It’s already the second week of November. It’s been a week since my dad went missing, and he’s been in the hospital for six days now. Honestly, it seems like November is a month old given the stress and my long days of being at the hospital. I worry about what’s to come and how we will ever care for him when he’s released. Some serious decisions have to be made and I wish someone else would just take over and make them. Having said that lament (whine, snivel, moan, fret) I know that whatever happens, we’ll cope with it and do what needs to be done. One of the biggest gifts we’ll take away from this experience is learning to ask for help!
November 8, 2011 ~ Improvement
Today, I’m grateful that Dad’s physical status has improvement greatly and he’s more alert and cognizant of what’s going on around him. He will need a lot of physical therapy to get up and around again, but he did sit up in a chair for a bit today and that’s the first time he’s been out of bed since the accident. YES! He still cannot eat or drink and has to be tied to the bed when I’m not there but today was a vast improvement on many levels.
November 9, 2011 ~ My Taxi Driver
Dad had a huge step backwards today and after spending 7 hours at the hospital, I called my husband who served as my taxi driver. I did have a car at there but Hubs drove over anyway, picked me up, took me to a loud happy place for dinner and took me home. I didn’t have to think or make a decision and that’s exactly what I needed.
November 10, 2011 ~ Sweet Sleep
I finally got a good night’s sleep last night. I feel so much more human today and ready to take on whatever is tossed our way. It really is those small things that get you through the big things!
November 11, 2011 ~ A Busy Person’s Concern
When I’m not at the hospital, they keep my dad’s wrists restrained to the bed so he doesn’t pull out his tubes (he’s yanked out the NG tube twice and the cathether once). He’s been having swallowing issues so the NG tube has been a problem; he’s not getting enough nutrition and yesterday, he didn’t want to eat what they were feeding him (has to be watched when he eats to be make sure he swallows everything completely). He’s losing strength, not breathing with his entire lung anymore . . . in other words, he’s at that point where being in the hospital is exacerbating some of his problems but he’s too weak to leave.
I’ve been spending hours and hours at the hospital. One of Dad’s best nurses was also the one who would make comments when I’d leave for the day about how she hoped he didn’t go berserk again because of the restraints and he had to be restrained when I left . . . I’d feel SO guilty that I would sob all the way home. Wednesday, he was restrained anyway when I was there and getting mad at me because I wouldn’t bring him the wall . . . yes, it can be overwhelming.
Dad’s neurologist travels with an entourage; she commands attention. She asked me how he was doing saying I’d know more because I was with him all the time when she only saw him for a few minutes a day. I appreciated that comment – she trusted my opinion and asked for it. She listened to me – really listened. When I was finished, she asked me if I was sleeping at night. I was so taken aback that I just stared at her. She expressed her concern for the amount of time I was at the hospital . . . this incredibly busy woman was making sure I was taking care of myself.
When she left, the PT who was working with Dad’s roommate came over and said he heard the conversation and was also concerned. We had a very long chat (Dad slept through all of this), and he made suggestions for getting out even if it was to sit in the hospital healing garden outside for 10 minutes a few times a day.
When I left for the day, my husband told the nurse he was “busting me out of there” and she said GOOD! This particular nurse has never made me feel guilty. It felt so wonderful that people were expressing their concern for me. I’m truly grateful for that TLC; it makes a huge difference.
And one little tip – LOL – if you’re stuck at the hospital for days on end, read a classic. I’ve been reading Anna Karenina which has been noted by nearly everyone. It says, “I have a brain and I can communicate with you so don’t treat me like a child.” No one has talked down to me the entire time we’ve been there, and this used to be a problem for me. There are times when I need to read a chapter over (they’re very short in Anna Karenina) because my mind gets preoccupied but it’s a great read for me through this, and I’m enjoying it. Just a little tip from me to you 🙂
November 12, 2011 ~ Safe Sons
My sons coach a baseball team of 14 and 15 year old boys (my sons are 22 and 24). They had a tournament this weekend in Sacramento. When they got 45 minutes away from home, the engine on the car seized up. They were able to push it off the highway and into the parking lot of the Boreal ski resort. They were rattled but uninjured. This happened in a good spot instead of at the summit or in one of the canyons with horrible weather and far away from help. It will a very expensive fix and the car still has to be towed back home, but my boys are safe, and that is absolutely the most important thing – BIG GRATITUDE!
November 13, 2011 ~ A Little Trip
My husband and I drove up to meet the tow truck and push our stranded vehicle out of the snow bank. While we were waiting for the tow truck, I hiked up to the observation point and watched the skiers and snowboarders enjoying the snow. The sun was shining, the sky was a brilliant blue, and there was no wind. It was a bit brisk but the perfect day for skiing. It felt so good to be outside watching people have fun. I got to enjoy my husband’s company during the ride (we put a moratorium on hospital talk) and it felt wonderful to get away for a few hours. It was a quick trip but it certainly warmed up my heart. Sometimes it’s the simple things that do the most!
November 14, 2011 ~ Soccer Therapy
I’m blessed to have a 21-month old German shepherd named Rolf. He can actually kick a soccer ball with both front paws. When I need a nature break, I go outside to my backyard and play soccer with Rolf. He doesn’t care if I kick like a girl; he just wants to play. I can kick the ball with everything I have, and he’s in seventh heaven. Today was one of those days that it was either have a breakdown or kick the soccer ball all over. Thank you Rolf for getting me outside for some exercise and love!