The Traveling Steve's

Déjà Vu in Roanoke

It’s March 2nd now, and here is a quick and overdue update from us. We are still in Roanoke, going on 3 weeks now. Now that I’m retired I’ve said (like many fellow retirees) “How did I ever have time for work – I’ve been so busy since I retired!” (LOL!) Funny, but it’s true; you fill your time up with things you enjoy, things you need to do, and things you should do but have been putting off.

For starter’s DOS and I have been visiting Mom and Dad at English Meadow’s (Elk’s Home) every day, (with a couple days exception due to sickness), and it has been very enjoyable for them and us.

Dad has miraculously gone from death’s door, to getting up (with assistance) and eating, sometimes in the room, and sometimes in the dining room. Compare the two photos below: the first one was from three weeks ago where we are standing as a family bedside by Dad saying farewell, to the second photo from last weekend where we are touring the halls of Elk’s Home with Mom and my brother Andy – talk about the power of prayers from so many!

While Dad has gone down fairly fast since even Christmas, both physically and mentally, he seems to re-live happy times in his life, at least in his mind. He always enjoyed traveling and at times he seems to think he is on a cruise or some long trip. One day, in the Dining Room, I offered a bit of silly slapstick comedy thru the glass windows while they and other diners ate, and DOS and them looked at me like I was nuts!

And after lunch, we even went on ‘deck’ to the front porch of the hotel, and I got Mom, Dad, and me caps to wear like we were on a cruise!

In a “Mastercard Moment”, Dad said he wanted to be with Mom for a while on the porch, just the two of them. It was truly precious; a shared life of nearly 65 years together.

It’s hard to understand Dad’s voice, but he still has his smile and sense of humor. He even went and got his haircut yesterday with Mom at the onsite Beauty salon!

Each day with my parents has been a blessing, and we’ve enjoyed looking thru old photos and mementos I’ve discovered while going thru things in their old house where we are staying. I even found there original wedding invitation from nearly 65 years ago!

I’m trying to digitize many of the old photographs, many black and white, some professional portraits, and other miscellaneous snap shots in sepia.

It’s really helpful for Mom especially as she has happy memories of her family and growing up years, and has helped us create some notes for the family ancestry documents.

Changing subjects now, I titled this post “Déjà Vu”as I ended up going back to the Emergency Room on Sunday afternoon. In the last week or so, my asthma/sinus/bronchitis or all of the above has flared back up as it did before Christmas, and I had a couple near fainting spells from coughing/wheezing episodes, which resulted in me falling right before Christmas and breaking my neck. I went back to the Carillon (Roanoke Memorial Trauma/ER room), and like last time, the staff was outstanding.

I had a different group of doctors, nurses, technicians etc, attending me than before, but all were all so professional and the process was fairly quickly and I was in and out in 3 1/2 hours, probably quicker as they had a baseline of records from my previous overnight stay in December. The doctors and staff did multiple tests like last time, and narrowed it down to the asthma/wheezing which they gave me additional medications for such as Predisone, and also did another scan of my neck. While my neck still hasn’t healed (it’s a slow process) it is still stable and aligned correctly.

Unfortunately I don’t go back to the neurosurgeon in Orlando until March 30th for the next checkup. Still I’m glad I went to the ER (actually a Trauma Center in Roanoke) once again and got treated for my asthma/coughing as well as peace of mind knowing my neck fracture is still stable.

Now it’s Super Tuesday afternoon, and I’m back at my parent’s home writing this. DOS and I haven’t gone to see Mom and Dad the last couple days due to my ER visit and me getting some rest. Also with the flu and other virus’s going around town, I don’t want to take chances while my resistance is down. The left two buildings of Elk’s Home is locked-down from with contagious flu systems, but fortunately it’s on the wing located on the other side of the sprawling campus away from where Mom and Dad are. The elderly are especially susceptible to this, and Elk’s, like hospitals don’t want this spreading. This is NOT the coronavirus that’s making the news, but regular flu or similar 24 hour bug.

Likewise the Coronavirus is making news worldwide, and has sent the stock market in a tizzy. The virus making it’s rounds in most of the US however is the regular flu, (not the Coronavirus) and the media is blowing the impact of the Corona virus out of proportion compared to the regular flu or other illnesses, causing fear and panic. DOS tried to order some more of the advanced hand sanitizer online from Amazon, and they were completely sold out! He did manage to get some from Office Max in the Advanced (i.e. higher alcohol content sanitizer) fortunately, but even that is back-ordered by a few days from the manufacturer. Likewise face masks are out of stock just about everywhere, but he found some at Home Depot; not that we are wearing them now, but just in case. Hand sanitizer in stores is hard to find, at least in Roanoke where we are staying. Fortunately we have a couple large pump bottles left which we refill into our small travel or daily bottles.

Anyway, just taking things a day at a time now. I’m getting more used to the neck brace, but will be glad to take it off once my neck is healed; ideally at the next visit to the doctor on March 30. So have a great evening, and remember to wash your hands and use hand sanitizer in these germ-winter months! I’m going to shower now, but first have to temporarily change my neck brace as this can’t get wet. DOS helps me put this “Philadelphia brace” on which I can shower in, but I have to immediately put the regular neck brace on after I’m out of the shower. In a photo that would scare Frankenstein, here is me in my temporary “Philadelphia” shower brace.

And after showering, I’m back in my regular neck brace. It’s actually more than a neck brace as it goes half-way down my chest and back. But it doesn’t scare Frankenstein as much when I wear it! LOL!

I’ll close with a couple of old pics of Mom and Dad I found while cleaning up around the house. One is Mom as a teenager, and one of Dad in his first post seminary job as a ministering , circa the 1950’s.

Thanks for reading, and have a great evening!

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