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7/26

Again, writing from the day after this date.  It sure gets busy around here. 

The 26th was nuts.  We started out with a visiting nurse.  Nice gal.  She loved the puppies; actually, all of our visitors have been dog people so far.  Good thing—these guys are not reticent at all.  Social to the point of being rude sometimes.

Dad’s still coming along well.  He has not used the oxygen machine in 24 hours, and he’s doing great.  Getting in and out of the shower is a piece of cake for him now.  But I still spot him, just in case.

Practically on the heels of the nurse was the P/TY guy.  Really put Dad through his paces.  But Dad met all of the challenges with energy to spare.

Then Dad and I packed up the puppies and paraphernalia we have to drag everywhere (meds, Orville and Wilbur, etc.), and drove the 1 ½ hours to the nearest Wal-Mart.  We had a lot to look for.  After the main reason we went down there (picking up his nitro prescription), we wandered around the store getting stuff—a bathroom rug, ink cartridge, shower door hook.  Stuff we weren’t able to get at the grocery store the previous time out.

Then we got into the grocery part.  I think Dad gets overwhelmed because he doesn’t write a list and stick to it.  His memory was a little dicey—said the same thing a couple of times, and I had to get him to focus on the task at hand.  “List-Making 101” class coming up…

He was really cooperative about the sodium stuff.  I think he’s understanding a little more.  He’s still fighting the idea of having meals delivered.

We had dinner at Bob’s Big Boy, which was, of course, Sodium Central.  I know I’m supposed to watch his carbs too, but doing both is difficult.  Watching the sodium intake is the more important of the two, in my estimation.

We didn’t get back here until around 9pm.  Dad helped to bring in the groceries and put them away, and then we parked in front of the tube to watch the rest of the ball game.  I got to watch some of my shows too.  Bedtime came, and we hit our individual hays with our individual dogs (Toot sleeps with Dad, Tinker sleeps with me).

7/27

Woke up with the dog climbing up to my pillow and lying down between me and the couch back.

Hard to believe it’s been a week already.  Dad and I have both changed a lot.  When we first got here, Dad was tired, cranky, a bit aphasic, couldn’t do much, and wouldn’t cooperate.  He’d snap at us if we reminded him to do things, objected to everything, and wanted to just sit and watch TV.

I knew nothing about what was needed, what I could do, how I would react if Dad needed medical attention—all I wanted to do was run back home.

We’ve both grown and learned.  Dad is really grateful for everything, and since he’s seen his own successes, is much more willing to improve and get better.  I’ve gotten into a rhythm of sorts, and since there’ve been no emergencies, I can actually breathe.  I’ve gotten more domestic, what with planning dinners and all.  Haven’t done that in a long time.

Today was a nice, slow day.  Dad was up at 9:30—a full 9 hours of sleep.  Still catching up on those four sleepless nights at the hospital.

No visitors today.  No poking, prodding, tapping, feeling, blahblahblah.

I worked on cleaning on the stove, which hasn’t been detailed in forever.  Its surface is black, and Dad’s eyes aren’t the best.  Something was causing a horrid stench; I suspected something died in an appliance, and it was the worst by the stove.  So I pulled out the burners (electric) and just sprayed the whole thing with a bleach cleaner.  The whole surface was greasy and gunky, and cleaning out the junk in the cracks (with a toothpick) was quite a job.  I was glad to drop the job to run errands.

Since everything is so far away one from the other, as I’ve mentioned before, any errands can take some hours to get done. Around 1:30ish, we packed up the dogs and the oxygen again.  This time we went West, stopping off at the post office in N. first.  Got there just before it closed.

Our next town was Nw., and a stop at the hardware/Radio Shack store.  No luck finding a laptop battery there either.  But we got a number of other items, including items Dad needs to make beer.

You know someone’s cleared major health recovery hurdles when he makes plans for the future.
 
Especially if it involves beer.

Our next stop was to the vet’s so that Toot could get his annual shots.  Little tiny office out in the country.  Met a lady there with a 14-year-old black cat that couldn’t seem to stay on its legs.  Sure hope the vets can help them.  Both of them seemed so sweet.

We got back here at 4pm—see how long a couple of short trips in the ‘burbs takes in the boonies?  I got the stove finished and reassembled; the smell is still present, so I checked under all of the appliances.  Nothing.  So where is it coming from??

Finally got the “new” room swept.  You know there are a lot of bugs when half your dirt pile scatters before you can pick it up.

Also changed the light bulbs in the ceiling fan.

Made shepherds-pie and biscuits, and Dad cut up tomatoes for the salad.  Now we’re going back and forth between the ball game and the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

Tomorrow Dad will make breakfast, and he can work on his own meals as much as he wants.  At the end of next week, he should be able to everything he was doing before, activity-wise.

I will be attempting to find a car rental place where I can get a vehicle to drive to TC one-way.  I think that’ll be the easiest for everyone.  And hopefully I can still fly home on August 10.  Not sure I want to go back now…  J.

7/28

Okay, what did we do this day?  Again, I am writing from the next day.

We didn’t do a lot.  Dad was feeling a bit tired.  I’m a little concerned about his low blood sugar levels.  It’s something I’ll ask the visiting nurse about when she comes on Monday. 

It having been a Saturday, of course we didn’t have any appointments.  Nice to have the day to ourselves.

He had a shower; I stood discreetly out of sight in his bedroom while he took care of all of that himself.  Once I was sure he’d gotten out of the shower safely, I slipped out and busied myself doing other things.  Rather like a manservant—there, but not blatantly so.

After breakfast, which Dad made (shepherds pie with egg, which was very good), we drove the accumulated garbage to the dumpster behind the grocery store (no regular pick-ups here).  Dad thought it was pretty funny that I had a hard time hoisting the garbage bag into the dumpster.  But I got it in there.

We drove the opposite way to E., to check out a farmers market going on in town.  Not too many tables—maybe six in all—but we still managed to get a few things.  I picked up an Amish-made braided rug (there are Amish here, which surprised me), plus some of their homemade cookies (too much baking soda).  Dad bought some fresh lettuce, which was a fresh change from that bagged stuff.

Took a short walk around the park, but Dad was starting to lose the wind in his sails.  We went home, and I watered his garden.  Got a good owie from one of the barberry plants.  And a tomato from one of the tomato plants.  I prefer the tomato.

We spent the rest of the day in front of the tube.  Dad napped a bit, and I worked on further arranging and labeling all of his paperwork (prescriptions, discharge info, med info, etc.).  We’re still trying to figure out how much he’s paid into his out-of-pocket insurance expenses.  But his computer wasn’t working yesterday, so we put that off.

Speaking of which, I found the problem with my laptop.  I had it plugged into the wall with the wrong cord…But it was probably best.  If it had been working, I would probably have tried to escape into it instead of working with and helping Dad.  All’s good.

A little Olympics, a ball game, Fox News, and an early night.

 

 

 

7/29/12

Got up and went to church.  Nice to see how many people in his parish care about him.  We met up with his neighbor (the one I talked to the other day), and she said that she would take up any driving responsibilities, if need be, after August 10.  That makes me feel better.  He’ll have his Guardian button and his neighbor, and I know he will be as strong as ever, if not more so, by the time I leave.

His atrial fib monitor went off before we left the house, so after church I sent in the info to the center.  He didn’t feel anything like a flutter or anything.  I’m not too concerned, but the visiting nurse will be told.

The phone service has gone out completely.  We tested it—no dial tone into the house.  And no matter the urgency, the phone company won’t act on repairing it until tomorrow.  At least I have my phone, although it works best three feet outside the house.  It’s like those old-fashioned TV antennas—don’t move or you will lose the picture.  Argh!  I hope nothing serious happens today, or this phone company will have its shorts sued off, I can tell you. 

Dad’s been busy making venison stew.  I love to see him puttering around in his kitchen.  By the end of next week, there will be no restrictions on what he is allowed to do, except drive.

When it gets a little cooler outside, I am going to accompany him down the driveway.  I want to see how far he can get.  But right now it’s time for his teatime meds.

I dug out some space in front of his house and planted radishes and beets.  Worked out a network of small branches to keep the boys from digging the seeds up.  I hope we’ll see some greens before I leave.

I didn’t do a lot outside.  Pretty warm out there.  But I really, REALLY need to get some exercise.  I can hear the fat forming.

Dad’s venison stew was great!  After dinner I worked on doing some editing on my manuscript, and now a ball game is on.  You’ll excuse me, please…

7/30

I am…

Alone.

Solo.

By myself.  For the first time in ten days, I have me to myself. 

Dad’s gone to an overnight sleep study, so I am here…

Alone.

Wow…

Not trying for poetry here, but it has kind of a nice cadence to it.

I’m not even sure I can describe how I feel.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love my dad, and in all truth I don’t begrudge him the time I’m spending here (a miracle in itself).  But it’s been work, not gonna lie.

After I left him and got back in the car, my brain sort of…melted back into its old, accustomed spaces.  Tomorrow will come soon enough.  I’ll go pick Dad up, and we will return to Recovery Road together.

Now that I’ve written about the end of the day, I’ll put down what happened from the beginning.

Today dawned cloudy and humid.  The air was cool but heavy.  Oppressive, in a way.  I know how it was at dawn, because both dogs had to jump on my chest to tell me about it.  Five forty-five a.m.  Oy!

Now, remembering that Toot was the one who alerted my sister that something was wrong with Dad when he ended up being re-admitted, and seeing him so early in the morning, red flags were raised in my head.  But Dad was okay.

Then the little mutt peed on the rug.  Nice…

I didn’t reprimand him; didn’t want to wake Dad up.  I just got some paper towel on it and went back to bed.  My alarm was set to 7am because I thought the visiting nurse was supposed to be here at 8am.  But I did not get back to sleep.

I got Dad up at 7:30; he took a shower, and then we waited.  Dad wasn’t supposed to eat until after the blood draw, so we didn’t have breakfast to do.  After the appointment time had passed, I checked the schedule—she wasn’t due until 9am.  Argh!!  Blind leading the blind around here.

She got here on time, did what she had to do, and left.  Close on her heels was the telephone repair tech, who had to get here from the extreme west of the Upper Peninsula.  The dollar signs were ominous in both my and Dad’s minds.  (Ended up being a no-charge—yay!)

Then the P/T.  Lots of people in today.

Wow!  Once the phone was fixed, the thing went nuts.  A couple of Dad’s friends called, and some relatives, and appointment people, et cetera.

I spent part of the afternoon digging up weeds around Dad’s plants in the front yard.  Got really hot and the air was hard to breathe, so I didn’t get as far as I would have liked.  For Those Who Worry (and you know who you are), I was just outside the open front door at all times, Dad had his whistle, he came out periodically to see how I was getting along, I did the same, and so forth.  Just so you know.

The Home Alert System was installed this evening.  No problem, and didn’t interfere with the computer.

The weather got steadily warmer, windier, and more humid throughout the day.  About 6pm, I checked the Weather Channel website on my phone (huzzah for internet, when it does work) for this zip code, and there was a Severe Thunderstorm warning.  Dad thought we ought to reschedule.  Oh, well, this late in the day, and here’s me without the clinic’s number.  Pity…(hee hee)

Okay, so…If I had ever thought of listing “driving through a thunderstorm and pouring rain, over washed-out roads I can barely see in the dusk” on my bucket list, I think I can now safely cancel that out.  Big time.  Awesome display of nature’s power, but not one I’d care to go through again.

At the sleep lab, the nice lady tried various masks on Dad to see which would be more comfortable if he needed one.  All were comedic—Facebook quality photos.  But I think Dad was too nervous to see the humor, and I wouldn’t do that to him.  Besides, I don’t think I could take a picture without him knowing…It was hard to keep from laughing, though.

So I got back here about 10:30pm, driving through the fog instead of rain.  The low-lying type, which I have always heard called thüle fog.  I saw a bear—scared it off the road.

Scared the Pooh out of Winnie—har har.

When I got back here, I watched a couple of episodes of Dark Shadows on DVD (on my computer), and then ensconced myself upstairs, with the doggies downstairs.

It’s so quiet.  I’m going to read, and then go to sleep.

 

 

 

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