Saturday, August 27, 2011

Rolling toward September

Hello everyone, my apologies for not following through on the promise to post more often. But this is Jon back with you after another busy week. The summer is officially over now, even though in many ways it never seemed to start for me. Brenda and Brooke are in San Antonio this weekend for Brooke's first select soccer tournament of the year.

The kids started school on Monday and are off to great starts to the school year. They really seem to like their teachers and we are happy to hear that. As I mentioned above, Brooke is in the midst of her select soccer season. Jacob started football and had his first practice in pads this morning. So things are getting busier in so many ways.

UMHB also returned to school this week. Our first official games of the 2011-2012 school year come this week, so work is really ramping up. I hope I am ready for what's coming. I am a little nervous about my first seasons "post-stroke" to see how I hold up under the increasing workload.

We met with the PM&R doctor last Monday. It was the first time we had seen him since leaving Waco. He was encouraged by the progress and saw improvement. That was encouraging to us. He also gave me the okay to extend my work days on those days I don't have therapy. So I worked a pair of six-to-seven hour days last week.

It was another busy week in therapy, too. Physical therapy continues to go well. I have two more weeks of twice-a-week PT sessions before we cut back to once a week. In her words, "We can start to phase you out. " I still feel like I have work to do and things to accomplish, but we will start to do more of that with at-home exercises and work.

OT will continue to be a three times a week affair. There is more work to do with the arm, so we will keep working it harder. The encouraging thing is that we will continue three sessions a week because I continue to make progress. If things were stagnant or "plateaued" we would back off some. We also did some testing to judge my fitness to return to driving. I did well enough to earn their recommendation. Now I will just have to convince the DPS that I'm safe to get back behind the wheel.

Now, I thought I would respond to Ellen's request to hear about some of the difficulties or challenges I face every day. I prefer to think of them as challenges because I don't want to put a negative spin on it. I am just going to be honest, so I hope it doesn't come across as complaining.

Probably the biggest challenge I face is having to rely so much on others. I'm not cleared to drive, so I have to catch a ride everywhere I go. I also have to ask people for help at work, at home, at church, and a few other places. That is not an easy thing for me to do. I am ready to be more self-reliant.

Another big challenge is dealing with simple tasks that become much harder with limited use of one arm. I can't fold clothes, dry dishes, stuff an envelope, open a jar, tuck in my shirt or button hings as easily as I could before. The frustration that goes with that presents another challenge.

At work, I think the biggest challenges are: typing with one hand, not being able to carry stuff and fatigue that seems to hit way too early. That is all getting better, but it is still something I will have to continue to overcome for a while.

I also know that I have an outstanding support system in place to help me deal with those challenges. And I am so blessed to be in the position I'm in. So many people face much greater challenges than I'm facing, I am a lucky man and I thank God for that every day. Hope you are all doing well and we will post again soon!


  1. Hey Jon:

    Thank you for sharing your ups and downs of this journey y'all are on. I can only imagine how it would be to try to do daily chores with limited mobility. You are an inspiration to us. I know you get frustrated and probably want to scream at times, but you have come so far and God must need you for something really important.

    I am grateful that your dominant arm is in control. Can you imagine having to use your left hand for everything? I know that with your therapy you will soon see some larger accomplishments with your left side. Be patient.

    Fatigue is a tough one to work through. You can't really push through it too much because not only will the quality of your work suffer, so will your physical being. Let others do for have always done so much for everyone else.

    Prayers will continue to flow, Jon, especially now that school is in full swing. That's a given. Mark and I send our blessings and love.


  2. Jon, you continue to amaze us with your resilience and outlook. Having to rely on others for some things must be extremely frustrating, but remember people are blessed when they can lend a hand. You are not a burden, you are a friend. We are privileged to know you.