One Day At A Time
At this point, I'm not even sure what to say or do about this year. On September 1st, my dad suffered a major stroke. He is paralyzed on the left side of his body and has challenges with focus and balance. He is relearning how to focus his mind, feed himself, and sit up in a chair. Currently he's in an in-patient rehabilitation facility close to their home (around 30 - 45 minutes drive away from me). The doctor is going to keep him at the rehab facility for at least a month and then we'll see what the next steps are toward his recovery. We have been scrambling to manage the situation for the past 2+ weeks and have finally just settled into an uneasy "new normal" for now.
I've been updating a CaringBridge site on a daily basis in order to keep friends and family informed on the latest status. My sister and her husband drove down from the northwest (they were on a road trip when they found out) and stayed a week. They've gone back home to Oregon again but plan on returning with the two dogs in tow. My mom has crippling anxiety and is working on trying to manage her sleep schedule.
There are quite a few silver linings that I've been able to find throughout this situation:
1) My dad was still employed full-time (he was trying to retire this summer), so he has the best insurance which allows us to keep him at the rehab facility for such a long period of time
2) My aunt and uncle (dad's younger brother) live less than five minutes away from my parents' house and my aunt has been a godsend. She goes to check on my mom daily and makes sure she is sleeping and well fed
3) Other than the stroke, my dad is healthy and has no pre-existing health conditions. His main goal is to focus on recovery and rehabilitation. We are also incredibly lucky that he can talk, although his vocal cords have also been affected by the stroke
I wouldn't have been able to handle the situation without Bryan standing steadfastly by my side the entire time. I'm grateful to have a partner who is always looking to help and has the sunniest attitude and disposition. He keeps my mom laughing, despite everything, and makes sure that I take care of myself. I have so many thoughts and "lessons learned" from going through this process and continuing to go through this process. Hold your loved ones tight and prioritize your health. And if you haven't done worst-case scenario planning for your elderly parents yet, please do. Stay well all!