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A day in the life of Don... For now

Started Speech therapy this past week after not having it for about five weeks... His therapist is from Colorado Springs where he grew up which is very enjoyable for him to have things to talk about that they have in common. Don really enjoyed it as he also told her he wanted to do elastic mind exercises rather than just reading and speaking. One question she asked him was "List ten things that tarnish" is an example of the difficulty of his questions. This past week he also started aquatic therapy which he was hesitant about but really ended up enjoying it. The moment he was going into the pool was very emotional for Don and Betty. Bobby, the second oldest has been living and helping take care of the day to day with Don and Betty - making sure he has all the right nutritional food and supplements. A normal week for Don is: Monday Physical Therapy in the morning, acupuncture in the afternoon. Tuesday: Aquaric Therapy Wednesday: PT, Acupuncture and then Speech therapy (which is his longest day) Thursday: PT and then Occupational Therapy. Friday's are usually a day at home to focus on paper work, they are still figuring out their insurance, plans for the future and organizing when they will be going to Texas for Christmas. Contained prayers for recovery are still needed for clarity, full movement of Don's right side and strength for Betty as she makes big decisions. As well as for the financial costs of the medical bills that insurance did not cover and for those that will be there over the next year. Zakiyah Nova Cass did visit Don and Betty yesterday and fully entertained them with playing catch, singing songs on the piano and her usual zestful self which brings lots and lots of laughter to Don. He spent this Saturday morning coloring in his daughter, Katherine's "adult" coloring book which is good for his mind and focusing on something non-electronic.

Don's sister Christine and her Husband Jan visit!

One of Don's younger sisters arrived from TN yesterday afternoon with her husband Jan. It has been good for them to reminisce, share stories and laugh a lot! Don is still improving. Determined to be walking, talking clearly and would like to get most function back in his right arm! Friday night the Osborns got together and had a draft for most of the family's very first fantasy football - there was lots of cheering and excitement from Don as he picked his team and watched his children participate! He is slowly still reading all of your posts, messages and comments on FB! The family appreciates your patients with the updates as the journey a head is still a very long one with a light at the end of the tunnel though! Plans moving forward with rehab are still day by day and where he will live whether it's in MN or Texas is to be determined. Betty would appreciate any prayers as she figures out packing/selling their house and what the best time and how to go about it is! (If they do leave she would like to go before the snow!) Don loves having visitors, hearing about what's going on in his friends and families lives so thank you for all the love and encouragement!

Don turns 60!

This being Don's second week at Samaritan Bethany has been a good one! Two more of his children arrived, Bobby (flew in from Austin,TX) and Michael (from LA) encouraging Don with magazines, games like battleship and UNO! The family celebrated Dons birthday on Monday with his favorite cake - German Chocolate! Lots of laughter and good jokes! Don was taught a new way to speak that same evening by the speech therapist and his communication is night and day! You will see a board with dots in the photo album so he is supposed to use one finger at a time and touch a dot than say one word. When he does this we can understand him really well! It is much slower than he is used to speaking but is learning that if he doesn't watch his finger move while saying a word it is difficult to communicate with us and for us to fully know and hear what he is wanting to say! It is a great gift! He was saying this morning that he still can't feel his right arm muscles but when in therapy he can feel his muscles down deep when walking , standing with the therapists. We are all still hoping and believing for him to be able to walk - even if it is slow and use his right arm/shoulder to do everyday tasks! Thank you all for your love, words of encouragement and support! Don and Betty are very grateful and enjoy knowing there are people all over the world cheering him on! The family also appreciates your patience as they spend time with him and the updates and pictures on here are not as frequent! Please keep praying for wisdom, advice and strength as the family deals with Don's recovery moving forward and long term!

“Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” ‭‭Lamentations‬ ‭3:23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

A friend of ours, Pastor Andy, shared this with me yesterday afternoon and I've been thinking about it for the past day or so in regards to my dad's recovery... That each and every day God will be faithful to my dad... His mercies begin again as the sun rises. That if from my own observation I may not be seeing 'the results' whether it's Dads speech, physical movement of his right side or mental state that God is working within him and healing his brain. It's still tough to accept what has happened some days. Hard to see him in a wheelchair. But soooo good to see him smile, laugh, make jokes, give hugs, talk about his days and who is visiting him. His new schedule (still working that out) and who the staff are that are there with him everyday. The interest and genuine intrigue he has with my husband's work is unlike any other I've seen. The length my Dad goes in remembering and trying to understand the Golf Instruction world is astounding (he listens to Cordie's Golf In The Life Of podcast every week reads the blog posts, researches each instructor to gain more knowledge about a topic he may not know much about) even after the stroke he has been doing this with the help of others. Which has made me realize that if my Dad doesn't know something or fully grasp it he will put in the time, energy and effort to be on the same page as those he is with and cares about especially with each of his children. Not in a 'know it all' kind of way but to connect, engage and be a part of each of our lives. He does this with his friends, extended family and everyone around him. Which is encouraging as recovery from his stroke is a new thing for him - new task - new project - to re teach his brain how to communicate with his right side, how to speak maybe a little bit slower than normal but to use his strengths of description and explaining to find the right words or solutions. He had his speech evaluation yesterday and the lady said this way of remembering and learning to speak is great - with some scientific term I don't remember but to encourage him to keep talking and describing until he comes to the word and then to repeat it back. He is working hard with his physical and occupational therapists... Moves around a lot into the different areas of the rehab center... Tonight we brought Zakiyah and Zion Cass to visit they LOVED pushing him and going for rides in the wheel chair being chased by the wheel chair while Cordie or I pushed him. It's been tough to allow myself to feel the emotions or tears sometimes but tonight as I was praying with Zion for my dad she said to me, "Yes, My mommy told me there is Blood in his brain" with confidence. I was surprised as I didn't realize how much she understand so as tears fell I did my best to explain why he was in a wheelchair - that the doctors had said they hope the blood will be gone in a few months to better diagnose and prevent the future (I just told her the first part) her response was "For real" which put a smile on my face. 😃 He gets tired easily but we know he is still trying. Fighting within to keep going, teasing my mom as much as he can too! Dad - you are doing a great job. I am so impressed by your strength and stamina - your attitude and determination to get through this! Love you so much! -Katherine

Moved into rehab‼️

For the last day and a half Don has been settling in at Samaritan Bethany, a short term rehab facility. The staff here has been helpful and friendly, coming to get him so he doesn't miss a meal, serving meals in a home style dining area, chatting about our kids in family photos. His new occupational and physical therapists had him walk and do other exercises. He was able to use muscles in his right leg he couldn't move before. He continues to have a great attitude and to talk up a storm. Betty

Ita Bita Comes to Town

When people find out I am the youngest out of the five kids, initially they're surprised because I come across more mature than Donald, (love you D, I would blame your cheeky smirk ;-) ) then without fail then they ask if I was spoilt. In the past I always said no but the past two weeks has changed my mind. As I think about my childhood I don't remember much in the early years - until 5th grade..In hindsight I think my lack of memory is due to spectating of all the craziness of my older siblings and the chemicals in the dog food my mom allowed me to eat. Thankfully, I know I had an incredible upbringing, that is all because of my incredible family. The aftermath of my Dad's stroke has only reaffirmed how amazing they all are and undeniably spoilt me with their constant love and support. Seeing my Dad this weekend has beyond special, but also difficult to process. My figure of strength for the first time appearing fragile, and my longing to fully understand all the amazing advice he tries to share. BUT It has been even more special as he progresses everyday. His positive attitude is noted by his therapists and nurses, and it's encouraging me as it never falters even on the days that he is significantly more tired. We received the exciting news this weekend that he is moving to Samaritan Bethany tomorrow (this happened as he now only needs two people to assist his movements instead of three). Please continue to keep praying for him and for improving speech and range of motion. Love, Ita Bita

Monday August 10th, 2015 - Afternoon

"I should've been a cowboy.." This song by Toby Keith was on repeat in my Dads truck while growing up in Texas. The setting may have changed Monday afternoon from that old blue pickup, but the familiar mumbling of the words from the song by him was comforting as we sat listening to music. We sat jamming to some country, Marvin Gaye, and Minnesota's own Mr Bobby Dylan before the physical therapist came. He worked with my father to walk along side the bed. The biggest challenge for my dad, wasn't that his right side is still on vacay, but that when the PT, who is really amazing, said, "ok let's go" my dad would try to bulldoze ahead before the PT could be set. Which would then elicit "woah Don, Don, wait a sec.. Let's get your landing gear in place", meaning to have his right leg set to stand up with. He walked up the bedside 4 times, and every time the PT asked if he could go again, he quickly & confidently responded.. "Let's go". And when asked, "are you tired" -- my dad responded "No" .. Apparently he is never tired, even when he's sleeping. ;) The PT said he saw pretty great improvements from Friday to Monday. This new journey my father is on, will be a long one, but the personal drive and the larger than average dose of confidence he's accustomed to will be vital over these coming days & months for improvements. We're in the process of working out the best rehabilitation places for my father, but most important will be the mental aspect of staying positive and continuing to push forward. For this it takes more than what my father has in himself but the love and positivity that all of you the friends and family have shown and given both him and all of us over these initial days and for the days ahead. This the PT said was most important from what he has seen in patients, that they know people are rooting for them and love them, which my father has been blessed with the support & love of so many!! I know my father from this experience will come out stronger and us closer as a family, one Don-step at a time. Get that landing gear set Dad!! Also enjoying the preseason workout of my Dad was Pastor Andy. There were nice visits from so many people while I was in Minnesota. I can't say enough what it means for y'all to continue to show your support and give your positivity to my father and us as we start these new chapters, and I can't put into words how grateful I am!! All my love Bobby (Number 2 in line of the Osborn clan kids)