be a blessing to others.

Thank you,  Janice

 

Hello again!

 

   Sunday was a busy Mother’s Day.  Gene ended up with 15 visitors & he  enjoyed them all.  I went to church where I witnessed 6 babies being dedicated  — what a wonderful way to celebrate Mother’s Day.  I spent most of the rest of the day with Gene at Swiss Village.  The wind was cold so everyone visited inside.

 

  Monday was amazing.  Gene starts his Mondays with an early bath but was wide awake when I came in before 9.  I could tell he was ready for the day,  His speech therapist said he asked for yogurt, talked with her & participated well.  I left to go to Swiss Heritage Village to work in the school for a field trip.  When I returned he was just coming from the barber  — looked good!  Naturally it was rest time so he could go to his 1p.m. therapy session.  That went really well too & they asked me to bring his tennis shoes for today.  I went to a Bible Study then while he slept from 2-4.  He was alert when I came back & stayed that way all evening.  

 

  Today was another story.  The minute I came to his room I could tell he was asleep & didn’t want to be wakened.  They did get him in his chair but by the time the therapist put the E-stem on his throat, he was really sound asleep.  They say the brain heals when you sleep so today that surely happened.  He went to afternoon therapy & he did wear his shoes – the first since Jan. 15th.  

 

   Tomorrow he will see his Dr. again here at the Village & then some time in the afternoon he will be moved to the Edelweiss Wing, also on the west side.  You can park on the circle or in the 1st row of the larger lot.  My car will probably be in the 1st row as I know many look for it.  Gene’s room # is 1367.  As you go into the entrance, turn left, go to the nurses station & veer right.   He will be the 3rd room on the left, beside the Activity Dr’s. office & beside a bird station.  We’ll plan to see several of you there soon. Thanks for your prayers during this transition.   Janice

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 17 – College friends from Michigan joined Marcus & me for lunch on Sunday.  While I enjoyed their visit, Gene seemed oblivious to them.  He has known them more than 50 years but this was not a good day for reliving old times evidently.  How  I wish he could respond each & every time someone comes but that is not yet to be..  We had a good visit & I appreciate the effort if takes for all of you who come.  

   Monday was again different.  He was awake when I arrived & alert for his speech therapy.  I anticipated Gene’s brother & sister-in-law’s visit & wondered how this day would go.  He smiled when they came in the room & you could tell he knew them.  She left with me to do some errands & we left the guys alone.  It wasn’t long until it was time for his rest time & he went to sleep quickly.  After lunch we all came in again but he spoke very little.

    Today he was awake only 2-5 minutes at the most from 9-1:30.  My sister & husband came at 10 & we visited but he was definitely out.  Around 1:30 they came for him for phys & occ. therapy & when they brought him back, they said he did participate some.  I was at a Care Plan Session while he was gone & had forgotten he would go today.  Guess I misunderstood.  Speech therapy will now be 3 times a wk in the a.m. but the other will continue to be 5 days for awhile yet.  I’ve learned that we only get so many $ worth of therapy – & Medicare decides.    Around 4 Janene came & she was talking about buying plants for the garden when dad responded with an audible sentence.  He had earlier today answered me briefly in a low voice.  

    It’s really hard to wait for Gene’s speech to return.  We know he can do it, but not sure why it’s so intermittent.  Only God knows what is happening in his head & I’m trying to trust & wait on His promises.  Keep praying for all of us.  Thank you.  Janice

May 22:  Hello!

 

    Not a lot of change since Tues.  We have had several visitors & most are amazed at how good Gene looks.  He was more alert as the week went on & some heard him speak aloud for the first time or the first in awhile.   He has gone his longest without fever – none since May 11. He enjoyed seeing the child care kids & babies this week. 

 

   Jeff & Sophia were here today & we took Gene outside for his longest ride.  It made him tired but he seemed to enjoy it.  It was some breezy but with his hat & Purdue blanket, he looked very cozy.  We have been trying out a new chair & this one is much easier to manipulate.  

 

   Thanks for your continued prayers for Gene & our family.  We’re thankful for God’s protection  & healing so far.  Our prayer is that he continue to improve & that you are willing to help us seek God’s best for Gene.  Lots of decisions still need to be made for his care & we pray we make the right ones.  

May 24  

Sunday was a typical day – lots of rest.  About the time I thought he’d be asleep, he was awake & Adrianna, a friend & I went to the circus in Berne!  Who knows?  We were able to report to him later & we could tell he enjoyed it.  Monday he had good a.m. therapy with eating pudding.   P.M. therapy has been spotty this week so far.  He responds to people they least expect & then doesn’t follow a simple command.  His sitting & keeping his head up was better today  so we have to be content with little things.   Those who don’t see him as often seem to think he’s making more progress than we who watch every day.  Be assured that when I say progress, it is small & slow.                                                          

 

   Tonight Gene;s youngest brother & sister-in-law were here & we took him outside for a short visit after they had talked to Adrianna & him inside.  He seemed to enjoy that & engaged with our conversation even tho he only verbalized once.  It was easy to tell he was remembering people & times in the past.  

 

   People tell me daily that they are praying for his recovery.  It is such a blessing to have family & friends who care about us.  We’re trusting God to bring more healing every day.  Thank you for being faithful.   Janice
 

May 30  Hello everyone!

    Just about the time I think my life can’t get any busier, it does.  Gene has had a lot of company since last Wed. & I really appreciate it but the busyness does a number on my brain sometimes.  While sitting in SS. class this a.m. I remembered that I didn’t write my email last night.   I try to do too much also (people tell me) so the 2 baseball games I attended probably didn’t help keep me organized.! ha  It was sect. & we won 1 & lost 1 so now it is over.  Marc will work at Pine Lake & you can bet I won’t be there!

 

     Gene has enjoyed all the family  & friends that have come recently.  Tomorrow will be more time with different ones.  He has responded well to the various remembrances & stories & occasionally added some words of his own.  We’ve heard him laugh & join in the conversations with smiles & eye contact even though he hasn’t verbalized much.  Everyone tells him how good he looks & when he’s tired of listening, he just slumbers.  It will be good to get back to some therapy tomorrow– even though with the holiday the schedule will somewhat off.  

 

   Adrianna’s wedding is quickly approaching.  We all have plans that need attention.  Tentatively, we plan to take Gene to the ceremony but he will not be able to attend the reception.   He may be having another chance to wear his contacts this week.  The Dr. plans to come Wed. – pray this will work out.  Of course, speech therapy is hoping he can take another swallow test in the next few weeks so these are all concerns.  Thank you for lifting Gene to God for his care.  We know that He wants the best for Gene also.   Janice

 

June 1 – Hi! Just a short note.  Lots to do today yet.  Dr. DeGroff was able to put in Gene’s contacs yesterday eve  – a day early.   No comment from Gene so we’ll have to wait until another time for his reaction.  He wore them about an yr & I took them out.   I haven’t had time today to try so will hope to tomorrow a.m.  I’m taking a friend to the airport & returning a dress in Ft. Wayne this evening.  Will write more on Sat.  Thanks, Janice

 

June 4  – Hello again!

 

 

   

 Gene has had a pretty calm week.  He has been alert and awake a lot more but the words are still far & few between.  He ate chocolate pudding, apple sauce & yogurt at his speech therapy sessions this week & she thinks he is ready for another swallow test.  Gene’s nurse has called scheduling & we should know by next Monday what day he will go back to Adams Memorial Hosp. for the testing.

 

     It has been 24 days now without fever and his grip has gotten much stronger with his left hand.  Physical & occupational therapy  keep trying new things with him but some are very difficult for him.  I just pray he keeps passing evaluations so the work can continue.  We have him a different chair that’s much easier to push since we are trying to get him ready for going to Adrianna’s wedding next Sat.  Today we tried on his dress socks & shoes that he hasn’t worn since Jan. 10th.  We left them on about 1/2 hr & he didn’t think they were uncomfortable.  He will go for family pictures & to the wedding ceremony but not the reception.  3-31/2 hrs are about his limit in sitting in a chair.

 

   We have had several visitors again this week & each seems to bring different responses.  Depending on how long he has been up, or if a visit is just after therapy, or who knows why, some get smiles & recognition & others get a cool welcome.  We know he likes company so you are welcome to come but phone calls are still best if you want to see him awake & alert.  Call 849 – 0425.  Times change here often as there are more people to attend to & we try to be on their schedule & not ours. All the new staff recognize that Gene hears & understands so just talk to him as you normally would.  I still have not been successful in putting in his contacs so remember that as you come.  I’m trying again tomorrow.  Thanks, Janice 

 

June 7 -Hi!

      

     We have good news to report & then not so good.  Gene will have a swallow test on Mon. Jun. 13th.  He will have 2 more practice sessions before then so we’re praying for a successful test.  This would be a huge step in the right direction.  I was informed today though that his occ/phys therapy is being cut back to 3 days instead of 5.  I’m not happy about that.  This he needs desperately if he is to get mobility. 

 

   A sister-in-law & I went to a group meeting last night Ball State where a Psychologist teacher spoke  who works with Drs. & nurses as how to work with stroke patients.  Most of the people there were stroke survivors.  I’d never met these people before & they told their story & about the progress they are making.  It was encouraging to see how far they have come  They all emphasized that it takes a lot of work to see results & now we have less opportunity.  It is frustrating for me to see chances for recovery go away.  I’m not sure Gene realizes that.  He had such a good week end & yesterday that today was a downer.  

 

    I know that God is able to make him well without therapists.  Maybe I’m depending on them too much.  I’m wanting them to give it all they have so his body will respond.  I was told again yesterday at the seminar that the more the mind is stimulated, the more the body gets in gear.  I don’t know how to do that.

 

  We have plans to take Gene to the wedding Sat.  Perhaps this will be a new way to motivate him.  This will be the 1st he’s been any place other than Drs. offices, hospitals, & therapy places.  We’re trusting the Lord for a great day for Adrianna & Nathan & a safe one for Gene.  Thank you for your faithful prayers.  Janice

 

June 12 – Wow!  We have a new grandson!   Adrianna looked radiant & Nathan was beaming all evening.  The wedding went very well; the church & reception venue were decorated to the hilt; people packed out each place & Gene got to go!!

 

    Gene has had a very good last few days.  On Friday eve. I pushed him down the street from SV to visit a lady from our church.  They have this bantering, encouraging way with each other & she got him to speak.  He said he plans to keep me! ha  It was good for all of us to hear him speak aloud if only briefly.  On Sat. I called into Gene’s room an athlete he knew from SA way back in the late 70’s, I think.  Gene smiled as he said his name & had a ongoing conversation with him that surprised both of us!  By that afternoon he had told someone from the Village that he wanted to get out of bed, & be wheeled out of the room.  When I returned from lunch,he was in a new location.  So much has happened that I forget the details, but he continued to talk all evening.  I know Adrianna had a good 10 min. talk with him before rehearsal.  

 

   It was a major operation to dress him in dress clothes for the wedding; it was 93 degrees so we skipped his sport jacket.  All SV was trying to help & was excited to see him be able to go.  Pastor Keith, Jeff, & Steve Maller got him loaded in our church van via the lift and he did very well for 2 1/2 hrs.  He returned to the Village during the reception.  Family pictures were important so that was accomplished prior to the wedding.  Thanks for all your prayers for this eventful day.  We will have the swallow test Mon a.m.& pray that we have good results.  We have been praying since Jan. that Gene would be able to attend the wedding & God answered our prayers.   We’re very thankful.   We praise Him for your continued love & care for us.  Janice
 

June 13 – Hello

!

 

Great news!   Gene passed his swallow test.  They said he swallowed quickly & he even drank from a cup & a straw.  I watched the 15 min test on a monitor & knew he was doing well.  He will be on thickened liquids for awhile, plus he will drink from a cup only, plus be on the peg feeding tube until he can eat enough calories to sustain him.  PTL   Your prayers as well as ours were answered.  He is in bed again resting up for his afternoon therapy session for occ. & phys.  Thankfully, Janice

 

I got excited  & said the wrong thing.  He WILL BE  on pureed solids & regular liquids.  I think I said thickened liquids.   Sorry.

 

 

 

 

 

 June 19 – Hello everyone!

 

    Needless to say, after Mon.’s swallow test, this has been a good week.  He ate spicy, cinnamon oatmeal on Wed., hot mashed potatoes, & gravy, plus cooked carrots on Fri & today he had black cherry ice cream from the White Cottage!  He also had little Sprite at therapy & has been drinking water from a cup all week.  The dietitian came today & said if he can eat half of each of his meals this week, he will just be on the feeding tube at night.  That would definitely free him to move about.  They are working to make sure he gets enough calories but not overfeed him.

 

    He has had many visitors again this week & seems to love the company.  Someone asked how he thought his food was & he answered, Fantastic!   He only had 1 day when he was sleepy & that may be from all the new stimulation.  We do think his attention span is lengthening & occasionally he remembers something he was told or just did earlier in the day.  

 

   We want to thank all of you who prayed for Gene to pass his swallow test.  I guess our next request would be that he get stronger with his arms, trunk & leg muscles.  He does sit a lot better in his chairs but still has not graduated to a regular wheel chair.  This would allow us to transport him & give him a lot more freedom.   We pray that God will see fit for this to happen.  We are thankful that Gene has a good attitude & keep praying that he will see the need to work hard for the therapists.  We are happy that God has given him strength this far.  Janice

 

 

 

 

June 20 – The White Cottage gave Gene such a large bowl of ice cream that he had some for 3 days.  We just finished it tonight.  This am the sp. therapist fed him scrambled egg & oatmeal & apple juice.  He ate 75% of what she had.  I think his taste for food is coming back!  

 

A Dr. came today & asked him lots of questions to check on his thinking & remembering.  It is really interesting to hear what he answers – some right on & some not so good.  The obvious he seems to forget & then answers harder questions.  Tonight I reminded him that this mo. is June & his birthdate again.  He said that over & over at the hospital.  Later I asked him what color my shirt was- he said hot pink.  Right on.  My pants?  Navy blue.  Close, nearer royal blue but still I thought that was good.  Some answers he gave right away & some he never really answered.  Guess it shows the brain still has some healing to do.  

 

Adrianna & Nathan are back from their honeymoon & will visit him tomorrow.  Marcus gets back from Haiti tomorrow night & will probably see Gene briefly before he leaves for CDYC at Grand Rapids.  I’m so thankful for the rain & that I don’t have to water veg. & flowers tonight.  Occ. & Phys. ther.is still hard for him but he seemed to try hard today.  He will have opportunity Tues thru Fri. to eat lunches so we’ll see how that goes.  Mondays will be breakfast fare for awhile.  The aides will feed him pureed, the therapist will feed more textured food ’til we know how he handles it all.  Thanks again for your prayers for getting him this far.  Janice & the family.

 

June 25, 2016  Hi!

 

   Had such a busy week that I about forgot to write.  It has been pretty positive with the eating.  He’s eaten the pureed food much better than I thought he would  – even pork chop & swiss steak.  He has eaten normal foods such as chicken & noodles, ham loaf & turkey & dressing.  He’s had mashed potates, broccoli & lima beans , plus jello & custard.  I fed him some vanilla & black raspberry ice cream tonight again.  I’d say he’s enjoying eating again.

 

   I still go each day around 9 a.m. & try to go to Gene’s therapy sessions.  I am working at the Heritage Village a few hours a week and try to keep the yard & garden somewhat presentable.  Many people still check with me as to when to visit.  
That has become a little harder to predict since his schedule keeps changing.  Usually a.m. therapy is done by 10:30 but now he stays up for lunch & doesn’t sleep until close to 1:30.  He’s been getting up anywhere from 4-6p.m. Evenings until 8:30 are good.  Tues. he has afternoon therapy so he would never be in his room until after 2;30.  Calls are always welcome so you don’t make a trip & he’s asleep.  Today he slept off & on for about 5 hrs. before he got up at 6 p.m.!  We’ve tried to take him outside more so while that is good for him, it may also make him tired.  

  We are so thankful to God for keeping both of us well.  We just pray that God will continue to work in Gene’s mind & body that he may be a blessing again to others.

Janice

 

June 29, 2016  Hi!

 

    Here I am again  — a day late & a dollar short!  ha  Literally!!  I’m waiting on a check from Long Term Care so I can pay Swiss Village.  I’m learning patience in more than 1 way.  Gene has had a good day even tho it didn’t start until 10-10:30.  He didn’t have a.m. therapy so that was when he was awakened & put into a chair.  I had a hard time keeping him awake so he’d be ready to eat at noon.  

 

   He had another regular meal –  salmon patty with sauce, mashed potatoes, wax beans, & cottage cheese.  Today he just drank water although he can have Sprite or juice if he chooses.  Making choices seems to be difficult for him so if he likes the food at all, he just eats it.   I’ve been given permission again to feed him a snack in the p.m. so tonight it will be ice cream.   

 

  He had visits today from a neighbor, HS school friends of mine & 2 of his brothers & another church friend.  Yesterday family came, plus our pastor, church friends & local people.  All these visitors keep both our spirits up.  We really appreciate you all taking time for Gene.  We have family coming this week end so that’s nice to look forward to.

 

  We are so thankful for praying friends & family.  We ask that you continue to request God for healing of Gene’s mind & body if that’s His will.    We’ve been blessed with the progress so far.  Janice

 

July 6 Hello!

 

    I have not written for a few days now as I’m still processing what has been happening with Gene.  His eating has improved but now he’s not very fond of the pureed food.  Most of the time he eats 50% or more so they have decreased the tube drip feeding.  He still has some very sleepy days – so much so that he missed his regular meal on Mon.  He loves company but it does seem to tire him a lot the next day.  It’s hard to know how much stimulation he needs.  We learned last week that his physical & occupational therapy would be stopping this week.  They say there hasn’t been enough measurable improvement to satisfy Medicare’s requirement. The speech therapy will continue at this point.  I’m assuming until he is completely on solid food but I don’t know.

 

  We as a family really need prayer for wisdom as to what to do next.  We are checking into several more aggressive therapy facilities  but they all seem to have requirements that I’m not sure Gene will meet.  Everyone who visits Gene thinks he has improved greatly but the people we need to work with him may not.  It is really hard to see him sit & lay every day when just a few short months ago he was so active.  We are praying that God will see fit to raise him up again so that he can be a help to others again.  If that is not His will, then we need to learn to accept it.  I’m not there yet.  

 

  Thank you for being the help that we need for strength & encouragement.  It would be impossible to go through this without God, family & friends.  Janice
 

July 9, 2016   Hi!

   This has been another busy week.  Gene is getting used to his new schedule of eating 3 meals a day & getting up earlier.  Sometimes he eats well & other times he’s too sleepy.  I did feed him some soft black raspberry ice cream tonight as a treat.  We got to be outside again for about an hr. as it wasn’t so hot.  Janene & Rog came & took him for a walk.   Gene & I then went to the musical program at the auditorium tonight.  Thought it would be just an hr but it went longer & he didn’t want to leave.  Of course, he snoozed during some of the songs! ha   A college friend came about noon & we watched some of Wimbleton & that took our day.

 

   As a family we are checking out a few therapy hospitals  – visited 2 this week & will see 2 more in the next few days.  We’re praying Gene will be accepted & that we make the best choice for him.  Of course, we are also waiting to see what the Drs. opinion is for him.  We know that God may have different plans, too, so that is why we need you to help us discern that.  Eating is going ok, not terrific, but okay so we think we need to concentrate on the motor skills.  We prefer that he not get complacent with his situation so a new stimulus may be needed. Help us pray that we will understand what is best for him.  Thanks for your care & concern.  Janice

July 16    Hello!

 

    I didn’t write earlier this week as nothing new had transpired.  We have just ended our 2nd week with no therapy other than speech.  After Mon. he has eaten better this week.  Today he ate 50 % of both his breakfast & lunch & 75 % of his supper.  So…. he was treated with lemon ice cream this evening & last night.  When he is able to eat, we try to give him as much as possible so he will get in the habit.  No extra tube feedings today so that is a positive.  

 

   Larry’s & Ron’s came last night & told us all about their Alaskan cruise & trip on land there.  After his treat, we walked to the front of Swiss Village to see Bill, the Bison who is on display.  It’s a life size sculpture that was painted in Decatur & will travel around Indiana for the 200th birthday celebration.  Alice & I had taken him to see it on Thurs a.m. so I think he enjoyed it.   Tonight Cliff & Connie stopped in around mealtime & got to visit on their way home from Mich.  The next couple of days we will try to keep  things calm as we are going to the Dr. in Ft. Wayne for an evaluation on Tues & want him to be at his best.  Although, we really can’t say that visitors have any effect on the next days sleepiness or lack of appetite.  

 

   Janene & I will visit a rehab hospital in Indy on Monday.  Jeff & Heather went to investigate a place in Mich on Thurs.  Soon we hope to make a decision as to where we think is the best place to take Gene for specific stroke rehabilitation.  We ask that you pray for direction  & wisdom in this decision & that the place we choose will also accept him as their patient.  Still lots to be figured out & more arrangements to be made.  Thank you for upholding us so far & we thank God that Gene is improving in many ways.  New people this week heard him speak aloud & with a few, he even carried on a short conversation.  He is very aware of what we say to him & now we pray that someone else may get his body & mind to work together.  Janice

 

July 19, 2016   Hello!

 

   This will be brief.  We had our visit with Dr. Canivati & Amy today & it went very well.  Gene pulled out all the stops & talked, moved his legs & moved his feet.  He raised his hands & smiled a lot.  We were given the green light to proceed with more intensive therapy.  Janene & I will visit the Mich. facility on Mon. a.m. & if we all feel the same, proceedings will start by Tues.  That means Gene could move very soon.  Of course, we also know things can change rapidly so we still need you to uphold us in prayer as we try new things.  

 

  All the logistics have not been worked out, but we do plan to keep his room available here at Swiss Village as we have no guarantees.  They prefer that also since we could need a place & none would be  ready for us.  We are all getting tired & this may be a first – I’m going to bed soon!  Thanks for all you’ve done to help our family.  Guys from our church took us to the Dr. today, daily someone tells me that we are in your prayers, and neighbors, family & friends have kept me afloat.  Thank God for all of you.  Janice & the family  

July 24, 2016  Hello!

 

   It was a good week over all.  After Tues when we saw the Dr., Gene was washed out Wed. a.m. but was good the rest of the week.  He ate so well Wed. noon that he got peach pie!   Then on  Thurs. we had friends here from Virginia to visit.   Friday he asked for pie for breakfast but since there was none, he got ice cream after he ate his cream of wheat & oatmeal!

 

  Tonight Gene’s brother & wife came & he got to have rootbeer  ice cream.  He tried to talk to us but I couldn’t understand him. I asked him to speak louder since it is hard to hear when he speaks quickly.  He told me to listen slower!  I think his sense of humor is back.

 

   Sunday evening Janene & I will travel to Battle Creek, Mi & stay at Jeff’s place so we can visit the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital at Grand Rapids on  Mon. a.m.  Please pray that it will be a suitable place for Gene & that they will see fit to admit him.  We know he needs more therapy to advance his quality of living- we just pray this is the place for him.  We’re praying that God will show us answers soon.  Thank you. Janice

July 26  Hi!

   Janene, Jeff, & I visited the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hosp. in Grand Rapids yesterday.  It is all that the literature says & what Jeff & Heather witnessed a wk ago.  The sub-acute unit is just what Gene needs & then hopefully can progress to the acute area.  We need you to pray that he will be admitted & that it is God’s will that we take him there.  I would have accommodations within 6 minutes of the hospital with a cousin & our granddaughter & husband are only 20 minutes away.  We would take him in a heart beat but must wait on their decision.  Hopefully by this Friday, we will know.  Thank you for keeping us in your prayers & now for this special request.  Perhaps by Sat. when I write, we will know.  If this doesn’t work out, we still have a few options, but not as specific for this needs.   Janice & the family