Monthly Archives: March 2017

Daniel Robert Hauschild, age 40, of Volo, died Sunday, March 26, 2017, at Centegra Hospital -…

Daniel Robert Hauschild, age 40, of Volo, died Sunday, March 26, 2017, at Centegra Hospital – McHenry.  He was born December 1, 1976 in McHenry to William and Jacqueline (Jensen) Hauschild.

Daniel was employed by Siemens of Buffalo Grove, IL and Alpharetta, GA for 17 years.  One of his passions in life was to give his time and talents to charities he supported.  He enjoyed riding roller coasters with the American Coaster Enthusiasts and staffing and organizing science fiction conventions.

He is survived by his husband, Thomas A. Brady; his mother, Jackie Hauschild; siblings, William Jr. (Kim) Hauschild, Chris (Rob) Maddock, and David (Jessica) Hauschild; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Elizabeth; and a brother, Robert.

Private family services were held with interment in Ringwood Cemetery, Ringwood.

For those wishing to send an expression of condolence, his family suggests memorials to SaveAVet.org, 387 Northgate Road, Lindenhurst, IL   60040.  SaveAVet takes Military & Law Enforcement working dogs deemed unsuitable for adoption by their agencies and places them on secured facilities owned by SaveAVet throughout the country and hires disabled veterans that meet criteria to live with and care for these other forgotten soldiers.

Arrangements were entrusted to Justen Funeral Home & Crematory, 3700 Charles J. Miller Road, McHenry, IL   60050.  For information, please call the funeral home at 815-385-2400, or visit http://www.justenfh.com, where friends may leave an on-line condolence message for Daniel’s family.

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Week 5 Update

(Remember these? 🙂 )

Dan has now been home for a little over a week, and we are slowly settling into some kind of routine. I’m working from home half-days this week, assisting Dan where necessary. For the most part he doesn’t need that much assistance, though. He is getting around by wheelchair within the house, and we have arranged the bedroom and bathroom upstairs and living room and dining room downstairs to keep everything accessible and manageable from the wheelchair. He can stand in one place for short periods of time so getting stuff off of shelves is possible as well. My help is only needed going up and down the stairs, providing a backup to prevent falls and carrying the wheelchair from one floor to the other.

Dan is technically housebound, which has a very specific definition per Medicare (the baseline from which most health insurance plans use). This means that with the exception of going to and from doctor’s visits and a few other minor exceptions he is not to leave the house. If something were to happen while he was out of the house the insurance company would, with good reason, refuse to pay for the in-home therapy from day one. This makes sense since if he could leave the house there would be no justification for in-home physical and occupational therapy.

Speaking of which, the occupational and physical therapists have been visiting the house this week, 2 visits each for an hour apiece. They have shown Dan how to use his walker more and how to practice static standing (building endurance while bracing on something like the kitchen counter). They also brought a second walker that he can use upstairs when comfortable doing so. He sees his surgeon and rehab doctor next week. Our hope is that they will move him to outpatient therapy and he will no longer be housebound.

As for working, he also has to wait for the go-ahead from the surgeon to go back to work. Dan’s job is completely computer-based so returning to work shouldn’t be too bad. He is definitely out until the end of the month, but with luck he will be able to return part-time starting in April. We are very fortunate that his short-term disability has covered 100% of his salary!

So that’s where we are right now.

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werewolvesversus: We are still accepting ALL SUBMISSIONS for…

werewolvesversus:

We are still accepting ALL SUBMISSIONS for WEREWOLVES VERSUS: FASCISM. We already have more entries than any other WV issue, and we want you to be in it too. Learn how here. We are looking for sketches, poems, comics, paintings, photos, or whatever else you have that depicts werewolves fighting authoritarianism, discrimination and oppression. The deadline is end-of-day, Friday March 24th. That’s the end of this week.

The issue goes on sale near the end of April 2017. It will cost a minimum of $1 but you can pay more. All proceeds through 2023 will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Special thanks to @viergacht for an amazing cover. More to come.

Also posted on Tumblr at: http://ift.tt/2mTJ3Yx

werewolvesversus: We are still accepting ALL SUBMISSIONS for…

werewolvesversus:

We are still accepting ALL SUBMISSIONS for WEREWOLVES VERSUS: FASCISM. We already have more entries than any other WV issue, and we want you to be in it too. Learn how here. We are looking for sketches, poems, comics, paintings, photos, or whatever else you have that depicts werewolves fighting authoritarianism, discrimination and oppression. The deadline is end-of-day, Friday March 24th. That’s the end of this week.

The issue goes on sale near the end of April 2017. It will cost a minimum of $1 but you can pay more. All proceeds through 2023 will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Special thanks to @viergacht for an amazing cover. More to come.

Also posted on Tumblr at: http://ift.tt/2mTJ3Yx

Book Review: We Three Kings, by A.F. Henley

We Three Kings, by @afhenley

Chicago 1982 is a goldmine for the construction industry, and Eric and his two business partners are thriving. Once nothing more than orphans in a Catholic boys’ home, they’ve overcome poverty and abuse to obtain success. Now living the lives they once only dreamed of, they’re sure of one thing: they will never look back.

Then the past returns, by way of a cheap polyester suit and a smile Eric has never forgotten-and all the dark memories come crashing back. Lucky for him, Jimmy has no idea who Eric is, or who Eric used to be…

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

The overall story arc of “We Three Kings” could be told in a few short sentences, but sometimes the beauty of a story is in the telling. What I liked about this story the most was that Henley relied heavily on “showing not telling” – that is, the backstory of the characters and how they came to be the people that they are is shown, not laid out in clumsy exposition. The history is sketched in piece by piece as they novella progresses. We actually never do get the entire picture and that’s OK. The reader has enough solid information to understand what has happened and how this influences the characters and can sketch in the rest as needed.

Eric is a deeply conflicted, troubled man who desperately wants to atone for past transgressions but isn’t sure he has it within himself to do so. He and Jimmy are clearly a great match, but he has a mountain of baggage to deal with before this could ever happen. Interestingly, I’m not sure Eric is a 100% likeable guy, but he is who he is and he doesn’t apologize for that.

My only complaint with the story is that the character of Jimmy isn’t as fleshed out as I would have liked, though in the context of the story it’s understandable why. Also, when primary plot conflicts can just be settled by the characters just TALK to each other plainly, I get frustrated as a reader. Of course, seeing the big picture that’s easy for me to say – to someone actually living the story and dealing with the doubts and insecurities, it’s probably not so easy.

This is another very enjoyable story from A.F. Henley, and I am happy to heartily recommend it!

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banchancomic: When the weather is getting chilly like now,…

banchancomic:

When the weather is getting chilly like now, there’s nothing better than this dish with a shot of soju for dinner. It warms you right up! This dish is full of everything tasty, big chunky juicy dark meat chicken, soft potatoes and deep, rich and spicy juice that tastes so yummy when eaten with rice. Soju is a korean liquor made with mainly potatos. It tastes somewhere between japanese sake and vodka. It’s used in Korean cooking a lot, especially in cooking meat. When heated with meat, the alcohol evaporates and takes away the gamey smell of the meat with it. So even if you are not into drinking this liquor, it’s good to keep a bottle for cooking purposes. And they are super cheap at Korean grocery shops, usually less then $7 a bottle.  It is the most popular drink in Korea and there are many different brands but most of them come in green bottles. You can use any brand for cooking. If you can’t find soju near you, no worries. You can substitute soju with sake or vodka. You can use many different types of chicken as long as it’s dark meat: bone-in chicken thighs, wings, and drumsticks…etc. Just make sure they are not too big, and you might need to cook them a bit longer in order for the chicken to cook through. I like to use boneless chicken thighs the best because they take less time to cook and also less messy to eat. 

Oh my gosh, I absolutely need to make this. Even if Dan is allergic to garlic – I’ll make him cheeseburger on the side or something 🙂

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went to a househunters-watching party over the weekend; here’s my impression of the show

karama9:

olivemeister:

squishlemon:

idiopathicsmile:

VOICEOVER: She wants a historically accurate thirteenth century castle in the heart of bustling downtown L.A. He has his heart set on living in a small metallic orb that would float over a bottomless gorge, beyond space and time. Can this pair of newlyweds see eye to eye???

WIFE: The location is nice but I don’t know about these staircases…I just had my heart set on an escalator made of sand and artisan brie.

HUSBAND: Well it’s definitely not a small floating metallic orb.

REALTOR: That…would defy several laws of physics.

WIFE (squinting): Do you have anything that is simultaneously larger, cheaper, newer, and more historic?

REALTOR: Um.

WIFE: And I need a big kitchen. I love to cook!

(Cut to footage of the wife in her current kitchen, wearing an apron and surrounded by pots and pans. She is hitting a banana with a hammer. On the counter next to her is a pile of doll hair.)

HUSBAND: Yeah, get her a nice kitchen. Of course, I won’t be spending any time in there, ha ha! (His laugh is loud but his eyes are so empty. They are empty all the way back.)

WIFE: And I need a room for my shoes. That is simply non-negotiable.

HUSBAND: Also, if we can swing it with our budget, I’d love a finished basement where I can really unwind and stew in my toxic masculinity and repressed emotion. And hardwood floors.

WIFE: And hardwood floors.

HUSBAND AND WIFE IN EERIE UNISON: Hardwood. Floors. (somehow it sounds like way more than two voices, more like the collective whisper of an army)

REALTOR: Okay, I will certainly, um. See what I can do? Anyway, this next house, it’s a metallic orb hanging on a sturdy cord near a ravine—

WIFE: Well it’s definitely not a genuine thirteenth century castle—

HUSBAND AND WIFE: (stare at each other in open contempt)

REALTOR: Heyyy so why don’t we take a look inside?

@sweetsugarstar

my mother watches this show all the time and i would just like to say this impression is spot-on

Pretty sure I’ve seen that episode, actually. Can’t explain why it’s so familiar otherwise.

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Day 23 Update

Just one more night then Dan will be home!

(From Dan) As I mentioned yesterday, Wednesday is the day I am going home, so today was the day where they test to see how far along you have come and confirm that you are truly ready to go home. 

We started with Occupational Therapy by doing the daily morning routine and I seemed to excel at that. The Therapist kept on commenting on how far I have come along and gave me a few tips on how to move forward. Spent the rest of the morning chatting with the staff and relaxing.

One thing I have forgotten to mention is that my sister Chris works at the hospital here and every week day she has come up to have lunch with me. It has been nice just having her here and being able to catch up on almost a daily basis. She has also offered to help out if we need anything in the evenings, especially if Tom needs some time away. My mother has also offered to help and it is very much appreciated!

This afternoon was Physical Therapy which was full of brutal things to do to make sure I am ready. Get in and out of a car (easy), up and down 12 steps (hard but doable), go up and down a stoop/threshold (kinda hard), and walk with the walker. There was a difference in score between 50 feet and 150 feet so they really wanted me to try for 150 to see if I can do it. With taking some standing breaks to shake my arms out, I was able to go 152 feet today, which surpasses my 69 feet previously! She also let slip that she had to modify my goals early on as I quickly surpassed them!

Everyone feels that this is the best time for me to go and that I am ready. I can’t believe it is finally time and so ready to be home with Tom and our doggies tomorrow. What has been so heartwarming is that all the nurses that are leaving and I won’t be seeing again have made trips to say goodbye to me. One even came back because she forgot about it until after she left. I will need to send something to them. Speaking of, I need to get some thank you cards made up to send to everyone who has sent cards and gifts so far.

Also posted on Tumblr at: http://ift.tt/2mLx15T

Day 22 Update

(From Dan) Started the day with Physical Therapy and was the last day for me to push for things that I want to work on. As I am going home on Wednesday, tomorrow will be the last assessment before heading on home so it is pretty much things to show that I am ready and able to take care of myself (with some help from Tom). Anyways, we worked on stairs again, going up and down 8 steps twice, which gives a good feeling what to expect. Also worked on side stepping as part of our stair setup along with some more on balancing. We finished with using a new walker that will be the style of the one I will be getting on Wednesday. It is quite a bit lighter so it is easier to work with overall.

After lunch, I got to enjoy Occupational Therapy where we did some transfers with the walker and moving around to sit on things was quite interesting, but ended up being real good to get used to. After that, we worked on more standing balance and doing tasks while standing, but at that point, I was getting real tired.

As the weather has been pretty crappy up here (4-6” snow), Tom is spending the night at home to work on leftover tasks from the installation last weekend. This means a quiet night for me, so will be laying down early and watch a good movie on my iPad. 

I am both very excited and pretty scared about going home, to be honest. I am sure things will be good, but I will need to be sure to be as safe as possible once I get there.

(Once Dan is home I’ll likely just be posting weekly updates.)

Also posted on Tumblr at: http://ift.tt/2mG4Jtt

Day 22 Update

(From Dan) Started the day with Physical Therapy and was the last day for me to push for things that I want to work on. As I am going home on Wednesday, tomorrow will be the last assessment before heading on home so it is pretty much things to show that I am ready and able to take care of myself (with some help from Tom). Anyways, we worked on stairs again, going up and down 8 steps twice, which gives a good feeling what to expect. Also worked on side stepping as part of our stair setup along with some more on balancing. We finished with using a new walker that will be the style of the one I will be getting on Wednesday. It is quite a bit lighter so it is easier to work with overall.

After lunch, I got to enjoy Occupational Therapy where we did some transfers with the walker and moving around to sit on things was quite interesting, but ended up being real good to get used to. After that, we worked on more standing balance and doing tasks while standing, but at that point, I was getting real tired.

As the weather has been pretty crappy up here (4-6” snow), Tom is spending the night at home to work on leftover tasks from the installation last weekend. This means a quiet night for me, so will be laying down early and watch a good movie on my iPad. 

I am both very excited and pretty scared about going home, to be honest. I am sure things will be good, but I will need to be sure to be as safe as possible once I get there.

(Once Dan is home I’ll likely just be posting weekly updates.)

Also posted on Tumblr at: http://ift.tt/2mG4Jtt

Day 21 Update

We’re in the homestretch now. Today was a day off for Dan, his first in the three weeks that he’s been in the hospital. He celebrated by taking some lovely naps, which is a great way to celebrate! I slept in a bit myself and got thoroughly discombobulated by Daylight Savings Time, but I’ll cope.

As noted yesterday, Jack and Chad did an utterly astounding job helping to prepare the house for Dan’s return. Right now unless there are any suddenly changes, he is due to come home on Wednesday. When I visited this afternoon we talked about the transition and what will be necessary. He pointed out that some chairs with arms would be needed for both stairwell landing and for the master bathroom, since he can only stand unassisted for a short period of time right now. Fortunately, at my mother’s suggestion, I was able to score a couple of great chairs (like you’d find in a doctor’s waiting room) from Goodwill for the fabulous price of $1.89 each.

Our current plan is that I will work a half-day on Wednesday then go to the hospital to pick up Dan. I will work from home Thursday and Friday, and then come Monday we will reassess where we stand (I lean to working from home but going into work – 5 minutes away – for meetings as needed, but we shall see).

I was a whirwind when I got home, walking and feeding the dogs, breaking down all the empty boxes in the house, taking out the trash, sanding the banisters and railings in the stairwell, running to Home Depot to return some leftover hardware and buy supplies for painting the banisters and railings, and prepping the shower head for the master bath for installation.

Finally, I wanted to mention all of the amazing cards and gifts that people have sent to Dan. I am gratified to say that there are more than I could list here, and I know that both Dan and I are overwhelmed by the support of our friends here and all over the world. I feel bad just singling out any specific gifts, but these are so special:

First, all of the wonderful people at Fur Squared (including Alkali, Xander, Draggor, Miko, and more people I wish I could name) sent us a beautiful card signed by a staggering number of people who were at the convention. It’s easy to forget how big of an impact you make on a community sometimes, but this reminder of home many people know and love Dan and are rooting for his recovery was incredible.

Second, Dave and Sarah (aka Plonq and Atara), two wonderful friends and gifted writers, sent a six-part serialized story that they tag-team wrote especially for Dan. This moved both him and me to tears (before we’ve even read the whole thing!). I can’t wait to read the rest of the story! We are blessed with amazing people in our lives.

Also posted on Tumblr at: http://ift.tt/2mYcmfC

Oh my gosh. The weekend after Dan had his injury, we were supposed to go to a furry convention run…

Oh my gosh. The weekend after Dan had his injury, we were supposed to go to a furry convention run by several friends, Fur Squared, and be on six different programming panels. Obviously we were unable to attend, however we just got a very thoughtful reminder that they were thinking of us.

We have some of the most amazing friends ever!

Also posted on Tumblr at: http://ift.tt/2mQcP3c

Day 20 Update

Another guest update from Dan:

Good news everybody! No low grade fever this morning!

Started
with Physical Therapy and did 3 trips up and down (backwards) the
stairwell, which the PT feels I should be able to handle the stairs at
home without too many issues at all. Afterwards, we went to the parallel
bars and tried holding my stand without using my hands at all. The
issue is that my body wants to turn when doing this so after doing some
of my own stretching, I was able to stand hands free for
about 30 seconds at a time. This is totally crazy as I don’t think I
could have even done that yesterday! We finished with some leg stretches
as being in a wheelchair can really tighten the muscles.

After lunch, went into Occupational Therapy where we worked on the core
muscles with some exercises before doing more standing in place hands
free. We are feeling very good on how things are going there and being
to stand doing tasks.

Tomorrow will be my day off as I am
supposed to have one (and they are short handed so can’t provide staff
even if I wanted to work). Will be working on a lot of exercises that I
have been taught and hoping that I will also be able to do some walking,
but we will see how things go.

Right now I am set to go home on
Wednesday, unless they feel I could use one or two more days of therapy
that would really improve things, but should know more on Tuesday for
certain.

Jack and Chad came over today to install rails in the
restrooms and in the stairwell to ensure the house is ready for me,
looks like everything went really well!

Also posted on Tumblr at: http://ift.tt/2mywfc1

Day 19 Update (a little late)

Another guest post from Dan:

Continued to have a low grade fever in the morning, however, all the tests they have done show to be okay and may just be allergies overall.

In Physical Therapy we started with trying to go down to the floor and back up to a chair. Using just your arms is very difficult and had to roll around to my knees to be able to do that. Afterwards, we went over to a stairwell and I went up the 8 steps and backwards down twice. A lot of Physical Therapy is to relearn how to do things, both safely and to get your confidence back while in a safe environment.

For Occupational Therapy, we worked on standing with a walker and using one hand to do tasks, to both help with endurance, and to be sure I can reach to do tasks while feeling comfortable using just one hand to hold me up. They then threw weights on my arms (while seated) and played games that required me to raise my arms a lot.

Tom brought me a very tasty dinner from a local restaurant and we worked on things that we need to buy to get the house ready for me next week. Jack and Chad are coming in Saturday and they are being totally awesome in doing whatever is needed to get things done right.

Also posted on Tumblr at: http://ift.tt/2mvFsjK

Day 19 Update (a little late)

Another guest post from Dan:

Continued to have a low grade fever in the morning, however, all the tests they have done show to be okay and may just be allergies overall.

In Physical Therapy we started with trying to go down to the floor and back up to a chair. Using just your arms is very difficult and had to roll around to my knees to be able to do that. Afterwards, we went over to a stairwell and I went up the 8 steps and backwards down twice. A lot of Physical Therapy is to relearn how to do things, both safely and to get your confidence back while in a safe environment.

For Occupational Therapy, we worked on standing with a walker and using one hand to do tasks, to both help with endurance, and to be sure I can reach to do tasks while feeling comfortable using just one hand to hold me up. They then threw weights on my arms (while seated) and played games that required me to raise my arms a lot.

Tom brought me a very tasty dinner from a local restaurant and we worked on things that we need to buy to get the house ready for me next week. Jack and Chad are coming in Saturday and they are being totally awesome in doing whatever is needed to get things done right.

Also posted on Tumblr at: http://ift.tt/2mvFsjK

Day 19 Update (a little late)

Another guest post from Dan:

Continued to have a low grade fever in the morning, however, all the tests they have done show to be okay and may just be allergies overall.

In Physical Therapy we started with trying to go down to the floor and back up to a chair. Using just your arms is very difficult and had to roll around to my knees to be able to do that. Afterwards, we went over to a stairwell and I went up the 8 steps and backwards down twice. A lot of Physical Therapy is to relearn how to do things, both safely and to get your confidence back while in a safe environment.

For Occupational Therapy, we worked on standing with a walker and using one hand to do tasks, to both help with endurance, and to be sure I can reach to do tasks while feeling comfortable using just one hand to hold me up. They then threw weights on my arms (while seated) and played games that required me to raise my arms a lot.

Tom brought me a very tasty dinner from a local restaurant and we worked on things that we need to buy to get the house ready for me next week. Jack and Chad are coming in Saturday and they are being totally awesome in doing whatever is needed to get things done right.

Also posted on Tumblr at: http://ift.tt/2mvFsjK

Day 18 Update

In the service of self-care and not utterly exhausting myself, I took the night off and curled up with a nice book (by some guy named @afhenley) and a beer or two.

For tonight’s update, then, you get a guest post by Dan himself!

Day
18 Update: Today I woke up refreshed but really warm! Seems that the
morning low-grade fever is continuing to nag so they ran blood tests to
ensure that there was no infection. The good news is that I don’t have
an infection, the low-grade fever is probably just a mild cold/ick that
is going on.

First up was Occupational Therapy, which their goal is to get you
ready to go home as you are now (whereas Physical Therapy is designed to
get you better). With that in mind, had a shower with a walker transfer
to rely less on the Wheelchair overall. The Therapist made sure to note
that my use of walker is getting better every day.

After lunch, I had Physical Therapy where we went up and down stairs
that were the same height as what we have at home. While it was only 4
steps, was quite exhausted after each round of going up and then down.
We are going to try to use the regular stairwell in the next few days to
see if I can handle the 9 steps to get to the landing, and then the
other 9 steps to finish going upstairs in time to get home. We finished
with some stretching, which when you don’t use muscles for a while in
your legs, they can  get really tight.

Finally, had 30 minutes of Recreational Therapy and learned how to
play Rummikub. May need to pick that up for general game play at home.

Shortly before dinner, Ian from Chambana (Champaign/Urbana, IL) came up to visit and
brought donuts and tasty sodas and we chatted for about 2 hours. Was
great seeing him and catching up him. He warned me about some potential
pain once to nerves really get back to working.

Thank you everyone for keeping up with the updates and sending out the Love/Support/Thoughts/Prayers/etc. It is much appreciated!

Also posted on Tumblr at: http://ift.tt/2mGzYER

Day 17 Update

Huge news today! Dan’s doctors and therapists reviewed his progress and decided (as expected) that he could benefit for another week of rehab (and possibly a few more days after that). Even better, the insurance company OK’ed the week extension. This is going to be wonderful for his recovery, and will make a huge improvement in his walking ability and independence in the future.

We got a couple of handy items from the doctor as well. First off she certified Dan to have a wheelchair and a walker when he leaves the hospital. We also got documentation for our travel insurance claim for the cruise and for waiving the change fee on our United tickets (we’ll get credit that’s good for a year, but that’s better than losing the airfare entirely). We also got the form for a temporary handicapped permit which I need to take to the DMV in the next few days.

Therapy continues apace as well. Dan was able to try 4” and 6” steps (the steps in our house at 7”). He was able to walk 50 feet then 69 feet as well. Additionally there was work with arm strength endurance, tub and transfer techniques, and the walker. As always, the improvement is incremental, but it’s still improvement.

Also posted on Tumblr at: http://ift.tt/2mDqhqZ

ask-the-werewolves: ask-the-werewolves: Werewolves Versus #4 is…

ask-the-werewolves:

ask-the-werewolves:

Werewolves Versus #4 is now available! Pre-order it for $1 (or more! please!) to get a version with bonus material, or get the basic version on March 8th! Also, be sure to support all the creators who made this issue so great!

March 8th is here! WV#4 is now available at a pay-what-you-want rate! 

Also posted on Tumblr at: http://ift.tt/2mCByYq

Day 16 Update

The big news today was “Family Training”, where Dan, Tom (me), and Jackie (Dan’s mom) met with Dan’s physical therapist, occupational therapist, and care coordinators. The physical therapist showed us how far Dan has gotten in walking and the ease with which he was able to get in and out of a car. The occupational therapist talked us through some of the work they’ve been doing and demonstrated the necessary assistive devices for bathing.

We also discussed additions we are going to need to make around the house. We plan on adding grab bars by the toilets in the parlor and master baths, as well as grab bars in the bathtub/shower in the master bath. We have already purchased a bathtub transfer bench. The railing in the stairwell will need to be reinstalled with more brackets to provide more support, and another railing will need to be installed on the other side of the stairwell.

We are working under the assumption that Dan will be in rehab for another week. He will come home with a walker for getting around the house and a wheelchair for going outside of the house. Whether he will be able to attempt stairs at all when he gets home will be completely up for grabs. If it’s not something that can be done easily, we can move the guest bed downstairs temporarily and work from there.

The list of challenges ahead a pretty long. It could get us down, but we’re going to work together to get through this and improve every day.

Also posted on Tumblr at: http://ift.tt/2mVpQsS

Day 15 Update

A new milestone today: Dan walked 64 feet with his walker, followed by another 38 feet. The rehab gym also has a 1988 Chevy Cavalier that they use for testing getting in and out of a car. He was able to transfer to and from a wheelchair without a problem. Among other exercises he worked on standing at a counter for extended periods while performing tasks one-handed (and stabilizing himself with the other), and improving leg and arm strength.

We had a couple of sad tasks today too. We needed to cancel our cruise reservations for next month, as well as a theater outing we were supposed to take in a few weeks. We were able to cancel the flights with no penalty, but could only get credit and not refunds. Hotel reservations were easy to cancel. Unfortunately, the cruises were into the time period where we can only get a 50% refund. The good news is that we paid for the cruises with a credit card that comes with travel insurance so I initiated the claim for that today.

Cancelling all of these arrangements was tough, but we know that there will be plenty of other opportunities for travel and fun. For now we’re focusing on getting Dan as well as possible as fast as possible.

Also posted on Tumblr at: http://ift.tt/2mPtHHS

Book Review: Boots, by Angel Martinez

 

Boots, by Angel Martinez

Willem’s lost his job and his boyfriend, and now possibly his mind when his cat calls him a nitwit.

Willem’s father never approved of his artistic talents, his choices in life, or the fact that he’s gay. When the only thing Horst leaves to Willem is the family cat, he thinks it’s his father’s last insult from the grave. That is, until the cat starts talking to him.

Though Willem’s lost his boyfriend, his home, and his job, Kasha, who claims to be a magic cat, reassures him that all will be well. All he needs is Willem’s trust and a good pair of boots. But giving boots to a talking cat has unexpected consequences when odd events ambush Willem at every turn, such as the appearance of a handsome stranger in his arms at night. While he begins to suspect Kasha’s plans might be dangerous for all involved, how can he distrust such a charming kitty in cowboy boots?

Rating: 4 out of 5

This novella is a fun, breezy retelling of the venerable Puss in Boots story, with a gay twist. I went into the story knowing of the story, but not really familiar with the details. This probably helped me enjoy the story more, but I could tell when the more traditional story elements were updated for the story, usually in a humorously meta way (the evil ogre is a lawyer AND an investment banker!).

Aside from the two main characters, Willem and Kasha, the other characters in the story are loosely sketched. The romance between Willem and Kasha is cute, though the dreaded insta-love comes out of nowhere. To be fair Kasha has had decades of admiring Willem while a cat so he knew what to expect. Willem, not so much, but I’m willing to roll with it. The cat’s machinations to better the life of his master make for an engaging read, and the author wraps up the story neatly with an adorable ending.

Martinez’ writing is enjoyable, and she does a good job telling the story economically in the short 113 pages. The bedroom door is wide open here, and the intimate scenes are quite steamy (and amusing. One word: spines. Ow). I’ll definitely be seeking out Martinez’ other work!
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Day 14 Update

Two weeks in the hospital, and probably another 10 days or so to go.

Dan really pushed himself hard in
physical therapy today and it showed. Rather than tire himself out on the
parallel bars, he moved directly to the walker in an attempt to see how far he
could walk. He managed three walks in a row with short rests in between: 38 feet,
50 feet, and 32 feet. His arms were shaking and he was clearly fatigued at the
end, but this is incredible progress! This is by far the longest distance that
he has walked so far. He ended the session practicing going from sitting to standing
at a table and side-stepping around it, as well as other exercises. Normally he
would have occupational therapy today but he was give the day off. Normally he
would have had the day off from physical therapy too but in the interest of
getting as much work done as possible before the insurance company sends him
home, he wanted to do the PT today as well.

The rest of the day has been given over to relaxing. One big
bright spot was that we were able to bring over our dogs, Charlie and Nora, to
visit. This is the first time Dan has seen them in two weeks and I know it
really helped brighten his spirits.  Kevin
is on his way over to visit, but I have come home for the day to do some
shopping, do laundry, and relax a bit myself. Back to the grind (for both of
us) tomorrow!

Also, thanks to all of you for your kind words of support and encouragement of my posts here and elsewhere. It means so much to me and helps keep me going!

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