Tuesday, November 27, 2012

#295

We want to again say thank you so much for all the emails, calls, texts, prayers, and love we have received since Fred was diagnosed. He went to the doctor with Elaine and Richie (who is a prostate cancer survivor as well). Fred's Gleason score is a 7. It appears to be confined, although they won't know for sure until the surgery, and they will biopsy the nodes. The doctor is very confident that it is treatable and that Fred will be back to living his normal life soon.

Fred has scheduled his surgery for January 3rd. This is all much easier to digest, having more information, as well as a plan. The confidence that the doctor had put everyone more at ease as well. Fred has continued to handle this with bravery and courage. He is just like his wife!

We will continue to update the blog with any new information, and progress we have on either Fred or Elaine! It might not be daily, but don't be concerned that something has happened if we don't update. The best thing to do, if you haven't already, is to subscribe to the blog and then it will automatically email you when there is an update. If you have any problems, or aren't able to subscribe, please email me at stacifrancois@mac.com and I will try and help you. Thank you again and again for caring. It means to the world to us all and helps Fred and Elaine get through the bad days, and love celebrating the good ones!


Monday, November 26, 2012

#294

Elaine had a good day at therapy today! The therapist continues to be impressed with her progress and especially her hard work. Elaine was very tired today after getting to bed late last night. Her arm was also really painful and sore today. They came over to the Francois house for a quick and early dinner. Hopefully they are in bed sleeping soundly.

Fred goes to the doctor tomorrow afternoon,  so we will have more information tomorrow. Thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

#293

Fred and Elaine had a great last day in the desert. Elaine came out to watch Fred, Staci, and Ben play some very mediocre golf, and then joined them (and the kids) for a quick lunch. After that, it was back to work for Elaine. She has been pushing hard to get better and today was no exception - Sunday is not a day of rest for this champ. She headed to straight to the gym for some time on the bike and then Pilates - she really is a trooper!


After the workout, Elaine headed back to the house, not to get some rest, but to get packed up for the trip back to Newport. After getting her things together, Shirley dropped by for a visit. It was great to catch up! In fact, it was great for Fred and Elaine to catch up with many of their desert friends. They absolutely love being down there and being around such dear friends. Hopefully, they will get back down there soon!



Saturday, November 24, 2012

#292


Elaine and Fred felt much better today. They were able to take her blood this morning. Her Coumadin level is stable, so they don't have to take her blood again until Tuesday. She rode around with us on the golf course and even hits some chips around the green. She hit some great shots! We enjoyed a nice lunch with Hayley and Mynda before they left town. Hayley even drove Grandma to the gym in the golf cart. Elaine rode the bike and then went to pilates. She was feeling much better after stretching her body out. 



















Elaine's bruising on her right leg looks so much better as well. It was a good day, and we are always happy for the good days. We are all anticipating the week ahead, and what is to come for Fred. We continue to be very optimistic, and Fred is calm and collected.  Again, thank you for the outpouring of love and support for them both. It is appreciated so much!




Friday, November 23, 2012

#291

Yesterday was all about being thankful for the good things in our lives - oh yeah, and for overeating turkey, mashed potatoes, and desserts. Well, all that thankfulness can make a girl (and a guy) very tired.
Unfortunately, tired didn't mean sleepy for Fred. He was up most of the night and got out of bed very tired. Elaine was also tired from several days of entertaining grandchildren. Here they are making an attempt at drawing blood this morning. Due to Elaine's dehydration, they couldn't get a usable blood sample. It was just one of those days.



So today, they spent the day relaxing (with a golf cart ride with Brian mixed in). They even decided to eat in tonight; ordering pizzas to go and eating in their pajamas. They certainly deserve the rest. We hope they get a solid night of sleep tonight!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

#290

Happy Thanksgiving! We hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and know that we are so thankful for all for your friendships, thoughts, prayers, and love!

Elaine had a wonderful day, although she was exhausted and in bed by 6:30 tonight. The day started with the morning blood draw in which Dr. Fred pricks Elaine's finger for her Coumadin level. It was 3.3 today, so its getting thicker. Ben and Christi headed off to turkey trot around the neighborhood, and the rest of us got ready. Elaine came out to watch Fred, Staci, Ben, and Freddy play golf today. She even walked 6 holes! She did great and it was so much fun to have it out there, although she wasn't very impressed with our games. She was coaching us all on our swing flaws, and reading Ben's putts for him. It was like the good old days seeing Elaine out of the fairway walking side by side with us. Fred was so sweet, never leaving Elaine's side, knowing that she could walk alone but so thankful that they were out there together. It was a wonderful way to start off Thanksgiving. Check out this video of Elaine hitting her first chips since June, and since her shoulder unfroze.




We hurried home so she could relax a little bit before we indulged in our Thanksgiving feast. We went over to the club for dinner and had a wonderful meal with Freddy and his family. We ate until we felt sick, and until Elaine could barely keep her eyes open. She looked stunning tonight, and hopefully sleeps well tonight.

It was a wonderful day spent with family. We have so much to be thankful for, and to celebrate.









Wednesday, November 21, 2012

#289

As the saying goes, when it rains, it pours. Well, the Smith house has been on Storm Watch 2012 since the year started - and (unfortunately) the hits just keep on coming! We received Fred's biopsy results back yesterday, and he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

It is early, and the doctors are very optimistic. Fred, not surprisingly, has been incredibly courageous and strong. He is prepared to meet this head on, and there is no doubt will beat it! We are all together in the desert for the Thanksgiving holiday, and feel so lucky to be together. We are a force to be reckoned with, and no matter what they throw at us, we will beat it!

It's not something that Fred or Elaine needed right now, but we feel very fortunate that it was found so early. Fred has had an increasing PSA level over the past 6 months. The the doctor felt it was important to look into due to his family history. Thankfully Fred listened! We don't know much else. After Fred received the diagnosis, he didn't know what questions to ask or numbers to pay attention to. You hear that "C" word, and everything else turns to fuzz for a few minutes. He is going into on Tuesday to have more tests run, and to talk about options.

The truth is that Fred could have raised the white flag and surrendered to feelings of self-pity. It would be understandable if he wanted to ask, "Why me?" But he didn't do any of those things. Instead of focusing on the problem, he focused on the solution. He lined up the right doctors and went about educating himself so he knows what to ask and what the answers mean when he has his next appointment on Tuesday.

We could not be more proud of the way Fred has handled it, as well as Elaine. It wasn't the news we expected, but it is what it is. He still continues to shy away from any attention, or sympathy, saying that its nothing compared to what Elaine is going through. He said, "she is my inspiration." Elaine said, "I need to hurry and get better so I can take care of Fred, he needs me!"

It is inspiring and humbling to be around them. They draw strength from each other and their love is so pure. We aren't sure why bad things happen to good people, but we are choosing to see the good. The cancer was found early and it is curable. Elaine's stroke, along with all the other challenges over the past 10 months, could have gone very differently.

There is no doubt that I am not only blessed with the two best parents on earth, but that they are also fighters. They are my true heroes! They always have been, and they always will be! We will be here for them both, as we know all of you are, too. They are so grateful for their friends and family.

Fred and Elaine haven't sat around and felt sorry for themselves. We had a wonderful dinner with the whole Francois family last night. Today, Elaine rode around for 9 holes and watched us play golf. She spent the afternoon with their dear friends, the Brownsteins. They co-hosted a jewelry show for Callae, who is very talented, and also the doll we talk about who battled (and beat) brain cancer. It was a wonderful event and very fun afternoon! Tonight, the Smith family (Fred's son) came into town, and we had a nice dinner with them. Elaine is exhausted tonight, but she did rest this afternoon!




Monday, November 19, 2012

#288


Elaine is feeling good, but tired. She had a really fun day. She spent the morning with Mary. They went to get their hair blown dry and to lunch. They have been best friends since we moved to the desert! Elaine was so excited to be spending time with her. Elaine relaxed this afternoon. She was tried and a little confused today. She is having a very difficult time keeping track of time, or acknowledging time. She has always been so punctual, and Fred always runs 5 minutes ahead of time. They had dinner tonight with the Furman's!

Elaine's Coumadin level is still low, in the 1's. It needs to be between 2-3, and they prefer to error on the side of higher than lower. She is still on a double dose of blood thinners, but she is doing well! Hopefully they can get off "hospital" time and sleep past 5:30am this morning!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

#287

Elaine's Coumadin level fell all the way to 1.9 today. It was a rapid decrease from yesterday, but they treated it aggressively. This meant that Elaine and Fred were able to go home today! Elaine is feeling really good, still very bruised on her right leg, but she has good energy and is in great spirits. She said again tonight how happy she is to be in the desert.

She spent the afternoon with Mary. They walked to the Palm Court and back, enjoying lunch and some quality time together. Elaine was true to her word, and rested this afternoon as well. Its been a wild few days, but we are grateful that she is doing so well, and very thankful to her wonderful doctor! Fred's back is especially grateful to be sleeping in his own bed tonight!

They will test Elaine's blood every day to make sure that it gets back in the normal range of 2-3. She started her Coumadin again today as well as the Lovenox injections to thicken her blood up, and will take it a day at a time. She is doing great though! Thank you for all your care and concern!



Saturday, November 17, 2012

#286

First, thank you to all of you who are sending prayers and positive thoughts to Elaine. She is actually doing pretty well despite the thinness of her blood. Unfortunately, her INR level only dropped to 10 today (from 12; supposed to be 2-3).

The doctors decided it made the most sense to stay in the hospital another 24 hours to see if her INR level would drop to a more manageable level. Despite her condition, Elaine sounds great and is in remarkably good spirits - as are we knowing that she is alive after such a crazy day!

We have said it a lot of times, but we hope that both Fred and Elaine get some rest tonight at the hospital and that they get home as soon as it makes sense!

Friday, November 16, 2012

#285

Elaine woke up this morning ready for a "normal" day. Today was anything but normal! Fred was going to play golf, but there was a golf tournament at the Vintage so he took Elaine to her mammogram appointment this morning. Yesterday, Elaine woke up with this huge bruise on her left left, covering her thigh to her knee. We tried to figure out what happened, and nothing came to mind. They had a lovely dinner with the Blackmores last night, and went to bed. This morning the bruise was bigger and Elaine's leg was swollen. She also started have a little blood in her urine. She was having this pain in the back of her head for over a week now as well. We had gone to the doctor to check her head, and he said it was fine, but it was still weighing heavily on her mind.

Thankfully, Fred has his superhero cape on today and was VERY proactive! They went to the mammogram, and in the meantime, he had called her Newport internist to discuss what was going on with Elaine. Fred was settling for nothing less than seeing a doctor. After the mammogram, they headed over to the ER at Eisenhower. They did a blood panel and a scan of her brain. Thankfully, the brain scan came back completely normal. Unfortunately, the blood test showed that her Coumadin level was 12.9, which is considered critical. They immediately admitted her to the hospital, and started to thicken her blood. Her blood was so thin that had she bumped into anything, even softly, she could have internally bled to death. They have started her on vitamin K, and taken her off the Coumadin. They will check her levels again in the morning, and hopefully they will be able to go home tomorrow. I say "they" because Fred will not leave her side and insisted on staying with Elaine in the hospital. He undoubtedly saved her life tonight! I am personally so grateful for his unconditional love, her proactive behavior, and being the most unbelievable caretaker that anyone could possible ask for!



Make no mistake about it, today was very serious, however Elaine is stable and in going to be fine. Thank you Fred! Elaine is also fortunate to be under amazing care. Dr. Hackshaw once again came to our rescue! He was the doctor that talked Ben through the first few hours of Elaine's stroke over the phone, an opinion we value and trust.  He is a rarity in the medical field, someone who truly cares, and we are forever grateful to have him on our side as part of our team! Thank you so much!

A special thank you to Pat, who came to stay with Elaine while Fred went to change out of his shorts he started the day in. She is a true friend!  No one knew this day would bring this, but we feel so fortunate with the outcome. As we usually talk about progress, today we are grateful for Elaine to still be with us! She had many angels on her shoulder and we are so thankful!

Our deepest thoughts and love are with Mike and Diana tonight as well. Mike suffered a minor stroke today. We send our love, thoughts, and prayers to them.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

#284

Elaine had another good day today. She and Fred drove down to the desert this morning. Elaine was exhausted when she got there. We are so proud of her, taking it upon herself to rest this afternoon. They got settled for the next week, and Elaine took a nap, gearing up for therapy. She had a great session with her new desert therapist. His main focus today was multitasking. The therapist talked to them about the importance of engaging both sides of her brain. He set up cones in a figure eight and had her walking around them while looking at a picture of a palm tree straight ahead (not at her feet) and singing. This had both sides of her brain working and she was able to do it, which was very exciting. Her then had her walking and counting; forwards, backwards, by 2's, still staring at the same picture. She is going to practice this at home as well. Visitors beware of the obstacle course Fred will likely have set up:)

Elaine's shoulder and arm were very sore today, so they didn't do any arm exercises. Her bunion is also sore again and very red. The therapist encouraged her to wear the shoes they cut a hole in. He stressed the importance of her being comfortable, letting her vanity go, and taking care of herself. Her also encouraged her to drive her golf cart (using both hands) and to go out and follow her friends and family around, walking around the green and different undulations to get used to different footing and surfaces. It is imperative she gains her confidence back. The longer it takes, the longer her recovery will take. He wants her to balance on her left leg, barely holding on to a anything 10-20 times a day for 10 seconds.  He told them that Elaine has been very task oriented since her stroke. She had been asked to do things, or exercises, or told where to go and what to do. She needs to start thinking on her own and allowing herself to decide what she needs to do. The more she can engage her brain, and the more it works, the better. She needs to be aware of where her left arm is, and how she is walking. He encouraged her to draw, or paint to get her creative side working. He threw a statistic at them stating that the brain can do 24 things in one second. Elaine was able to do 5 today, which surprised us all, considering we have hadn't anything traumatic happen to our brain and we find it hard to do two things in a second! Nothing Elaine ever does should shock us. She is truly one of a kind!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

#283

Its hump day, and Elaine had crossed over a major hump. It had been confirmed that her shoulder is no longer frozen! Staci took Elaine to therapy today, and witnessed first hand the mobility of Elaine's shoulder. Aside from the flare ups of her arm (the mixed messages the brain is telling her that she is feeling pain and burning when she shouldn't be, but the pain is very real), she will face another challenge.

She will be continually fighting the hypertonicity from the stroke in her left arm. That means that she will have to fight against her arm curling up to her stomach and her fingers curling into a ball. This will take time and repetitive exercises to break this habit, and allow her arm to "hang freely." She is also working hard to isolate movements, which is really difficult to do after a major stroke.

It was incredible to see how well she was doing in her exercises today. Its hard to really appreciate these photos, but please take our word for it. Elaine has never been able to straighten her arm and elongate her fingers at the same time. She has also worked very hard to get her arm over her head. Elaine has worked tirelessly to regain her shoulder mobility, and Fred has not let her cheat even once. He had been there to encourage her progress and wipe away her tears. It is so rewarding to see her hard work pay off. She has been cleared to start putting, working up to chipping - but slowly because its important to manage the pain and the swelling.




Another important thing Elaine is working on is balance. It is going to be one of the things she is really going to focus on the next month. As her fear reared its ugly head, she stopped trusting her left side. Her left side obviously lost all of its strength as a result of the stroke, but Elaine also lost faith in it supporting her. She is constantly shifting her weight to her right side, before she takes each step, when she sits or stand from a chair, and every opportunity she has. She is stable and she will not fall. She has to trust it again, break the weight shifting habit, and strengthen all her muscles. You can literally watch her do it each time. We are all going to drive her crazy with our reminders, but it's what has to be done. We acknowledge that it is annoying to hear, but it's in her best interests and only because we care, especially Fred! She agrees and is appreciative, most of the time anyway!

This photo is Fred helping Elaine balance on one leg. She can't hold on to anything because then she cheats by shifting her weight, so he supports her so she feels secure, while stepping up onto her left leg. Fred stops at nothing to help Elaine get better, and she is willing to do anything! They are an unstoppable duo! They also have their little angel Christi watching over them, a proud daughter for sure!



The single most important thing Elaine has promised to us is that she will lay down and rest for at least one hour every day. The doctors have been stressing the importance of this for months and she has resisted, mostly because she feels guilty for laying down, thinking she should be doing other things. This rest is an important part of her recovery. After a traumatic brain injury, rest is absolutely critical. She will wear herself down throughout the day, doing therapy, running errands, more therapy, and household chores, etc. By the end of the day, she is exhausted! She ends up doing more harm than good and prolongs her recovery. Her brain needs to rest and reset, as it is trying to keep up with her. She finally agreed and made a commitment to us that she will rest every day! We are holding her to this, and hope you all will too! Elaine knows she owes it to herself. She has made such remarkable strides, and she herself sees real progress.

It was a really great day for Elaine. She is optimistic, positive, and excited. We made a quick unexpected stop to see the doctor this afternoon after Elaine expressed some concern about some head pain she had been having the last few days. The doctor doesn't believe it to be anything to worry about and will watch it over the weekend. She had a massage this afternoon to try and relieve the tension in her neck, thinking that could be related. It was a load off her mind knowing it wasn't a sign of another stroke. He also scheduled another CT scan on her lungs just to make sure those pesky mystery spots are continuing to shrink or have gone away.

Thank you for the prayers and concern for Fred. He is feeling good and the biopsy went well. We won't know anything until Tuesday so continue to keep those positive thoughts and prayers coming! We all continue to be humbled by the genuine care, concern, and love shown by all of you. We hope you know how much it means to us all, especially Fred and Elaine. They are so lucky to be surrounded by so much love, but then again, they are impossible people not to love:)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

#282

Despite an early wake up for Fred and Elaine, they had a pretty relaxing day. I guess you are bound to be tired and feel like relaxing when you get up at 5:30! 

Please send an extra prayer this way for Fred who has a biopsy tomorrow. We think it is nothing serious, but we will take all the prayers and good thoughts we can get! 

Monday, November 12, 2012

#281

It was a back-to-work kind of Monday for Elaine. She started with some intensive therapy from Diane where she and Fred heard some great news. According to Diane, Elaine's shoulder is essentially unfrozen. Her mobility is almost all the way back which means that the scar tissue has been broken down. Of course, she still has the burning pain, but we will take victories where we can get them. This photo really demonstrates the extent of Elaine's recovery!


Following the success at physical therapy, they went to see the neurologist. He was really happy with how well Elaine was doing, compared to how miserable she was last week. The pain patch is working! Things are definitely headed in the right direction, which is exciting for us all!

After the doctor, Elaine headed to the mall with Fred for some retail therapy. They helped the economy along by stopping by Lulu Lemon for a while. Then they headed to find some new Ugg boots now that the weather has turned. When we think about normalcy, we think of Elaine at the mall - we guess that today was a nice return to normalcy!

After shopping, Fred and Elaine headed over to the Francois house for their regular Monday night dinner. Tonight was special with Richie and his son Nick in town. The kids had a blast with everyone over - and the night ended with Brian throwing a dance party for himself!



It was a long day and we are sure that Elaine is exhausted. Hopefully, she gets some sleep tonight!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

#280

Elaine and Fred had a great trip to the desert. Elaine really felt like going to the desert helped her and will continue to help her heal. She never felt very comfortable driving around Newport since they had  not spent very much time here. She came back in January, in the late afternoon and had her stroke the next morning. She has spent the last nine months, initially being confused as to what happened, going from hospital to rehab hospital, to Pelican Hill, to her new home. She hasn't driven since her stroke and basically been getting in the car to see a doctor or go to therapy, with a few trips for burgers and shakes:) Elaine said she felt so comfortable in the desert, her  brain felt more at ease, and she knew exactly where she was going, never feeling lost of confused. The desert is healing! She loved seeing so many friends, looks forward to seeing more, and was so happy to see Fred getting out as well. She also learned from the new therapist, that when her left leg or arm start to shake, and she can't help it or stop it, its a good sign. It is the brain creating new passage ways. It was a wonderful few days for them both and they are so grateful to have such incredible friends down there. They can't wait to come back down there!



Tonight we were so excited to see Richie back in Newport! It are thrilled that he is back for the next few months and we are anxious to see Julie too. They have always been such an important part of our lives and we all love spending time with them! The kids are especially excited to see Bella! We went to dinner at Big Canyon for pasta night. Elaine walked up and down the stairs tonight, not using the elevator at all! She looked beautiful, as usual. Elaine is working really hard to gain her confidence back. She was doing so well and then one day, without reason, she woke up fearful. She is fearful that she is going to fall, and she won't! She is very stable and very strong. She, on her own decided to walk the stairs tonight and walked at a swift pace and used both legs to step. Her courage and determination is incredible and inspiring!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

#279

Today was a fun day for Elaine and Fred. They saw a ton of friends throughout the day. Two of those friends were Herb and Dana Pollack. Dana has been battling cancer over the past couple years, and it was so wonderful to see her on the road to recovery. Despite her own battle, Dana has been incredibly sweet to Elaine since her stroke in January. Dana is truly a selfless, generous friend - and she looks incredible! It was so nice to see these two brave women who have walked such difficult roads eating lunch, enjoying each other's company, and looking forward to bright futures!

Fre and Elaine went back to the Palm Court for dinner, and they saw a bunch more friends over there. They have had a great trip down to the desert, and they are grateful to have found a therapist down there. That means that they will be able to spend more time with their friends there. Fred and Elaine will make the trip back to Newport tomorrow, but will be planning their next desert visit soon!






Friday, November 9, 2012

#278

Today was the day that Elaine was meeting her new therapist in the desert. This was the appointment that would determine if Fred and Elaine could spend some more time in the desert. Well, it was a success. Elaine liked the therapist. He has a very positive attitude. He in not convinced that she has a frozen shoulder, but thinks that she should continue with her traction and cane exercises.

In other desert news, Elaine was scheduled to go watch Pat and Sally play golf today. Unfortunately, it was so windy that they all went in. Instead of golf, they met up with Marty (who is feeling better since her knee replacement) and had a nice lunch at the club.


We also wanted to give a shout out to Pat's grandson Brian who won the Lucas Oil 150 (NASCAR-affiliated truck race). Nice work Brian!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

#277

Fred and Elaine are happy to back in the desert - and we know all the folks in the desert are happy to see them there. Fred played in a golf tournament with Ron today over at Toscana. They had an absolute ball on the golf course.

While Fred was out on the golf course, Elaine spent the day with Pat. They ran a bunch of errands and even mixed in a trip to the doctor. A big thank you to Pat for being such a wonderful friend!

Elaine has her first session with the new desert therapist tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed that is goes well!





Wednesday, November 7, 2012

#276

Elaine had a rough 24 hours, and so did Fred! She had a bad reaction to a mix of medications and was sick all night and through this afternoon. They did make it to the desert for the weekend though. Elaine spent the remainder of the day at home relaxing and resting. She was not feeling very good- groggy, tired, and uneasy.

In better news, Fred was very excited to see his brother Richie, who met them in the desert. We are hoping that Elaine will feel better tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

#275

Elaine was feeling better today. She had a good therapy session. Diane agreed that her shoulder was doing better, still has a ways to go, but definitely in the right direction. She was exhausted this afternoon and took it easy this afternoon, or as easy as Elaine knows how to take it. Tonight, Fred and Elaine went to Christi's soccer game and then we went to a quick dinner and home to watch the election:(

Monday, November 5, 2012

#274

Today was a very long day for Fred and Elaine. They spent most of it meeting with doctors. The good news is that the pain medication worked and Elaine woke up in a lot less pain. She was a little groggy this morning though. She went to therapy and had a good session. Diane was careful with her, not wanting to further aggravate her arm. After therapy, they went to the neurologist. He offered up some explanation as to why her arm and shoulder were hurting so badly. He had mentioned before that the pain might be a side effect from the stroke, but didn't focus on this because of her frozen shoulder. Some victims of right side strokes experience on-and-off intense pain and burning sensations. There isn't a known reason for why this happens. The brain has been damaged as a result of the stroke, it feels pain when it should be feeling a sensation that is not painful. It is commonly referred to as a hyperactive autonomic nervous system. It does get better over time, but unfortunately it is again an ailment that doesn't have a timetable. It does require some medication as the common painkillers don't help relieve the pain at all.

On to some great news, her frozen should is actually getting better! The orthopedic doctor couldn't believe how much she has improved already. It is definitely unfreezing. It is very painful to have, but it is not the source of the intense pain that she has been experiencing. If its not one thing, its another! It was very encouraging news to hear that the frozen shoulder is getting better and her range of motion is increasing. The doctor was really impressed. It was wonderful to hear that all of the hard work that Elaine, and Fred, have been putting in is working. Her foot is also looking and feeling better, as well. In other exciting news, Elaine's left calf muscle has grown a centimeter. This is also from her relentless work ethic, calf raises, balance exercises, and riding the bike. He was shocked to see so much muscle growth for someone with all she is battling. The doctor was excited to see Elaine continuing with such measurable progress. That is not very common, but then again no one is more dedicated to getting better than the Smith team!

Fred and Elaine had Monday night dinner at the Francois house. We love having them over! Elaine is still recovering from a rough weekend of pain, but she was encouraged by her progress and by what the doctors told her. Brian climbed onto Nammie's lap tonight as dinner, almost sensing that she could hold him tonight. It was really cute, and Nammie loved every minute of it.



Sunday, November 4, 2012

#273

It was a busy weekend for Elaine. On Saturday, she went to watch Taylor play soccer. Following the game, Taylor headed over to Elaine's house to hang out for the afternoon. Elaine had a great day with Taylor playing and watching a movie. Just what the doctor ordered.

Unfortunately, Sunday was far less pleasant. Elaine is experiencing intense pain in her shoulder again (still). It is really hard on Elaine to suffer through this type of debilitating pain. Her frustration level correlates closely with her pain level, and she was pretty emotional today fighting through the pain. This evening, she took some medication to alleviate it a little. They had plans to have dinner with Tony and Pat tonight, but unfortunately had to cancel. It had been a frustrating day, and one that makes you angry too. We wonder why do so many bad things happen to this incredible woman who is clearly not deserving of them. Fred is overwhelmed with a feeling of helplessness. He has done everything he could possibly do to help her. This was an unplanned bump that has certainly set her back. We are confident that she will get through this, however, it doesn't mean there can't be days of frustration and emotion along the way. Fred and Elaine are human after all, although sometimes that is hard to believe. Hopefully, she will be able to get some sleep tonight and get out of pain. Its heartbreaking to see her like this.



Thursday, November 1, 2012

#272

Elaine went to the gym for her third day in a row! We are so impressed. She goes to the gym more regularly that we do! Her legs are feeling stronger as well. She did all of her arm exercises today as well. Unfortunately, her shoulder was very sore by the end of the day. They are still working trying to get the right dose of medication. Elaine continues to battle through the pain and push through.

Next blog update will be on Monday! Have a great weekend!