Porterville Recorder

Sharon continues to improve


As you read this this morning, Sharon will be 36 days into the recovery process following her stroke on August 6.

Her speech allows her to carry on a pleasant and lucid conversati­on, though getting certain words, and sometimes specific ideas, to pass her lips can be a struggle. The hardest part for me is to not jump in and give her the word or idea. Most often it’s better for her to push those stubborn synapses to let her through.

One day last week we endured a difficult day for both of us. She was struggling with pain in her right leg, and was sick and tired of being sick and tired. Late in the day, just before dinner, I convinced her to “mount up” her walker and come outside. It turned out to be an excellent idea. This was her first trip outside, other than going to the car to go to a doctor’s appointmen­t.

She first went to the patio gate to look for Old Momma, or maybe Mr. Boo. Neither was around and I think she was a little disappoint­ed. She turned and walked carefully toward the driveway. We spotted Spirit standing near the barn. I immediatel­y called to her. She swung her head in our direction, but when Sharon chimed in, the little heifer immediatel­y started walking toward us. Sharon sat on the seat of her walker and talked to Spirit as she walked all the way up the hill toward us. The closer Spirit got to the feeding pen, the faster she walked toward Sharon’s familiar, but long absent voice.

I hurried to bring the grain for Spirit, and dumped it in the feed pan. Sharon continued to talk to her little heifer. While Spirit chewed, she looked out at her long-absent friend through the bars of the gate. She seemed to be happy Sharon was back.

When Spirit finished her grain, I helped Sharon stand up and walk over to the gate. She reached through, talking and cooing all the time, and patted and stroked Spirit’s head and face. When Sharon’s legs began to tire, she returned to the seat on her walker to watch Spirit.

Since nobody was petting her anymore, Spirit decided to return to grazing elsewhere. Sharon got up and walked to the end of our drive, stopping in front of the cattleguar­d, and again sat down. From there she could look out over the entire Globe Drive area.

After several more minutes, she decided it was time to end her first outdoor excursion, and slowly walked back to the house. Thanks to her walker, the trip was safe and secure, though on somewhat less-than-secure legs. Most importantl­y, the time outside and the exercise gave her a boost, and definitely improved her outlook.

She’s parked the walker in our bedroom for the time being, for now she’s carefully making her way around the house without support. I often hold her hand, especially when she ventures outside, to be sure if she stumbles or trips she has a safety net.

Early this week, I heard Sharon near the back door. “Well, hello Mr. Boo.”

She’d let the dogs out, and was standing at the porch door, when she spotted our large and friendly herd sire. I walked over to her, and said, “Come on out. Let’s go feed him.”

I grabbed her hand and we went to the gate where Old Momma and Mr. Boo were standing impatientl­y waiting for somebody to bring their grain out. Sharon stood there talking and petting both big heads, while I chased up the treats. She talked to them while they ate, thoroughly enjoying their company and having them close enough to pat on the head.

Because I’d fed the horses before sunup, they’d already vacated the front fence and returned to the steep hillsides and the grass up there. She hadn’t brought her walker with the seat on this trip, and since the horses were already gone, it was time to head back into the house. Her outdoor adventures are becoming more physical as she progresses, and the security I provide is more for protection of the knee, than instabilit­y on her feet.

The hilltop critters seemed glad to have her coming to see them once again. And there’s no question, she’s thoroughly enjoying being able to get outside to visit with her pets.

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