Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bernie & I Visit from Colorado

Hi everyone! Well, we made it back to Colorado safe and sound – never fun to return to work after a vacation especially after such a long day of travel. Bernie (my husband) and I got to visit with my dad daily Wednesday thru Friday and then again on our way to the airport on Monday afternoon. In between visits we went to Bernie’s brother’s wedding up in Alden which is near the famous Batchelder Rd. in Bellaire, MI so we chatted with Dad a bit about that (although we didn’t make the pilgrimage to the sign this time).

I was happy to see that the guest book that I left earlier in July was a big success and in addition to daily visits from Katie (wife) and frequent visits from Maura (daughter), Scott (son) and Lori (daughter) my dad has also received multiple visits from lots of friends and family:

Bill Delange; Danny Akers; Richard & Dick Batchelder; Patsy, Mike & Annie; BJ Franzen; Gwen & George Neumann; Dennis Wiese; Nick & Ed; Lem Harsen; Barb & Tom Korneffel; all of Katie’s family (which is a lot!); and a few others I’m sure who didn’t sign in or visited before the guest book was there.

It was great to see what everyone had to say and heart warming to see that he has been getting visits from friends at least every other day. Please keep up the visits as it breaks my heart to think of my dad in that room all day by himself – although I must say – he seems more content than I could have imagined. He is happy to have visitors and lights up when people he knows come in. During my visit we looked through some magazines and tried to name the items in the pictures; watched a little TV; went for a stroll in the beautiful court yard downstairs (he’ll instruct you exactly how to get there); named some colors and tried to tell time – little things to help the language center come back. It is a slow process for sure but I do see some progress. Some things he has trouble communicating, but then others it is surprising – we told him we bought a new house and he asked who our mortgage lender was – clear as day.

I also brought him a smoothie (a healthy one) and he really enjoyed it. If you are going to visit around lunch or dinner please bring a meal for yourself as it is nice when he doesn’t have to eat alone. Or you can bring him a healthy meal too as some of the food could be better, typical hospital fare.

Dave’s aware that his right side isn’t working but every day he gets better at over coming that challenge. I only wish it hadn’t been raining so much so we could go outside more – nice to get out of that room and get some fresh air. While we were there we also saw Katie, Maura, and Scott. I heard from Dad’s sister Marilyn that she will be visiting in August along with her husband and Dad’s brother Milan.

Hope to visit soon....keri

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Upcomming Visit

Hi everyone, my husband and I will be in Michigan next week and we'll be visiting with my Dad on Wed 7/22-Fri 7/24 and then Monday 7/27 on our way to the airport. Inbetween we'll be up north for for my brother-in-law's wedding!

Dennis Wiese told me he'll be visiting this Sunday so we'll be keeping Dave pretty busy.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My Recent Visit

Hi everyone. I just got back from Michigan - a very quick visit to see my dad. His face lit up when I came into the room and he was smiling a lot. His spirits were so much better than when I last saw him in the hospital, he's no longer sleepy all the time. He's now eating full time and hopefully they will remove his feeding tube soon since he doesn't seem to need it anymore. We had a really nice visit the first night, had a lot of conversation although we couldn't always understand each other. Katie and Maura also came to visit while I was there. Katie's mom was there earlier in the day and brought my dad a nice plant for his room.

I came for another visit on Friday and was lucky enough to get there at the end of his physical therapy session. I was amazed to see that they have had my dad up and using a walker for three days in a row. He actually has some movement in his right leg, however the therapist had to help move his leg all the way forward so he could take another step. Dad was able to "walk" across the PT room. I never thought I would see that happen. Hopefully he continues to gain strength and mobility. I also saw him move his right arm many times, but all involuntary. It's a bittersweet experience - happy to see him make improvements, sad that he has to go through this and relearn so many basic functions. He's trying hard to communicate but just can't find a lot of the words.

After PT we went back to his room and he was very upset that he couldn't get back in bed right away. It was frustrating for both of us but once we got him back in bed all was well. We ate lunch together and he made some room on his tv table for me to eat my sandwich. Even though I told him earlier in the day that I brought my I was pleased he still remembered an hour later and cleared me a spot before I even got my sandwich out. After lunch I got dad back in his wheel chair and took him outside into the courtyard for a little sunshine. When we came back to the room we were both hot and he directed me how to turn the a/c on, although he called it "rain" he new exactly where and how to turn it on.

I'll be back again at the end of July with my husband Bernie for a slightly longer visit. I am excited to see what progress Dad will make in the next few weeks. I know it is hard for those who see him every day to notice the differences, but because I haven't seen my dad for a month I can definitely see the changes. He's already doing much more than the doctors at the hospital led us to believe was ever possible.

p.s. I left a black leather guest book in dad's room so people can let us know they were there, and how their visit went. Please use it, I look forward to reading it during my next visit!