April 15, 2011

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55 Minutes of Miracle…The Journey To Find God and My Husband

It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted. Life, somehow, always seems to prioritize where our time is spent and 2011 has brought significant changes that have definitely reprioritized everything about our families life. On Feb 18 of this year my husband, Mike, a young and active 60 year old man, was getting dressed to […]

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April 16, 2013

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Home Work (of the best sort!)

It’s a big work day here at Nana’s house today…Holencik Insulation has a couple guys here installing a sun tunnel and attic insulation.  Sun tunnels are pretty much a skylight…but a 14 inch diameter skylight that is fixed.  And a lot less complicated to install.  They are a great solution for bringing natural light into a dark […]

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April 9, 2013

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The Short List

What a fabulous day it is today!  Spring is here and I am reveling in it.  For the first time in a couple years I can actually see Spring and take the time to breathe and enjoy it.  Mike was up unusually early today and we had coffee on the deck with the breeze blowing […]

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March 31, 2013

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Happy Easter!

It’s Easter for some of us…we don’t celebrate until May this year…so it’s a kicked back day for sure.  I have a pork butt in the oven for pulled pork sandwiches.  Some sweet potato wedges.  Cole Slaw on the rolls.  Yummy.  It’s almost like having ham right???  To those of you who celebrate today, Happy […]

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March 23, 2013

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Nanas House’s photostream

Nanas House’s photostream on Flickr. Landscape photos of the back yard after the new fence but before landscaping are on Flickr

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March 23, 2013

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Spring? Seriously?

I heard Spring won’t really get here until mid April.  And Monday we are supposed to get snow.  When I mentioned to Mike it was Spring now even if it did NOT feel like it and he remarked it wasn’t Spring.  It couldn’t be Spring.  We didn’t have Winter yet!  Well, yeah, he’s right.  Our winter was pretty […]

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March 14, 2013

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The Best Laid Plans….

Well, I promised pics of the desolate backyard and delivered Arpege (remember those commercials?)  There are, of course, excuses.  Yesterday was the day all 4 doggies went to the beauty parlor.  They go monthly right now due to the mud in the yard, and I get about 4 hours off those days…it’s ordinarily quite peaceful on […]

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March 12, 2013

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Spring Nesting

Phew!  It’s almost a year since my last post.  In that time Mike’s VA disability claim was finalized and he is now a disabled Vet.  It’s a big weight off my mind…if something happens to me, there are resources available to take care of him, and that is a huge comfort.  And speaking of Mike, […]

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June 27, 2012

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BVA and Me (Part 1)

For the uninitiated, BVA =Bureau of Veterans Affairs. The BVA is divided into two sides of the house;  First, the VBA which = Veterans Benefits Administration and administers all benefits such as GI Bill, Compensation and Pension, Burials, Cemeteries etc.  Second is the VHA which = Veterans Health Administration which has accountability for all the medical care, hospitals, clinics, research etc. I’m […]

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June 21, 2012

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I Was There…for Cheryl

Did you know that Josh Turner has a new cd out?  Now I don’t know if you particularly like country music as I do or not…but you need to listen to the track called I Was There on the cd Punching Bag.  Phew!  That song never ceases to rock my world.  It fills my soul […]

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June 14, 2012

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Happy Anniversary Mike

6-14-80 MS-SP I love you, I will love you always, you are my true love…I DO. Those words come back to me today although I am not sure you recall speaking them, you have continued to remember that you meant them then and you mean them now…and have meant them every day in between, regardless […]

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June 4, 2012

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Images From The Past

I had almost forgotten how much I loved it when digital cameras were invented!  Let’s face it…I am not photographer by any means.  I can certainly churn out an occasional good snapshot…but there’s no epic artwork coming out of my cameras!  Still, I appreciate those good snapshots when I get them because, well, I so […]

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May 26, 2012

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Memorial Day Musings

So here we are, it’s Memorial Day 2012.  A day when we are especially cognizant of and grateful for the sacrifices of our military warriors…to all of you serving or who have served, and to the families of those who served but lost their lives, thank you for your service! It’s also a year since […]

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May 11, 2012

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Almost A Year Later…

We are well past the 1 year mark when Mike had his cardiac arrest.  We are coming up on the 1 year anniversary of the day he was finally discharged from inpatient care for the cardiac arrest and its complications.  Like that old Virginia Slims commercial used to say…We’ve come a long way Baby!  It’s […]

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March 14, 2012

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Spring!

Ahhh.  It’s finally here.  The lovely weather makes the rest of the dreariness in life somehow more bearable for me.  Yes, each of the dogs is suffering from some sort of intestinal bug so every morning I wake up to a little mess to clean up.  And yes, it seems Mike is having one of […]

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February 19, 2012

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Good Morning Mike!

I can’t be quite sure what the explanation for this is, but after 62 years of sleeping until noon whenever possible, this morning I woke up at 5 to find my sweet husband in the bathroom, lights on, cabinet doors open and searching.  5 am is not new to me…it’s my usual wakeup time assuming I’ve gotten […]

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February 18, 2012

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It’s Like Spring…

Yes, yes, I know it’s only February 18.  And yes, I know I begin to harp on Spring every year at this time.  But this year, in the sense that Spring is the penultimate rebirth, it truly is the first day of my Spring…the anniversary of the rebirth of the love of my life.  Mike gets […]

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January 9, 2012

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(Almost) An Ode To Spring

Winter monotony continues.  A seemingly endless chain of days, one the same as the others, each one increasingly bleak.  Too cold to spend any time outdoors.  (Yes, I know it’s a mild winter but if I still need a coat of any type, it’s cold)  Indoors, the housework extends itself into the same bleak monotony with […]

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January 4, 2012

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Another One Leaves The Nest…

Yesterday was momentous.  We drove to Harrisburg to say goodbye to our baby baby.  Our first grandson is old enough to have gone off and joined the Marine Corps and the day he has been planning for a year and a half finally arrived yesterday.  We piled our daughter and his brother into the car […]

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December 29, 2011

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Farewell to 2011

December 29, 2011…and this year is (mercifully) drawing to an end.  Maybe I should have titled this entry Good riddance 2011!   I look forward to 2012 and hope it is far less eventful than this year, thank you very much!  We seem to be cruising out of this year almost on a cloud.  Things on the home […]

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December 26, 2011

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For the New Year….Commitments To Myself

Christmas 2011 is past now…it comes and goes so quickly.  So much anticipation, so much preparation and in the blink of an eye it’s gone.  We had a very quiet day.  Very.  It was relaxing.  It gave me time to reflect as we approach the one year mark when my life changed markedly.  Phew.  It […]

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December 22, 2011

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My Christmas Wish…

It’s been a week.  Hopefully the petty annoyances of the week are behind us.   The john had no need of an auger  <ggg> after all.  I’ve not yet gotten a new plunger, but will be right after the holiday.   Remember that I worked in IT for a  lot of years?  While not a programmer, I […]

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December 18, 2011

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7 Days Til Christmas….

So maybe I am finally getting a little Christmas cheer?  I’m contemplating the tree and the potential to raise it up and decorate it today.  This is a job I view as detestable.  Almost as detestable as turd chasing.  I like it well enough when it’s done.  I want it up for a very short […]

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December 18, 2011

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Realities and Perspective

So here’s the question of the day.  It’s a practical one.  How does one make a plumber’s helper actually WORK?  I’m thinking our plunger must simply be a piece of junk.  The (pinky red) rubber is getting kind of cracked where it turns itself inside out and the surface of it seems too large for the […]

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December 15, 2011

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Just Weird

Yesterday was a weird day…just weird.  I truly felt like my name was Alice and I had fallen down the rabbit hole.  I kept expecting a rabbit or a cat or the Queen of Hearts to show up (or maybe just Gracie Slick!).  I’m going to re-roll the tape here…maybe writing about it will help […]

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December 14, 2011

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Well Intended Political Rhetoric

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords staff conducted a webinar on TBI today.  Apparently people who had written to the Congresswoman after her injury and expressed brain injury interest were invited to attend (among constituents and whoever else..).  The event was held at the Southern Arizona VA where the Veterans Administration has one of their Polytrauma Network sites.  The Brain Association of Southern Arizona […]

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December 10, 2011

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Status Quo

And so the journey continues…it’s been a couple days since I stopped those two meds Mike was taking.  It’s a daily vigil now…will there be a serious cardiac reaction or won’t there?  My sister-in-law thinks Mike got a do-over on the heart and now we simply need to work with the neuro complications.  I dunno.  I do […]

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December 8, 2011

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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions….

My current Christmas wish is to wake up one morning, transformed with some new knowledge and abilities…a cross between a cardiologist and a neuropsychiatrist.  I suspect if I were, though, I would have to run screaming from those realities because in general I lack detachment and objectivity.  The reality would be far too much for me […]

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November 27, 2011

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Giving Thanks

We’re a few days post Thanksgiving and this year was special indeed.  Instead of the usual looking toward Christmas, pining over kitchen “emergencies” with the meal, we were just truly grateful to have been given yet another year with Mike.   It’s also the last time Cam might be able to have Thanksgiving with us for […]

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November 17, 2011

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Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford…”Gabby”

Although the events preceding Feb 18 this year are pretty much a blur, superseded by the horror in our lives, I do remember the shooting in Arizona.  I remember wondering what the world was coming to…wondering how we had become a world of people, however damaged any individual might be, that any number of us valued […]

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November 11, 2011

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Introspection

Truly, it is November and I think the balmy weather is on the run though I hear it’s going to revisit us this weekend.  For now, it’s cold and the leaves are blowing around because they have given up trying to hold  on to the trees.  My energy is kind of like those leaves right about now.  I’m […]

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October 31, 2011

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All Hallow’s Eve….

Happy Halloween!  We had a ton of ghosts, goblins, pirates,princesses and puppies this year and the kids (for a change) were primarily little kids.  No candy panhandling big kids this year, just tons of cute little ones.  How about at your house?  Mike was looking forward to seeing all the kids so we were outside […]

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October 30, 2011

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Deja Vu, the VA, etc.

 Talk about Deja Vu…!  Tuesday I got a call that my youngest brother had called an ambulance to take him to the hospital as he couldn’t breathe.  Turns out he has multiple pulmonary emboli which are causing the right side of his heart to strain and have periods of hypoxia…and a big clot in his leg […]

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October 22, 2011

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Hawk Mountain Adventures

Well, to be able to check out the new 12mm Pen lens AND the new E-P3 in action, I’m not above actually hiking up a mountainside.  Which is what I did today.  Now, of course, that was only one justification for doing this.  Mike purchased some whizbang binoculars before he got sick and this would give him a […]

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October 21, 2011

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Things That Make You Go HMMMM….

Photography.  High on my list of the things that make me go hmmmm.  I’ve become convinced I really should just resurrect my little Brownie Starflash (c 1960 and in pristine condition w. box, booklet and unflashed bulbs.  One roll of undeveloped film…do you suppose I could buy a roll of film for it?) since it is probably […]

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October 17, 2011

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Orders Of The Day

It’s Monday morning and as I face the new week I reflect on the old and wonder how to improve on it in the new week.  Yeah, I know.  It’s a weirdness I have, but there it is.  I expect I’m just never satisfied right?  I put on some music to think by…and not interested […]

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October 16, 2011

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A New Fave

Ricecookers.  How the heck did I live without one all these years?  I bought one…back not long before Mike got sick.  And then in a fit of buyer’s remorse instigated by the scorn of my kiddies, especially Chef Mikey, I stashed it in a cupboard and forgot about it.  Last night I needed rice…for an […]

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October 15, 2011

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Saturday’s Child Must Work For A Living

But a child that’s born on the Sabbath day is fair and wise and good and gay.  October 15, 1950 was a Sunday…and it’s the day Mike was born.  And oddly enough, all these characteristics of Sunday’s child are those that typify my husband.   Today’s his 61st Birthday.  The birthday that almost wasn’t.  I still […]

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October 12, 2011

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Nueropsychology for (k)Nuckleheads

Where I would be the head knucklehead.  I keep thinking there must be some science to this whole brain injury recovery that is somehow escaping me.  While I know that every situation, every brain, every injury, every patient, and ultimately,  therefore, every recovery, is different, the lack of information I have gotten on what the extent […]

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October 9, 2011

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Project Healing Waters

Project Healing Waters is a project whose mission is :  “to assist in the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active duty military personnel and veterans through fly fishing and fly tying education and outings.”   Locally, the LVMAC (Lehigh Valley Military Affairs Council) and the Hokendauqua Chapter of Trout Unlimited joined forces to present a day of […]

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October 7, 2011

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October Skies

Did you ever notice that the early morning sky can have the tiniest bit of pink shading?  It’s October…and October has the bluest skies ever…so in the early morning light, the softness of the blue approaches the sky blue in my box of Crayolas…but not as full or rich yet because the sun is just […]

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October 6, 2011

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Happiness is healing…

On the way to the doc’s office today (yes, there is mild, very mild, COPD.  No meds for it at this time.  Just watch it.  Since it didn’t appear before the cardiac arrest and all the pneumonia/vent/mrsa/respiratory failures, it is probably due to that. )  I asked Mike my usual question. “Honey, have I told […]

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October 6, 2011

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Turning Corners

I have to wonder if we’ve turned another corner in recovery.  Memory is still not really better.  However, yesterday I noticed pieces of old personality returned…or were returning.  Not the best pieces either!  Enroute to speech therapy and his visit with the neuropsychologist, Mike argued with me endlessly about how it was most certainly not Wednesday.  And […]

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September 29, 2011

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Curiouser and Curiouser

Truly, some days I feel like Alice spiralling round and round down the rabbit hole into a world of the wholly unexplainable. I’ve been reading those hospital records again.  Truly. Based on results, my adorable husband should be (a) dead then (b) vegetative then (c) dead again and then (d) dead again and (e) probably […]

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September 26, 2011

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29…And Counting

This morning I pointed out to Mike that his birthday is only a few weeks away.  I asked him how old he would be.  He responded….”29″.  I laughed and said “uuuuhhh…you wish!  Since I am almost three full years younger than you, that would make me 25 now.  Do I look 25?”  Forget diplomacy.  He […]

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September 25, 2011

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Family, Comfort, Celebrations…Together

Fall.  It’s time for nesting…settling in, getting ready for winter and snuggling.  Today seems to be the day to launch the Autumnal nesting at my house. Mike went to the church 90th anniversary luncheon with Mel.  I seized the opportunity to stay at home and get some stuff done.  First I watched two tivo’d episodes […]

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September 25, 2011

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Memories

These have been on my mind a lot lately.  Both Mike’s and my memories.  And just memory itself. There’s the memories of Mike’s arrest.  I think those are some kind of post traumatic thing…they make me cry a lot and grieve.  But in reality there is not a lot of time for that in my […]

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September 21, 2011

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Progress!

It’s a day.  Neither a good day nor a bad day.  A busy day…but still just a day.  We’ve been up for hours because today is the day the super duper high efficiency heat pump/air con is being installed.  What a project it is too.  Mercifully the temperatures are cool today.  This afternoon brings a […]

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September 12, 2011

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Mike: Moving Forward…most days

How could I ever have been prepared for the reality of living with brain injury?  I’m a girl who doesn’t do grey areas in life.  Or anything.  It’s black or it’s white.  It’s literal.  It’s unequivocal.  Brain injury…nobody knows about it or what the outcome will be.  It could be this or it could be […]

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September 5, 2011

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For Donna…

It has been said that friends can go long periods of time without speaking and never question the friendship. These friends pick up like they just spoke yesterday, regardless of how long it has been or how far away they live from each other. They don’t hold grudges; they understand that life is busy…and you […]

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September 5, 2011

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Mike’s Status and the VA Stuff….

It’s been a busy summer and I can barely believe it is over…and we are almost 7 months post cardiac arrest.   All in all I would say we are leading a charmed life. Mike’s cardiologist says his heart is in pretty darned good shape all things considered.  Ejection fraction is normal.   Damage from the attack […]

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