Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Power of a Smile

Dad is starting to smile again and I can't tell you how much that WARMED my heart! It gave me HOPE that I have a small piece of my Dad back right now.


It's been a very long and tiring few months and I know that we are ALL happy to finally have some answers.

Dad's congestive heart failure will never get better. It will only get worse. I found out yesterday morning that he now has a bad aortic heart valve. Because of this, the heart will have to work more which is not a good thing for an 89 year old man. Cardiology said he is NOT a surgical candidate because of his bad health. So it is something Dad will have to live with. And we are praying that his heart can handle the additional stress and pressure.

They are controlling his newly diagnosed Complex Partial Seizures with medication. They have him on a very high dosage at the moment to shock the system. Then they will slowly taper it down to see if they can keep him fairly seizure free. He is still having seizures but nothing like it has been!

When we first noticed something was wrong with Dad at the beginning of January (2014) we thought he was just falling asleep all of the time which is what I blogged about. Then right after that, things started to get much worse (which I did not blog too much about.) When I said I really had to watch him 24/7 I wasn't kidding one bit.

This is the information from the Epilepsy Foundation describing Complex Partial Seizures (and Grandpa Bob is a "text book case":

First Aid for Complex Partial Seizures
  • Do not restrain the person.
  • Remove dangerous objects from the person's path.
  • Calmly direct the person to sit down and guide him or her from dangerous situations. Use force only in an emergency to protect the person from immediate harm, such as walking in front of an oncoming car.
  • Observe, but do not approach, a person who appears angry or combative.
  • Remain with the person until he or she is fully alert.

"During a complex partial seizure, a person cannot interact normally with other people."

Complex partial seizures affect a larger area of the brain than simple partial seizures and they affect consciousness.

During a complex partial seizure, a person cannot interact normally with other people, is not in control of his or her movements, speech or actions; doesn't know what he or she is doing; and cannot remember afterwards what happened during the seizure.

Although someone may appear to be conscious because he or she remains standing with their eyes open and moving about, it will be an altered consciousness—a dreamlike, almost trance like state.
Often accompanied by movements called automatisms. These may include chewing movements of the mouth, picking at clothes or fumbling.

A person may even be able to speak, but the words are unlikely to make sense and he or she will not be able to respond to others in an appropriate way.

Although complex partial seizures can affect any area of the brain, they often take place in one of the brain's two temporal lobes. Because of this, the condition is sometimes called "temporal lobe epilepsy."

 Typically, a complex partial seizure starts with a blank stare and loss of contact with surroundings.
This is often followed by chewing movements with the mouth, picking at or fumbling with clothing, mumbling and performing simple, unorganized movements over and over again.

Sometimes people wander around during complex partial seizures. For example, a person might leave a room, go downstairs and out into the street, completely unaware of what he or she was doing.

In rare cases, a person might try to undress during a seizure, or become very agitated, screaming, running or making flailing movements with his arms or bicycling movements with his legs.

Other complex partial seizures may cause a person to run in apparent fear, or cry out, or repeat the same phrase over and over again.

Actions and movements are typically unorganized, confused and unfocused during a complex partial seizure.
However, if a complex partial seizure suddenly begins while someone is in the middle of a repetitive action—like dealing cards or stirring a cup of coffee—he or she may stare for a moment then continue with the action during the seizure, but in a mechanical, unorganized kind of way.

Safety Issues

Partial seizures take many forms and medical treatment does not always control them. People who live with frequent complex partial seizures may face many challenges. One involves personal safety.

Things like fire, heat, water, heights, certain machinery and sharp objects are all potential hazards when people are unaware of what they're doing and don't feel pain.

However, there may be ways to reduce obvious risks. For example:

  • Using a microwave oven for cooking instead of a gas or electric range;
  • Taking plates to the oven or stove to serve oneself to avoid having to carry pans of hot food or liquid;
  • Using a regular knife for carving, not an electric knife or, if possible, leaving the carving to someone else;
  • Keeping electric mixers and other electric appliances far away from the sink or source of water;
  • Setting the water heater low enough to prevent scalding during a seizure and taking sit down showers if drop attacks are frequent;
  • Making sure open fires have guards and that electric or other space heaters can't be tipped over;
  • Not smoking and not carrying lighted candles or hot ashes from the fireplace through the house;
  • Limiting ironing as much as possible;
  • Padding sharp corners and carpeting floors.

Although some risks can be limited, others are accepted with partial seizures as part of living a normal life.

Public Understanding

Every day, people living with this type of epilepsy go to work, take care of their children, take part in sports, ride buses, cross busy streets, go on escalators, wait for trains and—perhaps most difficult of all—risk having a seizure in front of a public that too often does not understand.

Dealing with the reactions of others may be the biggest challenge of all for people with complex partial seizures. That's because many people find it hard to believe or accept that behavior which looks deliberate may not be.

Lack of public understanding has led to people with complex partial seizures to be unfairly arrested as drunk or disorderly, accused by others of unlawful activity, indecent exposure or drug abuse—all because of actions produced by seizures.

Such actions may even be misdiagnosed as symptoms of mental illness, leading to inappropriate treatment and, in some cases, commitment to an institution.

The Epilepsy Foundation and its network of affiliates are committed to making the public more aware of this type of epilepsy so that painful misunderstandings can be avoided.

 Not uncommonly, simple partial or complex partial may spread to involve the entire brain will result in a later phase with generalized convulsions this kind of seizure is called partial with secondary generalization.

All my life, I have been used to dealing with someone who has seizures. My Aunt Marcia (Dad's sister who passed 2 years ago) was born with Epilepsy (Grand Mal with Convulsions.) But these Complex Partial Seizures are totally different from what she had.

The Neurologist said that because Dad played football in high school, college and in the Navy, and because he has recently been falling quite a bit and hitting his head, that is the cause for his brain injury (which causes the seizures.)

Dad will be going to a Rehab Facility once he leaves the hospital. We don't know how long he will be there. We found a beautiful place and it is like a 5 start hotel! I'd like to go there for a few weeks myself, it's that beautiful!! Once he is settled in, we can bring Lily and Muffin to visit.

Thank you all so very much for all your prayers and good wishes for us all. Dad has really enjoyed all your comments. Agnes & Shelle, you ROCK! Thanks for keeping our furends updated.

We all love Grandpa Bob and are doing what ever it takes so that he can live the remainder of his life as happy as possible.

Much love,

Blogger is still being a real Bugger! I took some nice pictures of the Rehab Facility from our tour but Blogger still don't want to share them with you. It took me over an hour to get that one picture posted!


  1. Oh thank you so much for letting us know how GRANDPA BOB is doing!!! I really like that picture of him! I am glad you found a really good rehab for him, and I bet they have him on his feet and feeling better before you know it! YOU are such a special daughter and I know he realizes that!!!
    Stella Rose and momma

  2. We're glad you got that one picture of a smiling Grandpa Bob to post. That is all we really need to see. Glad to hear he is doing well. We will keep our paws crossed for all of you.

  3. So glad that things are finally starting to look a little brighter. Now we need to get you some much needed rest. I found the article you posted very interesting. My grandfather passed away when I was only 11 years old, but I remember many of the symptoms as we lived with my grandparents at that time. This brings me the question of the possibility that this was also what was wrong with my grandfather, as he also had a fall down the stairs in a public subway. He was being treated for "hardening of the arteries", but it seems that the medical field was not very far advanced at that time. (Late 50's) Today my grandfather's diagnosis would probably be totally different. Thank you for sharing that article and for the update of Grandpa Bob.

  4. Dear Kim we think of you often and you could not do more for Grandpa Bob, You are truly a wonderful giving person. No one could want more from you. Bless you and may one day all your kindness come back to you. We keep you in our thoughts and prayers.
    Best wishes Molly

  5. Im glad he is smiling. You all have a big job to watch over him in the days ahead. Our thoughts are with you.
    Diana and Jazzi

  6. Dearest FURENDS,
    We are SO glad that you now have ANSWERS for all that you and Grandpa Bob have been dealing with. AND to have found the perfect place for him to stay while he gets his medical issues under control. These are WONDERFUL things that we wish you did NOT have to need. WE have our Paws Crossed Tightly fur YOU and your MOM and especially fur Grandpa BOB. He is going to be in Good Hands... and your mom will be able to get some MUCH NEEDED REST.

  7. We're keeping our paws crossed tight for Grandpa Bob!

  8. Sending lots if good thoughts your way
    Lily & Edward

  9. I was just over at DWM, and heard the good news about the FABulous place Gpa Bob is in! The Rehab facilities are SOOOO much nicer than they used to be! Gma was in one that was really pretty nice!
    I'll be keepin' my paws crossed for Gpa Bob and I will send him tons of POTP and AireZens!
    Ruby ♥

  10. At least you KNOW. It'll be stressful looking for symptoms, but you know what's happening to him.

    We'll keep our fingers and paws crossed.

    XXXOOO Bella & Roxy

  11. That smile made my day! I'm so glad the doctors are getting to the bottom of this. So much on your plate my sweet friend your amazing! We have been praying and will keep praying. Thank you for taking the time to update. Big hugs to blogvilles favorite Grandpa....we love you Grandpa Bob!

  12. Sending POTP your way! I'm so glad you have some answers; that has the be the greatest relief! Take care of yourself, too, Kim!

    Amanda and Nola

  13. So glad Grandpa Bob is feeling better and you know what is going on! Sending 28 paws & 2 hugs to you. :)

  14. We are so sorry you and Grandpa Bob are having to go through so much. He should be able to live the rest of his years more peacefully. We are glad he will be able to stay at such a nice rehab facility - you and he will benefit from that. Mom will continue to keep you both in her prayers.

    Woos - Phantom, Ciara, and Lightning

  15. I'm so happy for the smile... but I know it has been a very tough road recently. I am thinking of you... and Grandpa Bob.

  16. So glad Grandpa Bob is smiling, it is amazing what a blessing a smile can be. I'm glad you have some answers and know what you are dealing with. I hope you take some time for yourself you don't need to wear yourself out. Continued prayers for you and Grandpa Bob.

    Aroo to you,

  17. Thank you for the update and all the information! I am praying for Grandpa Bob and for all of you. His smile makes me happy too.

    Anne and Sasha

  18. Thanks to the news. Your blog and this post are so awesome.

  19. We are holding Grandpa Bob in our thoughts and prayers.

    Hugs & love

    Love Ruby & Penny

  20. Heard that Grandpa Bob is doing better so had to stop by and say hello! Its difficult dealing with aging parents, my grandma lives downstairs and she is 85 so we know what's involved. Glad to hear the dogs can visit in rehab best medicine for sure! Love Dolly

  21. So glad to hear that GPA BOB is doing better! Smile is the first step with recovery. :)

  22. Lily Belle and Muffin, Mom Dad and Gpa Bob
    We are so sorry to read that Grandpa Bob is having all these difficulties but we do know what you mean about making sure the rest of his life is as comfortable and full of love as possible. Mom is doing the same with my Gma
    Hugs madi your bfff

  23. Howdy Mates. We're so glad you have some answers and we are even more glad to see Grandpa Bob's smile. It's a beauty isn't it! Thinking of you all. Give Grandpa Bob a kiss especially from mum cause she misses her dad very much. Take care mates. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

  24. Nice job, it’s a great post. The info is good to know!
    I look forward to reading more. Its an informative topic. It help me very much to solve some problems. Its opportunity are so fantastic and working style so speedy. I think it may be help all of you. Thanks.

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  25. So sorry Grandpa Bob is so ill, but relieved that he has a daughter that does not give up until she gets answers. Hoping and praying for the best.

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  27. We'll keep Grandpa Bob in our thoughts and prayers. He's so lucky to have you.


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