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 Update on Gisela

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Helen Wisocki
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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Mon May 09, 2011 6:37 am

That's fantastic news, Abe! Another anniversary gift!
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joefrank
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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Mon May 09, 2011 6:40 am

5/9/2011

Abe..

Great news ! Pray does work.
We pray for her to have a great
recovery..

Cheers..Joe
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dmondeo
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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Mon May 09, 2011 8:47 am

Great News Abe, now when she's well enough make sure you celebrate!
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Mon May 09, 2011 10:22 am

Glad to hear that, Abe!
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:05 am

This past year has been hectic.  When my wife was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, she was prescribed much new medication.  Follow-up was supposed to be with a Neurologist who could adjust the medication.   Finding a Neurologist was a big problem.  There was a long waiting list for those contacted.  When she collapsed in the kitchen (the muscles gave out), she was re-admitted to the Pfalz Klinik and they did their thing – again.  We were not satisfied and did much research on our own to find the right place for treatment.
 
This past Thursday I took her to the Neurological clinic, Christophbad in Goppingen where she was admitted.  The Doctor in charge, familiar with the disease reviewed the documentation/report we had with us and placed it aside.  Based on her American accent, he asked where she was from.  She said that her husband was an International businessman and that we lived in various locations.  He said, “What was the last location before returning to Germany?”  She said Atlanta.  He took her bag and said follow me.  We proceeded to the third floor and he introduced my wife to the Doctor in charge of that location as “Frau March Aus Atlanta (Mrs. March from Atlanta).  That remark has stuck.  Whenever anyone new is introduced, it is “Frau March Aus Atlanta.” 
The treatment she is receiving is currently with infusions.  When I talked with her this morning, I noted a vast improvement with her speech.  The stuttering and slurring of words were gone.  She was in good spirits and feeling better.  The only problem is the needles for the on-going infusions.  The only veins they can find to use are around the wrist and/or the back of the hand.  That causes much irritation and discomfort.  She seemed optimistic about getting better and that goes a long way with the healing process.  I don’t know how long she will be there.  It is a three-hour drive one way on the Autobahn.  Driving that distance on a high-speed highway is stressful.  I may decide to go by train and avoid the stress and danger of driving.  My reaction is not what it once was and being in a constant state of alertness is tiresome.  My daughter went with me on this last trip.  I drove down and she drove back.  Having someone to talk to helps. 
 
Just today my TV quit on me.  I can hear the sound, but no picture.  Had to get a new freezer last month and now another appliance to replace.  What’s next?  I guess I will get more reading done without the TV.  Fortunately I have reading material.  I also have the cats to keep me company.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:32 am

1)  Good that the treatment is showing positive results. 2) Sometimes they use ankle veins...it takes a creative health person to think of that because it is terribly inconvenient - but works sometimes. 3) Do not drive - take the train.  Driving under stress is not acceptable on the autobahn.  I've been on the autobahns young and healthy and found it the most stressful driving I'd ever experienced - well, maybe Italy's freeways were a close second. 4) If your computer is set up right you can get television on the computer - even movies.  I joined my local library (and I would guess it might be the same in Germany) and that gave me access to a cartload of video's that I can get on my computer at no cost.

I was fortunate last year and bought three 32 inch televisions at $95 each during a sale.  Thus, when one goes, I have backup.  They are otherwise too expensive - and at $95 - that's the price of repairs.

My air conditioning/heat went bad recently and I had to buy a new system to the tune of $2600 I had not planned.  I think I saved about $1000 by my son helping with it. My washing machine recently went, too, and that was $400 to replace.  I'm trying to sell the old one sitting in the garage for a few bucks but to no avail.

My roof is 29 years old and they won't insure my house except with a $17,000 deductible because of the old roof.  I don't know the replacement cost, but is it likely about $10,000.  I practically work full-time with the newspaper but only earn the equivalent of a week's salary at best in any job I've had before. 

The point of all that is aging is a fact of life we don't like to admit.  It seems worse as we age and live on fixed incomes.  I never worried about replacing anything when I had a substantial income.  Just order it in.....now, every purchase requires a deal or a coupon or a wait and thus it seems to carry more stress than it should.

So, I am sharing with you that stress builds stress on itself if we let it.  Once we just accept that things change, grow old and require attention both monetary and care, the natural fact of that is a kind of acceptance where the next thing that breaks requires a bit of meditation over all that is still working and some deep breathing to keep the stress our of our being - because to manage living with change we need to be in our best and healthiest form.

I seem to feel your anxiety and I've experienced similar for different reasons and know I must think differently to keep the stress at bay and find the joy in each day - even when the next thing breaks that I do not have the funds to fix.

I don't know how the clinics are there - but maybe you could communicate by skype on some days to reduce the travel - using an inexpensive tablet.  Just a thought.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:15 pm

Thanks Diane, your comments were needed and helpful. 
Gisela just called and is feeling much, much better.  Her speech was clear and she says she can now walk much better.  Whatever they are doing is working.  She is definitely in the right place.

Mechanical/electronic things break and can be repaired or replaced.  Sometime in the future that may happen with human body parts.  We won't see it and perhaps it is better that we will be spared those events.  Repair costs are often as high as getting a new item.  That I'm convinced is designed to happen.  Things are not built to last, but designed for a short life-span requiring the purchase of a new item.  Roof repairs vary from location to location.  Depends entirely on what the original roof was made of.  Roof tiles are still used here and that requires strong supporting beams.  It is easy to replace a roof tile.  With the traditional roofing in the US.  Don't remember what it is called, but much like slabs of heavy tar paper, it is inexpensive to replace or repair also.  Unfortunately, if one area goes bad, it means that the rest of the roof will soon be bad also and replacing an entire roof is usually the solution.  If you go that route, get comparative prices.  People wanting work are the best bet.  There are those who work for a firm and do work on the side.  You can negotiate a good deal with cash.  Anytime an invoice is issued and goes throught the company books, the price is much higher.  You may even run a small add seeking someone with roofing experience.
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:49 pm

.


Last edited by alice on Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:53 pm

Abe F. March wrote:
This past year has been hectic.  When my wife was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, she was prescribed much new medication.  Follow-up was supposed to be with a Neurologist who could adjust the medication.   Finding a Neurologist was a big problem.  There was a long waiting list for those contacted.  When she collapsed in the kitchen (the muscles gave out), she was re-admitted to the Pfalz Klinik and they did their thing – again.  We were not satisfied and did much research on our own to find the right place for treatment.
 
This past Thursday I took her to the Neurological clinic, Christophbad in Goppingen where she was admitted.  The Doctor in charge, familiar with the disease reviewed the documentation/report we had with us and placed it aside.  Based on her American accent, he asked where she was from.  She said that her husband was an International businessman and that we lived in various locations.  He said, “What was the last location before returning to Germany?”  She said Atlanta.  He took her bag and said follow me.  We proceeded to the third floor and he introduced my wife to the Doctor in charge of that location as “Frau March Aus Atlanta (Mrs. March from Atlanta).  That remark has stuck.  Whenever anyone new is introduced, it is “Frau March Aus Atlanta.” 
The treatment she is receiving is currently with infusions.  When I talked with her this morning, I noted a vast improvement with her speech.  The stuttering and slurring of words were gone.  She was in good spirits and feeling better.  The only problem is the needles for the on-going infusions.  The only veins they can find to use are around the wrist and/or the back of the hand.  That causes much irritation and discomfort.  She seemed optimistic about getting better and that goes a long way with the healing process.  I don’t know how long she will be there.  It is a three-hour drive one way on the Autobahn.  Driving that distance on a high-speed highway is stressful.  I may decide to go by train and avoid the stress and danger of driving.  My reaction is not what it once was and being in a constant state of alertness is tiresome.  My daughter went with me on this last trip.  I drove down and she drove back.  Having someone to talk to helps. 
 
Just today my TV quit on me.  I can hear the sound, but no picture.  Had to get a new freezer last month and now another appliance to replace.  What’s next?  I guess I will get more reading done without the TV.  Fortunately I have reading material.  I also have the cats to keep me company.

So sorry.
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Sun Aug 02, 2015 1:58 pm

DK, I didn't mean to overlook you. Hope your situation improves.
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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:07 pm

Good to hear that Gisela is improving, Abe. I hope they can find a solution that will allow her to return home soon.

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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:04 pm

Thanks Shelagh.  Things are just not the same when someone is missing.  Even the cats walk around looking for her special scrubbles.  I'm trying to make it alone.  Cooking is not one of my strengths, but when I'm hungry, I find that I am capable.  I avoid eating out especially when there is food in the house.  I now have fresh tomatoes and there is salad.  Making the salad dressing is a challenge.  My wife has her own formula and I can't duplicate that.  Zuccini and cucumbers are also there to do something with.  I wind up giving most of it away or putting it into the freezer for future use.  Went shopping and bought frozen stuff that is easy to prepare just by sticking it into the oven.  It is times like these when one begins to appreciate the things that one takes for granted.  I find that coordinating what is being prepared so that it all comes together at the right time is something one must learn. 
I'm winging it and not starving.  Getting a balanced meal is not something I think about, but know when it is missing.  My son may be returning from London soon.  He enjoys cooking and will take over that function if/when he returns.  Cleaning the house is another chore that I took for granted.  Does one dust first and then vacumn or the other way around?  With practice I suppose I'll get things in the right sequence.  At the moment, I clean when I see it needs it.  Keeping the kitchen in order is not so difficult.  I can't tolerate dirty dishes sitting on the counter-top.  Fortunately there is the dishwasher to shove them into.  Hmmm.  That reminds me to unload the dishwasher.  That will be my next chore after making this post. 

It is early morning here.  The picture on the TV is not working, but I'm listening to the sound to get the morning news.  The sun is shining and I'm alive.  I suppose I'll see what needs to be done when I sbumble over it.  I'm still being cautious about what I can or cannot do.  The healing process from the appendix operation is taking much longer than I anticipated.  I keep forgetting about that and then wham!  Pain is a good reminder. Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:44 am

Hi Abe,
getting old is not the best thing I can think of, but all in all, you and your wife sound like you're still strong in heart. You might want to get a cook book, and make a super dinner. I started doing that about two years ago...I'm getting good! My car(2000 mustang) has 176,000 on it. It still runs great. I'm trying to see just how far it will go? It's a 6 cy, and still get 27 mpg on the freeway. I've had no car payments for years. We are lucky Abe, we have seen a better world than these kids are seeing today.


Last edited by Domenic Pappalardo on Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:49 am

Thanks Domenic.  Your info is appreicated.  I'm reminded of a sign I saw in Lancaster, PA - the Amish country.  It reads:  "Too soon old and too late smart."
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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:52 am

There was another sign that reflects on their language usage.  It reads:  "Throw the cow over the fence some hay."
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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:19 am

Yes, Abe, you will appreciate your wife even more when she is back home - and maybe surprise her with what you  have learned :-)

Great advice Domenick.  My last car was a hyundai and I ran it for 200,000 without a day's grief but the paint got leprosy from sun oxidization and I bought a new car - 200,000 seemed pushing it a bit.

I find a crock pot a great help.  I throw anything in it and eight hours later with seasoning, anything tastes good. 

Funny how the older generation thinks women are natural cooks and cleaners and child raisers and men are sort of helpless in those areas.  When my mom first started visiting in winter she sort of took care of me by doing stuff while I worked.  I would drop her at the grocery (I particularly dislike grocery shopping) to get the grocery list, etc.

Recently, I tried to do that and I said, "since you like grocery shopping."  She replied for the first time at 96, "I don't like grocery shopping.  I just do it because it has to be done."  And we had our first real conversation about women's work that she did all her life.  She just accepted it as her responsibility but it was not her joy.  That came as a surprise to me!  Now, when she visits, I get the groceries.

My nephew and his wife both work and have a child.  They truly split a lot of the household stuff.  He does a lot of the child raising and housework. She tries to cook. I think they work at sharing most of the tasks of life so they can equally enjoy the fun parts.
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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Mon Aug 03, 2015 12:06 pm

Good points, Diane.  I find that after years of marriage, in my case, 54 years, we have adjusted to doing things that we can do without having to ask the other to do it.  If something need to be done, the one who recognizes the need, does it.  With my wife's condition, I don't ask her if she needs help because I know she will refuse it.  She feels inadequate and wants to do things for heself.  Sometimes I let her do it knowing how important it is for her.  To avoid the question, I try to take the initiative and just do it.  As for grocery shopping, she hates it and yet is very good at it.  She checks prices and ingredients, something I wouldn't do.  The biggest problem is that when the cart is full, taking it out to be scanned, reloading the cart, taking it to the car and unloading it.  Getting home and carrying it to the kitchen and then putting it away.  That is more tiresome and troublesome than putting the items into the cart.  The last trip to the store meant making more trips trying to lighten the load so as not to overburden my recent operation.  By the time it was done, I was exahusted.  When I suggest her making the list and I do the shopping, she doesn't go for that.  She knows that I will not do the checking that she does for the items wanted.  She calculates the prices in her head and when we get to the register she knows what the cost will be.  Her mind is still sharp and the use of that memory faculty is helpful in keeping it sharp.
She called a short while ago in good spirits.  The buzzer on the infusion bottle when off and our conversation was interrupted for her to call for the nurse to change the bottle and stop the beeping.  She feels that she is finally in the right place for treatment and is getting it.  She was waiting for the bottle to become empty so she could walk outside.  Due to the problem in swallowing, the food she gets is not to her liking.  She said that tomorrow she will tell them she wants regular food.  She hates the soft white bread and wants bread that she can chew on.  That suggests to me that her problem with swallowing has also improved.  We ended our call with some banter.  I told her if she wants a good meal that I would cook one for her.  That caused her to laugh.  Confidentally, I hope she doesn't take me up on it. Mad
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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Mon Aug 03, 2015 2:05 pm

That's all good news Abe.  Humor is such good medicine.  How times have changed in Germany.  When I lived there, no groceries existed.  Every item was a different store.  My refrigerator was like what they have in motels now with no room.  I had to shop every day.  I used a big purse.  If it did not fit, I did not buy any more for the day.

My favorite bread in Germany was eine halbes fund schwarzbrot - or something like that - a round, rich dark loaf (probably had honey in it) that weighed a half pound.  My spouse and I ate it slathered in butter for lunch. MMMMgood.  No, in comparison, white bread is awful.
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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:12 am

Just got off the phone with my wife.  She can come home on Friday, so I'll be speeding my way south to pick her up.  She's excited to be coming home and so am I.
Her follow-up appointment for treatment originally scheduled for October 20th is too long a wait and that will be advanced.  

I'll keep you, my Cyber family, informed.  Looking forward to a good upcoming weekend.
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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:30 am

Great!
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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:24 am

Great news, Abe!

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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:06 am

So happy for you, Abe.
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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:12 pm

Great news, Abe!

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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Thu Aug 06, 2015 3:15 am

Wonderful news!!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Update on Gisela   Thu Aug 06, 2015 4:39 am

Thanks Shelagh and Don.  I talked to her this morning and she is excited about coming home.  She was told that she would be required to return in 4 - 6 weeks, perhaps the end of September, for follow-up treatment.
I asked my good friend here in Goecklingen if he would accompany me tomorrow on my drive as I didn't want to make the long drive alone.  He said "Yes. We'll use my car (It is a late model BMW) it is fully tanked and ready to go."  With the two of us driving, the trip should go rather well.  He also has a navigation system in his car that will be helpful if we encounter traffic jams as is usual on a Friday. 
Here in Germany, trucks are not permitted on the Autobahn on Saturday and Sunday except for trucks carrying frozen cargo.  It makes the roads safer for passenger cars who may be on a weekend holiday.  That means that on Friday's, the trucks are on the road wanting to either get home or to their destination before the weekend.  Monday's are a bad day also when the trucks hit the road once again.

Anyway, I'm ready for my trip.  Had a visit with my doctor this morning and he removed the bandages on my stomach and didn't think a follow-up appointment was needed.  So, things are looking up on all fronts.  Now if only the weather would cooperated.  We could use some rain as my garden is thirsty and I'm running out of the rain water that I collect in a large fass for that purpose. 

Wishing you all a good weekend.  Things are looking up. Very Happy
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