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Month: January 2020

To Do

Things I need to do:

1) Write down memories of my dad, pre-stroke. Also write down anecdotes and poems he shared.
2) Find a way for him to communicate his recipes to me and my mom. That’s pretty advanced for right now, but we should figure out something.
3) Eat again. My dad wanted me to lose the baby weight, but not like this, I’m pretty sure.
4) Get Power of Attorney.
5) Find a way to consolidate updates for friends and family. Updating people individually is a waste of time.

Edit: This blog is not the solution to #5. His friends and family do not need to know one daughter is insane.

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Not a Happy New Year

It occurred to me yesterday I may need therapy, but I don’t have the bandwidth for it. Any time I spend talking to a stranger is time and money spent away from family and child, so I will not bother. I will write things here at random times that suit my schedule. That will help.

My dad had a hemorrhagic stroke on December 27. And we’ve been at the hospital since then. So far he has survived the stroke, which is good. We were assigned a general practitioner group to coordinate recovery, and in our first meeting with them they made it sound like he would be on a surgically inserted feeding tube and we had to think through whether we wanted to end the whole thing. I quickly decided he was an idiot and was relieved when his rotation ended and we were assigned a different doctor. My dad is not on a feeding tube. He can’t feed himself or eat solids, but he’s not on a tube.

He can’t speak or understand words, they say. His intelligence is still there, but the communication portion of the brain is impaired. I think he understands and he communicates with me through expressions. But the therapists and doctors can’t read his expressions, plus they speak to him in English, which is unlikely to be the language he understands when he’s under duress. Initially he was still laughing at appropriate moments. Now he doesn’t laugh at all, and on Sunday he slept all day because he was so exhausted. His blood pressure is either high or low. He’s going to be discharged from the hospital today, which is good. I tried to get him discharged into a rehab facility instead of a nursing home, but we couldn’t. That was disappointing, especially because I had such
high hopes. Everyone we have talked to so far and the internet has shared recovery stories. People say you need to wait to see what his new baseline is. I need to remind myself that.

David shared on Day 4 he was exhausted from child care all day and we should look into getting help, which is fair. And he was wondering if we really had to cancel an upcoming trip, which is fair. I got really mad at him for both of these things though. I didn’t say I was mad. I think I just said, “That’s fair, I’m so sorry,” but in a tone that conveyed I was livid, it’s not fair, and I was not sorry. Then I apologized. It’s a lot, I know. He’s doing a great job. She has her vaccines today, so we’re both staying home.

I think I fluctuate between tears, optimism, and anger. I accused our new general practitioner today of not knowing anything about strokes. “How many stroke patients have you worked with? You’re not an expert in strokes,” I said in response to something he said that sounded condescending and demonstrated that he was not actually familiar with my dad’s file. He was a jerk. He looked taken aback and shot back “that’s medicare fraud” in reference to discharging someone to a rehab facility to see if they can make it and then if they can’t, to a nursing home. This is incorrect. When we toured the nursing facilities, who actually know about medicare, they explained that is a route people take, and medicare covers it. So I KNOW he was just saying that because his ego was bruised and he didn’t have the bedside manner to explain things to me well. This doctor had someone there he was training too, and I wanted to tell him right there his mentor was not good. The general practitioner last week had better bedside manner. Anyway, I was super upset Monday because my dad had been showing such progress Saturday. I hope seeing the skilled nursing facility today does not depress him. I hope my mom gets through this. I can’t lose them both. I wanted my daughter to get to know them.

I also hope my milk supply isn’t diminishing.

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