Sunday, May 18, 2014

A New-Normal and Graduation Day!

Sometimes I'm not sure where to start when I begin to jot down ideas for a blog post. Usually a scroll through the photo gallery in my phone can yield some memories of the week gone by and that gets me off and running. And so it's where I'm going to now...

I got up late Wednesday morning from a few hours of sleep after my all-night shift the night before and took the pups with me out to the deck to soak in the (of late) unfamiliar heat of the sun. It was so nice. I was thinking back to last year at this time and how we'd just broken ground on our addition and deck project and how nice it is to have it all completed. I look around at all that Joe, Keith and the other contractors did for us and I'm simply amazed by their abilities.

I brought Mom to a follow-up appointment with her eye doctor Friday morning. The last time we were there (a few months ago) he had told her that nothing short of a miracle would return vision to her damaged right eye. Mom believes in miracles so her doctor's words weren't necessarily removing all glimmer of hope then.

She's been having trouble navigating even the familiar spaces of her own home at times because her bad eye is still giving input to her brain but it's blurred and her brain is having to make sense of the contrasting images its receiving. I've been encouraging her to put a patch over her right eye thinking it would help but she's been reluctant to.

She's had five surgeries already and her doctor explained to us that if she wanted, he would try one last time to reattach her retina but he said the chances were very slim that she would see improvement. She's in the minority of people who easily scar after such a surgery and of that minority of people she's 1 in 100 for very excessive scarring. He said it's the scarring that is keeping the retina from adhering as it should. Her eye is stable now and another surgery would upset whatever stability she's attained. He cautioned her from using a patch for more than just short periods. He said that in time her brain will dismiss the signals it's receiving from her bad eye and she'll eventually become more accustomed to her new-normal.

I think she's accepting that she won't be getting her full vision back and she's making the adjustment as well as she can.

I spent all of Friday afternoon and well into the evening working in our yard. There was a considerable amount of decaying leaves and other debris from our trees that was accumulating under the shrubbery of our rock islands. I cleared them of all of it in addition to preparing our flower gardens for planting. I was nursing a pounding headache all the while though. Each time I'd bend over my head would throb. I was hoping the fresh air would help but nothing did, not even an extra large glass of wine and a night of sleep. It would wake me up the next morning. I was happy for all I accomplished in spite of my head. Our gardens are ready for planting which is on the top of our list for this coming weekend.

Rachel graduated from the University of Minnesota at Rochester Saturday morning with a BSHS (Bachelor of Science in Health Science) degree! She's come a long way since this photo was taken during her move to Rochester just before the start of her freshman year. We're obviously very proud of her.

It was a nice and not too lengthy ceremony at Mayo Civic Center. I put some video together for Rachel that included most of the faces of those she graduated with for years from now when she wants to look back and reminisce.

She'll be taking the next year off from school and working as a medical scribe in Minneapolis while continuing her work as a CNA (certified nursing assistant) in Rochester. I do believe there's a Bio-Chem class intends to take this summer too. I don't see her being able to put her feet up for very long to celebrate her graduation but I hope she'll at least feel a little less stress in her life as she too finds her new-normal.

I'm not sure if Rachel would agree but those were the fastest four years of my life!

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