Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Homecoming" for Dad

We sure wish seeing into the future were an option so we could have skipped a step or two the last few days...

To make a long story short, John's dad was released from the hospital last Monday afternoon and transferred to a nursing home/rehab center very near the hospital. Twenty-three hours later he was in his own home!

Nothing drastic, but the little things (not all of them were little to him!) added up. The final straw came when John's sister and I arrived the next morning only to be followed into his room by two nurses who insisted that he wasn't supposed to be wearing the immobilizer (a strap/velcro affair that keeps his left arm stable while the pacemaker heals). Needless to say, we responded that they were not to touch him! John's sister, Jane, is a registered nurse so she immediately went to see the orders while I "guarded" Dad. She returned several minutes later and announced that he was going home. Jumping through all the Medicare/doctor hoops took several hours, during which John was kept busy lining up a hand-held shower head, oxygen and a hospital bed at home. The smile on Dad's face when he finally settled into his own recliner at home was worth all the hustle and bustle - definitely the right decision!

He is doing much better already and his spirits have improved dramatically. We're keeping up with the meds and have started his exercises. Fortunately, one of Jane's daughters is a physical therapist in a nearby state, so we have the advantage of tapping her knowledge. Tomorrow a nurse from the local home health agency will come and assist us with anything we might have missed and let us know which services would be helpful.

Just a little detour in the life of a pretty special 87 year old...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Life at the hospital

It's hard to believe that it's been nearly two weeks since our last posting. Life at the hospital seems to supercede the rest of the world. John's father was moved out of ICU last week and has spent the time since recovering from the pneumonia and trying to regain some strength. His pacemaker was postponed several times but his doctor finally put it in today. The nurse who came to get us afterwards scared us to death when she was wiping her eyes before she told us anything. It turned out to be sweat she was dealing with and were we relieved! Dad came through the procedure with flying colors and will likely move to a rehab facility on Monday. His doctor is quite cautious about recovery and very strongly recommended against taking him straight home. Needless to say, Dad's first reaction was not positive. We have spent much time this past week exploring various options for him. Hopefully we didn't pressure him too much to make this decision - such a fine line we walk sometimes...

The weather here has improved tremendously since the snowstorm on April 5, although rain is forecast for tomorrow. It'll be fun to see spring arrive. It's been many, many years since we've been here in the midwest at this time of year.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Iowa instead of New Mexico

Well, we had planned to head west last Thursday, but John's dad ended up in the hospital in Iowa, so we turned the rig north instead. We made it to Iowa in 2 1/2 days with no more problems than high winds in southern Texas which forced us off the road in George West for about 3 hours.

John's dad is finally showing some improvement after being diagnosed with an atypical pneumonia. He'll also get a pacemaker before leaving the hospital. He's still in ICU so the family is spending most of their time there.

We are so thankful to not be working anymore and marvel at how easy it was to simply make a change of plans, head our home a different direction and stay as long as necessary. Jello plans are definitely the way to go!

We are sorry to miss seeing many of you in Albuquerque for "The Rally", but being here for family is, without a doubt, more important. Hope to join you all for another one down the road in the future...