Family update

Once again we had a busy week at the zoo. Liz’s neurosurgeon was out of town so we were contact with his nurse practitioner a couple of times through the week. She will be seeing him on the 25th to a possible shunt adjustment to help with her headaches. She saw the neuro-opthamologist on Tuesday. She continues to make very slight improvements. She still has some swelling in the eye, hopefully the shunt adjustment can help that go away. On Friday the state rehabilitation counselor came out for a visit and sign the never ending paperwork. He provided us with a lot of information about how the Maryland Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) can help Liz to go back to college. The next step is to determine if she is eligible for services. He said that is basically a no-brainer and she will be approved. Next step will be an evaluation at the state center to find out what she needs to be able to function as a person with limited sight. We will be scheduling the tour sometime soon.

Mandy was also home most of the week. Her asthma was acting up horribly and her school is falling apart with holes in the ceilings and leaky roofs. So that brings about mold, which triggers the asthma. They school system is not doing anything about it because the brand new high school is scheduled to open in August. So they really do not care.

On top of that, all three of the girls have sinus infections and/or ear infections. So they are on antibiotics too and quite grumpy.

Next week is shaping up to another busy week. Tuesday Liz has two appointments. One with the Social Security Administration to see if she can qualify for SSI. The other is at the Low Vision Center for some further evaluations and recommendations. This can be used by DORS to help provide equipment for Liz. And on Thursday she heads to the neurosurgeon.

I wonder when my spring cleaning will be accomplished?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and a restful week!

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

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Weekly Menu

Sunday
Chicken and Rice
Broccoli
Rolls

Monday
Pork Chops
Baked Potatoes
Salad

Tuesday
Crockpot Roast
Noodles
Green Beans

Wednesday
Totellini Alfredo
Salad
Garlic Rolls

Thursday
Fend for Yourself
AKA Planned Leftovers

Friday
Fish Sticks
Macaroni and Cheese
Salad

Saturday
Roasted Chicken
Baked Potatoes
Green Beans

Have a flavorful week!

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Learning to live life with a shunt

The rest of our the week was very interesting. Liz started with a headache on Wednesday. The pain was intense and causing nausea, but thankfully no “swooshing” in the ears. It lasted through Thursday and into Friday. So I called the neurosurgeon. I was told to take her to the local ER. So off we went. She had more xrays and another CT scan, plus blood work to rule out infection. The good news is the shunt is in place and is working. There is also no sign of infection. The bad news is the shunt probably needs to be adjusted. We will need to call the neurosurgeon on Monday and schedule an appointment for next week. In the mean time Liz will probably be having these headaches on and off. I feel for her, because the headaches are very painful and of course it brings everything back and she starts with panic attacks.

So we are learning to live life with a shunt in the house. Once we can get the shunt setting to the correct place, the headaches should go away. We found out that anytime she runs a fever of 100 or higher she needs to head to the ER to rule out a shunt infection, at least that is what the ER doctor’s told us. When we see the neurosurgeon next week I think I will ask for clarification. I can see us almost living at the ER and the idea of the shunt is to make life more normal, not more difficult.

I hope your week was less eventful than ours.

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

BISM

Yesterday Liz and I toured the Blind Industries and Services of Maryland (BISM). This organization is a wonderful resource for people who are blind or have low vision. They offer employment opportunities and a rehabilitation program.

We toured the rehabilitation program. This program is unique and one of only three or four like it in the country. They teach total independent living. It is a nine month residential program. Liz would live in the apartments and would daily get to the BISM headquarters for her training.

The training includes “white cane” mobility — learning how to navigate almost any situation independently. Part of the training includes “drops.” The student is dropped off somewhere and has to get back to BISM, without using a taxi. Other aspects include a 5 mile walk, planning an outing to someplace you have never been locally. The final “graduation” exercise is to visit a city you have never been to before. Once you arrive in the city, then your trainer gives you three addresses you have to visit, no Googling allowed.

Another aspect of training is computer literacy and braille. Students learn all about the technologies available for use with the computers. They are also instructed in Braille, how to read and write with that system of communication.

There is also a personal trainer that works with the student three days a week in the weight room.

The major training component is Self Sufficient Living. They learn how to cook in the kitchen, and what modifications and special tools may needed in there. They learn to make many things like pancakes from scratch. They also make two dinners. A 10 person sit down dinner and then a 20 person buffet style dinner. They are responsible for planning, shopping, cooking and clean up. Now Liz hasn’t learned to cook at home as a sighted person, so I joked that NOW she will learn how to cook. They also teach basic housekeeping skills, mending and ironing.

Overall it looks like a wonderful program and Liz is definitely thinking about going through it. Next we have to meet with her state Department of Rehabilitation Counselor next week. After that meeting we will need to submit the application to BISM. Then she will need to attend a two day orientation program.

After that she will make the final decision about attending the program.

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Menu Mania

I am changing when I plan our menus. It just works better for us to have a Sunday through Saturday Menu plan.

Sunday
Spaghetti with Meatballs
Salad
Garlic Bread

Monday
Chicken Breasts on Rice
Broccoli

Tuesday
Pork Roast
Seasoned Noodles
Green Beans

Wednesday
Tortellini Alfredo
Salad
Rolls

Thursday
Planned Leftovers

Friday
Salmon Croquettes
Tater Tots
Salad

Saturday
Homemade Pizza
Salad

Have a tasteful week!

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Getting on with Life

The Low Vision Occupational Therapist came to our house for a home visit on Thursday. This was done to help Liz be able to function and be more independent in her “real life”. It was a very productive visit.

Since Liz has some “functional sight”, we explored some different options for magnifiers so she can do what is called spot reading. Reading small amounts of text, such business cards or package directions. We don’t have a final recommendation right now since her vision is still changing. The OT also suggested getting some yellow lensed sport glasses to help cut down on the glare when necessary.

The OT also helped Liz figure out how to move around her room at night and be able to head to the bathroom without help. It was suggested that we put bell collars on the cats. (We have several unhappy cats right now.) She helped Liz figure out how to pour drinks into glasses by herself. And our microwave now has sandpaper on a couple of the buttons so she can feel them and know what buttons to use.

We set up an appointment with the local Department of Rehabilitation, Office of the Blind. These are the people that will help us get the equipment that she will need. The readers and software programs are not inexpensive. Since she is a student and wants to return to school, they will do everything they can to help her. These type of devices will be provided to her free of charge.

We also called the Blind Industries and Services of Maryland. This is the group that provides the mobility and life skills training she will need. She has an appointment to tour the facilities on Tuesday. They have a free residential program to help her develop these skills. The program takes nine to ten months to complete, so we shall see if it is the right thing for her at this time.

So things are moving along for the family and for Liz. We still continue to pray for the complete return of her sight, but we also need to start laying the foundation for her to be able to function if that is not God’s plan for her. I have had some comments that we are rushing things and that we should wait until we know for sure what her vision will be. I am finding though, that it takes time to get these things moving. I would rather have a plan laid out and NOT need it, than to wait and find she will need them and then have to wait months to get the ball rolling.

Have a wonderful and blessed weekend.

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Weekly Menu Plan

Monday
Pot Roast
Potatoes
Carrots
Green Beans (for the one who doesn’t like carrots)

Tuesday
Breaded Chicken
Aldfredo Noodles
Corn
Bread

Wednesday
Mini Meatloaves
Cauliflower
Sweet Potatoes
Rolls

Thursday
Planned Leftovers

Friday
Cod Fish
French Fries
Salad

Saturday
Taco Salad

Sunday
Chicken Breasts
Seasoned Rice
Broccoli
Bread/Rolls

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome