Tuesday, April 5, 2016

my dad

On Saturday, March 12th I was at a play with Suzie, Dave and Jeff. My mom sent a text around intermission with a short note to our family stating that my dad had been admitted to the hospital that afternoon and it was nothing serious. Of course, the texts start flying around with questions and concerns. None of us really knew what was going on but he was admitted for a bowel obstruction. 

They wanted the obstruction to try to heal itself so they had him resting in the hospital until Tuesday when they started doing more tests and realizing it wasn't getting better. He had to go through some pretty crappy days. Tuesday evening they took him into surgery to try to fix the problem. This whole time our parents kept telling us kids not to come and they were fine. We were worried.

Surgery went well. The surgeon said there was some entanglement of the small and large intestine causing the blockage. They had to fix that and they did end up removing about an inch of his small intestine. He was set to be discharged from the hospital on Sunday.

My mom got to the hospital Saturday morning (3/19) and he had taken a turn for the worse. He had development some complications from surgery and had been throwing up. They had to take a few steps back and it really was awful. My dad was getting weaker as they wouldn't let him eat or drink anything for over a week. My mom was emotionally and mentally exhausted. 

Alex flew out Sunday morning to help. Help however he could help- he found his best place was to wake up early and to sit with my dad in the hospital. He gave my mom a break and he was a new person for my dad to hang with. He and my mom would go out for lunch every afternoon. He stayed until Friday. 

My dad was finally discharged on Thursday, March 24th. Alex was able to get them home and get them settled before he went home. 

I flew out to help and be with them on Saturday, March 26th - Wednesday, March 30th. 

The first day I got there my dad was weak and slow and couldn't do much for himself. I felt my position was to help him, help my mom in anyway possible. I prepared his meals, helped him get his socks on, get him his coffee, lend him a hand to get up, opened his car door, drove him to where he wanted to go and walk. I did notice right away that he was wearing khaki shorts and a belt and I knew that was not comfortable with an 8 inch diagonal scar down his tummy. After we walked to meet some friends for cards we went to get him some sweat pants. He wore those sweat pants everyday I was there. 

new pants!

The second day I was there we went for a walk in the morning down the beach. We made it about 2 blocks and stopped for a break on a bench in front of the Del. He asked me to run ahead to save us a spot so he could take a break. After sitting there for 10-15 minutes and a phone call to his sister we walked back to the condo. That afternoon we went to a movie, which was a nice outing. On our way back to the condo we stopped for a malt- delish.

walking along the boardwalk

pretty awesome view

movie fun!

On Monday (day 3), our morning walk was to go get my dad a much needed haircut. We had to stop about half way there and back for a break. While we were there it was fun to listen to my dad talk to his barber. The funny conversation I overheard was when she asked him if I was his girlfriend. Ha!

That afternoon we had a follow up appointment with the on call surgeon as we had been in touch with him over the weekend regarding some redness around part of his incision. There was in fact some infection developing. More setback.

much needed haircut

On my last day of being there we walked to breakfast and home. He didn't have to stop for a break at all. And, he was walking faster. It truly was amazing how much he improved over my 5 days there. I actually even changed my dads dressing on his incision from the infection. I am not a medical person so this is way out of my reach. I did ok, but I hope I wont have to do this again, ever. 

While my dad had card games and visitors from friends my mom and I took some time to organize closets and clean out some things that hadn't been touched in years. We had fun. We also had time to do a little fun shopping. We took evening walks everyday and the flowers were blooming and it was so gorgeous. We had a great time hanging out. We had lots of laughs, lots of talks, some tears. My mom amazes me. She is truly the greatest. She just gets me. She is my number one cheerleader. Always telling me how proud she is of me and how I am just what she needs. She is just what I need, too. 

When my mom dropped me off at the airport, I got really emotional. Like, couldn't stop crying. She gave me a big hug and told me through her own tears, "you are my best friend." All I could tell her was that I loved her and had to walk away. Although, I am sure she knows she is my best friend, too. I cried the whole way home. 

daily walks by the beach

pretty roses

My dad getting sick has been crappy. Totally crappy. It is really hard seeing my parents go thru this. I have shed so many tears and been really scared the last couple of weeks. I know he is getting better everyday but he has a long ways to go to be back to his old self. I know he will get there, my dad is a fighter.

Suzie (and Piper) went out the day I got home and came home on Sunday. Liz and Sam flew out this morning. Sam and my Dad are planning on Flying home on Friday and Liz and my Mom are going to drive home on Thursday. Let'g get everyone back to Sioux Falls where we all belong!

My other best person in my world being so supportive is Jeff. When I told him I needed to go to CA, he got on the computer and booked my flight within 20 minutes. He was super dad and carted the kids from one friends to another as they were out of school when I was gone. He wiped Anna's tears when I would FaceTime her and she would cry because she missed me. He held my hand and hugged me tight when I was scared or sad. He didn't get mad at me when I forgot my drivers license at home as we were getting to the airport and had to race me all the way back home to get it and try to not to miss my flight, oops!