“if nothing changes, nothing changes”
How to start writing today? Is there any way to explain what is going on with my daddy? Let’s see, if I can add to the events of exactly one year ago. The scene almost exactly the same, the dates remain the same and the only difference is 1/ I was not there, 2/the year is one digit larger.
On the same weekend to the year, my father began having a stroke, no one knows for sure when it happened, he woke up Monday morning Dec 28, 2009 (according to my mother, as I stated I was not there) slurring, dizzy, unable to balance well, and they called his Dr in Prescott, AR, and he told them to go to the Hope Hospital. My mother called me in a rushed voice, asking me to contact my sister and brother, as she was trying to get things ready to transport him to hospital. At the time I had no idea of or if there was any real severity or if he was simply going to need his med’s adjusted like year (read last years events).
December 29 – Tuesday morning, I spent about one hour on the phone with my sister, who had spent the night with him in the hospital. She sounded weary and down, she explained to me that from her pov, he was doing much worse than the day before, he had experienced a horrible night there, and overall she wished he could be moved to a hospital that was more attentive to his specific needs. I called back around 1:00 pm, I spoke with my mother and she was planning on speaking with the Dr later that day when the Dr ran his rounds. The only thing that I know for sure at the moment is that Daddy has suffered a “light stroke” and may have also experienced a “light heart attack” otherwise, I don’t know much. I try to talk with my Dad, and he is having trouble forming words coherently (from my vantage point) and I don’t get more that 2 or 3 words out of the few minutes we spoke, otherwise his words coming out on my end are basically “jibberish”. My mother is going to spend the night with him, Kay will go home to rest, take care of her pets, and hopefully the Dr will have some kind of plan that he will reveal to us at the end of the day.
December 30 – Wednesday morning, I called my mom around 9:00 am, she sounds exhausted and down. She tells me that the night went horrible, neither of them slept more than an a few hours, and that Daddy was restless and difficult. At one point in the night, he was telling her he would get out of there “even if he had to climb out the window”. Things like that make us laugh, it is so him and yet so not him. Hard to explain, maybe a family inside joke of sorts. But he can be entertaining in his cantankerous ways. There is word that Dad may get to go to the St Micheal’s Rehabilitation Hospital, in Texarkana, Texas. That is a comfort to us all, as we are most concerned for his care, and Hope Hospital doesn’t provide much. My mother is waiting to find out and will let me know when she hears for sure. I tell her that I will call back after lunch.
My brother Rex
(Here is a photo of the three siblings back in June 2009)
has been such a comfort to have at the moment. He and I have been able to enjoy the luxury of “google video chats” and it has been wonderful. I cherish those moments when he and I can sit down in front of our laptops, open gmail and make it feel like we are in the same town, same room. Just think, he is sitting in Dallas and I am in Virginia. Pretty neat.
I was able to visit my dad that way during the Christmas holiday. I vividly recall how shocked my dad was that he could see me so well and he asked me if I could see him, which I replied, “I sure can, you are still wearing the white robe” arrggg. lol. He loves that shabby old robe, he has many others, and he has tons of clothes, but he loves that old white one for some reason. Anyway, we spoke briefly, then he took off and later I asekd about him, and they said he is on the couch. It was good.
December 31, 2009 – Daddy is in the rehab hospital, he has agreed to stay there “two days”, that is pretty funny, seems his length of stay will be anywhere from “2 to 4 weeks” that is according the intake nurse who spoke with him and my mom yesterday. We know he will not like it, and there are lots of hurdles for this situation. My mom is 79, she lives about one hour from Texarkana, and driving back and forth every day is not going be in the cards. Kay will be closer and able to do more and that is such a blessing. It is a blessing that Daddy is going to be able to get this kind of care, as St Micheal’s Rehab has a critrera that one must meet in order for patients to be accepted into their program, thankfully Daddy meet the critera. If he will just behave himself. He kept trying to get out of the bed in Hope and finally was able to sneak out of it when no in the room, the nurse found him on the floor where he had fallen and was not able to get up by himself. St Micheal’s will not allow family to stay overnight and they also have alarms on the beds, where if one trys to sneak out, it sets the alarm off. Can’t wait to hear more on this, he won’t remember the alarm, it may have rung many times last night. Just wondering. (smiling)
Oh yeah…Happy New Year!
January 1, 2010
Friday morning – day 2 of rehab for Daddy. I spoke with my mother last night. Not much news, which in this case seems like a good thing. My mom did not speak to anyone other than the evening shift nurse assigned to Daddy, and they don’t tell family much. As far as informing the family of any plans, results, goals, it seems that they have a team that will meet each week, go over Daddy’s progress and report this to the family. ok…
Otherwise, here is what I know;
Daddy is wheeled to the cafeteria where he gets to pick out his own food, there he eats with other patients. He is receiving physical therapy daily now, and he worked on his upper body yesterday. The speech therapy will begin on Monday. My mother says his speech did improve (even without therapy) since he arrived at rehab. Daddy was not complaining about being at the hospital yesterday, my mom says he seems resigned to the fact that he needs to be there to get some help.
One Day At A Time.
January 2, 2010 (saturday)
My mother spent a few hours with Daddy yesterday. They keep him busy at the rehab, when she got there, he was in the cafeteria eating and he saw her walk by, he waved to her to come join him, she told me he was so happy to see him. I know he was, it must get lonely, but the staff must have some reason that they don’t want the family hanging around 24-7. I would have asked someone why? But I don’t guess I need to know, or the reason will be revealed. Dad’s days are scheduled pretty tight, and he is being wheeled down to rehab therapy several time during the day. My mom wasn’t going drive the drive from Prescott today, she wanted to rest, this is taking a huge toll on her also. She is (as I have said) 79, and she needs her rest also, but she said when she explained to him that she would not be there onSaturday, “he got the saddest look, and she changed her plan and told him she will come”. They do have a great love affair, it is beautiful. I know she misses not having him there with her, and he misses her beyond my imagination. But the bigger picture is in my head, and that picture is; Daddy had a serious event in his life, which is affecting his ablilty to live independly, my mother could not take care of him right now, his challenges are too great, so with that in Mind, I am most grateful to God for the care Dad is getting and that even though Texarkana seems like a long drive for her, it could be so much worse. We are all grateful for the care he is getting, and pray that God will give them both the strength to rise above the challenges, again to return home and be together finding peace, love and joy. Have a blessed day!
January 11, 2010….
Monday – what a difference a week or two makes. By all of the recent information that I have been given, Daddy is making great headway. He is scheduled to go home on the 14th of January, which is wonderful. Visitors and family alike have expressed how much better he is doing, and that is such good news. Today, Monday the 11th of January, my mom will move into a transition apartment there at the rehab hospital, where they Mom and Dad, will reside for two days, during that period the “transitional” adjustments will be practiced with trained staff to assist my mother and father in their day to day activities. My mom tells me the little apartment is really nice, even has a small courtyard to walk out on, she is excited to join him there and learn all she can to assist Daddy on his return home.
Special Friends – A huge thank you goes out to friends who have stopped in to visit my daddy, some of those who I know of; Herman Barnett, Jimmy Cobb, Johnny Tombs, Earnest Rhone, Virginia Eskew. If you read this and your name is not there (family excluded) then let me know, we love hearing who visited Daddy. It really means a lot to him to have guest.
Anyway, that is what is happening up to the present. The present is such a gift.
Christmas morning 2008, Daddy was feeling pretty good. As the day went on he began to complain of a very bad headache.
Sunday was when the “mini-strokes” began.
Monday he went into ICU.
Picture is taken on Tuesday morning 12-30-08. Excuse the blurry image of my mother. Taking flash photo in the ICU doesn’t go over much with the nurses. I had to put the camera away.
Today is Jan 1, 2009. Happy New Year
Daddy is being transported from Hope AR to Little Rock Cardiac Hospital.
I ask your prayers.
More details will follow as we are given them
Little Rock Cardiology Clinic, P.A.
Paulo Riberiro, M.D.
I just got home from Hope Hospital. We waited until 3:30pm for the ambulance to get there to pick Daddy up and transport him to Little Rock. He is a bit confused about all this, but is in great spirits.
I told him I wanted a good photo of him to put on my blog as you can see from the photo below,he complied.
He really looks good here, and they are really troopers. Here it is New Years Day, they are taking Daddy to heart hospital, and they are being very upbeat. Can’t ask for anything more really. I am proud of them both, because if the truth be known, they are both under incredible stress right now.
I spoke with his Dr briefly this morning, he isn’t ready to say anything, until after this Cardiologist sees him in the morning. So for now here are photos I took today.
He had his blackeye peas for lunch.
January 02, 2009
I just got a call from my mother in Little Rock, she tells me the Cardiologist has completed the exam and found nothing irregular about Daddy’s heart. She is very relieved. He told her that Daddy is not on the brink of stroke or heart attack.
I am very relieved to hear this, but that still does not fully answer the numbness, in hands, mouth, slurring and roller coaster blood pressure readings that he has been going through? Ok…
They are heading home, and that is good, cause Daddy does not do well in hospitals.
That is all I know at the moment.
I will post more if I find out anything.