Thursday, July 31, 2014

My dad...

I could not be more proud of Avery and Grayson over the last month and a half. On June 3rd my dad suffered his third stroke. It’s a long story but this was his first brain bleed type of stroke and it was very different from the others. We weren’t sure if we were going to lose my dad those first few weeks as he was in and out of consciousness, ended up getting a form of meningitis and spent weeks in the intensive care unit. Throughout the first few weeks of him being so fragile and not knowing what our future would be with him I stayed in Raleigh. I learned what an amazing support system of friends and family I have and most of all what an AMAZING husband I have. Avery and Grayson went back and forth between Kevin, and Kevin’s parents, and a few other family members and friends. They were able to spend a day here and there with me when my dad was having okay days but for the better part of a month I did not see Avery and Grayson for much more than a 24 hour period here and there. They were champs and took to all of the changes incredibly. I am so very thankful that they are relatively easy going little munchkins. We are still continuing to go and spend the weekends in Raleigh. Avery and Grayson spent one weekend with the Fishers and were able to come with us this past weekend.

My dad is slowly but surely improving. He moved out of the intensive care unit and into Wake Meds Inpatient Rehabilitation Center. The staff throughout this entire experience has been wonderful. They have explained to us that we cannot look at it day to day that we have to look week to week. Some days he does really well and then others we take steps back. This is all normal and that is why they ask us to look and compare week to week. It is so hard to see him on his bad days and or when he takes steps back but each and every week he has made major improvements. Right now he has gotten a lot of his speech back and is steadily gaining strength back in his upper body. They are not seeing such improvements with his lower body. However, they also say that is normal as that is the farthest part of the body from the brain and it takes a lot of work to re-gain those connections. This is an incredibly slow but steady process and we (my mom, sister and I) continue to try and provide the support my dad needs to keep his head up and keep working hard. Soon he will move out of the hospital and into a Skilled Nursing Facility. We are hoping he won’t have to stay there long but he has a lot to gain back before they will allow him to go home. He wants so badly to be home but we know he is getting amazing care and attention where he is. They are working him really hard in his therapies and we have seen such a difference since he got out of intensive care.

My dad was pretty excited that we were able to bring A & G with us this past weekend. He gave them candies, watched them play and truly lit up when they were around. I am beyond thankful for this wakeup call and being given more time with my dad. I do not know what I would do without him and we will do whatever it takes to get him as close to where he was before the stroke as we can. He’s a fighter and it’s evident in how far he has come. He has always gone above and beyond to take care of those in his life, it’s about time he lets us try and repay the favor a little.

This was three weeks in on Father's Day when my dad was having a good day. He was still in the ICU but managed a smile for his girls...
A & G came to visit one day and spent a bit of time being so good in the waiting room!
This was 6 weeks in....amazing improvement. My dad was moved to the inpatient rehabilitation center where he had numerous therapies every day. As you can see he is already really improving. A & G got to visit because they suggested it would make my dad get motivated. That it did...look at those smiles!

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