Growing up too fast....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Granddad Thurmond Meets his Granddaughters for the first time...

Been awhile since I've posted an update on Dad. This past weekend, Amber, Chris, the twins (Sadie n' Trista), and I made the trip over to Dyersburg to surprise him. Amber's babies were born 6 weeks ago, and she hasn't been ready to take them on a road trip till now...so, Dad had not seen them yet. We were anxious to get there and show him what beautiful Grand-babies he has.

Presently, Dad is in a nursing home in Ridgely...about 15 minutes from Dyersburg in West, TN. We hate having him there, but Mom had to go back to work and Dad requires full time care right now. Also, in order for Medicare to cover his rehabilitation, he must actually stay in the facility at night...as much as we all hate him being there. We're pretty sure he hates it too. Being stuck in a nursing home was his worst nightmare.

So, Saturday morning, Mom left the house early to go pick up Dad and take him to church. We showed up and he was already sitting in the pew. We snuck in with the babies. Amber had Sadie and I had Trista. I walked in with her and sat right next to Dad. At first he was ecstatic, as he usually is when family comes around, but when he saw Trista...he lost it. He started boo-hooing pretty heavy and couldn't take his eyes off her. I'm pretty sure he was just overwhelmed and they were tears of joy. He finally calmed down so they could continue with the service. I held Trista throughout and she just slept calmly in my arms. Dad was staring down at her throughout the sermon.

After the sermon, I put Trista in his good [left] arm and let him dote over her for a bit...then switched her out for Sadie. He was ecstatic and clearly proud to be a Grand-Dad to such beautiful twin girls. He gets tired and distracted quickly, so after awhile, he was ready to hit potluck.

We spent the rest of the day together with Dad at home. He's getting around better on his feet, but moves very slowly. He doesn't have much control over his right leg, so he has to be very careful not to catch his foot and stumble when walking. He pretty much needs someone's arm or a walker to hold onto when on his feet...but, at least he can walk, so for that we are thankful.

He's very aware. In fact, Mom thinks his OCD has gotten worse...hehe. He's quite coherent and still taking initiative to keep himself groomed, tidy, and neat. He get's easily confused, however. For instance...I spent about an hour with him, giving him a shave, helping him comb his hair, and brushing his teeth. I put some toothpaste on the brush and handed it to him...he started to comb his hair with it. After I brushed his teeth, I was trying to get him to rinse and spit in the sink. I kept pointing at the sink and saying "spit"...so, he swallowed the toothpaste in his mouth, then bent over and started trying to talk to the faucet. You can't help but laugh...but I'm sure it's very frustrating for him. It's as if everything is delayed and very confusing, so you have to be really patient with him when communicating or getting him to complete a task.

He still cannot speak as of now...but, is learning a few words here n' there. This past week he learned "I LOVE YOU", so that's his new phrase...for everything. We're pretty sure he knows exactly what he wants to say, but just can't form the words. So, the only thing that comes out are mumbles and groans, or what he knows, which right now is "I LOVE YOU." Not a bad phrase to learn and certainly something we should all say more often.

Lara should be en route to Tennessee as you read this. She's decided to move up here from Corpus Christi to help Mom with Dad. This will allow Mom to keep working and Lara will be able to help Dad at home for a bit. She has a lot of ideas for therapy and helping him become more independent, so it'll be great having her there with Mom. We're remaining hopeful that he continues to improve...but at this point it doesn't look like we'll be able to leave him alone for any length of time. If he falls and breaks something...it could - and most likely would - be devastating for him. Only time will tell.

We're happy Dad's doing as well as he is. Considering the magnitude of the stroke...he's lucky to be alive. We're especially thankful that he was able to live to be a Grand-Dad. Again...thanks to everyone for your continued inquiry, thoughts, and well wishes. We tell Dad about everyone that asks about him...he smiles in appreciation. Till next time, Dad has a quick message below for all of you...just click PLAY on the clip below.

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