Not sure where to begin...
Well, today is Daddy's birthday. He is 70 years old. We all wondered what we would do or how we would celebrate? Would he remember and would we tell him if he didn't? I think we, at least I, feel numb.
Daddy is to come home in a few weeks. My mom is really working hard trying to prepare the house. It has to pass inspection before they will release him to us. We will have to put the hospital bed in the living room because it is the only place it fits.
We are not certain how we will accomplish this task of taking care of him, but with God's grace it will be done. That is what we hold on to--God's strength and power, not our own.
We are all very tired and have been stressed out with all that needs taking care of and other issues that have seem to just POP UP. I for one, have had my share of "situations" that have been out of control and FAR beyond my control. But I dare not complain or accuse God falsely.
My mom has visited Daddy everyday since May 13th...until the day I ended up in the ER. Mommy met me there at the hospital so she wasn't able to visit Daddy. Sigh. Hypertension being the culprit. I don't have a history of it, but with all that has happened and what I am going through, my blood pressure jumped from always being extremely low to an all time-over the top high! Yes, high enough to be in the ER. I guess the 75 pounds I have gained and not walking as regularly as I did before has not helped. :-| Well, all that to say, I was prescribed 3 different medications and have to check my pressure 3 times a day. Ugh!!!
My doctor said because I don't have a history of it at my age, if I lose the weight, get back to my physical activity/exercising, etc. she is sure she can wean me off. Thank you and Lord have mercy. But in the meantime, I take little to no phone calls, unless it's an emergency, cut down the amount of clients I take each day, leave work at an appropriate time, have a designated lunch break to actually LEAVE the salon, exercise at home in the morning, cut down my food portions, went back to a vegetarian diet (because that is when my weight was under control and I felt my healthiest ever in life), try to enjoy life a little bit more, stay away from stressful situations as well as people, spending more time reading and trying really, really hard to relax. The last thing I want is to be laid up right next to my daddy. No, thank you!
I am learning to do what I must, accomplish what I can and leave the rest alone. I will spend more time doing what I enjoy and what calms me. So back to sitting at home alone, listening to soothing music, making waist beads, cutting out hair photos, fantasizing about clothing while browsing through catalogs and yes, crocheting. Lol! And finally, I'm buying an outdoor bike for Christmas! Yes, Merry Christmas to ME!! Just had to vent. Pardon.
Okay, so enough about me. As for Daddy, these are most of the questions that arise, so I will take this time to answer them. Also, I hope this will help with those who are continuing to pray for his recovery. Consider the following "prayer targets".
1) He is not ambulatory. He can do absolutely nothing for himself.
2) He is still not able to talk. Sometimes, it sounds as if he is grunting here and there.
3) He does nod his head "yes" and and shake his head "no", but only when he feels like it.
4) Sometimes he remembers people and other days he does not--us included.
5) He was getting so upset, aggressive and sometimes slightly violent, that we had to decide as a family to put him on anti-depressants until we were all able to handle him a little better--rehab staff included. None of this was suggested by the facility, this was our doing. We didn't want him roughing up the cute little nurses there. Hahaha! The last thing we needed is for him to appear to be some big, tall, violent, mute, intimidating black man, whose hair hasn't been combed in 5 months, swinging at anyone! Geez! We already begged the doctor to remove the "boxing mitts" they had on him 24/7. Let him not ruin what we worked so hard for. :-/
6) Yes, he is still being tube fed. We have to learn how to work the machinery. The facility said they would give us lessons.
7) I guess Marna and Mommy will continue to brush his teeth. I'm sure they will teach me.
8) I read the Sunday School lesson to him, but some Sundays he is just not interested in hearing what it has to say--including us.
9) No, he is not able to use the plastic urinal--still adult diapers.
10) He remembers some things and some people. But can't remember key things and key people. For instance, he remembers nothing about his business, the building, not event the name. But somehow remembers Third Street. He remembers my salon, and Marna's baking business, but does not remember downtown San Francisco. He does not remember our home, our street or the neighborhood, but he does remember our noisy staircase. (shrugging shoulders) He does not remember the orange car he drives, but remembers the green SUV, which I am driving now and his SUV that Marna drives. He doesn't remember his spices, "his" kitchen, or that he even use to cook...like everything under the sun! He doesn't even remember teaching Sunday School! Wow.
I played this game with him: everything that he didn't remember, I would just start describing in full detail to him. I remember that Sunday, it was fun, at least to me. He listened intently and seemed surprised by some of the things I told him he use to do. It also made me realize how much my daddy did and did for us (his family). I'm am just glad memories are not the only thing I have. :-) I still have my daddy...AND the memories. I look forward to what God will do in our lives and the new beginning God has given Daddy (and us). We are just starting from scratch. That's all.
Oh yeah, one more thing and I will end with this: After playing this game with Daddy and realizing there is so much that is a complete blank to him (that is the day I realized he did not know who I was), I had to tell him my name and which child I was, then going on to who Marna and Jean were as well. Being a little nervous, I just thought I would ask if he was still praying? Rather, did he still remember HOW to pray? He gave me this look as if, "Yeah, girl! I still pray!" Lol! So, I wasn't satisfied with that. I continued with, "Daddy...ummm, now you still remember...well, you know who God is, riiight?" Hahaha! He gave me a look as if, "Whose this crazy woman who keeps asking me all these dumb questions?" and nodded his head. To that, I gave a sigh of relief, patted him on his shoulder and said, "Okay good, that is all I needed to know because as long as you remember who HE is, 'cause everything and everybody else is truly secondary. You gonna be all right if you just remember HIM. HE's all you need anyhow." At that, I gathered my things, told him I loved him and headed on back home completely satisfied.