An update, and thanks

You are a wonderful bunch—did you know that?

You have given me such support and I have been buoyed by it. Your comments and messages have moved me beyond my ability to express.

I’m back to give you an update, and am happy to say that the update is generally very positive!

After the stroke, Don was in the hospital and then an acute rehab unit for a total of six weeks.

He has been home for a month now, and is continuing rehab with outpatient therapies.

He is doing far better than I dared to hope when this all started. His physical strength is very good and he is mobile and takes care of his personal needs entirely. He has gotten back into the kitchen and done some cooking and we go out to eat regularly.

He has some deficits he continues to work on. He’s not driving yet and he has some issues with aphasia. He gets momentarily frustrated but is, overall, in a good place—I think he really understands how much worse off things could be, and is grateful.

I’m really, really grateful, for so many things.

My family has been terrific, as has his daughter. Even my mother, who suffers from dementia, has worked hard to be supportive and caring—once a mom, always a mom.

My sister has been an angel.

I never had any appreciation for all the therapists of the world—the physical therapists, the speech/language therapists, the occupational therapists. I have come to be fascinated with the knowledge they have and the work they do. And with their spirits and motivational skills!

We have friends, local and far-flung, who have kept in touch and offered endless, loving support.

And I count you among those friends. You have not let the fact that we’ve never actually met stop you from caring, feeling my stress and confusion, and offering calming, kind words.

It has meant so much to me!

I don’t know, yet, whether or when I’ll come back to blogging. I spend a ton of time now running the roads—driving Don to lots of appointments and spending time with my mother.

I’ve come to realize just how much time I devoted to blogging, to do it the way I wanted to. I have been using that time, lately, to weave. And the weaving has been awfully satisfying and important to me.

I’d like to be able to say that I am committing to being back here for real, that I’ll be posting and reading and commenting as I used to, but I don’t think that’s likely, at least for now.

I do want you to know, though, that my blog people—you and you and you—have meant so much to me through all this. I’m doing fine now, in part because of you.

Thank you so much.

83 thoughts on “An update, and thanks

  1. I’m so happy to get this update, as you have been so much in my thoughts. I’m glad too that you have had so much good support: you must be an easy couple to offer support to, as you’re so appreciative! And while I do hope you’ll come back to blogging one day, you’re quite right not to promise, or to put yourself under pressure. All good wishes to you both xx

  2. What a nice way to start this Saturday, hearing from you and hearing that your husband is home and progressing. Blessings to you both and your mother as she maneuvers her own medical challenges. I can certainly see how your time would be taken up with caring for your loved ones and finding a release in your weaving. Maybe you can just check in now and again, show us a photo of your weaving, and tell us everything is still progressing. Speaking for myself, I certainly wouldn’t expect you to be reading about gardening, quilting, or traveling when you are immersed with life and death issues, but I feel like we are blogging friends and hope that you’ll let us know how you are doing. The blogging community is a supportive one, and please know we only wish you the very best. ❤️

    • The blogging community sure is supportive–I’ve been blown away by that! Thank you for all of your concern, Judy. The hard thing is that I really *want* to read about gardening and quilting, etc. I need more hours in my day . . .

  3. Wonderful to hear from you and to read about your husband’s progress. I have been thinking about you and wondering how things were going. As for blogging…I hope that you will return, but for right now you are doing exactly what you need to be doing. Best, best to you and your husband.

  4. Thank you for the update and how wonderful to read that it is on the positive side. Continued progress for your husband! I am so happy to read of the tremendous support you have both had through this part of your journey….Stay strong, healthy and positive…

  5. Lovely to hear from you Kerry – and with good news too!
    I have also been thinking about you and wondering how you and Don were getting on. You are lucky I couldn’t find an email address when I looked for it as, otherwise, I might have harassed you for news. Now you’ve let us know and everybody will be over the moon for you that the outcome seems to be better than expected.
    I wish Don a continued good recovery and hope that you remember to look after yourself as well as your loved ones. Your blog posts will always be welcome if you decide you can spare a bit of time now and then but I’m sure everybody perfectly understands that you have other priorities at the moment.
    For now, I wish you, Don and your Mum all the very best,
    Lynn xxxx

  6. You and Don have been on my heart so many times these past weeks; your news is so very welcome! I almost emailed so many times, but decided you didn’t need one more thing, that you would let us know when you had time to breathe again. I am so glad that Don is home and working through his therapy, my very best to him as he continues the hard but welcome work of recovering. As for you my friend, I am certain that your weaving is bringing you the quiet time and creative time you need. Enjoy that, and stop in when you can to give us an update. Individual followup is NOT required. Hugs to you, Don and your mom. Sending you much love. XOXO

    • Thanks, Kathy–you’re always so supportive and kind. I have really missed you all and it’s the “individual followup” that I miss the most, where we connect. I will try to find a tenable balance . . .

  7. Thank you for this update! Your kindness and humanity, as usual, shine through in your words… Hurrah that your husband “is doing far better than (you) dared to hope when this all started. His physical strength is very good and he is mobile and takes care of his personal needs entirely. He has gotten back into the kitchen and done some cooking and (you) go out to eat regularly.” This is a tremendous accomplishment by your husband and by you and by everyone who has helped him along this very challenging stretch of his life’s journey. Hurrah, too, that you have found time to do some weaving! I (and many other fellow bloggers) will wait — gently and patiently — for any additional blog updates you may be moved to share in 2020. And we’ll all be beaming warm thoughts your way!

  8. I was so happy to read things are looking up for you,and Don! Thank you so much for the update, and keep weaving for your health is as important as Don. Hugs and prayers will continue your way.🤗

    • Hi, Deb! Thank you for caring. It’s funny–I could’ve gotten a ton of hand sewing done, while Don was in the hospital, etc., but the desire to do that simply left me. I am slowly getting back to it but the weaving is my focus and seems to be the best therapy.

  9. Excellent news indeed, so lovely to read this . I have travelled a similar road with my husband- different health issues, but the same strain as I know you have been and will continue to be under. Like you I am full of admiration for the professional help from the medics. Well done on coming so far. You do right to weave if it helps – I read a lot. We all do what we can to cope with life’s slings and arrows. xx

    • I’ve picked up on references to the struggles your husband has been having, Cathy, so I know you can relate to my situation, even better the some others. Thank you for caring. And I’m reading quite a lot more now, too–it’s such a welcome break from reality!

  10. Kerry, I’ve been thinking of you and Don and wondering how things were going. I’m relieved to get your update and hear that Don is making progress. Such good news! I will continue to send positive thoughts and prayers your way!

    • Hi, Gwen–thanks for all the kind thoughts. And, yes, weaving has been the perfect support craft–there’s something about the rhythm that is very therapeutic.

  11. Hi, Kerry. Thank you for writing this blog, to update us followers on the story of your life since your last post. I have been thinking of you recently, wondering what artful things you might be up to. Do you think you would ever post about your weaving? I have an interest in this craft and would like to hear about your efforts.

    • Thanks for your nice comment and kind thoughts, Laura Kate! When I come back to blogging (and I suspect I will–I just like it so much), I am sure i’ll write about weaving, since it has been my primary outlet!

  12. Hello Kerry! Such good news from Don’s health perspective – and absolutely understandable news from yours. Sometimes life takes us away from our comfortable world – which includes blogging – and sends us in different directions. Family is most important and you have a lot to care about! I have been mostly absent for the past four months too – and ‘making’ has been the the thing that keeps me calm and centred when all about becomes chaotic. So I understand completely your need to spend whatever time you have for you on weaving. Don’s progress sounds remarkable and I’m sure he will continue to improve too with all the care he has about him. Much love to you both, big hugs to you my friend I have never met. Take care xoxo

    • Isn’t it amazing, how close we can feel to “friends we’ve never met”? I did see your recent post about the cards you’ve been making and they are delightful. I am happy for us, that we have these creative outlets to give us solace.

  13. I’m so happy to hear your news! Like ‘real’ friends, we know that sometimes other things have to take priority over time spent with us. An occasional news flash helps us all stop worrying about you and your husband, so thank you for taking the time to let us know what remarkable progress he’s making. If you don’t ever come back to blogging, I’ll miss your fun and engaging posts, but I’ll also know that you’re committing to the important things in your life. Stay well, stay safe, be happy, my friend.

  14. I am so happy to hear this good news. I have thought about you often and have sent many a prayer your way. I hope to hear more good news from you in the near future. Thank you for this up-date.

  15. All positive and good news, but I am sure there is a long road ahead of you! Yes we become very accustomed to our little corner of the world and then the sky falls down on us and our world goes bonkers. I am happy that Don is slowly progressing after the stroke. You the caregiver needs all the support that you can get from friends and family. Yours is not an easy task! I have one going on here since New Years Eve and it will continue going on until May. So hang in there and when you can send us an update, and always take a little time for yourself to recover from the stress of it all. Mostly – if possible get your restorative sleep each night – that will give you the mental and physical strength you will need to manage things. Hugs

    • Thanks, Nanette, for such kind support! Yes, being a caregiver can be exhausting. I feel really lucky that Don can do so much for himself. And I assure you, I am sleeping very well!

  16. Oh, such good news! It sounds like you have an amazing support network around you, however I am sure that there are many things that only you can do. I am sure you are in a place where you can let go of all the things you can’t do. One thing, for me, after 6 months of caring for Terry was realising that the garden would have to look after itself; I just do what I can do and try not to let the rest stress me out. Finding the calm space in your weaving must be great way to reenergise for whatever comes next. Big hugs to you Kerry.

    • I think you’re exactly right, Anne–we just need to let some things go. I was hugely relieved to find a guy down the road who is thrilled to make some money for clearing snow from my driveway! That way, he shovels and I weave, and we’re both happy.

  17. Like everyone else I am delighted to hear from you with a positive update. Kia Kaha ( Keep strong) and it is always lovely to hear from you when you have time and energy to communicate.

  18. So great to hear your news Kerry. I have been wondering how things were going for you so thank you for taking the time to post this update. Sending love and hugs to you and Don xxx

  19. I’m so glad to read your good news about Don’s progress! It’s understandable that your time and energy is going to what is most important: your family and also what sustains you as the caregiver. Thank you for posting the update.

    • It’s awful to have to make choices and to put blogging lower on my priorities! I do miss you all and need to take some time to get caught up with what you’re making these days!

  20. I was so pleased to see this post from you, Kerry! I would not want you to commit to blogging or even replying to comments; you have enough to do without that extra pressure and anxiety. I am so pleased you are finding comfort in your beautiful weaving!
    Have you heard of music therapy for aphasia? Music therapy is the in-thing these days for many physical and mental problems but I think it is worth investigation.
    https://www.aphasia.org/stories/using-music-to-treat-aphasia/
    I am glad you are surrounded by loving family and friends; your news has eased my mind a little but I also know that the road to recovery will be long and not always easy or straight-forward.
    My very best wishes to you both,
    Clare xxxx

    • You’re so kind, Clare–do you know, it’s been haunting me that I never responded to all the fantastically nice comments I got on the previous post? In many ways, it’s the back and forth in the comments that I like best about blogging.

      Thank you for the link about music therapy! Don loves, loves, loves music and we have it on much of the time. In fact, when he was in rehab and could not remember the names of our grandchildren, he could correctly name the singers of every song that came on the radio! But I need to learn more about music as systematic therapy–it seems a natural in Don’s case. Thanks for everything!

  21. This is fabulous progress and I am thrilled for you and Don to have experienced so much renewed ability. Your gratitude is overwhelming in its warmth and palpable realness. Your responsibilities are still huge and I affirm you for finding some time to weave and care for yourself. I did not experience a mother’s dementia, but I her will to be a mother is not surprising and is heartwarming. For all those in need and especially you, you are very much in my thoughts and prayers.

  22. So glad to hear that things are going better than expected! It sounds like life is ever evolving! Glad you have time for weaving, I am sure it is a calm spot in your day.

    • Life is definitely ever evolving! The progress is incremental but it’s still progress and everyone says it’ll continue, for at least the first year. Thanks for all your kind thoughts!

  23. Good to hear from you again, Kerry, and luckily with positive news. As for when you’ll come back to blogging – I think the time you’re spending with your husband and your mother will be more rewarding, albeit the blogger support.

    • Thanks, Kiki–I really hope to find ways to fit blogging in–I have missed seeing what you all are doing and interacting with people here. But, as you say, first things first . . .

  24. Great to hear that he is on the mend and that you have been well supported. When life is stressful and you have had a shock it is really important you do what helps you cope rather than something you ‘ought’ to do. It will be lovely to hear from you if you start blogging regularly again but meanwhile look after yourself

  25. What a relief to hear that Don is back home and making good progress. Keep weaving, my friend, and don’t waste any energy worrying about blogging! You are so right that blogging (and Ravelry, FB, etc.) are huge time sinks. I cut way back on internet time–just to have more time for weaving, spinning and gardening–and am so glad that I did. You won’t regret the soothing, contemplative, creative time spent at your looms. There’s a reason why weaving has long been used in therapy. I hope that Don will be weaving again soon, if he isn’t already. Sending warm thoughts your way.

    • I am so torn between the time spent on WordPress and the time spent on weaving! I quite enjoy the writing and connecting with you all but, jeez, it really does suck up a lot of time! I think it wound be wonderful therapy for Don to get back to weaving and I set up a loom so he could do plain weave, twill, or fancier twills, as a way to ease back into it. But, as of yet . . . no interest (or maybe too much fear about finding what he lost.) Still hoping . . .

  26. Thanks for relaying your mostly good news. Yes, please put whatever extra energy you have into your weaving. Selfishly I’d love for you to continue blogging, but I think the act of rhythmically placing one thread on top of another to create a whole piece is much more therapeutic.

  27. I’m so happy to read that things are going well, and that you are still finding time to weave. Supporting those we love is important, but such creativity is, I think, essential for our own mental well-being.
    I think of you everyday as the lovely piece of crochet that you sent me hangs in a frame directly opposite where I work (along with one of Ann Lawson’s trees and one of Pauline King’s multi-media pieces). We may not ever meet our blogging friends face-to-face, but they are still dear friends… you are in my heart and my thoughts. x

    • I love the idea that the vintage crochet piece is in such good company! I do think the weaving is allowing me the space to retain my sense of self, when I spend a lot of my time helping Don and my mother. Thanks so much, Jan, for your support.

  28. Being home, amongst caring, supportive family is the best medicine in the world! I also had no idea that the OT/PT world is full of amazing, patient, upbeat and positive people. I think that goes a long way for healing. Don’t forget to take care of your own self now and then. If you find that you have the time (and desire), take a quiet peek (no replies necessary) at the blog world – just for the entertainment. 😀 Thank you for the update. So glad to hear this good news! Slow and steady…

  29. I’m so glad the outcome has been so positive. It often is, but not always, and it feels like beating back something bad when I read that for you and Don, things are on the positive side. I hope he continues to improve with his therapy, and that the day comes that he isn’t at all discommoded by this event. God bless you both.

    • Hi Margaret–SO good to hear from you! We’re doing quite well. I’d love to keep in touch, via email. You can reach me at kerrysangerme.com (use that symbol in the middle–you know!)

  30. I’ve been thinking about you so often and just didn’t have the bandwidth to check up on you. You didn’t show up in my email but found you in a comment on my reader. I am so sorry to hear about your husband. A stroke is one of my great fears. It’s hard on the person and the family. Glad you have a good support system. Life likes to throw us a curve every once in a while but this is a nasty one. I read Jill Bolte Taylor’s book “My Stroke Of Insight” many years ago and found it very helpful as well as written for understanding. I’m hoping there has been much progress by now and know my thoughts are with you. Giant squishy hugs.

    • Hi, Marlene! It’s SO kind of you to be thinking and worrying about us–and I hope I can reassure you. Don is doing really well–I can’t believe how much he has recovered! There are little reminders that he had a stroke but, really, most days we just forget all about it and have moved on. Moved on to other worries in this crazy, old world, of course, but we’re managing just fine. I hope things are going well for you, too! XOXOXO

  31. Kerry, I missed your posts explaining the situation and had no idea of what has been happening with you and your husband. I’m so sorry to read about these happenings but equally delighted to hear that as of your most recent response, things are going well. With all that has been going on in the world this year, it’s so good to hear that you and Don are doing well. Please take care and continue enjoying all that is still good in the world. 🤗

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