I finally had the opportunity to come home this weekend to visit Dad and I was so thrilled with all of his progress. He is doing so amazingly well and it's hard to believe we celebrated his two month stroke-iversary this week! It seems like it has been ten months and I am constantly reminded of our first meeting with the neurologist where it was clearly reiterated that Dad would most likely be unconscious and hospitalized for months. What a blessed family we have been.
Mom and Dad have settled into their new home routine smoothly and are working together towards complete health. Dad is independent for the most part, although we do accompany him outside of the house. He is able to shower by himself, makes his own meals, and wanders around the house without help. I was shocked at how much stability he has gained in his walking since rehab but balance still remains an issue. Dad is convinced this is mostly due to his vision.
After returning home he went to the ophthalmologist who fitted him with a contact to help with the double vision. That contact has been a constant issue ever since. It does not seem like it is helping him see much better and he insists my sister (who used to work for the eye doctor) take it in and out three times a day 'just to see if it is better without'. We are really praying he will have continued healing with his eyes as this is his most debilitating problem. He will go see the neuro ophthalmologist in Salt Lake City on the 13th and hopefully we can get some more answers about his prognosis.
He is getting much more lucid everyday but still gets confused at times. This is much worse when he is tired but we just remind him to think through things and he is usually pretty reasonable.
Last week when my Mom went to flush his feeding tube it was not connected correctly and looked very infected. A doctor in the emergency room finally took it out for him and he is now taking antibiotics to curb the infection. The site is looking much better now and it should heal up without any problems. He does still have the IVC filter in place for the blood clots and will return for further evaluation in a few months. The ultimate goal is to take it out but the doctors are not sure if it is safe due to the extent of clotting in his lower legs.
Physically Dad is healing better than expected and I am absolutely amazed and so grateful for his recovery. I fully expect him to continue progressing as his mind continues to heal and the residual blood on his brain is absorbed. Mentally he is staying upbeat for the most part but is really struggling with his inability to return to work. He feels that he is not carrying his weight around the farm despite our constant reassurances that everything is taken care of and his brothers and uncles just want him to get better. Yesterday after some serious negotiations we let him drive the Razr around the farm with Landon. Landon said he did really well and drove down the center of the road the whole time. But don't worry, you certainly wont see him on the roads any time soon! Friday he went to turn some water on at the farm and fell, hitting his head on some cement. We lectured him for hours in the importance of taking it slow and allowing his body the necessary time to recover. If you see him out and about, give him a hug and then tell him to go home and take a nap! Thank you for your continued prayers and kind words. We all feel so blessed not only to have our Dad back, but to have such amazing and supportive people in our lives. My Mom and Dad have received so much service since returning home and I'm beyond grateful to the whole town of St. Anthony for your thoughtfulness.