Friday, March 23, 2018

Lovely Random Shots from Weeks 2 and 3 of March

It worked so well with the previous post, I thought I'd do it again. I long to be caught up, so I can share more musings, devotionals, thoughts and not, "Just the Facts," of daily life. At least that is how I'm justifying the recent shotgun approach to blogging. πŸ˜πŸ˜‰πŸ˜Š

Without further ado - some lovely random shots from week 3 and 4 of March.  Of course, there was Pi day, and we celebrated with Veggie Pot Pie for dinner.

Another sign of Spring - new antlers on Bullwinkle - it's been fascinating to watch this process. 

Then again, maybe it wasn't Spring. No, it was - an Alaska Spring. I get it now. πŸ˜‹πŸ˜›πŸ˜€

Hmmm....the race is on. Personally, I think Stacia has passed up her tallest sister. Arielle, maintains she is still the same height. She has a formula worked out - seems to think she lost an inch in childbirth and it will re-appear shortly! 🐽😏🐽 Didn't work that way for me. I used to be a willowy 5' 11". Nah, not really. 
Arielle (l), Stacia (r) 
I love our Moosey Visitors - though I'm getting more and more concerned about fruit trees, gardens and landscaping. 

Be still my heart!  Such expressive eyes. This is my favorite part of this season. 
Gideon - 10 months
Benny - 4 months
In this time period there have also been hints of new ministry and friendships, shared meals and coffee with strangers fast becoming friends, swallow tests, swallow and physical therapy, grieving and healing, lovely phone calls with Dad, Marco Polos and texts with Krista and Cousin Lorri, spiritual growth and a couple of spiritual tantrums, fishing research and planning,  and through it all -  oodles of research on how to become as self-sustaining as possible on 2 1/2 acres, gardening and composting in Alaska and raising chickens....

Michael's Latest Swallow Test

We found these darling Japanese eggs this morning. Michael was up last night and decided to try a couple. What a fun surprise.

Michael had a barium swallow test today. This is the third one since November. This one showed "marked improvement" since November.  He didn't aspirate or attempt to aspirate at all!  We will see his therapist on Monday, but the recommendation from the gal doing the test is he is ready to STOP the VITAL STIM (the shocking sessions) and maintain his progress with the exercises.  That means we shouldn't expect more improvement, but he's at a level now with his compensating strategies where he can do well. He has to be careful, but he's doing well. A concern seems to be an episode he had in therapy with liquid - but he was talking at the same time.

 As we've been repeatedly told, "The swallow exercises are a lifetime activity."   In his previous therapy in 2015, the VA therapist had given him exercises....but these take 2 hours a day and are MUCH more intense.   We have been warned  he will most likely see more loss of ability in 12 - 18 months.  This is what we have experienced - it was about a year from the end of his previous therapy to him having more trouble again.  The plan is to revisit the therapist as needed in the future. Often as coordination and strength change one has to adjust how the exercises are done, and they often do more Vital Stim when a Parkinsons patient takes a downturn.  Our fingers are crossed  this is the course Rhonda, his therapist,  suggests as well. We've all been praying this was the result of the test, and it looks hopeful. The VA has approved him for another 24 session of the electrical treatment as necessary.

Michael capped off the day - or welcomed a new day - by grabbing some shots of the light display outside.