Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday Feb. 14~ Valentine's Day

You know the song that says, "Waking up is hard to do"? Well, it's surely been hard for Dan to wake up. He's trying to talk and can say about 3-4 words clearly and then it gets all jumbled up and he gets frustrated. He's pretty good with "ya" or "no" but even then it can take him a few seconds to get it out.

Today is Valentine's Day so I took a balloon to Dan and a box of chocolates to the nurses. I didn't think Dan would be interested in the chocolates since he's still on a feeding tube. They will do a swallow eval in a couple of days and determine if he can eat orally. I don't think it'll be a problem at all.

When I walked in his room this morning he was trying to talk to a nurse but it was rather whinny sounding and difficult to understand. After some ice chips his voice settled a little deeper but it wasn't long before it was an octave higher again. All in time.

Laura and Mark came by to see Dan this morning before heading back to Arizona. We will miss them and they were so kind to come up. Elizabeth and James also headed back to Tacoma this morning. We haven't talked with them but I'm hoping they are about home by now. Will and Jenni may stay on for a few more days. Will wanted to be sure that someone was with Dan if I had to go home. We'll let them know of our plans tomorrow morning. Everyone has mentioned how impressed they've been with all the children and their attentiveness towards Dan. What can you say except that they are wonderful children and love their father very much.

He was rather restless today. I think he tried to say that he wanted to go home or at least go somewhere else which is very reasonable since he's been in that bed on his back for the past 11 days. However, he doesn't seem to remember any of it. He told me once, "I don't understand" and then he looked at the room around him and I figured he didn't understand why he was here. When I asked him that he said, "Ya, why?" I told him a little bit but he wasn't getting it so we went way simple and said, "Because you are sick and the Drs. here can help you." Before we came in the Drs. had asked him what year it is and he must have told them 2004. At least that's what they told us when we got there. I'm sure there will be lots of confusion for a while. Hopefully, he'll be able to process things again soon.

He does seem to understand directions involving concepts at a limited level and he can answer simple questions. At times he reminds me of a young child of 4 or 5 years of age.

After a while there, the nurses needed to work with him so Seth and I left and went down to Little America for their Sunday lunch specials. Jutta suggested it so we thought we'd try it out. It was a very nice, relaxing lunch and then back to the hospital. Kelly and Julia had stopped by and visited with Dan and then we got to visit with them in the hallway for a little while. Will and Jenni also stopped by so that was fun, too.

Seth and I sat with Dan and tried to keep him covered up and his hands away from his feeding tube. When he fell asleep he was breathing through his mouth and his respiration rate really dropped. We had to put the face mask back on him and that woke him up. Oh well, we tried.

The drs. were talking about him leaving MICU today or tomorrow. His vitals are stable but he still is at risk so they are trying to find a "sitter". That is a nurse that they can hire to "sit" with Dan full time. They don't dare sent him to another unit without that kind of care. But, they might have to if there is a need for the ICU bed that he's in right now. When we left around 9:00 they hadn't found someone yet but thought maybe in the morning. I'm glad he's finally to the point be maybe leaving the MCIU but I'm also scared of where he'll be and what will happen now.

They're telling me that on Tuesday or Wednesday the neurologist with do an assessment and the Speech Dept. will do a swallowing eval for him. I've told them a number of times that I want Dan to have his follow up care with the SL VA instead of the Pocatello VA. He just needs a good Mental Health Dr. and a good Neurologist for the Parkinson's. We will drive to SL whenever they say if we can get the kind of care he needs.

I'm hoping after the evaluations we will have a better picture of what Dan will need when he is released. I honestly don't know what that will entail but I'm hopeful that we will find out soon.

Gracie and her friend Steven came up to see Dan around 8:00 and a couple of Elders from the Church stopped by to give him a blessing. It was a nice way to end a pretty hectic day.

We drove back to Orem and visited a little with Kristi and the kids and then came on over to our room for the night. I booked two more nights here since we will be staying until the evals are done. Then we'll have to decide what to do after that.

Dan may be having a hard time waking up but I think that I'll have a real easy time going to sleep tonight. I'm bushed!

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