Wow, a lot has happened.
I intended to post a lot more and a lot more often, but our blog was on a corrupted part of a server, or something. (I never asked what happened.) It disappeared completely!
Our service provider was able to get it all back up (thanks, Steve!) but on a new version of the software, which has meant having to figure out the new software, reinstall Discuss, get my account straighthened out, and all that comes up with almost starting over. Fortunately, it looks like all the old posts are there. (I haven’t found the old drafts, but that’s not a disaster.)
As I’m sure you will remember, Rod has been having strokes for about 20 months now. The first one was mostly annoying to him since it caused him to lsoe sensation on the left side of his body, but in May (on Jack’s 11th birthday, actually) he had the first of the more serious strokes.
That one left him unable to speak clearly or to write for several months. He later had a stroke that caused no discernable physical symptoms but had a serious effect on his cognitive function. He became really confused and started to need to sleep a great deal. At first it was 20 hours per day, which was really rough for poor Jack.
My honey is a fighter, and he is fighting his way back from these, too. He is now intelligible unless he is very tired, but his diction is not clear and his voice is weak. However he is able to function again and he is far less confused, though he still needs a long nap mid-day to get through the day.
The disruption of his cognitive function meant that it was no longer safe for him to drive, which means that all of his driving chores (shopping, taking him to the doctor, etc) are now on me. Fortunately, my manager is very understanding and he is happy for me to work from home and come and go from the office as needed to take care of things.
The good news is that Rod’s doctor has continued to research Rod’s difficult case. (None of the “normal” blood pressure medications keep his blood pressure down for more than a few days, but all come with hideous side effects that last long after his blood pressure has returned to “scary high”. He found an off label medication, intended for treating ADHD, that sometimes effects blood pressure. It works! It lowers Rod’s blood pressure so well that he found the upper limit when he passed out with blood pressure so low his meter couldn’t read it! Yikes! That was scary, but it’s also a relief that he can keep the pressure down to protect his brain.
However the pill can’t treat the *cause* of the persistently high blood pressure and we simply can’t afford the tests that would be required to figure that out. Our operating theory is that it may be scar tissue from a head injury he recieved 20 years ago. The injury was serious enough to cause real trouble then, so it seems quite possible. But that would requires a very long and involved MRI to locate and quantify the problem and then comes the treatment, which also wouldn’t be cheap.
So… *sigh* Rod is returning to Australia in 13 days! He can get free and low cost medical care there. He will feel less “useless” than he says he feels here, watching Jack and I carry the load he has always carried, so it will be good for his mental health. He already has a doctor there thanks to his sister, and his sister will take over his care. I eternally grateful to our friends Mark T and Paula M for, between them, making this possible! No way could we have pulled this off without them.
(c) 2014 Erika Woolams
That leaves me to sell the house. It’s been on the market since June but since it is at the price we owe the bank no one has been willing to buy. We lower the price this week. I got the paperwork from the bank that didn’t *say* they would accept less, but did ask if we had an offer and how much it was for…which I am taking to mean that we can offer it at market value. It can’t close in two weeks, even if someone grabs it the day the price goes down, but I am hoping it sells so I only have to handle packing and signing on my own. (Well, and moving to an apartment, and arranging to have all our goods shipped to Australia, and…) I lean really hard on my honey and all of this is pretty scary.
Rod and Jack have built an amazing group of friends, who have all kindly taken me in, too. They have offered Jack a place in their homeschools so that I can continue to work – and I am hoping that with so many of them splitting the job, it won’t be too onerous for anyone to have an extra kid around. I am truly amazed at how loving and generous this group of friends is. Actually, when I think about it it makes me cry. So, for part of September, October, November, and part of December, Jack will tour his friends lives and see how other families do home education – and they tell me that they are looking forward to seeing how Jack does his. (But he will be cutting way back for those months, since his studies take three hours per day, which would be way too much to ask of his friends. He will take one book per day.)
I packed my craft supplies over the weekend. I miss crafting, but there really hasn’t been time lately. It seems like every time I think I have time to pack the last few rooms, we have a viewing so that I spend the time polishing the house for that instead. I also need a completely dry weekend so I can put the last of the stuff at the curb.
Anyway, that’s what we’re up to. I hope that all is well with any of you who are still around.