A Year Later

March 7, 2011 - One Response

My, how time has flown by. It was a year ago this month that we brought dad home from the hospital on a ventilator, with a feeding tube, a catheter and part of his skull still missing. God has done great things! All of the paraphernalia is gone and he had the surgery this past summer to place the missing bone back into his skull! We look at pictures taken last year at his birthday and again in the fall of this past year and we are amazed at how much he has improved. 

Dad has had three appointments concerning his prosthetic leg. They have created the first mold and are making adjustments to it. We are waiting an appointment for another fitting. He continues to have occupational and physical therapy at least twice a week and he continue to improve. It is still slow, but at each evaluation the therapists remain overjoyed at the progress he is making. He received a new wheelchair this week. It is one that he can maneuver himself with his right arm. He is enjoying the freedom of moving around the house. We can’t wait for warmer weather so he can get outside. Thank you for continuing to pray, he still has lots of room for improvement.

Dad has also had three preaching appointments in the last few months. With each appointment it is evident that his thoughts and his words are coming quicker. You may watch a portion of what he had to say:

Dad also has a facebook page – look him up.

Blessings to you.

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A New Year With New Possibilities!

January 13, 2011 - 2 Responses

January 12, 2011

Outpatient physical and occupational therapy continue to go very well. Both therapists are amazed at the progress that dad is making. It is slow, but nevertheless, there is noticeable progress and we are thankful. Dad has an appointment next week for a consultation visit concerning a prosthetic leg. We are excited for the new adventure that awaits us. Dad has worked very hard and we are well aware of the hard work he still has to endure to meet his goals for 2011. His therapy visits are very difficult and very tiring, but dad is determined to walk again. He has lots of cheerleaders!

The occupational therapist has been encouraging dad to exercise his vocal chords by singing a hymn each night “in his preaching voice.” Needless to say, “Glory Glory” has been the one he sings most often. The exercises have been successful and, as a result, we have noticed that his voice is stronger than in the past. Mom also noticed last week that, for the first time since his stroke, dad actually laughed out loud. His sense of humor has always been present and he smiles a lot, but that is the first time that we have actually heard him laugh audibly. He has been laughing more often since then.

 Other improvements that we have noticed, since beginning therapy, have been improvements in dad’s handwriting (we think it is even better than before the stroke!) and his ability to balance himself and straighten himself while sitting (since his left side is weak, it pulls the rest of his body to that side). The therapist has been giving dad various cognitive exercises as well and he has also improved in playing Wii! All these exercises are proving to be productive in the process of healing and we are grateful for such good, professional help.

More than being grateful for the therapy and therapist, of course, we are grateful for your prayers and grateful to our Lord for His healing.

Thank you for continuing to pray.

Miracles Still Happen

December 1, 2010 - 2 Responses

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dad is still progressing in his healing and he was released from home health care last week. The nurses and home health therapists  feel like he is ready to move forward to outpatient therapy. He began outpatient physical and occupational therapy this week and the visits have already proven to be effective and encouraging. The occupational therapist was amazed at how strong dad is in his upper body. During the OT assessment, as she was instructing him to move his left arm and hand, dad was able to follow her instructions, moving them ever so slightly for the first time since his stroke. She (the therapist) deemed it a miracle. She believes that, with time and hard work,  he will regain use of his left side. Thank you for continuing to pray.

We are still praying for dad to be able to walk. He must get to the point where he can sit up without aid and balance himself, so we are told. The physical therapist is optimistic that he will be successful. The physical therapy visits include working on sitting and even standing for very short amounts of time. The effort is very difficult and tiring for dad but his determination is strong.

The Benefit and Stroke Awareness event on October 30th went very well. We appreciate all the effort that was put forth to make it a success. Since that time, of course, Thanksgiving has come and gone and we were grateful to have dad home with us this year. We are looking forward to having him home for Christmas as well. Looking back, we remember that we were traveling to Taylorsville to the nursing home last Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you remember, it was Christmas Day that dad woke up and spoke for the first time. What a journey this year has been. Thank you for walking it with us and for all the prayers.

Blessings to you.

Invitation to Big Event

October 26, 2010 - Leave a Response

Tuesday, October 26th

The anniversary of dad’s stroke has come and gone (October 11th). We are grateful for the continued progress that he is making. In fact, dad preached his first message (sermon) in over a year on Sunday afternoon October 17th. A few friends and family members joined together under the shelter of mom and dad’s carport and had church! It was the first time that the both of them have gotten to enjoy corporate worship, not to mention the great fellowship that comes along with having church, in over a year. Dad didn’t talk very long but his words were a powerful testimony to what God has done in the last twelve months. Since that afternoon he has ministered one other time and has had two invitations to come preach at two local churches.   He is also ministering from home through prayer, phone calls and sending cards and letters to those in need.

We want to remind you and invite you to the event that is taking place this coming Saturday, October 30th beginning at 8:00am at Central Park in King, NC. It is a joint effort with Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem. The event will be in honor of National Stroke Day and it’s purpose is stoke awareness and a benefit for dad. There will be various speakers, local music, health screenings and lots of food. It’s also a fun time for the whole family; there will be inflatables and face painting for kids. Plan to come and stay all day.

Since the last post dad has visited the surgeon that replaced the bone flap in his skull on two different occasions.  The doctor was very pleased with the progress and healing that has taken place since the surgery. The surgeon released him from his care at the last visit. He has an appointment on November 1st with a neurologist for a full neurological evaluation, the first since his stroke. Dad continues to have physical and occupational therapy on a weekly basis. Concentration includes his left side, which still remains paralyzed, and his upper body for strength and balance in anticipation of his ability to be able to stand in the future. Other concerns and prayer requests include  the nausea that he frequently experiences, especially after eating or when being moved.

Thank you for your continued prayers.  Blessings to you.

New Adventure

September 11, 2010 - 2 Responses

September 11, 2010

Pastor Salmon has enjoyed a new adventure the last couple of weeks: eating out. Last weekend we celebrated a family member’s birthday at Red Lobster and took dad out to eat for the first time since his stroke. He did wonderful! He was able to order for himself, feed himself and enjoy the company of our family. We were a little apprehensive and wondered if the crowd at a restaurant would bother him, but it certainly did not. We were grateful. We took him out again this week to the K & W. A real treat for both he and mom since neither are able to get out very much. A real treat for the rest of us to be able to enjoy their company at dinner out.

Dad is recovering very well from the surgery on his skull. The staples are gone and his salt and pepper hair is coming in nicely. He has had a few problems with his digestive system (not from eating out, however) but all in all he is doing remarkably well. He is progressing in his physical therapy and almost to the point where he can sit up by himself. That is the goal before the doctor will order a prosthesis for him. The progress seems slow to us, but we are certainly thankful for all the healing that has taken place in his body thus far.

We do want to tell you about an event that will take place at the amphitheater at Central Park here in our hometown of King, NC on October 30th. The neurological department from Forsyth Medical Center is sponsoring a stroke awareness event on that Saturday and the event will coincide with a benefit for dad. The event will be all day and will include various speakers, from Forsyth Medical Center, as well as our city mayor and others. There will be local musical talent and lots of booths set up around that area of the park that will be of interest to the general public. There will be food  and drinks available to purchase and free health screenings and massages as well. Please mark the date on your calendar and make plans to attend if you can.  We’ll post more details in the near future.

Thank you for continuing to pray for dad.  Blessings to you and your family.

August 21, 2010 - 3 Responses

Saturday,  August 21, 2010

Pastor Salmon’s surgery went very well. The surgeon considers it a success. Dad was in Neuro-ICU for the first night, just as a precautionary measure. The nurses all remembered him from being there initially (after his stroke in October) and were amazed at how far he had come. He entered the hospital able to talk, with no trach, no feeding tube and no catheter. He was able to carry on conversations with the nurses and doctors, asking his own questions and letting them know about his pain level etc. Please continue to pray against any infection, which is the greatest risk from the surgery. Infection would mean more surgery. 

 The neuro doctor that treated him in the hospital is ordering a full neurological evaluation, since there has not been one done since his stroke. They are also looking into the possibility of some more intense physical therapy (other than the physical therapy that he is getting at home) for his upper body, perhaps on an outpatient basis, to get him ready to use his right leg and a prosthetic.

Thank you for praying for the surgery and for continuing to pray for a complete healing. It’s just amazing to see what God has done these last ten months.

Blessings to you.

Happy Birthday to Pastor Salmon

July 16, 2010 - 8 Responses

Saturday, July 17th

Today is dad’s birthday. When asked how old he is, his reply to us is , “I’m feeling fine… at 69.”  And he is.

Dad continues to flourish at home. He has not had any oxygen at all for a couple of weeks now. He is eating his normal two meals a day – breakfast about mid-morning and an early supper. He is enjoying all of his favorite foods and drinks, including desserts and coffee. The goal for physical therapy these days is for dad to sit on the side of the bed by himself. He is able to do that, but only for about five minutes, before he tires out. He is determined though to eventually get up out of the bed, stand up and walk across the room. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” has become the verse that he quotes most often lately.  

Dad also continues to amuse us with his witty sense of humor as he dialogues more and more each day. He asked for his cell phone for the first time the other day to check his messages and he  now reads any emails that he receives.  He takes every prayer request that we pass on to him and it is obvious that he is consistently praying. It is quite amazing to witness all that God is doing in dad’s life.  We just stand in awe. We thank you for your continued prayers.

There are two specific prayer requests that we ask you to pray about. First, the appointment later this month with the surgeon to discuss replacing the bone in his skull. If you remember, it was removed after his stroke to allow the swelling on his brain room to expand.  Also, dad has developed a “shaking” in his right hand (the hand that he is able to use). The doctor contributes the condition to the stroke and is treating it with medication. The shaking  does not occur all the time and is more prominent after his physical therapy, but it is bothersome and sometimes prevents him from being able to use  his hand. Again, thank you so much. We appreciate your prayers.  Blessings to you.

A Prayer Blessing

June 30, 2010 - 4 Responses

Wednesday, June 30th

There is not much change in dad’s situation in the last couple of weeks. He is doing well, no infection or illnesses to speak of, other than some minor drainage in his throat.  He continues to eat whole foods. He doesn’t eat very much at a time and sometimes he has still has difficulty swallowing, but we can see progress in his ability to eat. He is enjoying drinking coffee again and he has probably enjoyed more vanilla milkshakes lately than he has in the last few years.  He has had a little problem with his digestive system getting used to the foods, but that is certainly understandable and no doubt will continue to improve as he continues to eat solid foods.

Dad’s voice is growing stronger, his words come out slow, but they are audible. He is able to talk on the phone now and his voice is understandable to the hearer. He still has physical, occupational and speech therapy each week and the doctor still comes to the house to check on him. He is using almost no oxygen at all now, just on occasion.

The greatest joy this month was hearing him audibly pray as he said grace over lunch on Father’s Day. We were outside, enjoying a cookout with our family, and he was able to join us. We gathered around him as he closed his eyes and spoke “Happy Father’s Day” to our heavenly Father. He thanked the Lord for the blessings that he had received, for his family, and of course, for the food. He threw in a “Happy Mother’s Day” blessing for the women since he wasn’t able to do that on Mother’s Day.

Thank you for continuing to pray for complete healing and for his upcoming doctor’s appointment in July. Often when we ask dad what he is thinking about as we visit with him in his room he explains that he is thinking about the church and praying for you, family and friends.

Blessings to you.

Making Progress

June 19, 2010 - 3 Responses

Saturday, June 19th

Dad continues to strengthen physically. The doctor has added occupational therapy to dad’s calendar beginning this past week. His voice is stronger with each week that passes and he is able to carry on dialogue in a conversation. He has also enjoyed some of his favorite foods this past week: an egg white sandwich brought to him by a personal friend who owns dad’s favorite restaurants in King (and dad has told everyone that has visited him about the egg white sandwich!), some orange nabs (as dad calls them) and a french vanilla cappuccino.

Please continue to pray for dad’s healing and for a doctor’s appointment that he has coming up in July. This appointment will be with the surgeon who did surgery right after dad’s stroke in October to relieve the pressure on his brain. During the initial surgery, a part of dad’s skull was removed to allow the swelling on his brain room to expand.  The appointment in July will be a consultation to discuss having surgery to replace that missing part of dad’s skull. Thank you for praying.

One other praise report to let you know about: the doctor has completely removed the ventilator from the house and dad’s percentage of oxygen has been drastically reduced. This simply means that he is using less and less support oxygen and relying more and more on his own breathing.

Thank you again for continuing to pray. Blessings to you and your family.

First Food Since October

June 2, 2010 - 5 Responses

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mmmmm…that was dad’s response to his first bite of solid food (albeit soft solid food)  since October, 2009 as he leaned back against his pillow and savored the taste of creamed  potatoes. The FEES test revealed that dad could indeed swallow. He has some weakness on his left side which the doctor feels like will strengthen with time. Until then his diet will be soft foods, which is much better than no food. He has requested an egg white sandwich, which was his customary breakfast each morning before having the stroke.

The surgery performed last week continues to prove to be succesful. He has no infection at all and, as a result, no fevers. He will be coming home tomorrow from the hospital. Dad’s voice also continues to strengthen and become more audible as his overall physical strength is improving. He was able to trade the trach that he has been using (one with a balloon) to one that does not require a balloon, which is one step closer to being able to be without a trach altogether.

Thank you for your continued prayers for dad’s healing.  Blessings to you.