We Celebrated A Spectacular Christmas In San Diego

Christmas in San Diego  Pixie dust

In December, we celebrated our Christmas… in San Diego.  … Does it get better than that???? Christmas in San Diego?

The reason for our trip to San Diego:  It a nice place…but more importantly….  My mother in-law, Betty, has dementia. 

She was stable for a number of years, but all of a sudden …she is decreasing.

Jill Decided On A Plan For Christmas  

Jill decided we go to San Diego for Christmas and rent a VRBO with her brother Brent , and our son Tom & his new bride Bethany .  My daughter Rachel, her daughter Stella and groom to be Nat were coming and would stay with Jill’s other brother, Gary to celebrate the holidays.  

We even had pictures Gary’s family and the cousins.

My wife, Jill, took most of the pictures on our final day…. overlooking the beautiful beachs in San Diego.  But,  I  said “ was I on this trip? …She tracked down a picture show grainy picture of me that someone else took. It was a grainy picture , but at least it shows ….I WAS there.

Agenda

Jill made put together an agenda for Christmas DA she is really good at making an agenda  DA and forwarded it to everyone. ….People then added there little tweaks ….until …it was finalized. 

Everyday was the same. ….Brent would call our Father -in law,  Al. Brent would invite them to different functions….and Al… would decline!!! ….I couldn’t believe it!  

Betty’s three kids ….were all in San Diego for Christmas.   Why not be a part of this special time? 

On a few occasions, we traveled to her house to see them.  Was there a difference of us going there …or them visiting us??  DA Beats me. DA

It was so sad …to see Betty looking LOST… ALL the time.

I remember when we gave birth to our daughter Rachel.  Grandma Betty came up for a month to take care of Jill and help out with Rachel. I think back at that moment and tears fill my eyes.  

It was a Merry Christmas (Stella) for all of us…and I am hoping it was a Merry Christmas… for you.  2020 was a terrible year. Along with the Covid outbreak …and millions of people out of work, my brother lost his wife and my brother in-law Brent’s wife lost his wife. I pray this year …will be better.  

No matter what, just remember the joys of Christmas …“to give up one’s very self.  To think only of others AND… how to bring the greatest happiness to  them(Christmas photo)that… is the true meaning of Christmas.”

My First Blog…

OK, this is not my FIRST blog, I posted 673 blogs already.

However, today I will be starting my NEW Blog…Life After The Stroke. After careful consideration of what I would after the pandemic, I am decided to be a full time blogger, while I can be home and travel for pleasure. The speaking business has had its challenges and most of the speakers are giving the presentations in ZOOM. That works, but not for the people I am trying to reach.

I Start My New Gig…Today!

I hope you will join me in my new venture; I am VERY excited about what the next chapter looks like. You notice I said MY new venture; I am going to try to keep the stress off of Jill. But after I said it, there ARE still some things that I will ask her to do… but don’t tell her.

First, before I start my blog in September, let me give the good news: my two children got engaged, to different people, in August.

We spent time with each of them in the past year, but we didn’t expect this…in the same month; Holy cow!!!! (It has been said I say that often.) Now, there are ALL the things associated with a wedding.

Stella, Rachel, Nat, Ryan
Tom, Bethany, Gordon, Jill

Who Will Be First?

So who is getting married first? As of now (things change hourly),

Tom is expecting a tiny ceremony in December 2020 and he will have 2 “parties” in Oregon and in New Jersey sometime in the future.

Jill did the leg work and found out what it would cost to do at Oswego Hills Winery. (Note: Jill is having frequent conversations with Tom and Bethany so things are for ever changing.) It DOESN’T look like they will be having it there…but things change!

Rachel is planning a ceremony and party on November 6, 2021…so we have a year to plan. I am guessing she is VERY excited about that one. She told us they are looking at Anthem, AZ for a hew home. How exciting!

Where Do I Start?

In September, I will be trying NEW stuff. I will talk about my early days of the stroke and think back on what I learned about myself during the stroke. I will be addressing some serious topics and throw some humor to make it lighter.

I am only planning on 1 maybe… occasionally 2 blogs per week because writing a blog is difficult! Also, I want to do some video blogs…and they are V E R Y difficult to do!

While it sounds good, consider this: First, I have to write out what I want to say…and then I have to practice saying it. Easy? I did a two minute video of me talking about why I would not be communicating during our meeting. The video was recorded 6 years ago (nice glasses), so I am a little better now… but the 2 minute video took a month to get it right! Even now, I cringe when I watch it, so that is up in the air.

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And finally…

Here is the reason we enjoy life…

Just in Time for New Year’s Resolutions: FoodSmarts!

You made a new year’s resolution to eat healthier. The National Stroke Association’s app FoodSmarts can help.

FoodSmarts is designed to help you manage all your nutritional needs in a simple, easy-to-use tool. Users log in and create a profile that includes their various food preferences and health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and/or stroke disease. Healthy eating habits are critical for those who have had a stroke, and are key in preventing stroke.
FoodSmarts is accessible online at foodsmarts.stroke.org as well as via a mobile app. Online accounts sync with the mobile app, which is available in the iPhone and Google Play stores.

With FoodSmarts you can:
• Search for recipes, ingredients and grocery items that match personal dietary restrictions and food preferences
• Connect with friends and family members to learn about their nutritional needs and preferences
• Connect with a personal Registered Dietitian or Nutritionist for advanced guidance
• Add family recipes, create meal combinations and check the nutritional content of your favorite dishes
• Find restaurant dishes that meet the special nutritional needs of family members
• Build a personal library of food favorites
• Automatically manage weight loss goals when meal planning and dining out

Through a partnership with FoodCare®, registered dietitians are able to provide advanced nutrition guidance to make using FoodSmarts? even more personalized.

Try it out!

Just in Time for New Year’s Resolutions: FoodSmarts!

You made a new year’s resolution to eat healthier. The National Stroke Association’s app FoodSmarts can help.

FoodSmarts is designed to help you manage all your nutritional needs in a simple, easy-to-use tool. Users log in and create a profile that includes their various food preferences and health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and/or stroke disease. Healthy eating habits are critical for those who have had a stroke, and are key in preventing stroke.
FoodSmarts is accessible online at foodsmarts.stroke.org as well as via a mobile app. Online accounts sync with the mobile app, which is available in the iPhone and Google Play stores.

With FoodSmarts you can:
• Search for recipes, ingredients and grocery items that match personal dietary restrictions and food preferences
• Connect with friends and family members to learn about their nutritional needs and preferences
• Connect with a personal Registered Dietitian or Nutritionist for advanced guidance
• Add family recipes, create meal combinations and check the nutritional content of your favorite dishes
• Find restaurant dishes that meet the special nutritional needs of family members
• Build a personal library of food favorites
• Automatically manage weight loss goals when meal planning and dining out

Through a partnership with FoodCare®, registered dietitians are able to provide advanced nutrition guidance to make using FoodSmarts? even more personalized.

Try it out!

Improve Recovery With Family Teamwork

Stroke recovery doesn’t need to be a solo effort. From balancing a bank account and programming television remotes to driving stroke survivors to physical therapy appointments and helping them bathe, family members and close friends can make a significant impact on the recovery and everyday life of a survivor no matter how modest the task may seem.

When Fred Brock, 56, suffered a series of strokes last year, his family assembled to care for him in his San Diego home. “It felt really good [to have the help] because we’ve always had a real close family and whenever there’s a problem, we rally together and take care of it,” he says.

His daughter, Wendy, works as an accountant, so naturally she manages the family’s finances. His son works in construction and, “if anything breaks down around the house he takes care of it,” Brock says. And his niece regularly drives him to appointments, although Brock boasts he once again is able to drive himself.

Roles of Recovery

Much like Brock’s family, each member can lend a specialty to aid in a stroke survivor’s recovery and take over any tasks the survivor may not be able to complete by themselves.

If you love to cook, offer to prepare meals. Are you skilled in troubleshooting computer issues? Teach a stroke survivor how to restart the WiFi and download helpful apps on their phone. Perhaps you’re a fitness buff and can visit a stroke survivor once or twice a week for a walk around the neighborhood.

Even family members who live out of town can contribute with a variety of caregiving tasks that can be done from afar. Pay bills, send flowers and letters of encouragement, or serve as a lifeline via phone.

Embrace the Help

Although Brock’s pride didn’t get in the way of family coming to his aid, not all stroke survivors openly seek and accept help. That’s a mistake, Brock says.

“Physically you’re limited on what you can do and you just need to learn your limitations and work with that the best you can,” he says. “And try and keep a good sense of humor. If you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?”

How did I miss that?

 

You wake up in a hospital, unaware of what happened. Your family and friends gather around to help you any way they can. Your family can’t make sense of what happened, so they see what is available on the internet.  That the problem!

You can’t find ANYTHING you need to do AFTER you had your stroke.

For me, that stroke was 7 years ago.  Now, 7 years later, it is different.  Now you can determine if your heart is stressing out..  You pay attention to FAST and you are aware of the stroke facts.  You have the signs, and your friends and relatives noticed it..and they tell you.

You may notice I DO have post-stroke examples of articles you CAN read.  OK, it’s 1, but it is a start: 5 Ways to Help Your Loved One with Receptive Aphasia  There will be MORE!

In the last 7 years, we have had major progress in stroke.  Now, stoke is the 5th leading cause of death in america..down from the 4th leading cause of death. That’s good news!