Whitby Photographer | Family First Update

If you read my post here, you’ll know that my family has had to deal with a few challenges lately. As of that post, my dad had been transferred to the geriatric rehab wing of a local hospital. He had been paralyzed for months due to suffering from CIDP and had undergone plasma treatment which seems to be working. He underwent intense physiotherapy at the rehab hospital, and even though he required a wheelchair most of the time, eventually he was able to walk with a walker and stand up on his own. It was clear, however that coming home would prove difficult, as my mom and dad’s house was not wheelchair accessible. Event though my mom was reluctant, my parents decided sell their house and move to a retirement home.

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My dad was allowed to leave the hospital for a few hours to come home and meet with the real estate agents at the beginning of April. This was the first time my mom and I had seen him stand up on his own since he was admitted to the hospital back in September. A very big moment for all of us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thankfully there is a beautiful retirement home in our town within walking distance of our house, and there happened to be an apartment available that both my parents liked. They needed to sell their house quickly, but it hadn’t been updated in years. My husband and I spent every weekend over the next 3 months removing wallpaper, painting, tiling, and more painting while preparing their house for sale. There were some late nights, some that even went into the next day, but it was all worth the effort. Thanks to our amazing realtors and their stager, my parents’ house sold for over the asking price within days of being listed. My mom loves their new apartment, too! Even though she didn’t want to move at first, she is so happy they did.

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We are so grateful to our realtors, Steph and Elle. This is what I posted on my facebook page the day after the house sold:

“We are all still a little bit stunned here, but it looks like all our hard work has paid off. My parents’ house is SOLD! They received 9 offers, and sold for $18,000 over asking with a quick closing. If my parents had listed the house back in April as it was, the asking price would have been about $100,000 less than the offer they accepted last night, and their house would probably still be on the market with several price reductions. RIGHT AT HOME with STEPH & ELLE knew how to prepare the home for sale to get top dollar, and they worked our behalf. My father and I sat in amazement watching these ladies sort through the offers last night, and negotiate the best deal for him and my mom. My parents are now financially ready to start the next chapter of their lives as they look forward to celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary next week. I cannot thank our realtors, Steph Mitchell and Elsbeth Potvin enough. Their professionalism and skill level are second to none, and I would recommend them to anyone thinking of buying or selling a home. Thank you so much, ladies!!”

I’d also like to thank some other local businesses that we used to help sell my parents’ home:

AmPm Junk Removal came and took a garage full of stuff away from the house included a king sized bed and a couch. We used them twice, once before the renovations, and then again after the house sold. Great guys and awesome service!!

Steam Experts Carpet Cleaning did a fantastic job cleaning the carpets in the basement.

Manny the Mover was wonderful and had my parents moved into their new place in only 3 hours. Great rates and even greater service!

Attorney Mark Woitzik made the sale of my parents’ home go smoothly. In fact, they were so impressed with Mark, that they’re having him update their wills.

We’re so lucky that we have such wonderful local businesses in our community. I’d like to start featuring some of them here on my blog, so stay tuned!

 

Miranda - Lisa, what a beautifully written story with such a happy ending! I am so happy for your parents and I hope and pray that they continue on in their journey of health. They are extremely lucky to have you as a daughter! <3

[email protected] - Thank you, Miranda! You are so sweet 🙂

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Whitby Photographer | April Challenge: Water

Spring is here, yippee! The snow is almost gone and the April showers have started falling. Here’s hoping the rain will wash all the yucky dirt and salt away. How appropriate that the theme for Rock the Shot‘s April challenge is water.

I have been wanting to do one these bathtub shots forever. I was so pleased with how this one of my son turned out. He looks so peaceful 🙂

Visit www.rocktheshotforum.com to see all the entries.

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Brooklin Photographer | Aussie Pups

Friends of our recently bred their Australian Shepherd, Cola. They did it for the experience for their children, and also documented it in a blog created by their daughter to help educate others. Cola ended up having a litter of 6 pups…5 boys and 1 girl. Note: at the time of this post, they have 2 pups left for sale. You can contact them via their blog if you’re interested.

I took my kids over to see the pups a few days ago and left with puppy fever. I really, really love dogs and miss having one in our family. We decided to be a pet free family for a while, after losing our last dog a year ago. Saying goodbye to a pet is heartbreaking and we don’t want to do that again for a long time, but I love that I can get my puppy fix by photographing them.

If you’d like me to come to your home to document your little fur babies, send me an email or use the contact form above. Photo sessions in your home are similar to Outdoor Sessions as described in my session options in terms of pricing and what’s included.

 

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Whitby Photographer | March Challenge: Something Green

This month’s challenge from Rock the Shot is Something Green. I was thrilled to go back and look through some shots I took last summer. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my snow images, but I am looking forward to seeing some colour soon. This is one of my favourite images from last year. Mr. J has the most amazing blue eyes! Him and his parents were such a joy to photograph.

To enter the challenge, or see the other entries, visit www.rocktheshotforum.com.

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Whitby Photographer | Family First

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Two years ago, my father started feeling tingling in his feet. The doctors didn’t seem too concerned about it, and it was basically ignored. Slowly over the next 2 years, the tingling spread up his legs and turned into numbness. My dad started falling down a lot. He thought he was just getting older and clumsy. Last summer, he started using a walker and one of his doctors told him that physiotherapy was the answer. In September it got so bad that couldn’t even walk anymore, and with the help of a neighbour, he finally went to the ER.

That is when he was diagnosed with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), an autoimmune neurological disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the nerve cells. We were very pleased when the doctors told him there was a treatment, and that he would be walking in 6 months. He was also told he would be transferred to a rehab facility for physiotherapy after a few weeks of treatment.

That did not happen. My dad got worse. It spread to his fingers, hands, and arms. He could not move anything except his head. His hands were in a permanent fist. He was even told that if it spread to his lungs, he would be put on life support, and to make sure he had a Power of Attorney assigned. He already did (it’s me). Needless to say, we were all a bit freaked out about this.

My father could not feed himself, often waiting over an hour for a nurse to come and feed him after his meals arrived. He could not brush his teeth, or shave, or brush his hair. He could hardly even push the buzzer to call for a nurse. He had the nurses use an elastic band to attach the buzzer to his hand…he’s pretty clever. I visited him weekly, and I would shave him, feed him his lunch, and take him for walks in a wheelchair around the hospital and outside. At first, my mother would visit him twice a day to feed him lunch and dinner. She could not keep it up though, since she herself has arthritis throughout her body, a bad hip, and a crushed vertebrae due to arthritis.

My dad was put into “contact isolation” for a few months. He couldn’t leave his room, and everyone who entered had to wear a gown and gloves.

Slowly, over several months, my dad started to regain some movement in his hands and arms. The first time he held my mom’s hand made them both cry. Then he was able to scratch his nose. Finally, in January, he was able to feed himself again. It wasn’t easy, but he was determined to do everything himself.

At that time, the neurologist told my dad that the treatments weren’t going to do any more for him and that they would stop. My dad had heard about another treatment from my online research. He wanted to try a plasma exchange, where they remove the plasma from the blood, resulting in the removal of antibodies that were attacking the nerves. After much debate between various doctors, he was allowed to receive this treatment. What a difference we’ve seen in the few weeks since the plasma exchange! My dad can not only feed himself, he can shave, brush his teeth, roll over in bed, and lift his knees.

During this time, my mother had been preparing for a hip replacement, which she had in February…in the same hospital where my dad was. He came down to see her before she checked in on the morning of her surgery. It was the first time I had seen them together in months.

I stayed with my dad all day while my mom was in surgery. We watched the Canadian women’s hockey team win the gold medal at the Sochi Olympics, and my dad enjoyed a beer while watching Coach’s Corner 🙂

My mom needed somewhere to go to recover after her surgery. We agreed she should stay with me, and I would take a month off from work to care for her.  My dining room (and my home studio) has now been converted into a bedroom for my mother.

My kids sure are loving having Grandma live with us.

Due to her arthritis, my mom’s recovery has been slow but she is doing her best. Two days ago, my dad was discharged from the hospital and is now undergoing physiotherapy at a rehab facility. He is doing great and the staff there are very pleased with his progress so far. We don’t know how long it will be until he returns home, or when and if he will ever walk again. But if you know my dad, you know he is one determined guy.

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