April 25-26, 2020
Author’s Note: Week four was easier than the first three. I lost another pound or two. Less overall reading, definitely more exercise. Great meetings with Linda and Jesse. I walked outside almost every day, sometimes twice. We had a hard time finishing an entire bottle of wine this week. One glass for a taste and that was it. I find myself eating nutrition bars for snacks. Our friend Paula Smoleny brought us fresh fruit, homemade granola, scones and muffins. Paula is an incredible baker and cook. Thank you, it was delicious. Debbie bought all the ingredients and were going to make granola this week. I had a funny conversation with Dan Wold, our general counsel who lives in Minnesota. Always packed with funny stories, he wanted to find out how life was flipping its cards too me. I hope I can sit and a dinner table with Dan before the end of 2020. A good friend and funny guy. He is also a future president of American Land Title Association. My sister linda Jo stopped by and went on a walk with me. fresh air, children talk and social distancing. That's a nice thing.
So, the weekend had a funny twist to it. Saturday the 25th was a beautiful day, with temps in the 60s and I was lucky enough to do my exercises outside on the deck. We have a loveseat and a chair with an ottoman. I did a little bit of work little bit of typing writing on the chair. I moved over to loveseat did more reading and fell asleep. Woke up went to the house and got a blanket and laid down and ended up taking almost an hour and a half nap outside on the loveseat. When I woke up, I was disoriented in a good way it just took me a little while to wake up. Once I did, I went back in the house got something to drink. Please understand after a stroke, you are trying to wake up the numb parts of your body. Left arm, foot and in my case, the left side of my face. They are actually always asleep to different degrees. The therapy is to get the nerves and muscles to fire them up. When you sleep well. It takes some time to wake up. (For the short-term, jumping right out of bed or up from a nap, is going to take months to get back too).
Then we see family friend, Brian Bauman come up the driveway. A school friend of my son John since 1996. Brian and I sat on the deck, social distancing and we talked for about 45 minutes. He got me up on everything that he’s been doing with work, his girlfriend, his sister and nieces and his parents.
Brian is one of the hardest working people I know, and he has one of the biggest hearts. He is very charity oriented and has been a gentleman ever since I met him at about the age of seven. We had a great visit I look forward to hearing about more of his adventures hopefully one social distancing ends. As a note he and his family put on a charity event for The Richie White Pediatric Family Fund years ago. It was a success. We raised around $1500 from attendees for him to shave his head shaved. I’ll never forget those moments. Thank you, Brian and the Bauman’s.
I’m not a calorie counter but would be interesting to find out how much food I am really consuming. My meals have been light, and I will say that I’m eating five times a day. Virtually eliminated all junk food and snack food from my diet. And probably I’ve been eating vegetables fruit at least 75 possibly 80% of the time. The portions are much smaller. I mentioned earlier that whatever Debbie makes I’m going to eat. She does give me choices most of the time, I just say whatever you want to make and is most convenient. I’ve also eliminated most of the dairy in my life. I’ve eaten sorbet a few times and it’s pretty refreshing and takes care of my sweet tooth.
Also, I mentioned last time that I took out James Bond’s 50-year anniversary set of DVDs. I watch through 1980 prior to the shutdown. I have started to watch the early 1980 movies. I love how James very rarely gets a dirty shirt, always wear a tie and wipes out a bunch of bad guys, with a handgun or someone else’s machine gun. He never walks too fast or he runs very fast. And with a handgun he can take out 10 to 20 people that have machine guns. As I am typing this, I have to say I don’t know that I’ve ever seen James Bond eat anything. Possibly a strawberry and if that was the case it was probably fed to him by one of his gorgeous women. Another funny thing about James Bond movies, there’s always a casino scene and everybody’s got a quarter of $1 million on the table! What a cool character.
Debbie made dinner, she grilled halibut which was lightly seasoned and served it with a fresh mango salsa and on the side and arugula salad. I’ve just been dressing those with a little lemon and olive oil. Pretty delicious meal. As a note, overeating, which I regularly did, is quite uncomfortable now. Eating less is a better habit to get into as I rehab.
So, between the music, 65° weather, a nap on the deck, some reading, and a great dinner Saturday ended up being a pretty special day.
Sunday, April 26 was three weeks since I had the stroke. In one sense time flew by, in one sense and another each day has been a renewal, facing a few challenges and making a little progress. It really compares with starting a career, going back to school or trying to develop a new habit. Every day you can attack it however you like. At the end of the day you get live with your efforts of the day. Finding each day my strength getting better and my body starting to coordinate with the work I’ve been putting into the week of the muscle groups I’ve concentrated on.
Sunday started out with the exercises and a pretty steady flow of rain all day. Alan Papa spent about an hour, recapping his week at the hospital and mine at home. He’s getting ready to pull the trigger and purchase an espresso maker. It will change his life; I gave him some beans that I had and this time next week when he shows up for a visit and we have a couple of espresso, he’ll be sharing his new adventures with his machine. A side-note my family doctor, Michael Saridakis, also bought a new espresso/coffee maker. For everyone’s knowledge, the machine I own is a Gaggia, Referred to me by my friend, title professional and guitarist, John Bommarito from Detroit. John owns two, One at his office and one at home. When we were at conventions John and I scope out the local bean roaster/café, we spend our mornings or afternoons with an espresso break.
By the end of the conference we usually have a group of 5 to 7 that join us, for the afternoon ritual. If you’re interested in an espresso machine, WWW.wholelattelove.com You can trust the refurbished machines, and you can purchase beans and accessories. They have something for everyone whether you have $200 budget, or you want something with more options. Since were talking about espresso machines, if you’re looking for a high-end machine that was purchased in Italy, my friend Rick Albertini could make you a deal! Send me a message for details. Rick is the most learned and informed café beans person I know.
With Sunday’s rain I was able to work on wRiting, reading and relaxing (The 3 R’s for old people). We got in the car in at 2:10 and drove to Mentor Ohio to do a drive-by happy anniversary to our cousins, Bertha and Ray Barresi- 45years! Congratulations on a great party, in the rain, under a tent and a parade of family and friends driving by doing virtual hugs, dropping off gifts and wishing them the best. The party was a surprise that was pulled off by their daughter Heather and maybe sons, (David and Christopher). But the Facebook invite came from my Heather.
From Mentor we drove to Ohio City and made an exchange with Deanna, and then headed home via Tremont. We did a drive-by of my favorite Cleveland Cafe, Loop Cafe and records. They were closed, I don’t think that I would’ve stopped but I hope that they’re doing well, and I look forward to sitting in their courtyard this summer.
Since this update is about plugging different things in events, if you’re visiting me in Cleveland, you’ve probably went to Gourmands Deli and Cafe, were you can pick up a cigar, a bottle of wine or beer. One of the coolest places in Cleveland, owned by a great couple Andrea and Greg, and their incredible staff. If you have my Ethnic cookbook look up the Vegan Red Lentil Chili. It’s vegan, delicious and a very easy recipe to make.
This trip from our home to Mentor into Cleveland and then home took us about 2 1/2 hours. I did nothing but sit in the car look outside and listen to music, I was really exhausted when we got home. We did have some dinner and settled back for an hour or two. Monday comes Physical and Occupational therapy. Along with conference calls and customer follow up for the title industry. Happy to be re-energized for the new week.
Let me share one last note with you. Linda and Jesse, Physical and Occupational therapists have become a big part of my life, because of the reminders that occupy my home to use, handle and exercise with to wake up my muscles and nerves. They are friendly reminders of our medical professionals that are dedicated to the public’s best interest. You two are in my heart. Thank you, I know that we won’t be working together much longer but I’ll never forget the encouragement and passion that you both do your job.
Life will only change when you become more committed to your dreams, than you are to your comfort zone. Billy Cox
Trust yourself. You’ve survived a lot, and you’ll survive whatever is coming. Robert Tew