I discharged “Barry” the other day. He’s improved quite a bit and is probably doing about as well as could be expected at this point. In fact, thanks to his vision being restored, he’s even doing a little bit better than before his brain surgery. Granted, he’s not perfect…he still  needs varying degrees of help for some, if not most of his self-care needs. But not every patient becomes 100% independent and it’s part of my job to recognize when they’ve reached their potential. He never did consistently learn the answer to the riddle, by the way, but he made my day at the beginning of our final treatment session when he spontaneously asked, “So, when are you going to ask me the question about the alligator?”

I’m going to miss Barry. I promised him and his wife that I’d call next Friday, to see if he knows the answer to the riddle yet.

Otherwise, things are pretty quiet on the patient front. With Barry’s discharge, that only leaves me with two other people I’m treating. No really good stories about either of them (well, there really are, but this is a public blog and I wouldn’t want to take the chance that certain people would recognize themselves in the not-so-wonderful light in which I would portray them) but when/if it happens, I’ll let you know. I wouldn’t mind having a few more patients, either but that’s part of the up-and-down roller coaster known as Home Health.

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I made another “awesome dinner” the other day – salmon on the grill, with a horseradish marinade and sauce, with baked potato, steamed asparagus and corn on the side.

It still amazes me that I’ve turned into such a good cook. Granted, my mother was is was is was is was/is a good cook and I watched her cook throughout my childhood. But anytime I tried to cook something, she felt the need to “help” me with suggestions. Some of what she told me was, I’m sure, sound advice. But the recommendations that I remember more than anything were the the ones from the “control freak” part of her personality. My favorite was the one where I was mixing something counter-clockwise and she told me to mix it clockwise. WTF? And so, with very few exceptions, I got to the point somewhere in my mid-teens where I just rebelled gave up and simply would not cook in her home. So by the time I moved out from my mother’s house and in with Joe, I was proficient with cooking spaghetti, brownies, Nestles Tollhouse Cookies, stuff on the BBQ and that was about it. Despite this, Joe still loved me, took me under his wing and taught me some of his culinary skills, such as Hamburger Helper and baked chicken breasts. It’s taken some time…it took YEARS before I trusted myself to cook a whole chicken and to this day I still haven’t broiled or used a wok. But otherwise, if it’s written as a recipe I can cook it. But considering my meager beginnings, I’ve become a damn good cook, if I do say so myself!

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After a long delay, we finally got the details of our chorus’s trip to England this year. It will be the Royal Albert Hall revisited (members of Sing Live UK and USA will be the chorus for “The Night of 1000 Voices,” a fundraiser concert for Leukemia & Lymphoma research), plus some extra days visiting Leeds and London. Anyway, instead of flying on a domestic airline that wold force us to have a stopover, our director was able to grab some non-stop seats for us on Virgin Atlantic. Doesn’t really matter much to me…a plane’s a plane and I have a supply of good drugs to keep me asleep for most of the flight. But apparently VA’s policy is that carry-on luggage can only be 13 pound. WHAT? That’s all? Just 13 pounds? My PILLOW weighs more than that, for crissakes! And yes, I bring my pillow with me when I travel. Don’t judge. Anyway, I’ve gotten really good at making sure my big suitcase is less than 50 pounds (my record is 49.80) but that’s taking into account that whatever would tip it over into excess weight will go into my carry-on.

I’m so screwed.

Hey travelers…any words of advice?