Because We Love Her

Winter Break

February 24th, 2013 Posted in Daily News Post | 4 Comments »

Chloe, who now requests she be called by one of her middle names, Neva (long ‘e’ short ‘a’,) is about to take her first really long airplane trip. Although she absolutely loves Vermont, her new home, school and life here, she is excited to get a chance to visit her West Coast family and friends next week. We are happy for her as well. It’s her Winter Break and she hopes to make the best of the upcoming week. She and I will travel out of Burlington, VT, to Detroit, to Minneapolis, and on to Portland… if everything goes as planned. 

While there, she will, between family time, hook up with some of her friends and, I’m sure, her adopted grandmother, Annette. We are excited for her and this opportunity as well. It will be a while before summer rolls around and she is able to go back to her Oregon job, which she loves, and has a longer visit with everyone.

Vermont has shown her much since arriving. A moose, deer, wild turkeys, the sounds of coy-dogs in the distance, snowmobiles, a hungry red squirrel, and snow up to her behind. She loves taking Rain, her Jack Russell puppy, out in the snow and dropping her in the snowdrifts. Rain loves it too, as she burrows her way back to the surface. It’s a fun activity to watch.

Another thing she has witnessed here is something I told her and Dana they would find. Dana calls the people here “Kind.” I have to admit that everyone we come in contact with support her definition. It’s an amazing ‘family atmosphere’ among the locals. We have some larger, small towns around too, but in Jay, VT we are three of 521 people. And it feels very close knit, with everyone knowing everyone else. We are the newbies but I’m sure we have been in conversation already.

Medically, Neva has been diligent in doing what her rehab team prescribes. We don’t have a swallow back yet but we are on the right course. The team is vast and expectations are high. The day we all look forward to is the day we can announce she has begun eating again.

So, for those who have continued to monitor this site, we are grateful for your loyalty and support. It’s unclear what direction this website will take. It may grow or it may change entirely. We just aren’t sure at this juncture. We will make everyone aware when any decision is made.

Until then please know that we appreciate you and wish you all well, as you do our Neva!

Be well,
Ron

 

 

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A New Start In Vermont!

December 8th, 2012 Posted in Daily News Post | 6 Comments »

It’s been some time since the last blog update and you deserve to know what’s been going on. However, I’m not going to type anything about how we were held against our will in Oregon, or that Dana had to give up around $25,000 over the next three years, in order to leave for our new home in Vermont. That’s all topic for a book. Let’s just say the family that Chloe is with tonight is loving her more than another that she might have had to stay with.

Oct 9th, 2012, I was able to pull into the driveway of our new home with Dana, Chloe and Rain… the 7 week old Jack Russell puppy that filled a huge void when Ivey fell victim to cancer at the age of 11. It was a beautiful trip across America, albeit a bit rushed for reasons I won’t mention. Then, one week later I arrived in the same driveway with all of our belongings in a 26’ truck hauling a car trailer behind. This time my only company was Kitty, who turned out to be a wonderful travelling companion.

Dana’s house sold in just 30 hours and that gave us the opportunity to move and leave my house to sell in the future. So, our three year plan to move to Vermont is finally realized. The sole purpose was to offer Chloe… who now goes by her middle name, Neva… a place and environment conducive to help her swallow return. It’s been way too long that she has been unable to swallow. Even the doctors encouraged this move to get her into a situation of less stress and complete calm. This is what they believe may just let Neva relax enough for the miracle to happen.

The bonus points to the move are that we have a singing and humming Neva, for the first time in a few years! The smiles are many as well. Her new school is a joy to all of us, with just 435+/- students and classes of 12 -15 kids. And the staff we can’t brag enough about. Then there is the bus that picks her up right in front of the house…actually uses our circular driveway in which to turn around. Neva steps out the door, down two stairs, one or two steps to the bus and away she goes! Talk about service.

The negative so far has nothing to do with Vermont or the house. We are still in a battle over support, and my house not selling yet has really put the binders on all that costs. We won’t cut back on Neva’s need to do swallowing exercises, so things other than food are on the back burner. In fact, if anyone is searching for anything to send Neva for Christmas, might I suggest a gift card to Price Chopper or Vista Foods. If you need an address just email me at ronhorton21@msn.com and I’ll gladly send it out to you.

Within the first three days of being here Neva was able to see her first moose, just across from our driveway. Since then we’ve had deer and wild turkeys visit. The coyotes make a lot of noise at night but stay away, so far. Needless to say we don’t let our little four legged ones run wild. Of course, when there is 6 inches of perfectly white snow on the ground, they hesitate to go out in the first place. We love it!

Neva has had a couple medical appointments with her new team and all seems more than fine. Her MD is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and her Speech Pathologist has great credentials herself, and has high contacts at Dartmouth, Fletcher Allen and Harvard. The school nurse is also very capable. In fact, she has arranged for a lighter suction machine for Neva to have. She recognized how difficult the full sized one is and asked us if the school could buy her one!

Now, if you were a naysayer of our move, rest assured that Vermont is certainly no third world country. The services here are amazing and the care this state takes in its kids is uplifting, to say the least. And the people are just … well, Kind. That’s the term that keeps coming up for Dana. Sincere, Kind, Helpful, Friendly are terms that I feel daily. It’s absolutely a wonderful place to live. Where better to find what we need to have Neva get well and back to where she wants to be physically!

We are now treed up and decorated well for Christmas. Our first Christmas in Vermont! All we need is another big dump of snow… and it WILL be here.

From Neva, Dana, Rain, Kitty and Me, please have the Happiest of whatever Holidays you celebrate. We are planning a Very Merry Christmas and A Very Happy New Year… please join in, Our Dear Team Neva!

Be well,
Ron

MRI 8/15/2012

August 15th, 2012 Posted in Daily News Post | 1 Comment »

ALL CLEAR! Of course there was never a doubt from me. Ever since Dr. Dorsen and I looked at the first post surgical MRI and we saw NOTHING, I’ve not had doubts that it was gone for good. Dana, Chloe and I got to see the new hospital today too. It’s like a five star hotel. Beautiful building and lots of room, compared to where we were for four months. The staff love it also.

So, we are now on a 6 to 8 month follow-up and then it will be annually. Chloe is growing just fine too. Everything looks great and the next step is her swallow recovery.

If you’d like to know more about our personal lives, at this point, just send us an email and we’ll fill you in.

In any case, Thank You Team Chloe… soon to be Team Neva! Without you all things could have been much different!

Be well,
Ron

The end of March 2012

April 3rd, 2012 Posted in Daily News Post | 2 Comments »

Good intentions on these updates are just that I’m afraid. With my days about 7 hours too short I miss quite a bit lately. Sorry.

Chloe has seen extremely limited improvements… none according to her. However, I have noticed her speech greatly improved, along with her mobility. Seldom is the time when the crutch is taken away from the house. Usually it’s only as a visual to others so they will give her room.

A very sad week just past as Chloe’s little Jack Russell lost her battle with cancer and had to be put to rest. Dana, Chloe and I were there as Ivey said goodbye to us. Colin was in Canada with Aunt Sandy but came home the next night to a very sad house. The extent that Ivey kept Chloe alive, and relieved stress for Dana, Colin and Chloe, can Not be over stated. She was truly a gift to them all.

So, the focus now is on finding an eight or nine week old Jack puppy. If you have a lead on a new litter, the order is for a “smooth coat, mostly white, female Jack Russell puppy.” Not the “short leg” version though. The local litters seem to be a ways off, but we don’t want to get one sight unseen. So I guess we’ll have to wait.

The hours before the last vet visit for Ivey found me really asking deeply for Chloe to be able to produce tears. She has cried since the stroke, but nothing runs from her eyes. What I noticed in those last moments with her prized pup, was her eyes welling up. That’s the first time I’ve seen that. Apparently she has had a one tear episode recently. That’s a start!

The Positive Changes Hypnosis Clinic has been working diligently with Chloe on a variety of things. We are all impressed, and happy, with the results to date. She seems to be more relaxed… up until this past couple weeks… and, I believe, we have seen a better sleep pattern. Amy, Cheryl, Tanya, and the rest of the team over there have given a huge gift to us all, and hope for more and more improvements.

And Dr. Steve has been keenly focused on new directions to get Chloe’s swallow back. Dana keeps letting people know that we don’t want the same old thing every week. Let’s find something that is going to work!

Be well,
Ron

Warning

February 22nd, 2012 Posted in Daily News Post | Comments Off

The website has been hacked by pop-up contest offers. Don’t enter any contests offered through the site!!!!!! If you have then please contact your phone company and get the charges removed that you have incurred.

Graduation!

February 20th, 2012 Posted in Daily News Post | 3 Comments »

It’s blog time, although I know I’m a few days late. More on that in a minute.

Chloe has PASSED her MRI test yet again! Okay, I’m not surprised, but it’s always a relief when this happens. Dr. Norwood met with us this time to give the good news and have the usual banter with Chloe…er… Neva… as she prefers to be called now. (Middle Name #2 or 3) It’s fun to watch the interaction of those two as they have been through Soooo much together. His demeanor has had almost as much of a positive impact on her healing as has his expertise.

The official results say, ‘no evidence of tumor growth.’ Everything looks the same as it has in the last few MRIs except for the healing changes that are evident. This also graduates Chloe from having to go through a MRI every three months to, now, every six months. This is a major milestone.

Dana didn’t have many relaxed moments over the weekend, so the results couldn’t have come at a better time. She has also taken on another night of night nursing. This means Chloe gets the comfort of Mama for three nights of the week now. Still there are two nurse nights at both of her bedrooms. It also means the need is a little less, even though her sleep apnea is the same. There are slow improvements to heart rate, breathing and sleep. Much of the sleep help we attribute to the wonderful people at Positive Changes Hypnosis center in Beaverton. If it weren’t for Tanya, Cheryl and Amy we would not have the speed of recovery we have witnessed. They love Chloe there and we love their absolutely amazing desire to help.

Dana had a very hard week with the loss of her second mom, Agnes. They were VERY close and when she closed her eyes for the last time it opened the floodgates in Dana’s. I was glad that Dana made the hard, last minute, decision to attend her memorial festivities yesterday, even though it was, indeed, very hard for her. She was able to release a lot of tension. Enough of the bad news, let’s get more of the good!

Jobs are still on both of our minds. I’ve started with Aflac, a company I wish we had policies with before all this happened. So, if you would like to find out what Aflac is all about just send me a note and I’d be happy to show you. It’s so much more than just disability insurance and will cost you a Decaf or two a week. I’m still working at the golf course, saxophone lessons and gigs, so it’s a pretty good atmosphere for me. The more I do, the more I do.

If we can get enough information about setting it up, we want to launch Dana’s coaching career. She is a life and organizational coach. It’s something she has studied for about seven years now and it’s something she is very good at. We will have to build a website for her and she wants to get more knowledge about running a business like this. Maybe I can find someone through SCORE to help.

Tim and Kathleen, along with Barb, have been Godsends. Once a week there is a very good food delivery to ease Dana’s responsibilities of cooking for a couple nights. It always comes on the nights she is the most worn down from care giving. Thank you!

All in all things are moving forward… with many steps backwards at times. My biggest concern, at this point, is Dana. She has seen too many losses over the last few months and Ivey has been giving her scares weekly. So, I’m asking for your prayers to continue, with a little emphasis on Dana. You might also send one to my oldest brother, 10 years my senior, who will undergo a quadruple bypass on Thursday.

Be well and Blessings,
Ron

Happy 13th Birthday Girl!

January 28th, 2012 Posted in Daily News Post | 2 Comments »

Last night we celebrated Chloe’s 13th birthday. It’s actually tomorrow, the 29th, but she’ll have another celebration with her dads’ family in the afternoon.

It’s a celebration, even though it is very hard on Chloe. We feel we HAVE to honor her birthdays because we love her so much. It’s hard on Chloe since she still can’t fully participate in the celebration. She can’t eat her birthday cake! Imagine the heartbreak of having someone present you with a cake and knowing you can’t swallow even a small bite of it.

We made it through some good points and some rough points last night. Chloe received a monstrous gift box from her Aunt Sandy, and cousins Regina and Jeremy from just north of the US Boarder. What fun that was. There were a bazillion little presents, all wrapped specially for her, with a dollar hunt that lasted a very long time. That was a laughfest for all of us. Uncle Kevin and Aunt Laura helped with the evening and Colin provided the music with his guitar and voice.

BTW… Speaking of Colin. You should have heard his performance of “Yesterdays” during the talent show at his High School. He’s the fifth Beatle and is sounding better every day.

Today we took Chloe to the mall to get some new school and knock around shoes. It was a tough time of it as crowds really drain her. I think the need for her suction machine in public has always been a huge embarrassment, even though she tolerates it much better to late.

Dana is hanging in there and trying to make a better life for everyone. She still takes on more than anyone I know could or would step up to the plate for. Dollars are very tight right now but I’ve started a new job with promise. I’m a new Aflac agent. It’s a supplemental insurance that I sure wish we had in place before all of this started. There would be no money challenges if a couple small plans had been set up. Please let me know if I can talk to you or your boss about this. It’s something I’ll not feel comfortable about if I don’t let family and friends see what it might do for them. ‘If only’ are two of the biggest words in our language.

So, in closing…(boy is that an over used closing…)… I thank all of you for the warm wishes, prayers, and help in whatever way you participate. It’s all noticed, loved and we are honored to have you in our corner and lives.

Blessings,
Ron

New Year’s Day 2012

January 2nd, 2012 Posted in Daily News Post | 3 Comments »

Happy New Year to the Chloe Team! 2012 is going to be the year of change for all of us, no option! We have been living the same old “stuck” story for way too long now and we are all tired of it. So, we’re done now. Time to move onward and upward.

Chloe has had her first few visits at Positive Changes Hypnosis Clinic in Beaverton and her hypnotist, Amy, has been working Very Well toward Chloes’ goals. To date Chloe is sleeping deeper and better, her attitude has taken a big step upwards and, it seems, her resolve to swallow again has taken on a new look. This is not to lesson the fact that there is a long way to progress, but we firmly believe that taking her to Hypnotherapy was probably one of the best avenues we’ve tried in a long time. We are so grateful to Positive Changes for all their efforts, excitement and support. It was heartwarming to speak with them and hear an almost giddy bubble as they spoke of how the office was buzzing about the opportunity to work with Chloe.

And speaking of grateful, we can’t express enough gratitude to those Christmas Angels who made this Christmas come off with presents, trees and love for all. Barb, thank you for getting the ball rolling and for all your usual effort, love and support.

Dana and I were able to spend New Years Eve at our good friends’ party and jam session in Newberg. We don’t have many days or nights out lately, but we feel this might have been a good start of things to come. Chloe was with her dad and Colin was with his girlfriends’ family to welcome in 2012.

Speaking of Colin. Check out his facebook page and the video of his recording session at my friends’ studio, The Space in Beaverton. It was a free day and Colin was able to take advantage of it. The results are impressive.

In closing, Again, Happy New Year! We are planning on it and we wish the very best of years to all of you as well. Thank you and Blessings to you all.

Be well,
Ron

Dec 9, 2011

December 9th, 2011 Posted in Daily News Post | 1 Comment »

This week has been more than tricky for our magic couple. Chloe and Dana have truly been 24/7 caregivers… of one and other. Our wonderful night nurse, ‘E’, lost her sister to a tragic bicycle crash and went to LA for arrangements. Therefore Dana took on full responsibility for Chloe on the nights. However, Chloe has such a bad cold that she hasn’t made it to school the past three days. So the caregiver didn’t get a break. Chloe recognizes this and tries to be the reverse caregiver to her Mama, knowing she doesn’t get any sleep either. Talk about a spiral!

On the positive side of things we took Chloe to her first hypnotic experience last evening. Positive Changes has agreed to work with Chloe to see if there is something in the subconscious holding her back in swallowing, breathing or any of her other problems. This seems to be a great opportunity to explore the unknown. Yesterday was more of a ‘let’s see if we can figure out a system’ meeting, as Chloe still need suctioning during the hour and a half visit, taking her away from the hypnotic state she should be in. We’ll figure out something.

We will be going to the neighborhood Christmas Concert in hopes it will start lifting spirits. It will be Chloe, Colin and his Girlfriend, Dana and Me and we fully intend to find good seating. Of course, Colin will probably find seats away to keep his teenage distance.

There aren’t any real updates to Chloes’ physical status. We will be doing a swallow study as soon as this cold goes away. Other than that it is just the weekly visits to the speech therapist, Steve, and Chloe continually doing her swallowing homework in hopes things will wake up soon.

Dana and the family still welcome your help and prayers, and all of us are so grateful for your support over this very long battle. There is a new homepage and, soon, I’ll have new pictures of Chloe there also.

Be well,
Ron

Veteran’s Day 2011

November 12th, 2011 Posted in Daily News Post | 3 Comments »

11-11-11… So, for anyone who may doubt the importance of Dana being with Chloe as much as possible… last night was a prime example of that importance.

When I left the house for my house, Chloe was doing her tasting homework. This is where she loads her mouth with food, chews and tries to make the swallow happen. Well, I was about 5 minutes from home when Dana called my cell phone. Chloe had a piece of lettuce stuck in her throat and couldn’t clear it. She was still passing some air but was in a panic. Dana can’t see to drive at night so I turned around, with both of us knowing if things got worse she’d be on the phone to 911.

Dana called Steve, the speech path, who, like the complete support he is, answered while out shopping. In the mean time Dana had the flashlight out and was looking down Chloe’s throat. On the second look she saw the lettuce and went after it with her fingers. Success! It was out and Chloe was in good shape. Steve spoke with Chloe to make sure she was comfortable, and he reiterated the procedures she needed to do to hack out an aspiration. Chloe had forgot only one little technique, but an important one. Dana had been on the ready to perform the Heimlich maneuver if needed.

Now, what would have been the outcome had Dana been working the $8.50 an hour job at World Market? There is just so much Colin and Chloe, home alone, are capable of. The next job Dana goes after has to be one she can do from home until we get this major problem tackled. Thank God she was home. The money isn’t worth the life!

Be well,
Ron