Tag Archives: the lab

Ann’s Update: 8 Mar 2011

Dear All,

Okay, I’m B-A-A-A-CK.  And never mind asking where I’ve been, because I wouldn’t tell you even if I knew.

Sasha is not only doing well, he’s doing remarkably well on the physical front, and even a little bit on the mental front.  Our two Tibetan ladies, who usually take over during days, have been responsible for the improvements in Sasha’s body.  They exercise him almost continuously, sometimes gentle upper-body stretching, which strengthens his arms, sometimes standing at the kitchen sink, lifting feet and legs (one at a time for now), and once a day, walking all the way to and from the lab.  Gradually, they’ve weaned him off the walker and back to a walking stick (with one of the women next to him at all times), and as of today, he can walk all by himself with his stick — not fast, but steadily — although, again, with a capable, strong woman right behind him (they are really strong, these gals — all three of them).

No more shuffling steps, thank you very much, and no more moments of dizziness.  With the increased strength in his legs — and arms — he’s beginning to hold himself differently now.  A bit straighter, a bit more like the original Sasha we’ve been missing for so long.

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about the mental side of things.

Love and Blessings — Ann

Ann’s Update: 28 Jan 2011

Dear People All over the World, including China, unless the people in China are among those who believe that Tibet is better off as part of China than before they were part of China. Although I don’t wish to alienate any nice people in China, they must understand that I am a devoted admirer of the Dalai Lama and all the people of Tibet who resisted the invasion of Big Brother China.  I would not have expanded on this except for Greg, who always puts my writing onto Caring Bridge and Facebook, and who phoned me today when I was driving in town (without my head set) and asked me (referring to yester– oops — several days ago, when my salutation included the words, “except the people of China,” or something like that), and asked me, “Why?”

My reply was rather scattered, since a corner of my mind was busy trying to identify possible policemen or other law enforcement who might notice that I wasn’t talking into a headset, and subsequently levy upon me a fine of huge proportions.  And they would be right.  I believe in headsets while driving and also while not driving, and I own two of them, but don’t know where they are at the moment.

Since then, I’ve reviewed the part of my brain that contains files called “China and Tibet,” and re-affirmed my strong feelings about that subject.  That’s why you are being subjected to all this.  I’m out of the China closet.  Actually, that used to be (in the late 1800’s) called the China cabinet, but —- Never Mind.

Where was I?

Oh, yes.  Hello, Dear People of Everywhere,

Today was one of the Big Days.  Sasha actually walked all the way to the lab, and took his seat inside, with his caregiver present, and began talking chemistry with Paul, who took some fantastic photos.  Tania joined them at one point, and there is a great picture of all three of them, smiling broadly.

We are (meaning the two girls/women/ladies and I) gradually getting a picture — sort of — of Sasha’s pain problems, the where and the why.  His Achilles tendon and the heel have become almost-perfect examples of superb Western medicine and what can be done by really good Western surgeons.  The original angels are, of course, Drs. Howard Kornfeld and Paul Abramson, who pointed us in the direction of said surgeons.  Without them, we would never have heard of doctors who label themselves “Limb Savers,” and we probably would have lost a foot by now.  And, yes, we all would have lost that foot.

In the evenings, Sasha’s needle pains attack his leg, and they are now being understood as the results of the peripheral neuropathy, and he’ll probably continue having that problem.  We’ll do our best to make him as healthy as possible by means of diet (fresh fruits and veggies, protein, vitamins, etc.) as well as exercise.  Following the advice of a very wise person, we’re giving him goat’s milk and Basmati rice, and these do actually help reduce swelling in his feet, which is a real concern.  But we’re all still learning.  Every night is a bit different.  When he can be persuaded to stay in bed most of the night, the foot swelling is gone by morning.  When his pain makes it necessary for him to sleep in the Lazyboy chair, the swelling is still present when he wakes up.  But all of it is getting better.

Sasha’ mental state seems to have improved during the day, since he came home from hospital, but the “sundowning” is almost always present, to some extent, by the time evening comes.  His chemical knowledge is still there, though, and now that he can work in the lab with Paul, it will probably sharpen and improve, along with his analytical ability and other aspects of his mental functioning.  But he can’t be left alone, because there’s too much risk of falling, among other things.  So we continue to fund-raise, because we’ll need 24-hour a day help for the rest of Sasha’s life.  So far, as I’ve said many times, we’ve been amazingly lucky in our caregivers, with perhaps a single exception, but we’re busy taking care of that exception.  We seem to have attracted really lovely human beings — funny and caring and patient — and may it continue to be so.  With Tania and Greg as our right and left arms, all we can do is give thanks (and feed them all Basmati rice).

For the moment, this is all.  When Greg returns from his mother’s funeral, I’ll write more.

Love and thanks to all of you.  Sleep well and dream in color (unless you don’t want to).    Ann

Ann’s Update: 11 Jan 2011

Dear Everyone,

Now, this will be really short, because tomorrow is the big day, and it makes more sense to talk to you after Sasha’s foot gets examined by the two surgeons who did the skin-graft.  What we hope is that they will look at the beautiful graft and admire it (and themselves, justifiably), and declare that, instead of continuing with the effort to keep Sasha’s left foot off the floor, and without any pressure on it, the whole picture for the future will be the reverse: Keep the left foot ON the floor, begin a bit of walking, then walk more, then walk normally, then walk to the lab!!! Of course, the surgeons won’t know about the beloved lab, so they won’t say anything about it, but the rest of us know, oh yes, we do!!!!!!!!!

And all our spirits will rise, most of all Sasha’s.  Finally.  After a whole year, for Pete’s sake.

And I can stop giving him shots of heparin.  I’ve never given shots before, and my hand still shakes a tiny bit now and then, but I’m getting really good at it.  And Sasha, bless his beautiful soul, utters not a squeak when I plunge the very fine needle into his tummy area.  Now that I can do it so well, I’m ready to relinquish the privilege.  ASAP.

Talk to you tomorrow.  Wish us luck.

Love and Blessings to all of you —- Ann (& Sasha)