Monday, January 31, 2011

My friend Leslie from Springfield called yesterday. Her son Jeff and his family are still in Washington. Her second son Chase, the one who visited us over Christmas week, is now making his way across the country. Leslie said he was passing through Las Vegas, a journey I would love to take, not only to see Jeff and family but for the drive-by of Vegas.

We are starting the front end of a big winter storm. Lots of ice, sleet, and snow falling through Wednesday is the forecast.

Brayden called me yesterday. He and is brother are hoping for a snow day or two. Brayden will turn eight on February 12. Plans now are for Scott, Jalen, and Brayden to be in St. Louis to celebrate the birthday. He hasn’t told us what he wants for his birthday, and we haven’t told what he is getting from us.


I talk with Margaret almost every day. The Abbott clan is braced for this storm, which is coming from the west and will hit all of them before it hits us.

As you can imagine, this care facility is bor-ING, to quote Jalen and Brayden. Please, some blog updates and e-mails of news would be most welcome. Since I can’t access the internet here, Rose prints out stuff for me at home. She takes my computer home to post my blog entries and send my e-mails.

Today I begin “restorative” therapy—whatever that means. The physical therapists have various levels for therapy, restorative being one of them. Now Rose and I are allowed to walk down the hall with me hopping along, using my walker. I cannot wait to get this cast off and resume my normal life!

One of the things Rose and I are doing is talking with some of the nurse assistant trainees who intern here. We are seeking a lake companion for me over the summer. The interns are high school seniors. We are hoping to find someone interested in helping me and also getting a part-time lake job. We have some issues to resolve, primarily transportation and, of course, costs.

Unlike St. Mary’s Rehab, the staff here is universally kind and considerate. These interns get excellent training and indoctrination from seasoned staff members.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Butterfly Lighted with Flash

I’m not sure I’ll update again before February 1 but want to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PETE!! By the way, how did JOHN become PETE? If I ever knew, I guess I forgot

Chris was here already as were Groves, Goldman, and Rose. Groves and Goldman brought me my computer. It was at home because the social worker (who sometimes isn’t very social) worries about our leaving the computer if I leave the room. The last one to leave in the evening takes it for safety and to relieve the social worker’s mind. Rose and I did some restorative therapy which is step-hopping, AKA the best walking I can do so far. It’s what therapy will allow me to do at this point under the 25% weight bearing status.

Rose and Shirley have gone for Apple computer lessons and then Rose will be coming back so we can do some more step-hopping. Pete and Janet called this morning. I had the phone in my hand and was waiting for their weekly call. There’s not a lot to do here except wait! Rose and I say that going to the doctor is just ‘hurry up and wait’. This place is a lot of that.

I hadn’t heard from Donald for a while so I called him this morning. Pete gave me his phone number. Donald and Vita will be heading to their daughters for a visit in March. In the meantime, they are moving into a new house. All sounds very well with them.

We may have a winter storm again this week. I think it’s going to start tomorrow. Spring is surely not many storms far off. A lift for the stairs at the lake will depend on the extent of my recovery. Probably necessary for general safety reasons. Maybe once I get downstairs in the morning and upstairs to go to bed that will be enough, but I’m concerned with other people worrying, too.

More Butterflies

Garden Lite

Margaret and Norman's Gift

Friday, January 28, 2011

I think I got this working right. Margaret and I did some attempts at other things which didn’t work so I’m really hoping I don’t erase all my typing. Margaret and Norman just left and we had a wonderful visit. They are so proud of their grandchildren – and children, too.

My roommate here at the Center left for surgery this morning, and I’m hoping she will share the room for her recovery. She was up and dressed and ready to go when I awoke at 5 A.M.

Tuesday was Elvis Presley’s birthday celebration. 75th we calculated. He would fit right in here. There was the party with an impersonator entertaining. In the pictures on the blog, Jalen and Brayden – separately – thought the Elvis impersonator looked like Uncle Ding. Scott explained that the character was an impersonator. ‘Doesn’t Granny know Elvis is dead?” was Brayden’s response after Scott tried to explain what he meant, and Brayden probably still doesn’t get it.

I haven’t had therapy yet today so I’m hoping they get here soon. The news yesterday was that I will have X-rays on Feb. 14. After the surgeon sees the X-rays, he may or may not let me go home that day. I get more therapy doing it this way. Rose was here already today and she hasn’t missed a day – MBFF. She said that to me yesterday. Figure it out.

Chuck installed a new electrical connection for the lift for the stairs yesterday. He’s going to repair whatever damage he did to the drywall today. Chuck is one of the boys’ friends and is handy like Doug.

Doug is in the process of remodeling his basement and Mad Dog is helping him. I’m eager to see the finished produc. It’s now Friday and I started this entry yesterday. Any one who reads it can probably figure that out.

One of the therapists just came in and told me the house doctor has just approved restorative therapy until at least my next X-ray (Feb. 14) which will determine my weight bearing status, now at 25%. This means I will be here at least until Feb. 14 which means in-house therapy, same room, 24/7 care, and lots of help which I still need. After the surgeon sees an in-house X-ray on the 14th, the weight bearing status may change, and I may or may not be eligible to leave. The X-rays will determine if I should continue therapy at a higher weight bearing status.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Yesterday I did some walking for the first time since I broke my ankle and today I walked a bit farther. It wasn't painful and the therapists are very kind and helpful. I believe I have to take it slowly and be very careful not to rush the recovery and injure it any more. I think the therapists cast their opinions on Tuesdays on whether you are eligible for more therapy as an inpatient, and I will be cast out. Either way, I will continue walking (or step/hopping as I'm doing now).

Scott went to Kansas City this weekend to vistit Beth. They went to the Ozzie Osbourne Concert. Shirley, Rose and I missed Brayden and Jalen. Both of them got good report cards. They always do.

Shelly & I saw the King today - no not Jesus - ELVIS! We posted pics. Shelly knew the Elvis impersonator from a party at which he performed some years ago. Turns out he is The Big Elvis Guy in Vegas but is a St. Louisan with a big heart. He regularly performs at places like BJEC. It was a really enjoyable performance.

The big new in Shelly's world is a new baby Rhino boy at the Zoo!! They didn't even know she was pregnant.

Speaking of expecting, Kate Spreitler's baby shower Saturday was a success, and Baby Girl Elser should be making an appearance March 3rd.

[Sue wrote this Tuesday afternoon, January 25.]

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I missed Pete and Janet's call while ago and I guess Joe wasn't waiting for the call nearby so Pete was feeling like we were avoiding him. Perhaps we were both seeing Ms. Jones. (or is that Mrs. Jones?) I can look out the window and see lots of snow. On of Joe's windy stories was that when he got his first pair of shoes, he kept running backward in the snow to see the tracks he made. Really, the first escalator any of the eight of us rode was probably in the Heer's store in Springfield. [Two memories Joe shared with me in an e-mail.]

Rose has clients this morning and is then heading this way. The baby shower for Katie is today. The pending parents may have time to stop by here before heading back to Kansas. March 3 is Kate's due date and I'm sure she's ready to deliver. Chris and Shelly have worked all week preparing for the occasion, and I hope someone takes pictures and posts them so we can see the happenings.

I had an email from Sandy (Bob's daughter). She and Debbie had been to see Ralph and Pauline. They talked about my hair and how dark it was when I was little. Needless to say, it is more salt and pepper now. In fact, as the pictures show, more salt than pepper. Margaret and Sabrina may come to see me this afternoon and I'll see if Sabrina has one of those phones with a camera (and Rose happens to be here) so we can get the sisters' pictures taken together.

The weather is still bitter cold and I believe more winter is headed our way. Scott went to Kansas City this weekend to see Beth and, since I haven't heard, I assume he got there okay. Weather was bad in Louisville, too. The boys didn't have school.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Finally got some information from the surgeon (or his nurse probably) that was news but not exactly what I was hoping to hear. I can now put 25% of my weight on my left foot. I'm not sure how they measure that to be certain it's only 25%, but I guess I will find out when I see the therapist tomorrow. I was at a plateau on therapy until I could put weight on my left ankle so now my healing will hopefully benefit from the therapy with the resumption of exercise in different ways. The therapist is very encouraging, but today he was frustrated with the surgeon for not answering his request for an update about the X-rays he had sent over there yesterday. He said he had never called one place as often in one day.

Meanwhile, the surgeon won't change the cast until at least February 4 when he wants to see me and/or I have another X-ray. I probably will be here until then and hope he lets me go home on that date. I guess my bones are healing nicely according to yesterday's X-rays. I'll have home therapy and outpatient therapy after I'm released. Rose says most people exercise in their youth but I've taken it up oppositely. The physical therapist was the one who made the calls to the surgeon.

We had several inches of snow this morning. There were lots of school closings including Goldman's. He went over and shoveled for Rose and Shirley but got stuck in his own driveway as he was leaving his house. He made it!


Hello, Rose here on Sue's Blogger account. Barnes Jewish Extended Care, where Sue is rehabbing, does not have internet access. Sue has been writing her updates on her computer. I bring the computer home, sign onto her account and post her news. Same with e-mails she gets. I print them out and she types up responses which I send later.

Sue is faring pretty well in BJEC. The staff is almost universally kind and caring (unlike SSM where she was immediately after surgery). She goes to the very nice dining room for lunch and dinner each day and has found companionable folk to dine with. The occupational and physical therapists are extremely professional and competent. It will be five weeks tomorrow that Sue suffered the break. The report from the surgeon today was encouraging but not as much as Sue was hoping for.

One added note: Thank God for Goldman and Chris! And let us not forget Shelly! She is hosting a shower for Katie, Sue's granddaughter, on Saturday. Katie and husband Austin are expecting a daughter in March. Shelly is quite the hostess, and we much appreciate her opening her home for this event. Yesterday Chris told me he was very busy because he was on "shower duty." I thought he was talking about his job, and asked, "What the hell is 'shower duty?'" His answer: "With the shower coming up on Saturday, I am doing whatever Shelly asks me to do!" Shelly also shows up regularly at BJEC with Sue's favorite treat--a steakburger with pickles, Ketchup, and onion.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Just had my therapy session for today. I'll go back to the surgeon tomorrow and I hope he will remove the cast and let me leave here. It will be five weeks Friday since the break and I've been cooped up long enough . I've had lots of great company. Ding has been here several times. Lots of people know that Rose and I are sisters just by looking at us. The house is close so Rose is here usually more than once a day. Dave and Liz were here one evening this week. She is recovering well from her aortic surgery and will go back to work on February 17. Her scar is even painful looking and we both got nightmares perhaps caused by pain pills. Margaret and Norm came up Sunday. I hope I soon get around as well as Margaret does.

I'm going to add a story abut previous times. Margaret talks to Mary Pauline every Sunday and did so while she and Norm were here visiting me. I talked to Pauline (as we kids always said instead of Mary Pauline). When we were little kids, Mother took us to Kansas to see Bob and family and Uncle Bud and Aunt Lois. Brother Bob sent me to the door by myself to see if Aunt Lois would recognize me. Aunt Lois looked me over and made the statement "You used to be such a pretty little thing." Then after she paused and kept looking she continued "Well, your hair's still pretty!" Brother Bob never quit telling that story nor did
he quit laughing about it. And I never quit telling it!

The surgeon's office just called to change my appointment because the possibility of bad weather tomorrow.

Mad Dog has been checking the lake house because it has been bitter cold down there and may do so with snow soon. I think he's up here right now helping Doug with the basement project. The lift from first to second floor at our house was installed yesterday.

Now I just returned from lunch. Lunch was between the last two lines. My bed isn't made yet either. That's one way to keep me from laying around! Lunch wasn't bad. They usually give you a main dish or an alternate. Rice today instead of potatoes. When the guys go to the lake house, potatoes are about the only vegetable there, or at least the only thing they consider a vegetable. Shirley prefers rice but Rose and I like our potatoes, preferably Idaho ones. Potatoes are the only thing that comes from Idaho, per Brayden. The Steakburgers and French fries that Chris and/or Shelly bring are tasty as is the coffee Rose brings from Starbucks.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Niece Sandy Spencer with Children

Sandy is a daughter of our late brother Bob. Thank you for the lovely family photo, Sandy.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

i'm going to update on my last update. It does look like I'l be getting out sometime after my surgeon's appointment because my therapy is currently at a plateau while I can only put toe pressure on my left foot. I do have physical and occupational therapy daily. These 'red things' (as we call them) may be something Denny brought me when he was here. i use them on my fork to eat and on a pencil eraser for the computer. I'm slow but I get the job done.

Rose has been here and had lunch when I ate in the dining room. I'm not sure what Ding is doing this evening but I told him to go straight home from work. I got pictures of Brayden, Jalen and Drew to keep me company in case I get lonely.

Brother Joe keeps up watching the blog. He had breakfast with the Berns girls this morning. Lydia leaves to go back to college this weekend and it will be very lonely without her. By the way, Joe, what is a Salsa Dance? Tonight they will be attending Lydia's high school Alma Mater basketball game as some of Salsa Dance programmed

Brother Donald called me today. He and Vita were currently in Alabama. He, of course, wanted to know how I'm doing but was also doing some research on a family from Marshfield. Would you Email the info you have and I'll work on it?

I just finished occupational therapy for today. I enjoy physical therapy much more. Ding took offense at the comment I made in a previous entry concerning animal therapy. Shelly isn't feeling very good right now, She is probably glad that there's not much business at the zoo - what with her ailing and the bitter cold weather.

Mad Dog has been down at the lake with his dad but is scheduled to come up soon and help Doug who is remodeling his basement. I'm sure he's checked the lake house and hope the road has been passable. It's been frigid down there too.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I found out yesterday that I could get out of here next Wednesday, the 19th. I have an appointment with the surgeon on the 20th. When the therapists and other help got together with the social worker this morning and determined I need to see the surgeon before I am released, they decided I should stay until after my appointment with him. Meanwhile I am keeping up lots of therapy and joining some of the others in the dining room for meals. As Brother Joe says, they're serving three squares a day. They weighed me today but I won't say what I weighed with the cast, wheel chair, and me. It was quite a bit. If I have to stay a few more days after the surgeon's appointment, at least I'll know the end's in sight.

It's been bitter cold here the last few days. We had some snow Monday night and lots of school closings yesterday. I could look out the windows of the dining room and see kids playing in the snow and sledding. I think Brayden and Jalen had school called off which Scott thought was unnecessary. He thought differently when he was a kid. Goldman went over and shoveled sidewalks for Rose and Shirley. He and Groves came to visit me yesterday. Rose comes every day. Ding is probably on his way right now.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

It's Sunday morning and 19 degrees outside and very chilly. Rose was here first thing today and brought my computer so I could do another update. She's working and brought her computer so we are both typing away. She just types much faster than I do. She's using her Ipad while I'm using my MacBookAir. I don't currently have a roommate. She went home yesterday. Though we hardly got acquainted she was a pleasant acquaintance. We could eat either in our room or in the dining room, she always invited me to join her.

I'm really looking forward to seeing my grandkids from Louisville and I hope before too long. Drew has been to see me and i hope comes back soon. Katie's baby (which will make me a great grandmother) is due March 3, I think. I hope I'm well enough to go see her by then.

I don't understand this Apple computer system and had planned to take lessons before all this happened and still want to take the lessons. There are some things, not necessarily about Apple, that Brayden helps me with.

Saturday, January 08, 2011


Somehow Rose will take my computer home to update this episode of the blog as I do not have internet access here at Banes Jewish Extended Care. I'm at Barnes Jewish and feel I'm in better care. regardless, I'l be glad to be out of here and home soon. I hope. The surgeon put a new cast on my ankle on Thursday and doesn't even want to look at or X-ray my ankle until a week from this coming Thursday nor can I put any weight on it so no walking or trying at all. I do have physical therapy and occupational therapy. Three times a week they have dog therapy where dog lovers bring their dogs in for other dog lovers to admire and pet. I don't participate in that. A couple people remembered me from when Denny was in here six years ago.

THere's a lovely view out my window. I've had lots of company. This place nor the other place is far from the Barnard College house. Rose especially is here quite often. Goldman, Chris, and Rose were here earlier. Liz and Dave may come see me this evening. Liz is making a remarkable recovery after her open heart surgery. She has to go back to work what seems like very soon.

Pete called this morning with his usual Saturday check-in. Things are good in Idaho. He had already talked to Brother Joe. They were discussing buying a van for uncle Joe and Joe's driving it up to see me. Rose also thought it was a very good idea. We.d both love to see you and your family, Joe, and it's not that far.

Chris Visiting

Mark Goldman Visiting

Friday, January 07, 2011

Sue on the Mend

Sue saw her surgeon, Dr. Lander, yesterday. He put a new cast on her foot (see photo) and told her to put no weight on it for at least two more weeks. She will be in a cast until late February and so far is healing just fine. She did not suffer further damage from her fall on Monday evening, something we were worried about. Dr. Lander wants to see her again in two weeks.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Sue's new cast

Brayden the Comic


Sue moved yesterday from SSM Rehab to Barnes Jewish Extended Care (BJEC). BJEC is the same place Denny went to in 2004, and at first glance still looks excellent. Chris couldn't be available to help with the transfer so Drew (Sue's son Mark's son) took his place. He is a gorgeous young man and as kind and gentle as he is good looking.

Sue (and we) are happy to leave SSM Rehab behind. I cannot begin to list all the errors and missteps Sue encountered there, including a very unfortunate fall out of bed on Monday evening. She is still suffering from the overdosing of her seizure meds. I am extremely angry at the treatment she received. Even Chris' and my letter and my subsequent meeting with the CEO of the place did not correct problems Sue encountered. More about all that on another day.

Chris will take Sue to her surgeon this afternoon for a check of the broken foot. We should know more after that appointment.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

I'm not updating right now but will add info later.
Sue's friend, Liz, a long-time GMAC friend, has come through her heart surgery just fine. She had the surgery Thursday, spent a day in the ICU, and on Friday was able to walk some. We are much relieved and wish her and her family all the best in the new year.

Sue will have a day pass to spend some time at home with Jalen, Brayden, Shirley, and me today. Chris, Mr. Reliable, will help us with transporting Sue since she still can put no weight on her broken foot. [ X-rays on Wednesday showed she is healing nicely, but it is a slow process for a serious break.]

Yesterday, Suzanne Hollensbe and her two children picked up Jalen and Brayden. They all went to see Sue, and then went to the Hollensbe for playtime. Because of tornado warnings in the area, all the patients at St. Mary's Rehab were sitting in the halls as a precaution. Brayden and Josie got to toss a ball around with some of the patients in physical therapy. I called for the boys at the Hollensbe's before dinner. Later in the evening we paid Granny another visit where Brayden and Jalen took her for long spins in her wheelchair. We also took Sue photos of both boys for her wall.