Family & Caregiver
Nothing will stop our plans!!
A stroke? A dislocated hip? It will take more then that to stop us!!
On June 13, 2006, just 41 days after retiring from a 25 year career as a college professor, my wife Carol had a hemorrhagic stroke. We were camping in our motorhome in Wyoming on our very first major post-retirement trip. The next few weeks were spent in the hospital in Cheyenne, WY. We were traveling with our three dogs at the time, so while Carol was in the hospital, the dogs and I lived on the street next to the hospital. In perhaps a month, Carol was well enough to be flown by an air ambulance to Fort Pierce, FL where we lived. From there she went to a nursing home for a month, then to at-home rehab and eventually rehab as an out-patient. Carol lost all use of her right side and a good bit of her conversational ability and has Involuntary Emotional Expression Disorder (IEED). She has never recovered any of these skills/abilities. She can not live unassisted.
We were both determined that our retirement plans to tour every state in America would not be ended by this stroke. In order to get into the motorhome, Carol had to be able to climb three steps. We told the people in rehab, that if they could teach Carol how to climb three steps we would consider rehab a complete success. Day after day, for perhaps two months, they helped Carol climb the steps they had in rehab. With time, she became proficient enough where she could safely get into the motorhome.
On October 17, 2006 we took off on our very first post-stroke trip.
On October 4, 2009, while camping in Florida, Carol fell and dislocated her right hip. We drove to a hospital in Ocala, FL where she was admitted and had emergency surgery on her hip. For the next six weeks, the dogs and I "camped" in the parking lot of the rehab center while Carol was recovering from the hip surgery.
We didn't stay home long after the hip incident either. On February the 8th, 2010, we were back on the road once again.
We have big post-retirement plans and things like strokes and broken hips are simply not going to stop us!! We postponed about four months worth of travel plans after the stroke and another four after the dislocated hip. Other then that, we've mostly been on the road since May, 2006.
We've never looked back. Since May of 2006, we've traveled over 130,000 miles, in two different motorhomes and have visited every state in the Lower 48 and six of the Canadian Provinces. We have no plans to stop!!