April 7, 2020
These updates are being dictated into my phone. It’s more convenient, quicker and because my left hand doesn’t have the coordination or let’s say that it is directionally challenged the dictation comes with a couple grammatically incorrect words. I have fun when I say "going" that it sometimes comes out as gonna. Rather than going back and correcting each one, find a little enjoyment in my natural E. 140th St. slang. Or as Giuseppe would say neighborhood dialect! And you are going to see capital letters in the middle of sentences or words. They are when the dictation stops and then I restart it, it may start it like it’s a new sentence. Sorry one of the flaws of the program.
Thank you for taking the time to read it.
This is a recap of Monday, April 6. After I woke up and found out that I needed two nurses to walk me to the restroom, realize that my legs mainly my left leg was not gonna carry me the six steps to the restroom. They were very cautious and wanted to make sure that I didn’t try to get up and walk anywhere. I thought it was sort of funny so probably come I made it to the front door by myself. They put the alarm on the bed so that if I did get up, they would be notified at the nurse’s station. I am certain that they have had patience to try to get up and wander around, they fall down and then have more problems. And I’m sure there’s some liability on the nurses.
My left hand has a challenge in regard to gripping an object with Strength and doing anything really coordinated. Just too fast forward to a late lunch, I ordered a salad a roll and lemon ice.
The salad was served in a small soup bowl, consisting of cucumbers, shredded carrots some onion and some very fresh curly green lettuce. It was apparent that once you put the dressing on, you have to cut just about everything to make it a mouthful. I took the bun and set it on a napkin and took about half of the Lettuce and put it on the plate to cut it in the month-size pieces. I placed a fork in my left hand and the knife in my right hand and proceeded to attempt cutting the lettuce. Speaking of very entertaining process. It also made me realize that I have to train myself to use my left hand. Lettuce slide off of the plate, along with carrots onions and a cucumber. I decided I was going to pick up the cucumbers and eat them with my hands, because I’m sure I could not get anything off the plate with those cucumbers. I managed to eat a couple of bites of lettuce with my left hand, but found more success Setting down the knife and using my right hand to eat the cut-up salad. The salad was probably 10 bites for a healthy person. For me it was probably 15 bites, slicing and spreading the salad across my tray. I actually was laughing and surprised the nurses did not come out to find out what was going on. The tray looked like Cooper or Lucy (grandchildren), ate the salad without any utensils.
By the way the salad was delicious with just a little bit of vinaigrette. Just sort of an awakening on what was ahead of me.
My body is working well and functioning. Other than needing a hand to the restroom, I did a little reading, ate a little bit and had a number of visitors. My friend Alan Papa showed up in a suit ready for the day at the hospital. He made three visits Spending time with me and sometimes the nurses that were in the room. We had quite a few laughs. He also broke away from the schedule at 10:45 AM to meet Debbie in the lobby to pick up a delivery she had for me. Couple of work items toothbrush, toothpaste and a bag of goodies which I really only ate a gram cracker at 10 o’clock at night, when they gave me some medication which I’ll share with you.
And one medication I have during the day was an aspirin. Taking them on and off over the last five years. 81 mg once a day reduces the opportunity of a male having a stroke by approximately 20%. I wish i would have taken them everyday. THIS IS A PUBLIC SERVIVE ANNOUNCEMENTS, GENTLEMEN. By coincidence after my leg got numb On Sunday afternoon I went upstairs and took an aspirin. Back to the story. Another medication during the day and right before bed the nurse brought in two Tylenol’s, Lipitor (I may have spelled that wrong forgive me) but I was inform by the neurologist that he’s going to put me on those. Cholesterol medicine and the main reason he’s doing it for blood flow. He added that adds about another 20% off of the risk of having another stroke. There are pretty good odds, so I’ll take the message and take a pill each night before bed. I also talked them in to a 5 mg of Ambien. It worked perfectly I fell asleep around 10:45, nobody bothered me until 4 AM. Which time as well come out vitals were taken. My blood pressure is coming down and the scope course my left hand and my cheek and my left foot are still numb and will require some therapy.
The staff here has been great. I got in some reading done yesterday. I probably gave a heads up to 25 people, my family, friends and coworkers in regard to the event of Sunday. My location at the hospital and with the near future looks like. I received easily 45 to 50 text messages and a couple of phone calls. Producing this document in the morning, allows me not to have to repeat the same story over and over to callers. I also talk to my family members a little over a dozen times, between children, grandchildren, customers and coworkers I would easily say that I spent over two hours on the phone. I’m a good hour and a half returning text messages. A little bit of the day I returned emails for work.
I finally turned the television on at around 430 or 5 o’clock after a short nap. I watched a little bit of the news, shut it off and never turned it back on until 8:30 PM. I watched Men in Black International, to the ending because I had seen it before missed the finale. It took me right in the 10 o’clock and a dose of pills.
I’ll give you a short recheck of visitors from the floor nurse and doctor, Dr. Richardson neurologist and an occupational and physical therapist. There was a doctor that came in that was like a quality process person Dr. Vivian just want to know how my stay was and how things are going along with the nurse later in the afternoon that does the same thing. They’re all very nice and there’s definitely a process in place in the hospital for quality assurance. The neurologist shared what he saw from the MRI results. He stated that the right globe of my brain showed signs of a stroke. Which is caused the numbness on the left side of my body and the lack of response to do normal ask that I’ve done my whole life.
He also shared that the MRI showed that I had a fracture in the lumbar five. He would recommend not operating which was good. And he said that I would have someone come and visit from an orthopedic doctor’s office.
We discussed the therapists that we’re going to visit. Shortly after he left, people started showing up. Gina from the Orthopedic group told me that they were going to order a brace that I could wear while I was standing or sitting that goes around my midsection and it will compress the vertebrae. Then Gary showed up from the ortho company with the brace. He demoed it for me, I tried it on, easy enough to work with and he left. Shortly after his departure two ladies showed up to give me a little bit of therapy. They talked about the back brace, set me up in the bed we put it on. It is easy to work with and does give support. Then they were going to have me walk around the room a little bit and produced a walker with wheels on the front legs.
Walkers are a reality check. They stood on each side of the walker and explained the process. You could have a friend, relative or have observe people with walkers and think that you can do them right out of the gate. Not so. In short, I learned that you can’t lean on the walker, or use the walker to get yourself up from the bed. It’s not that strong. So, I learned to take my weak left foot and move it to the center of the space of the walker and then move my right foot up next to it, Then and only then you can push the walker. It has to be a step ahead of you. And repeat left foot center of the space on the walker right foot to follow and then progress another 8 to 10 inches. That’s a slow process considering you’ve been running around through airports, in and out of appointments, running up and down stairs to grab things you forgot or just moving through your day. The real value of time was demonstrated on Monday afternoon. Also, patience. Now that I’ve done a couple of turns around the room, the therapist opens up the door and we walked about 25 feet down the hall turned around, 25 feet back. I still have a back brace on, and I have a therapist to my left and one behind me. The one behind me corrected me as we walked back towards the room, she said she would rather have me looking forward, rather than looking at my feet, while I walk. I understand that completely, but I want to make it really clear, when you’re moving your left foot forward which is very weak and off-balance, You get sort of fixated, I’m trying to move it straight 8 inches without having it taking you off your line.
I realized I’m not going to be moving very fast I’m gonna have to relearn a lot of things I’ve been doing for over 60 years. They were taken for granted once they become habits. For some strange reason in that hallway being followed by two therapists, I realized how lucky I was to be learning how to walk all over again. You know you can walk, but at this time, as opposed to 61 1/2 years ago it’s going to take a little more concentration, patience and an awareness that if you fall your butt is not 12 inches off the ground any longer!
So, I’m looking forward to the challenge of getting the strength up in my left foot, Assuming the balance and agility that I’ve had my whole life, but I understand that it will take some patience. And it will take some time and dedication. Dr. Richardson said these setbacks can take three months to 18 months to get back to where you were.
That’s acceptable and I feel privileged to have the opportunity. He also stated that I could drive almost immediately because the use of my right hand my right leg and I would be able to balance steering wheel with my left hand and I should be good to go. It’s not my first priority to jump in the car and drive anywhere, since were house confined with the coronavirus shut down.
Our last discussion of the day, I heard that I could head home today Tuesday. And then we are going to set up the therapists that would come to my home for outpatient training. I’m up for both.
It is 6:05 AM on Tuesday morning. I’ve been up for about an hour and 45 minutes and I’m looking forward to having some eggplant Parmesan and pasta with meatballs that the Old Republic employees sent to our home. Deanna brought me a little to go package, so that’s going to be my breakfast.
I hope this two-page briefing will give you each an update of where I’m at. I’m grateful for the outline of a kind words, prayers and thoughts by all of you.
8:25 AM I just met with my new nurses and the care doctor. They are going to release me today. I’m going to be on blood pressure medicine and check my own blood pressure just to make sure it gets stabilized. And they’re going to get me up and around a bit to do a little walk this morning. Afterwards they said I could get out of here. Debbie has spoken to the case manager in regard to therapy. I’ll be doing outpatient as well as maybe some in-home therapy one or two times a week. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law Frank and Connie are giving me to use a walker with wheels and a couple other items that help at home in the short run. And if you’re driving by the Eaton Estates, you’ll probably see me practicing in my driveway or around a cul-de-sac. In the long-term, getting ready for next bowling season at Yorktown. This year I averaged between 206 and 207. I’m setting my goal for 2020-2021 season to be at least 210. It should be higher. That is aggressive, but sights and goals have to be set high.
Enjoy your day and I will mine. It’s a new adventure and a life lesson.
I’ll take it in stride and the strides will get better. Feel free to text me back or comment.
All the best Salute Cin Cin.
John Voso Jr