Sunday, January 27, 2013

Zen hospice journal, Saturday January 26

Charlie Freschl with Jean
Lindy Ruddiman, Jean and Anne
Having a picnic at the Zen Hospice
Today was good.  When she woke up Jean felt strong enough for a conversation, and then she hung out with our friend Karen Creech, who had volunteered to spend the night.  At lunch time she had a special treat, a visit from her friend Lindy Ruddiman, whom she met on a Prairie Home Companion cruise to Norway in the summer of 2007.  Lindy brought wine country treats from her home in Napa (including red wine, lasagna, fruits, and nuts), and she, Jean, and Jean's sister Anne had a picnic on the patio.  Of everything that happened today this may have been the very best, it meant the second day in a row that Jean had been out of bed. And Per Anne, this meant less trouble with swallowing, since getting out of bed increases lung function.
Jean with her mom Sylvia and Lindy's mom Betty
Prairie Home Companion Norway Cruise, August 2007
Photo provided by Lindy

There are many things to say about that PHC Norway cruise, and some pictures we can post on the blog.  Here's a little on the background. Sylvia and Jean are both Garrison Keillor fans, but Sylvia hoped to convince her late boyfriend Ben Creech (Karen's dad) to go on the cruise with her. But then Bed died suddenly of heart failure in April 2007, and Jean went back to Ann Arbor to pay her respects and comfort Sylvia.  While she was there, Sylvia asked Jean to go with her in Ben's place, and Jean was persuadable.  This was during the time when Sylvia began showed unmistakable signs of dementia, and Jean was a devoted daughter.  Even without considering the cruise, it was not unusual for her to spend six weeks a year in Ann Arbor helping out -- in stark middle-class terms, that meant every day of paid vacation she earned on the job, and then some.

Anne Lewis and Melba Elguezabal
Cranialsacral therapy
Charlie Freschl and his wife Melba Elguezabal visited in the evening. Charlie and Matt have worked together developing software at Bank of America since 1986. In years that's over a quarter century, but Matt likes to think of it in terms of life events.  When they met, Charlie and Melba were recently married, wanting to start a family.  Now they have a son and daughter in college.  Guille, the daughter, is in a pre-med program at UCLA, and recently sent us an encouraging email discussing her volunteer work with patients with life-threating diseases.

Flowering plant from Charlie and Melba
Melba has also become an old family friend.  She has had problems with migraines, and as luck would have it, Anne has learned a technique called Cranialsacral therapy that could possibly bring her some relief.  Cranialsacral therapy is based on cranial osteopathy, and is practiced by massage therapists and chiropractors as well as radiation oncologists such as Anne.  The photo shows Melba getting the treatment, which she seemed to find pleasurable.  Melba said she would tell us if it caused any change in her headaches.