The author is wearing a pink shirt, and smiling into the camera with her dog, Lucy in the foreground. There is a lake in the background.
Lucy and me on a walk by the lake

May 16, 2021

You are probably wondering where I’ve been, and I feel I owe you an explanation. It has been a long time since I’ve posted, and although many of you may know what has happened in our lives, some of you may not. Since I can talk about it now without crying (as much), here goes. This is going to be longer than most posts, so forgive me for that.

In early December, my husband and I contracted COVID-19. I had a mild case, with flu-like symptoms, a horrible headache, and no sense of smell or taste, but I never had a fever. Unfortunately, my husband did not fare as well. He had all of the symptoms I had, plus a fever, and then developed shortness of breath. On December 13, 2020 he was admitted to the hospital, where they discovered he had COVID Pneumonia in both lungs. This horrible disease kicked out blood clots all over his body and caused multiple strokes to both sides of his brain. Most of the clots were eventually dissolved, but the one in his right ankle caused a blockage of blood flow to his foot, and as a result he lost all of the toes on his right foot. He is paralyzed on his left side, and he is blind. He has not been home since December 13. He is in a nursing home for now because he requires 24-hour care, but I remain hopeful that I can bring him home one day. First, we must settle his mind from the horrible anxiety and confusion he has, and then we can resume physical and occupational therapies at some point.

He has overcome many challenges, and just the fact that he survived is a miracle in itself! He has been discharged from speech therapy because he is eating and drinking a normal diet now. His speech is actually very good, and I am so grateful that he knows who everyone is, and he remembers everything that happened prior to his illness. But he has poor short-term memory and is easily confused. I am thankful that he doesn’t remember the horrible parts. 

In the past five months I have been reorganizing our lives to fit our new “normal,” although we don’t know exactly what that will be just yet. I am told that it can take six months to a year for stroke victims to recover to their new baseline. In the meantime, I have relocated us to Dawsonville, GA, and I am selling some of our bigger items (the boat and two of our classic cars) so that I will have less to maintain. Tim will not be driving again. It has been hard to let these items go, but at the same time I know they are not helping us. My goal is to eventually get him HOME, and I’m doing my best to make that happen.

I am so grateful for the network of friends and family who have been absolutely AMAZING throughout this whole nightmare, without whose help I could not have survived. They have loved me back to life, housed me, fed me, helped with logistics, let me cry, and most importantly, have prayed for us. When I was in my darkest hour, I could FEEL those prayers like a blanket of love draped around my shoulders! I have never felt alone for one second. Our Good Lord has provided for every need, protected me in my decision-making, and cradled me with love. 

And one of the best blessings He gave me was this sweet little dog, Lucy, who at this moment is lying at my feet. She has been with me every step of the way, and we are inseparable. She rode with me every day to the hospital, waiting patiently in the car, and she now goes with me to the nursing home. She pretty much goes with me everywhere. She is not a trained therapy dog, but I guarantee you there is no official therapy dog in the world who could be more in tune with my emotions than Lucy. She never lets me out of her sight, and she can sense when I need to pet her. She is my guardian angel. 

So, as you can see, there has been no time for music or writing lately. I do pick up my guitar every day and play a little, at the insistence of my father, and I write a little. But it will be a long time before I am playing gigs again. Right now, I am just taking things one day at a time, and I am focusing on doing “the next right thing” (to borrow a phrase from the Disney movie “Frozen II.”) 

I want to say I will be making new blog posts on a regular schedule, but we both know that is not going to happen. I spend a lot of time journaling, which is therapeutic for me. So perhaps once in a while I will share whatever is on my heart that day. Who knows what we will talk about. 

Thank you for caring about us. Thank you for praying for us. And I ask you to please keep Tim and me in your prayers. 

Love Always,

Theresa Jo

2 Responses

  • Theresa Dear, please know you and Tim are in our thoughts and prayers as you travel this difficult journey. Your lovely smile and voice will be sadly missed in our dwindling faith community. You both remain foremost in our hearts. Blessings, Bob and Heather Schmitt

    • Thank you so much Bob and Heather! I miss your smiling faces, and all of our beautiful St. William community. Thank you for keeping us in your prayers.
      Theresa

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