April 20-24, 2020
On Thursday the 23rd, I spoke with Brian Dean, neighbor and friend since 1997. He was curious about the stroke, how I was feeling and the rehab progress. We discussed each and I shared the numbness I have on my left side, and the loss of use in my foot and hand. He said he was sorry about the loss of my communication skills. I was confused and asked what he meant. Brian said “John your Italian, loss of the movement and coordination, mainly my left hand. That’s a speech impediment! I can’t complain. It’s very funny! The photo collage is food created by our family over the last couple of weeks.
I’m going to give you a whole week’s update in 2 to 3 pages. And then I’ll probably post a couple times a week just to update on where I’m at during this journey post stroke. This week brought a few realities to me, time is needed for correct healing.
My therapists, Linda and Jesse come over twice each week and worked me over for about an hour each time. Well needed. I’m learning a lot and it’s helping the process. Interestingly, enough I found out this week is that I just have to be dog determined to walk correctly, keep my balance in order and start to function normally. Whatever the definition of normally is, without looking prior to April 5, 2020.
Linda and I had two great sessions this week. She is determined to really do the exercises as disciplined as possible when she is here. She introduced a couple of new things like standing on my toes, walking with a cane, I should really say practice with a cane and some rubber bands for exercise. They create a tension that strengthens the muscles in the knees and legs. Jesse did the same thing for hand and upper body strength. I can feel it at the end of the day as well as the following morning.
Linda also asked me if I had any pain and how I was managing it. Well I did have some aches in my muscles I did not think about taking any kind of a pill. But I am taking some Tylenol and it’s relieving some of that pain and/or muscle fatigue. Thank you, Linda.
I clocked in about 20 to 25 hours’ worth of work and I need to tell you about a webinar that I listen to on Wednesday for an hour and a half. The man’s name is Darren Hardy. I met him 4 or 5 years ago. Incredible individual. He thrives on helping people in all levels of business. Personally, Darren knows people like Elon Musk, Sir Richard Branson and many others influencers and business leaders. His seminar was about 10 Questions that we should be asking ourselves and business leaders throughout our lives. He moved me with many things that he talked about, but he names three things that are coming out of the CoVid 19 lockdown, that hit home.
There are three major areas people are being affected:
That should give you plenty to think about when you are talking with people about this time. To be sensitive to whatever their situation might be. And I think we all know somebody in all the categories.
One other thing that he made a point about was that this lockdown will be as big of an issue in our lives as the 1930 depression was in our parents and grandparents and the 2007 financial recession that we experienced in our careers. In my life I’ve never seen a worldwide affect like this pandemic.
Which leads me to say I feel very fortunate which I’ve said before with being given a second opportunity to learn to walk and regain my strength and coordination. This webinar put a lot of things in perspective. Personally, it’s going to make me a better person just having the perspective he shared as well as giving me insight of family, friends, business associates and customers. And their employees, families etc.
That’s some heavy conversation. I’ll touch base a little bit about the people that called me this week. I’ve heard from my cousins (Joanna, Gina and Monica) in Arizona, the Shoop’s brought us some homemade cabbage rolls that were incredible! We enjoyed them for two meals. I received a couple of gift baskets, coffee from the Pearson’s in California (I’ll be revved up for weeks), fruit from the Neely’s and…, I am in receipt of barbecue from Kenny and Alyssa Monacelli, Austin Texas which was enough food for the family. Every day five or six cards come in the mail and that is humbling. I can’t say how grateful I am to everyone. Cards have come in from around the country with very kind words of encouragement and a speedy recovery. I also receive some holy cards which is very kind from Carol Pozelnik and my sister Toni, and a card with Saint Anthony on it and prayer cards from different parishes. I spoke with Mike Cardamone, (He is a prayer warrior, no kidding), we worked together and stay in touch since he retired. All very kind and considerate.
I believe that the people from Edible Arrangements are wondering what happened to me. But I appreciate them stopping by every couple day. I need to send them a big tray of Italian meatballs!
This blog has been remarkable. Some of the posts received over 200 likes and the very first one I believe received over 140 comments. If that was you, I want to say thank you very much. I read every comment, Liked them all, and I apologize I could not respond to everyone. If you say something in Italian I probably will respond, because I will have to use a translator to find the meaning.
I received a phone call from Phil, a big-time Washington DC attorney that had two jokes for me, but I cannot repeat here. He did not know about the stroke and when I told him, he went into a different mode. What a guy, one of my favorite speakers in the country. Thanks Phil and I can’t wait to get into the books you sent me.
I had a great conversation with Glen from Tampa with our company in the IT department. He’s a big shot computer guy, Glen and his wife are foodies to the top degree. He just bought a great pizza oven and made the first pizzas last week. He sent me a picture of the pizza in the new oven which goes up to 900°. Cooks a pizza very quickly and looked delicious.
I spent about a half hour on the phone with our CEO Mark. He wanted to make sure I wasn’t working too much, was getting enough rest and that I was listening to Debbie. I answered yes to all his questions. And I’m grateful to have him call and check in on me. When it comes to leadership, he wrote the book.
My son and daughter stop by at different times to drop off food or we’re picking up food. They post pictures every night on the family text chain that we have of what they’re cooking. Creative, simple, complex and always looks delicious. You’re doing a great job. They could write a coronavirus shut down cookbook. And they should. Debbie and I are eating food that were gifts, cooking meals and we’re making some pretty good tasty and healthy food. I’ve not been very picky and tell her whatever she wants to make I’ll eat. Thursday night she made grilled Portabella mushrooms with some other grilled vegetables. She serves them a grained bread with Coleman mustard and I used a little bit of a fig preserves. I have to be honest it was like eating the best hamburger I ever have in my life with no cheese and no fat! We also sent out to Farinacci’s for pizza one evening, without cheese and it was delicious. Debbie made a pot of Ribelotta, and Italian vegetable soup served with crusty bread that we learn to make in Italy. Who knew we were going to be eating comfort food in April.
We also experienced a lot of cold weather this week along with snow on a couple of days. I never remember this much snow after April 10, but we’ve had about three days of it. It is great just to sit on the deck and 65 or 70° weather. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long.
I’ve been struggling through a book and I have to finish reading and I watched a Ted talk by a Jacqueline Woodson. Her talk was about being a slow reader. And I’m prepared to do about a half hours’ worth reading tonight after I finish writing this. An excellent 11 minute talk, if you have the time.
It is a tough time not being able to see grandchildren, but we do see videos or pictures of them through our texts. They’re very busy and they’re doing some cooking with mom and dad. There’s a lot of homemade bread being made, wonderful appetizers and meals. I’ll share a few pictures on this blog.
If anyone can connect with me on how to imbed a video, I’ll start to add links or vids for you to enjoy.
I am hoping to go for a ride on Sunday the 26th. It’s for a surprise anniversary, Bertha and Ray, so if that happens, I might put a video next week for you to view. That will be something that would be very special for me. I have left home to walk a couple houses or halfway around the block a number of occasions, of course I’m using the walker. But driving the car will be fun.
It is hard to believe the month of April is winding up. I’ve been working from home since approximately March 13. 3 1/2 weeks before the stroke. And I will have in 3 full weeks after the stroke when this is posted.
The next post will be from the weekend, April 25 and 26. Sometime the week of the 27th. Thank you for checking in. please share the blog and write a comment.