Tuesday, October 25, 2022

So much for last week’s optimism...

 As some of you might know, I was scheduled for an exploratory cardiac catheterization.   If they find nothing, then you are out that afternoon.  But if they find a repairable obstruction or the like, then you are an overnight guest.  Our daughters quickly volunteered to cover for us.  The oldest came to stay with Pam and was prepared for an overnight.  Our middle daughter picked me up before dawn to make my 6:30am check-in.  The youngest also volunteered but we were covered.

The good news was that they found no coronary artery disease.  So I was out of the hospital and on my way home by shortly after noon.  As is often the case, the good news is accompanied by not so good news.  In my case it is a diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension.  Basically it is high blood pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs.  I have a followup with cardiology in about a month and an appointment with pulmonary in about a week.  Let's just say that this one was not even on my radar.  I am still trying to digest it and doing a lot of research.

We stopped by Lowe's on Monday to pick up some Halloween decorations.  While staying with Pam, Courtney took her out shopping for a few more things.  Finally, Courtney stopped over today (Wednesday) with a huge mum to add to the decorations.  Of course, the mum was purple for Alzheimer's awareness.  Pam was very pleased with how it turned out given the limited space of the condo entrance.

We have had a number of opportunities for Pam to socialize with others over the last couple of weeks.  We had a opportunity to have lunch with someone that was a work partner for much of my career, after a twenty year lapse.  She was someone that I admired for her work ethic and genuine caring attitude.  We spent much of the lunch catching up on our families and careers.  She was able to see first-hand the toll that this disease has taken on Pam, and to a lesser extent on me.   But it was wonderful to catch up and to see Pam engaged and socializing.   And we have had a couple of chances to eat out with our middle daughter, Allyson.  I am always amazed at how Pam can go from just sitting in a fog to conversing, laughing, and enjoying herself.

I came across a quote that was quite striking to me from an author that I had not heard of before.  Renee Harmon has an impressive resume, but retired after her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  She has written a book, which I have not yet read, entitled Surfing the Waves of Alzheimer's.  But the quote struck home with me.   Remembering that the original purpose of this blog was to follow our dreams of traveling the country in our motor home, the sentence about unrealized dreams just struck an emotional chord.  The entire quote is:

 "Caring for a loved one who is declining can take an emotional toll on the one doing the caring. It is no small thing to watch your loved one change and become more dependent on you as time progresses. It is no small thing to realize that your dreams of your future together will never be realized. It is no small thing to take on more and more tasks as your loved one loses more and more abilities."

 I would like to end today's meandering blather with an expression of appreciation, encouragement, and admiration. And that is for our eldest daughter, Courtney. She has her own career, family, and other activities that consume her time. But she makes the time to be here for her mother every weekend without fail. Sometimes it is fashioned around football games and PTO meetings but she always makes the time. It is greatly appreciated by both of us. And I would be remiss if I did not also give mention to Courtney's middle son. His birthday is coming up this week. For his birthday he has chosen to do a fundraiser for an End to Alzheimer's in honor of his G-mom. Beside being a defensive tackle on his high school freshman team, he has a heart the size of the state of Texas. Very proud of him!


  1. Replies
    1. So glad you have family there for support, Cuz. Rolling the "no small thing" quote around in my head and wondering how much it will apply to us.

  2. oldywedz@bresnan.netOctober 25, 2022 at 12:29 PM

    Our hearts go out to all in this situation. We love you, Stevie and Dab

  3. Thanks Bruce for this blog and caring for our sister and making us delicious food when we come to visit.
    Thank you also Courtney, Allyson and Kendra for stepping up to the plate taking a little time in your busy lives to help your mom and dad. Much love and appreciation to ALL😘❤️