Update on Shirlee, Bonnie’s Mother-In-Law, who had a Stroke January 16, 2013

Shirlee has been gradually improving. It's been up and down. First she was sent to a rehab place and there she got a bladder infection. She was sent back to the Kaiser Hospital in two days. Then she had another mild stroke, which they saw on a CT scan. She is sleeping a lot and not eating much (she's lost 15 pounds). At the hospital she had the catheter removed but they used a scanner that showed she wasn't able to void her urine completely so they put the catheter back in. Then they put in a Pic Line to deliver her fluids as she still can't swallow liquids (the doctor said the Pic Line is safer than an IV needle in her arm). They are giving her antibiotics orally and a mild blood thinner. She was moved back to the rehab place last night. She can see with her right eye in the morning, but not very well in the afternoon. She can move her left arm to wipe her mouth but can't control either arm well enough to feed herself. She can't use her left leg at all, but she wiggles her left foot, but not when asked to. She can't keep her lower dentures in place when she falls asleep so the nurse has to pick them out of her mouth so they don't fall out. She doesn't want to have her dentures taken out but the nurse takes both upper and lower out and cleans them once a day. Yesterday she joked with the physical therapist when she had her therapy and that was a good sign. She can't hear well at all without her hearing aids and she can't put them in by herself, so she isn't using them. Her sister wanted to talk to her over the phone, but Shirlee couldn't hear her and didn't even know she was supposed to be on the phone with Joan. Joan said she could hear her talking to Dale, so that made Joan happy. At the hospital they use something on her legs that squeezes them for a few minutes everyday and that kept the fluid from building up in her feet and legs, but at the rehab place they don't do that and her feet and legs swell up. On her chart it says she is suffering from heart failure and the after effects of a series of strokes.

Dale still cannot wear his dentures. The dentist wants take his dentures and drill out over nine areas where he has protruding bone so they will fit, but he says he doesn't want to ruin the dentures as in all his research it says after 10 to 12 weeks the body reabsorbs the protruding bone and then the dentures get loose and have to have goop put in them so you can eat. He paid  lot of money for the dentures and doesn't want them to be drilled out. It's been five weeks since his oral surgery so he has five to seven more weeks to go without dentures.

He is eating everything blended in the VitaMix. He has also become a Vegan (all plant foods and no animal protein -- not even dairy). This is because he wants to eventually get off the blood pressure pills and in his research being a Vegan is the best and quickest way to accomplish that.

I'm going to close now and go to the store for "plant" foods (we have discovered ready-made tamales for Vegans, Vegetarians and meat eaters and the three of us have been eating one or two a day, which has been helping to keep us fed as we rush around trying to take care of ourselves as we drive to downtown Walnut Creek and try to find parking at the hospital and rehab place so we can spend time with Shirlee every day).

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