Monday, March 09, 2009

My Brother's 50th Birthday Party - Feb. 28, 2009

My brother, Jimmie celebrated his 50th birthday at our house with a "family only" party on Saturday, February 28, 2009. We had a total of 11 people so we set up another dining table in the living room where everyone could be comfortable and enjoy themselves. Even though it rained most of the day and evening, Richard brought Mack home to join in the festivities. For dinner I prepared some of Jimmie's favorite foods and topped it all off with a chocolate cake with chocolate icing and "50" candles, and of course, chocolate ice cream. Jimmie told me later that he would have preferred Butter Pecan ice cream, but that the chocolate ice cream was fine too. When it came time to light the candles on his cake, Dale brought out the fire extinguisher (just for laughs) "in case the candles got out of hand". Mack enjoyed being around everyone, but as the evening wore on, Mack grew more tired as you can tell in the picture. Richard took Mack back to Dinwiddie Health and Rehab Center around 9:00 p.m. and it was still pouring rain. That was soon to change into 5-6 inches of snow
on Sunday morning. It was beautiful coming down and the most snow we have seen in quite a while. Unfortunately, we lost our power around 8:30 on Sunday night and it was out until 11:00 am on Tuesday morning. Boy, was it cold! And temperatures dipping down to 10 degrees for 2 nights didn't help either. We were able to keep the living room somewhat warm with the woodburning stove (sans blowers), but the rest of the house stayed around 56 degrees most of the time. To top it off, our generator decided to take a dive and wouldn't work when we needed it. I guess Richard will have to take it apart, find out what's wrong and fix it before the next power failure happens. And in this neighborhood, we get a lot of power failures throughout the year. Too many trees near the powerlines!

In February, Richard and I took Mack to see Dr. Nathan D. Zasler, a world renowned neurologist. Dr. Nathan Zasler of Concussion Care Centre of VA; Pinnacle Rehab provides Rehabilitation Doctor services at 10120 West Broad Street, Suites G & H. (804) 270-5484. We're working with Dr. Zasler in hopes of getting Mack mobile and continent again. Dr. Zasler had his first consultation visit with Mack in February and conducted a preliminary examination to see where Mack stands right now. Mack is scheduled for an open MRI and an EEG within the next couple of weeks so that Dr. Zasler can evaluate Mack and give us a prognosis, which we've never gotten from any of his doctors so far. Since Dr. Zasler doesn't accept Medicare nor Medicaid, we will have to pay his fees ourselves as we go along. However, Medicare should pay for the MRI and EEG and any other testing that needs to be done. If there's any chance that Mack can walk and be "normal" again, we want to give him that chance. Dr. Zasler indicated that there is a chance that Mack will need to have surgery (by a doctor he recommended in Pennsylvania) to release his tight joints and muscles which prevent his legs from straightening out. We will cross that bridge when we get to it. In the mean time, keep your fingers crossed and pray that Dr. Zasler can help him get mobile again.
To find out more about Dr. Zasler, "google" Dr. Nathan D. Zasler, Neurologist.
Nathan D. Zasler, MD, FAAPM&R, FAADEP, DAAPM, CIME, is an internationally respected specialist in brain injury care and rehabilitation. Dr. Zasler is medical director of the Concussion Care Centre of Virginia, Ltd. and is involved with several brain injury rehabilitation programs in the Richmond, Virginia area, including Tree of Life, LLC, a living assistance program for persons with ABI. Dr. Zasler has lectured and written extensively on neurologic issues with over 500 lectures and publications, including two edited textbooks. Dr. Zasler is a member of numerous editorial boards and is editor-in-chief of the international scientific publication Neurorehabilitation: An Interdisciplinary Journal. He is active in numerous national and international organizations including serving on the Board of Governors of the International Brain Injury Association (IBIA). He is also grant reviewer for several federal agencies and serves on the Advisory Board for the Department of Head Injury Program. His main areas of interest include low-level neurologic states after brain injury, post-concussive disorders and neuromedical issues in acquired brain injury.

Much love to all,

Ruth & Richard

On Sunday night (March 1, 2009) the snow was coming down hard and heavy, making everything look beautiful and pristine white. This shot was taken outside by our front doorsteps. March came in like a lion and will hopefully, go out like a lamb.