Saturday, November 25, 2006

Noting Thanks

People ask how dad is and when I enthusiastically answer 'good!' they mention something like a walker or going home. enthusiasm extends to dad not having an infection, not being in the hospital and being able to talk. Then I go on to explain how his TIA's (mini-strokes) prior to his major stroke affected one side of his brain, his major stroke left his left side paralyzed, damage to his basal ganglia makes his right arm and leg move involuntarily. He can't do much of anything - they use a big sling/hoist thing to get him out of bed and into a wheelchair. He is still being tube fed and is incontinent. He can't push the call button if he needs something. BUT he IS working in rehabilitation on swallowing, sitting, standing, reaching, looking to the left -- numerous things you wouldn't even think about he does even if he needs someone (or two someones) to hold him up sitting or push him up and hold him standing. I am noting thanks for him being able to gag when the speech therapist checks to see if he has sensation in his throat. I am noting thanks for every 10 or 15 seconds he can stand holding onto bars with therapists in front and back supporting him. I was thankful when he knew my step mom was gone for 6 hours even though he didn't know what year it was. The most thankful moment was the first time he opened his eyes and saw me weeks after the stroke. Another was when he mouthed my name and tried to whisper 'I love you.' Looking back and realizing how long he was unconscious (weeks) and how long he couldn't talk because of his trach (months) and noting that every day that passes means that we are that much farther away from when he had his stroke, I am thankful. To someone who is looking in from the outside, things seem pretty bad; but for me, things are 'good.' Happy Thanksgiving to All!!

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