Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rehab Improvements and Heading Home

Since my last post Dad had 2 days of therapy. During this time he has continued to eat all of the breakfast food, most of the available lunch and some of the dinner. Maybe he is tired in the evening, or just likes food earlier in the day. I tried to pay attention to the textures of the meals to see if that has anything to do with it, but all I was able to tell is that he likes breakfast food. Over all breakfast food has more carbohydrates and fat, dinner items seem to have more protein and fat; heavier types of food to consume…it’s something to think about.

There was no rehab sessions on Sunday (he gets a break from exercising on Sunday), but Dad still got a workout. Brothers and sister visited him, along with several cousins, and other family. It was a busy day and he seemed happy to see them, but got tired in the afternoon and fell asleep, like many other days. He slept so long in the afternoon that a couple people visited but he never woke-up to say “Hello.”

Rehab efforts have continued and he is standing alone, slowly while using the wheelchair as a ‘crutch.’ The rehab folks mentioned that several steps have been taken, slowly - but at least he did take the steps. It was something to celebrate and everyone gave praise and congratulation for the accomplishment. Dad mentioned to me while alone together that he will walk soon, “Get ready.” Cognitively Dad knows he walked in the past and is a little frustrated that it's not happening now, but seems determined to do it again.

But at the same time, in the evenings and during the night he appears to be a different person; like a “Jekyll and Hyde.” Dad practically sits-up in bed, with an angry look in his eyes, firmly grits his teeth, holds out clinched fist, and mumbles orders or thoughts; it is quite scary in a way. When someone asked what he said, or meant cold-heatedly eyes stare back, but he doesn't say a word. It seems as-if he may not know what he is saying, but in either case I don't believe he understands what is being said back to him. If he were able to get out of bed it would be even scarier, but we all know he does not mean what he is doing, and we all know he has never hurt anyone.   

During the evenings Dad argues, squirms around in the bed and tries to pull his clothes off, along with the catheter. This uneasiness might be caused by the catheter, the drugs he’s taking, or maybe it’s just cabin fever from being cooped-up, first in the hospital weeks ago, then going home and then coming to the rehab center. Any case, the nights are long for the rehab staff (family has not been staying with him through the night the last couple nights) and he appears to be quite tired in the mornings. If he could just get on a regular sleep cycle many of us believe things will improve; but with all the constant drug usage Dad falls sleep during the day and is restless during the night.

I have not posted the past couple days; I am driving home now (it's almost midnight now), but wanted to squeeze every moment out of the previous days and spend time with Dad, my mother and family; writing took a backseat. Before leaving I had 2 days of my favorite local, hometown burgers. I ate too much and probably upset my stomach but after growing up on the sandwiches it’s hard to shake the urge to ‘pig-out’ when possible. I told someone in a tweet earlier in the day Tuesday I’d be stopping at Starbuck’s to post something but I got a late start and just lost track of time; starting later than expected I wanted to get out on the road, and get home.  So, here’s my late post from a truck-stop type location using free Wi-Fi; I will post this and get back on the road. I should be home by early morning (after sun-up), dead-tired but I will check-in on work, sleep and then post an update if I can. 

Dad Recap: Dad is still in rehab with no plan as to when he will return home, but hopefully this will happen soon. 


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