07 January 2007

My Dad's Home!

My Dad's back home again for the first time since his stroke on 11 December.

He was discharged from the hospital on 23 December and he spent the past 2 weeks at Helen Hayes Hospital doing rehab. I can't say enough good things about that facility and their wonderful staff. Special thanks to Sharon, his speech therapist (and favorite), as well as Michelle and Katie (PT and OT).

His recovery has been quite remarkable, but then again he's a very motivated guy ;-) Not sure if I've mentioned this, but at age 82 he had still been working in addition to other activities such as the Volunteer Fire Department, Republican Club, Board of Adjustment, etc., etc.

Physcially he's pretty much as good as ever. The coordination of his right hand is almost back to normal. I asked him to write the numbers 1 - 10 on a piece of paper last night, which we compared with the same thing done in the hospital 2 weeks ago. I wanted him to see the dramatic improvement as a motivational exercise. Too bad we don't have the slip of paper with his first "handwriting" just after the stroke, which was nothing more than a few meaningless squiggly lines.

The ongoing challenge is speech/cognitive ability. The mind is an amazingly complex thing, and there's so many individual wires that can get crossed. For example, when we say the letter F and ask him to write it, he says "S" and writes "S". We're like, "no, F", and he says "yeah, that's what I said - S." Most other letters are no problem at all!

Last night we discussed the changes of command at CENTCOM and in Iraq, and he had some difficulty pronouncing the names right. I suppose Petraeus is not the most common name in the world, and it certainly doesn't help when you have to say Abazaid in the same sentence. Names are difficult for him but he was able to rattle off their respective backgrounds.

Lots of logistics involved in his recovery now, particularly transportation. He's taking Coumadin, so needs to have his blood checked twice a week. Plus other doctors' appointments and 8-10 therapy sessions per week.

But none of that matters. It's so great to have him home.

Thank you all for your concern, well wishes, and prayers.

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