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Day 49

Vader sent in the 501st to fight cancer.

On Sunday, the Rebellion helped a stroke victim with a personalized greeting from Jedi Master Yoda himself!

I am SO geeking out on this one.  She did too.  I brought home her ipod Sunday night so I could load it up with the first round of everyone’s greetings.

And wouldn’t you know…


After hearing Yoda speak to her directly (including her name!)…

She felt temperature differences AND random pokes on her right side.


Well, yeah, probably.  It IS just a character in a movie and tv show after all.

It’s still cool to get my geek on once in a while and enjoy things.

So the past few days have been relatively rough, and we think we’ve figured out why.

We think she may be ready for the next step in this juncture…MAY…POTENTIALLY…but understand….that’s the last stop before home!

Got a TON of questions to get answered first, but from what I’m seeing, the non-compliant times I mentioned before are either boredom, she’s frustrated at the pace, or they don’t offer that at this facility.

Until we leave this place, we need to focus on her endurance.

Which means, we need her to do her therapies.

Which means, we need to keep her occupied so the nursing staff doesn’t feel the need to “medicate her” into oblivion.  Yes, I’ve spoken with them on that topic.

Which means, I need good people, whom I know and trust to volunteer to visit and continue to work on her cognitive therapies with her.

I’m really soul-searching on this one, but even on day one, I knew it would come down to this.

This is why, when everyone wanted to come and visit when they first heard what had happened to my wife, I asked them not to.

Because I didn’t need you then, and I said that your time to help would come.

I’m thinking this is that time to start lining up volunteers.

Until we get her to the new facility, we’ll need a little coverage.

After she’s done at the new facility, depending on what level she at when she leaves, we’ll need a fair amount of coverage at home for the first couple of weeks.

I have 2 definites.  Beyond that, it gets fuzzy as to who’s available to help.

I’ve set up a site at www.lotsahelpinghands.com and will be sending invites to folks I know.  Even if you can help for an hour here or there, it’s beneficial.  That would give others a break.  If you are out of town, we’ve got spare beds here.  So, can you help?  Would you offer up your spare time?  Or maybe a week’s worth of vacation?  I know it’s a tall order I’m requesting, but I’ve got to ask.

If you haven’t gotten an invite just yet, I apologize.  I’ve had a lot on my mind.  Either email me or request one by leaving a comment.

Oh wow, almost forgot the update on Anissa!

Let’s see, I’ve had her standing, which came along with an enthusiastic, “Ta-daa!” from the Mrs.  I’ve been feeding her applesauce and pudding.  She got a pulverized breakfast Tuesday morning and said it was delicious.  We’re trying to strengthen the swallowing muscles before anything other than pulverized.  Still, it’s the first “real” food she’s gotten since November 17.  I reminded her that there are easier ways to go on a diet.

We’ve been working on her fine motor skills on the left side, and the feeling is coming back in her right!  I came in from outside and put my cold hands on her right leg.  She responded with a “brrr cold”.  I asked if she could feel that, and she said yes.  Last week, I put ice cubes randomly around her leg while she wasn’t looking, thinking I’d get some sort of reaction.  I didn’t.

Monday, she did react though.  Whoo-hoo!

Of course she didn’t want to do the ice-cube test again.

There are times she’s extremely aware of her surroundings.  There are times she gets too tired to speak.  There are times she repeats things randomly.

Like I said before, it’s a roller coaster.

Then came Tuesday.

Why was Tuesday so awesome?

Because it was pure Anissa all day.

She had been falling asleep during her therapies at times because they were wearing her out.  Today, she went a full 90 minutes.  Then out of shear stubbornness, she decided to stay awake and have detailed conversation the rest of the day.  Pretty much all day.  We worked on a few things in her room.  She went through some of the mail and got a handful of surprises.  Many thanks to everyone who sent stuff!  The variety of what came in was absolutely perfect.

It also included a very special, very personalized package from a Mr. R. Macchio.

Ralph, many thanks for that.  She lit up like a light when we opened it.

She also actually posted to facebook.

She’s missing everyone badly.

109 Comments on “Day 49”

  1. #1 SnoozanK
    on Jan 10th, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve checked to see how Anissa is doing. The progress she’s making shows 1000% determination and I am in awe of her. Kids, you have a amazing superwoman for a mom. God bless you all.

  2. #2 amanda
    on Jan 11th, 2010 at 12:50 am

    So, so happy! Still sending all the power and warm energy your way that I can.

  3. #3 Mami2Mommy
    on Jan 11th, 2010 at 3:19 am

    Can you email me what part of town the hospital is located so I can see if it’s nearby? Would love to help out and so glad that Anissa is kicking butt! You go mama!


  4. #4 T
    on Jan 11th, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    So freakin’ fantastic to hear progress. Can’t volunteer time but I will continue to send prayers!!

  5. #5 Megan {Velveteen Mind}
    on Jan 11th, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    I’m no stranger to Anissa and happen to be passing through Atlanta from Gulfport, MS on my way to Nashville on Tuesday, February 2. I would be more than happy to come to Atlanta the weekend before (Sat Jan 30- Mon Feb 1) and put in some time.

    Anissa knows I have a nursing new baby, but I have friends I can stay with and who can take care of her during 2-3 hour windows while I entertain Anissa with phrases like “My uterus shut down when it realized it missed its last chance at Ralph Macchio seed.” Ahem.

    Email me and we can work out details. I’m Anissa’s editor at Blog Nosh Magazine, am proud to call us friends, and I promise she knows me well. 😉

  6. #6 Beth Blecherman
    on Jan 12th, 2010 at 1:28 am

    Yeah – Lots of love and hugs. Keep up the great work Anissa – we are all rooting for you!

  7. #7 Sharon
    on Jan 13th, 2010 at 12:09 am

    Such wonderful news to read that Anissa is doing so well. You go girl, hang in there and keep on fighting. Praying for a complete recovery

  8. #8 deb @ talk at the table
    on Jan 14th, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Thinking and praying,
    hoping the work is balanced with the joy and peace.

  9. #9 Jen
    on Jan 29th, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    I know that I’m a completely random person – who came across your wife & her story (via @shaunaglenn & @aiminglow) just as all of this was happening to your family. but for the past few months, I feel as though I’ve gotten to know you all a little bit – and, even though I never met Anissa, I’m certainly keeping her in my Ts & Ps.

    That said, when I initially read this post, I wasn’t sure how I could help (being from Nebraska & all). BUT I will now be attending a conference in Atlanta from Feb. 21-24 and would just like to throw it out there that I’m available to help. Even if it’s just been a long day & you need someone to pick up dinner or run another errand – I can be there.

    E-mail me if you’re interested. But, with me being a stranger and what-not, I COMPLETELY understand if you don’t take me up on the offer. I just would have hated myself if I didn’t put it out there!