Showing posts with label Davy update. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Davy update. Show all posts

Friday, March 29, 2024

A Tribute to The Real Stars Of Recovery

This Mile Marker is a heartfelt tribute to a few special individuals that we love. I would appreciate if you take a moment to read it and look at the pictures of these beautiful people. 

KJo and I are still very much in the process of recovery from the stroke I suffered on December 29, 2023. I include Kelly Jo in that sentence because she has worked as hard and probably much harder than I have in this course of recovery.

She has diligently stayed by my side since the first moment and completed absolutely every task that needed to be done and found even more to do. I do not understand how people can recover without dependable and faithful people to help them.

I am praising God for my dear wife standing beside me, walking with me and propping me up for the last 90 days.

Speaking of 90 days, yesterday was the 90th day since the stroke. As one friend said to me yesterday, on the one hand, it is hard to believe it has been that long and on the other hand it seems like an eternity since that dreadful day. 

It is quite a Mile Marker for us and we are so thankful that God has brought us to this point without more difficulty than we have had. The personnel in Neurology and ICU were very concerned about subsequent strokes in the beginning and we are thankful God kept me. 

This road of recovery is not over, but God has placed people in our path all along the way to encourage us, teach us and help us. We are sure He will continue. 

Much of the help that we have received has come in the form of the therapists at Atrium Hospital in Middletown, Ohio. I had a lot of therapy.

I had at least 6 sessions of therapy while in the ICU unit. 

I had 33 one hour long sessions of therapy over 11 days as part of inpatient therapy. 

I had 52 one hour long sessions of therapy between January 19 and March 22 as part of outpatient therapy. Those sessions involved 18 days of therapy. 

In total, we had somewhere around 90 hours of therapy. I am not sure the exact length because the 6 sessions in the ICU unit may not have always been an hour, but all the other 85 sessions were an hour in length. 

I had 28 sessions of occupational therapy. 
I had 31 sessions of physical therapy. 
I had 32 sessions of speech therapy.

The therapist involved in all those hours of therapy, literally changed my life. I was determined to improve as much as possible, but I could not do it without somebody teaching me, encouraging me and even pushing me beyond my limitations.

I wish you could meet all of these people, but at least I can show you some pictures of some of them. I did not even think to take pictures in the first few weeks, there was just too much going on. So for some of the therapists I have no pictures. 

However, I did get a few pictures.

The speech therapist who helped me during the inpatient and ICU time was Katie. She is pictured below on my last day of inpatient therapy. 

I had taken my first swallow of water the day before and we had been crying and rejoicing together right before this picture was taken. And she had just given me my first small bites of food. 

Katie worked so diligently during those first 18 days to help me swallow. I will never forget her commitment and dedication to helping me. She first came into the ICU less than 48 hours after the stroke.

I am still struggling to swallow some things, but I believe I am swallowing today because of her devotion to her job and to me as a patient. Katie Rocks!

Charlotte was my main inpatient physical therapist. 

She worked with me on using the wheelchair, the walker and the basics of balance and walking. I called her a drill sergeant and she lived up to the name. I am very thankful for those early sessions when she pushed me to try again and again. 

Because I went home with a feeding tube, we were assigned a home health nurse. Once I was evaluated our nurse came once or twice a week until the feeding tube was removed.

Her name was Lauren and she was a tremendous help medically and emotionally to us. She answered all of our questions and still would. She was very kind and thoughtful. 

My outpatient physical therapist, for most sessions, was Emma. Each and every outpatient physical therapist helped me tremendously, but Emma seemed to pour so much emotion and dedication into my therapy. 

She pushed me hard and I teased her constantly about it, but I never felt unsafe in her hands, even when I knew she was asking me to go beyond my perceived ability. She was a jewel to us. 

My outpatient speech therapist was Phyllis. 

She also improved my swallowing tremendously, building on everything I had learned from Katie and expanding what I could swallow to where it is today. 

There is no way I would be eating foods that I am eating today and looking forward to eating things that I cannot eat today, without her constant encouragement and the knowledge that she poured into Kelly and I. 

Phyllis also taught me so much about using and building strength in my vocal cords. I cannot sing at the same level that I have in times past, but I am 1000 times beyond where I was when I began. 

In the days after the stroke, when I discovered I could not sing, I was heartbroken.  Singing has been such a huge part of our family, our lives and our ministry. I felt completely crushed when I realized how much voice strength and control I had lost. 

Phyllis was eager and earnest about strengthening the muscles in my throat and teaching me the techniques I would need to regain what I have lost. She was amazing. 

This process was very emotional for me and I appreciate that she gave me room to be emotional and call on God and rejoice with us when he helped us. The three of us shared many tender moments. 

She brought a keyboard in and coached us each session as Kelly would play and as we warmed up my voice. Then we would sing songs that have been important to us through the years. It was wonderful.

The inpatient occupational therapists were instrumental in helping me function in the shape I was in after the stroke. They taught me how to dress, to brush my teeth, wash my face and all the other daily functions. 

They were tremendous, but unfortunately, I did not get a picture of any of them. McKenzie was the main one while an inpatient. 

As an outpatient, my occupational therapists have been Melissa and Allison in the pictures below. 

They have both been very attentive to carefully improve my balance, the use of my hand and also in my cognitive abilities in relation to driving. They have been so patient with me.

Full use of my hand may be out of my control as long as my right side is still asleep. But they have helped me to improve the use of my hand and arm in amazing ways. I believe my right hand might be stronger than it was before the stroke. 

Kelly and I felt very close to Melissa, as we did others and we will never forget all of these people and more who helped us regain as much of our life as we could. 

On March 22 we stood in the hallway of the therapy area and cried tears as we departed from these wonderful people. There were hugs and tears all around and we will always feel they are a part of our lives. 

Honestly, it felt pretty weird not to be there the following Monday and not to be going there this morning on Friday. We will be paying them a visit as soon as we can. 

The truth is, we are able to launch out and see if I am able to travel because of them. They made it possible.

I am able to sing a little and preach a little, I am able to walk, talk and function somewhat normally because of the love and care administered to us with professionalism mixed with compassion and tenderness from these folks that God brought into our lives. 

One of these precious therapists told us that she thinks we were brought into her life for a reason. That is amazing. But it is even more true that she and all these others were brought into our lives for such a time as this.

May God bless them in their lives, families, health, vocation and in every area. Kelly and I can honestly say we love these people and all the others very much and we are so thankful for them. 

Thank you for spending some time with us today.


Friday, March 22, 2024

First Sermon Since A Stroke 80 Days Earlier, The Power of Imperfect Faith

This past Sunday was a memorable day for our family. Our pastor, Bro. Bennie Sutherland called a few days earlier and asked me to preach Sunday morning. I was apprehensive, but many were praying for me and the Lord stood by me and blessed me that morning. We are thanking God for his blessings. 

Odie recorded a very short video from the front pew and that is the only video we have from the sermon. 

It was captured on audio. I have loaded the audio onto our YouTube channel and it will go live at 8 PM Eastern tonight, Friday night, March 22. 

This is a sermon at Dryden Rd Pentecostal Church on March 17. This was my first time preaching since I suffered a brain stem stroke on December 29.

The sermon is The Power of Imperfect Faith. This is AUDIO of the sermon. 

Thank you for stopping by today and I hope you will listen to the sermon on YouTube. The whole video is less than 35 minutes.

Have a super great day.


Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Change Already? Yep!

Wow! Things sure change fast around here.😍 This was the first major paragraph in yesterday's Mile Marker.

If nothing changes, Speech therapy and Occupational therapy will end on Wednesday, March 27 IF not before. Physical therapy will pause on March 27 for a few weeks. I will go back toward the third week of April and they will evaluate how I am doing at that point.

The only accurate part of that paragraph was three little words,  IF not before. Lol! Everything changed in two hours on Monday morning.

Occupational therapy and Speech therapy decided that I have met their goals for me and they both discharged me Monday. That was my last day of each. I have had 28 days of each category of therapy spread over two months. It has helped me tremendously.

I will have one more day of Physical therapy on Friday of this week. That will be my last day for now.

As soon as I can pull it together, I will try to post pictures of all of my regular therapists and write a little more about my therapy experience. I am very thankful that therapy was available to me!

That is all for today.


Look for our Word For Wednesday tomorrow morning.

Monday, March 18, 2024

The Weekend Dispatch 3/18/24

Wow! We were blessed with a wonderful weekend and we are glad to tell you about it. 

We had three full hours of therapy on Friday and came away with some great information.

If nothing changes, Speech therapy and Occupational therapy will end on Wednesday, March 27 IF not before. Physical therapy will pause on March 27 for a few weeks. I will go back toward the third week of April and they will evaluate how I am doing at that point.

After the evaluation, they will either discharge me or schedule more therapy as needed. That fits good with my loosely held plan that I detailed last week. After March 27, we hope to travel in the car a few weeks preaching on Sundays and mid-weeks and see how I handle that. Yay!

The therapists have help me tremencously the lst many weeks. I will write more about them and add pictures of my regular therapists when we are through.

Saturday, KJo and Odie attended a baby shower for Kayla Jo in Hillsboro, Ohio. It looks like they had a great time.

Sunday morning I preached for the first time since the stoke for my Pastor at Dryden Rd. I was very apprehensive but the Lord the Lord blessed us wonderfully. He surprised me in an awesome way! Hallelujah

I am so thankul for the touch of the Lord Sunday morning. I needed His touch and He came to me so sweetly.

That wraps up our weekend. Thank you for stoppig by.


Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Plan Wisely and Hold On Loosely - Part Two

Last Friday I wrote about my passion for planning and the potential for problems when my careful plans are psotponed. IF you missed Friday's Mile Marker, you might better understand this one if you read it although I believe today's can stand alone.

I mentioned to you again that the Lord has been amazingly kind to me by planting peace and contentment deep in my soul over the last 10+ weeks. I would be going crazy right now, stark raving mad, if the Lord was not helping me.

That does not mean that I am not antsy to go, I am sitting on go this moment. But I am not descending into despair over my carefully made plans being indefinitely delayed. 

I am still making plans but I am aiming for wise plans that I can hold loosely. These are my new loose plans for the near future. I have categorized them in order, but the items may not happen in this order or at all. I am OK with that.

1. We warm up my vocals and practice singing nearly every day. I am also using my speaking voice recording A Word for Wednesday episodes.  At some point, I intend to incorporate a full online type service into our practice. 

It may be recorded or it may not, it may be published and it may not. The main thing is to see if we can sing and I can preach a service right here in our home. 

2.  If that works, then I intend to preach single services in the local churches that have invited me. It would take me a few weeks to preach services in several churches and that should give me an idea of what I am capable of at this time.

We are well acquainted with these churches and they would certainly understand if I needed to stop halfway through a sermon.

3. Travel outside the area for single services or maybe weekends, building endurance and confidence. I also need to discover if I am able to travel extensively. 

Travel will also depend on my outpatient therapy schedule. As long as therapy is helpful and as long as they keep me going back, I want to take advantage of it.

4.  IF we travel a bit, it will be in the Jeep. I intend to take the bus to Jeff Rowe in Vonore, Tennessee for a few weeks at some point. While it is sitting still, would be a good time to be in his hands to work on a few things.

Traveling without the bus, especially IF I am not able to eat in restaurants yet will present a whole new set of challenges.

5. If the single services and weekends and travel go well, I will probably preach a few partial week revivals closer to home that were previously unscheduled. 

6.  Once I can preach a few revivals in a row and handle the travel well, it will be time to consider climbing on the bus and continuing our scheduled revivals, wherever we are supposed to be at that time. 

Kelly and I executed a plan similar to this after I had been sick with COVID in 2021 and it seemed to work well. I am holding this plan very loosely and I am willing to adjust it as needed and as directed. 

There is one potential obstacle to this loosely held plan. The right side of my body still feels like it is completely asleep. I am not entirely sure, that I can get past steps #1 and #2 in this condition. 

I am sincerely asking you to pray for us. Thankfully, I am walking, talking and swallowing better. There is nothing that doctors can do or therapy can do to eliminate the numb like feeling. 

I am trusting God’s healing process and believing Him for a miracle to fix this. God is able to do a miracle. Thank you for praying.

Thank you for taking this journey with us.


Coming tomorrow:

Monday, March 11, 2024

The Weekend Dispatch 3/11/24

I hope you had a super great weekend. We had a good weekend and Odie snapped a few pictures to make it real.

One day, I am not sure when, Kelly Jo and I worked on the door locks of the Green Machine. 

The day KJo picked me up from the hospital in January, the driver's door lock stuck in a locked position. We finally unlocked it and removed the door panel. We ordered and received the part we think is bad. I will bring you up-to-date when we are finished.

On Thursday, Kelly’s parents came to visit for a few hours. It is always great to see them and we enjoyed visiting with them very much.

We try to talk Kelly’s Dad into playing the guitar a little and we do not have to twist his arm too much. We enjoyed some music and some singing.

Friday morning we have therapy from nine until noon. One hour of physical therapy, one hour of occupational therapy and one hour of speech therapy.

We have some great therapists and they are helping me. Sometimes they work me hard and I am really sore the next day or maybe the next two days, but I appreciate what they are doing for me.

We have no idea how much longer therapy will last, so I am trying to soak it all up as best I can.

Friday evening my brother Steve and sister Karen brought JoJo by to visit with us for a little while. We really enjoyed seeing them and spending time with Jo. 

Sunday we went to church at Dryden Rd. enjoyed being with our church family. Brother Bennie taught Sunday School and preached and we loved it.

Please remember that A Word For Wednesday has returned. There will be a new episode on Wednesday.

That wraps up our weekend. Thank you for joining us today.


Friday, March 8, 2024

Plan Wisely and Hold On Loosely - Part One

If you know me well at all, you know I am a planner. I live and die by the plan. I like to know when, where, what and sometimes why

The plan is not sacred to me. It is not totally unchangeable. I am willing to adjust the plan, tweak the plan or even pause the plan. However, I must begin with a plan and keep some variation of a plan in motion, if possible.

Scrapping our well made and thought out plan for months at a time is obviously challenging for me. I imagine that some of you understand that well.

We had planned to be in Mississippi this week, then Alabama, then Georgia, then Virginia, then three weeks in West Virginia and then nearly two months in Virginia.

We were looking forward to camp meetings, revivals, Easter sunrise service, Homecoming revivals and generally experiencing great fellowship and wonderful services. 

Obviously, this current health crisis postponed my plan. An interruption like this would normally cause quite a bit of disturbance for me emotionally. 

However, I have mentioned before, that the Lord has enveloped me with beautiful peace and contentment during this time. I am extremely thankful for the Lord’s specific help in this. 

That does not mean that I am not antsy to go, I am sitting on go right now. But I am not descending into despair over my carefully made plans being indefinitely delayed. The Lord gets all the credit for that. I would fall apart on my own, no doubt.

Therefore, since the original plan has taken a detour, the planner in me has been percolating a new plan. It is not a solid plan, in fact, it is a plan I am purposely holding onto very loosely. I am pretty happy with myself for that.😇

First of all, I have no firm idea when I can implement my new plan or when I will return to weekly revivals all over the US. I am determined to take time to heal and the pastors I have spoken to on my schedule are supportive of that.

I am trying to Plan Wisely and Hold On Loosely! I will tell you more about the current plan on Tuesday by His grace. Today the plan is to go to therapy. Thank you for being here today.


Thursday, March 7, 2024

Scrambled Eggs And Salad

Thank you, dear friends. I had no idea that a Mile Marker about eating lettuce would stir up as much excitement as it did.😍 I believe that some of you are as genuinely thankful as I am. 

Thank you for that. All the texts and phone calls were very encouraging. I do appreciate your kindness.

In the interest of full disclosure, Kelly Jo drove about 30 minutes to the nearest Ruby Tuesday's on Tuesday and prepared a salad for me at their salad bar. I ate about half of it at home with very little difficulty at all.🙌🏽🙌🏽

I have also been eating scrambled eggs for breakfast every day this week. The first several days I was home in mid-January, I struggled mightily to eat scrambled eggs. That is another great improvement.

With my swallowing improving, that should also translate to my vocal cord operation. The therapist has told me it all works together and as one improves the other improves.

My voice was stronger the last two days during our practice sessions, but it goes very up-and-down at times. I am hoping this is a permanent gain. I will know more in a few days.

Thank you as well, for the warm welcome back to A Word For Wednesday. Many of you went out of your way to comment or send a text with your hearty approval and I appreciate that very much. My Wednesday crowd has never been large in the grand scheme of things but you have been faithful!

A few nice compliments were forwarded to Odie and then to me and I am thankful that the Lord used a few of my words to speak peace or encouragement to someone. There is no way I can work all that out on my own, Thank God for that.

Thank you for being patient with me. I have committed to be as consistent and faithful on Wednesdays as much as I am physically able. I am already excited about next week. I believe the subject will be "Peaches and Frost". 

Thank you for hanging out with us today.


Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Lettuce Move Forward

I have eaten a lot of salad in the last 10+ years. It is not exactly a "health food" salad that some people love and a rabbit would enjoy, but it is salad and it must be better than a cheeseburger or pizza. At least, that is what I tell myself.

I eat so much salad in the course of life, that I get really sick of it and have to back off for two or three weeks. After a short time, I almost crave a good salad with dressing and cheese plus maybe a little ham or bacon bits. 

I ate from the salad bar at Ruby Tuesday’s when we returned from Africa in December and I think that is the last salad that I have had. The swallowing problems from the stroke have caused me to avoid lettuce altogether. 

The therapist has told me that lettuce is often one of the last things that people can consume after having swallowing problems. I have avoided it, knowing it would be a challenge for me.

Each session with the speech therapist Kelly Jo tries to take some kind of food that I have not eaten yet and we try that as part of therapy. Most things have been successful and a few things have been much more difficult. 

The therapist has given me a few foods that I was sure I could not eat from recent experience, but I was able to do it. That gives me more confidence to try new textures and foods that have been difficult to swallow in recent weeks. 

Monday, KJo became extremely adventurous. She drove to the other side of the interstate and picked up a serving of salad from Olive Garden. I love Olive Garden salad, but I thought she was a little touched in the head. 

The therapist thought it would be good to try and so I tried it. Much to our surprise, I was able to eat it without too much problem at all. I needed to be careful, but I am getting used to that. The more dressing, the easier it was to eat and that is OK with me. I love Olive Garden dressing.

That is quite a Mile Marker for me. There are a lot of things I still cannot eat but ultimate on the list is a big Outlaw Ribeye from Longhorn Steakhouse. I think today brings me a little closer.❤️❤️

Thank you for stopping by today. Remember, we will have A Word for Wednesday available tomorrow. The subject will be Trusting Our Lord to Lead, He Maketh  No Mistake.


Wednesday, February 28, 2024

More Good News-Stepping Up!

Yesterday I posted an update on my recovery. 

Also, I have posted a video with the information in yesterday's post and more good news from today.

Monday was also a monumental day at therapy. During physical therapy, they worked with me for most of the hour on walking without assistance. I was a little unsteady, or maybe a lot unsteady, but they had me walking pretty fast and quite a bit of distance.

Also, occupational therapy was designated to be the day that they would give me cognitive tests to see if I was ready to begin driving again. They had prepared me for this, but this was the day to take all the tests in one hour. 

It is actually a series of cognitive tests along with a speed test to make sure I can get from the gas pedal to the brake pedal and a test to see if I recognize and comprehend traffic signs. I passed all the tests with flying colors and they have approved me to begin driving.

The neurologist has the final say and they can require me to take a driving test from a professional driving instructor, The therapist does not think they will require it. She said there is no doubt my cognitive skills are at the right level.

I have begun driving some, but I have such a good chauffeur, that I do not have much need to drive. ❤️ I will hold off on driving the bus for a little bit, to make sure I feel comfortable enough to attempt it. There is no sense in doing something stupid.

That is the good news for today. We are making progress, stepping up one day at a time. Thank you so much for stopping by.