On Saturday November 16, Kim got a text from my sister that my dad had a stroke. Kim and I were with our team on a cruise in Cozumel, Mexico and my brother the doctor (on the far right) was in Switzerland.
I didn’t think much of it because I really had no clue what a stroke was and what it means. The next day my sister sent another text and I asked Kim if I should go to Philadelphia and she said yes. So I went online from the middle of the ocean (technology is AWESOME) and booked a flight for Monday, which was the day we’d arrive in Fort Lauderdale.
By the time I arrived in Philly my youngest brother was also there and they were bringing me up to speed and my older brother was giving us instructions over Facetime on what he wanted to have done. But I was completely unprepared to see my dad laying in a hospital bed completely helpless – in fact I internally freaked out. His speech was slurred and the right side of his body didn’t work at all. Externally I was helpful but inside I was a wreck.
During all of this my brother the doc insisted that my dad get to Charlotte to his clinic so that he could start treatment as soon as possible. He wanted the treatment started within 24 to 48 hours but at the latest we needed him in Charlotte within a week. But from what my non-medical perspective there was NO WAY my dad could be moved.
By Monday he got discharged from the hospital into a rehab center. And that’s when I learned ALOT. For example: the physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists went into the mode of “…we will teach you to use your good side…” But the problem was my brother kept telling us to get my dad to Charlotte so we could start his “treatment”. (My brother is the guy who solves medical problems that everyone else gives up on. His clinic website is http://www.drbuttar.com) He couldn’t get back until Saturday November 23. In the meantime I had to get tough with the asst. director of the facility and had to help the director understand that beginners, interns and students would not be working with my dad, that only the most experienced people would be working with him.
By Wednesday November 20, my 14th year wedding anniversary, my sis had to leave to get to work and I had to leave to get ready to get my dad to Charlotte. My younger brother stepped up to bat and stayed with my mom and dad for the rest of the week.
When my sister got to work the owner of her company offered the use of his private jet to get my dad to Charlotte. While we all were excited my brother STILL wasn’t home yet and the pressure to get my dad “home” with us was mounting on all of us. Finally my brother got home to Charlotte, turned around and went to Philly to see my parents. The next day my sisters borrowed jet showed up and brought my brother and dad to Charlotte. We hired a home care company that provided 24 hour coverage for my dad for all of his needs.
By Thanksgiving my sister, younger brother and mom got to our house near Charlotte, where my parents now live with Kim and I.
In the week that my dad has been “treated” by my brother he now uses his right arm and leg, stands up from the wheelchair and this morning even climbed stairs with the physical therapist. This therapist was told to help his weak side rather than compensate with his good side, she loved the idea and is doing a fantastic job.
As I write this I’ve realized that the end is no where near in sight. No one knows how long the home care will go on. No one knows how fast my dad will progress or where the progress will be capped off. In fact no one knows anything except the following:
- Every morning my dad gets hugs and kisses from 3 grand children ranging from 4 to 10 years old.
- Every day his treatment goes from 10 am to 5 pm.
- Every day someone he doesn’t know takes care of his personal needs.
- Every day he is improving by leaps and bounds.
And that brings me to the point of this little blog post. Without the financial resources afforded to Kim and I from our Advocare distributorship absolutely none of this could be possible. As it is I haven’t technically “worked” since November 13 and am about to check out for a week to Bora Bora. And yet our income for the month will continue without interruption. In fact it is right in line with each month in 2013. (Please understand that it has taken almost 12 years to build the team that we have.)
We have many people that have earned our eternal gratitude during this adventure and someday soon we’ll figure out a way to thank them all. But for now I want to thank our teams. Thank you for saying YES to Advocare and may you be blessed by developing the same kinds of teams we’ve been able to work with.
If you haven’t figured out a way to get total freedom, give it some thought. It will take effort but it’s worth it.
Thanks for reading.