On Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023, my family welcomed my third grandchild and my first granddaughter, Thea Joey Fajardo. She arrived at 7 pounds and 7 ounces and both she and mommy are doing great.
Thea’s middle name, Joey, was given to her by my son and daughter-in-law, in my honor.
Her older brother, Thiago, and my other grandson, Caden, both were able to meet her on the day of her birth. I know that Thiago will be a wonderful older brother, and that Caden will be a gracious older cousin. I’m looking forward to meeting her sometime in the near future.
A Brotherly Visit
I also was able to enjoy a wonderful three week visit from my younger brother, Tuly, who came all the way from Puerto Rico to not only spend time with me but also to help Jennifer with some of my day-to-day care responsibilities.
Besides making me laugh every day, Tuly was very helpful with transfers, bathroom assistance, meals, and giving me the best and closest shaves I’ve had in a long time.
Tuly and I enjoy playing RISK together, although he has never been able to beat me. In honor of our love for the game, and in recognition of my family champion title, Tuly had a tattoo placed on his arm, symbolizing my game domination over him. The tattoo includes our favorite numbers, mine being 12 and his being 21. I’m hoping to add my version of this tattoo to my calf soon.
A Successful Test
Last Friday, Feb. 17, I had a swallow test performed, which included drinking liquid laced with barium and eating bites of pears and crackers, also laced with barium. My speech and swallow therapist, along with a doctor, were able to observe my swallow abilities in real time by x-ray.
The test concluded that my swallowing is still very good and unaffected by my ALS progression. This test will now serve as a baseline for future tests. Because ALS impacts patients differently, it doesn’t mean that I will lose the ability to swallow. But it is good to know that the test demonstrated that my ability to swallow remains strong.
We’ll have other updates in the next week or two regarding new pieces of equipment now available to me.
I want to thank everyone who has sent messages of support, and to those dear friends and family members who surprised us with items on our new Amazon wish list, and made new or additional contributions to our GoFundMe campaign. These contributions are helping offset our higher than expected bathroom renovation costs and the growing assortment of equipment necessary to support me as my ALS progresses.
Jennifer and I are grateful for your support, friendship, and love.