Adjusting to my parents being in two different locations was hard. I was so accustomed to just walking back and forth from room to room. Though Mother’s nursing home was not far from the hospital, it was still harder to care for both of them as we would like to. I spend the nights at the hospital with Daddy and then part of the day with Mother.
Living in a hospital is something I will cover in another blog, and in itself was a learning and growing experience for me. However, I could only stay about four nights in a row. I don’t know if it was the emotional stress, the fatigue, or what, but after five nights I would begin to feel sick. I felt like I was getting a stomach virus, but, of course, never did. I would go home and stay for about three days and then come back.
When I went home my sisters would take over. They couldn’t stay at night, but they did more daytime care. Well, Darla did stay as many nights as she could. Her children were still little and they needed her during the night. My other dsister did not do any nights, but she did spend a tremendous amount of time with Mother at the nursing home.
Daddy continued to recover from the stroke after the second chemo treatment. His speech continued to improve. He could put his thoughts and words together to say what was on his mind, but the tone of his voice continued to be strange. He sounded exactly like Forrest Gump! I don’t know how else to describe it. He could have been the voice double for Tom Hanks!!!
Mother very sweetly adjusted to life in the nursing home. She couldn’t stand alone, but she could walk some with her walker. A very sad moment was when Darla told me that Mother fell because she wanted something from across the room and she got up from her chair to go get it. She had forgotten that she couldn’t walk without the walker.
It was during one of my times at home that Daddy got fed up, as he put it. He had been in the hospital for about 7 weeks at that time, I think. Who wouldn’t be fed up! He told the doctor that he was sick of his room. The walls were closing in, and he wanted out! He wanted to put on his shoes, and go out to his land and kick the dirt! He wanted the doctor to do something to make that happen!
The decision was made to move him to another floor. I can’t remember the name of the floor, but he would receive physical therapy, with the goal of helping him walk again.
I was not present when he left the oncology floor, but I heard about it. All the nurses came out into the hallway to tell him good by. There were hugs and tears aplenty. You see, Daddy had been there long enough to know each of them personally. He told them stories and made them laugh. They had seen him go to death’s door and return. They truly loved him. We loved them.
Tomorrow: The chicken dance.