Wednesday, January 30, 2008

In Which Your Faithful Narrator Gives Props to 3rd Worst

I have a friend, we've been friends for going on, I think seven years. We've met twice, I think. But we've been reading each other for almost seven years. Okay, maybe we met only once. No, I think its been twice. Yes, indeed, twice. Once in her home town and once we met a movie theatre to see a movie that was filmed partially in her hometown. Her hometown is cool. Nice place, her hometown. Though, she'd kill me if I told you were her hometown was and I don't want to that to happen because if that did happen I wouldn't be able to pollute cyberspace with my incessant "In Which Your Faithful Narrator..." posts and the world just be a sadder place. So, for world peace and happiness, I will not divulge the location of 3rdWorst's hometown.

Now then, with that being said (a phrase my store manager uses often) I must commence with the propage for 3rdWorst. In order to truly understand and comprehend the propage I'm about to give you must first read this entry. I'll wait. Really, I will. Come back when you're finished (please note the proper grammar in that statement, people are finished, turkeys are done). Okay, ready for the propage?

I dedicate these two youtube vidoes to 3rdworsts nerdiness, geekiness, and basic smartypantsness...

Okay, that one is kind of fun. Then there's this one. I shall call this the
Necessary Roughness Propage (the dude flies across the country alot). And, since this propage is, in fact in celebration of 3rdworsts nerdygeekinesssmartypantsness, we should probably should call this the Nerdfighter Award. All I have to say is this: where was security? Hello... that's neither here nor there: on with the second propage!

Friday, January 25, 2008

In Which Your Faithful Narrator Dips His Big Toe Into the Pool of "Normalcy

It felt good to type that title. It really did. I know that the "In Which Your Faithful Narrator..." titles annoy some, but for some reason I really like using them, I'm not exactly sure why, but I do.

Things have come back to normal, for the most part. My father is safely tucked into a rehabilitation center. He is happy and anxious to get going. I think he is relieved that he came through as well as he did and any damage has been "minimal." The power of prayer is evident in his recovery, I firmly believe that. He had his first good shower since Friday and he looked even better after that. His hair was combed and he had on good clean clothes. He was, for lack of a better term, a happy guy.

This incident has made me pause and think about my own life. I don't mean in regards to dying or anything like that, but how I want to live it. Where I want to live, etc. Since I am an only child, the responsibility falls on me. I'm not angry or upset about that, its just a fact that I have come to accept. As a result of this I have to weigh geography and distance in any decision I might make about applying for and taking a library job. I don't/can't go too far away. I don't know when something like this might happen again.

After the excitement of this past week, I look forward to a continued return to normalcy. That, and a nice cold beer.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dad is officially out of the hospital and now in a rehabilitation center. It is a very nice place, with good nurses, and people. He was released from the hospital about noon time on Thursday and came bundled up in a wheelchair. He looked a bit like a gypsy with a heavy blanket over his head and another one over his lap. He was holding the little radio we took up to him on his lap. He had six days growth beard and hospital johnnies on. He looked like he needed a good scrubbing.

He was able to clean himself up a bit. He washed his face, shaved (with an electric razor, he is on a blood thinner). He combed his, brushed his teeth, and then changed from his johnnies into a pair of flannel pj bottoms and t-shirt. He was able to do it all himself. I helped him a bit with shaving and had to help get one of his feet into the right pant hole, but other than that, he was able to dress and clean himself just fine.

He seems to be able feed himself. There is a little question about his swallowing capabilities, but I think if there is an issue there it is but a small one. He had a therapist come in and do an evaluation this afternoon shortly after he got there. His strength is good, he grip and push, and pull pretty well. His balance was good, too. He stood for about five mintues with no problem. He said he was tired, but that's expected after the ordeal he has been through.

His speech is slightly slurred, but not too bad. I have to tell the folks around him that he does in fact have a Brooklyn accent so its not all slurring! (lol).

I popped in a little while ago, after dinner, and he was sitting in his wheel chair, with his feet on the bed watching the news. He was in good spirits and ready to get to work. I expect him to be there for about a week or so.

The Ernie we have today is so much different than the Ernie we were dealing with over the weekend, particularly on Monday night. He was combative and halucinatory. He kept thinking he was in Pittsburgh and in Rockefeller Center circa 1950. The funny thing is that he knew he was hallucinating and tried his hardest to get himself grounded. He started going through "facts" that he knew: "world war 2 went from 1939-1945," "Hitler, the president, I mean the Dictator, was defeated," "George Bush is the president," "Hillary Clinton is running against him" (okay, he kind of got that one wrong, but he got the gist, if you will.

As I said earlier, the rehabilitation center is good and well staffed. It is fairly new, too, I don't think it is more than three years old. Its warm, which is good since it is roughly 7 degrees outside right now and clean.
my dad is being released from the hospital sometime today. he will be going to a rehab facility for a while, how long? i'm not sure, but i have a feeling it won't be too terribly long. he is ready to get out, of course. we saw him yesterday and he was out of bed sitting in a chair listening to the bible on tape. he was able to feed himself pretty well yesterday. he still has a little slurring of speech, but not too bad. he can walk okay. he is lucid and conversational, in short, it looks a whole hell of a lot better than it did monday night.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

We expect my dad to be released from the hospital tomorrow. That sentence feels so good to type. He will be released and transferred to a rehabilitation center. We aren't sure how long he will be there, but I assume it won't be for very long. The last two days have been amazing. Yesterday morning he had a hard time eating, so I had to help him by feeding him. Last night he was able to feed himself a little better, his range of motion was a bit shakey, but he at least got the food (speghetti) into mouth with difficulty, but it was there. Today for lunch he had no problems. He was a bit slow, but more decisive. His speech is slightly slurred. His Brooklyn accent covers some of it, but not all. It sounds like his tongue is just a bit too heavy for him. He can walk and he doesn't need much help. He can lift himself in bed. I feel like I've been watching a miracle in progress. The outward signs look good. I'm not really sure if his comprehension and/or short/long term memory have been affected. I guess we'll see in the weeks to come.

He is excited about the next step because that brings him that much closer to coming home.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for my dad's recovery, but also for myself and my mom.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

i just called the hospital to find out how my dad was doing. i didn't go up to spend the night this evening. we didn't get any frantic calls from the nurse telling us that he was crazy. i didn't hear any distraught voice begging for me to come up and help him, that's what i heard last night. i talked to his nurse just now and she said "are you the one who was here last night?" i said i was. she said simply "he's a totally different person tonight." i about cried.

i have never seen my dad the way i saw him last night: scared, out of it, combative, wimpering (at times). i was seriously afraid that his stroke had really affected his emotional center in his brain. but, and i think i wrote about this in my last post, i started to look at what my dad needed. he sleeps on his right side. he had been tethered to his bed with bed restraits because he kept wanting to get out of bed. he wasn't able to get good sleep because he doesn't sleep on his back. he can doze, but not sleep. so i carefully took off his restraints and then i realized that his bed was at an angle. his head was higher than his body. he couldn't get comfortable. so, i lowered his bed so he was laying down completely. with in minutes he was asleep. and quickly was in a deep sleep. my dad snores, but when he is really tired he breethes very deep. i mean from his diaphram deep. he doesn't breathe so much as suck in air. i think he breathes through his nose out of his mouth. his whole chest cavity raises when he breathes like that. its actually a bit frightening.

he slept for two hours and had to go the bathroom. that was the first big test of the night. he woke up, still scared. he still didn't know where he was. it was frustrating because i had to get a nurse to unhook him from his iv. get him to the bathroom, then hook him back up and let him sleep. it took me two times of doing this before i realized something: at home he gets out of bed on the right side. my mom's side of the bed is on the left. his iv was on the left of his bed, but he kept getting out of bed on the right. that was causing problems and confusion, so, before he went to bed after a "bathroom break" i made sure to put the iv holder on the right side of the bed. that helped immeasurably. it made life much easier. because of his condition he was wearing adult diapers. this was kind of tough to deal with on a few levels, i won't go into those, but i'm sure you can figure them out. but they were also good because in his half-sleep mind, he was pushing down and pulling up pajama bottoms.

everytime he got back into bed, he would go into a deep sleep. everytime he woke up to go to the bathroom he was a little easier to handle. also, something i learned yesterday was this: urinary tract infections can cause older people to become combative and at times disoriented. he had for the first two days a cathater. that can casue a UTI. i mentioned that to the nurse and they were going to check it. i don't know if they gave him anything, but as the night progressed and he used the bathroom, i would check the water to see what was there. it got clearer and clearer as the night went on. so whatever was going on in the part of his body had cleared up nicely.

he continued to sleep deeply. how deep asleep was he? at about 0600 or so, he had not one, but two nurses do something. one took blood and checked his blood pressure. another gave him a shot. he didn't stir or wakeup either time.

he was lucid all day. making jokes. answering questions and even asking questions. he was "there" if you know what i mean. he wasn't seeing halucinations or anything at all. he was, in his words "bored." i'll take that. really, i will.

earlier in the day he called home, he asked us to bring a radio and bible tapes to listen to. so we did. the nurse said that he has been listening to the tapes one by one this evening. he was sitting in a chair by his bed quietly listening. when she gave me this report, i just lowered my head on to my arms and thanked God. a weight lifted.

we have already gotten the next phase set up. he will be going to a rehabilitation center for a while. there are a few things he needs to work on, mainly his fine motor skills. speaking of fine motorskills, he was able to feed himself this evening. he was able to put fork in mouth. that's a big deal, too. he'd been having problems with that the last day or two.

its been amazing to watch the brain reset itself. that's what its been doing. and i'm pretty sure that the deep sleep he was able to get last night was one of the big keys. hopefully he'll be able to get a good night's sleep tonight and he'll be that much better tomorrow. i told the nurse that if she needs me to come up there to call and i'll be there as soon as i can.

this has been an adventure i don't want to soon repeat.

Monday, January 21, 2008

we got a call this morning at 0900. it was the hospital. the doctor that admitted my dad to the hospital called to ask us a quesiton: was he, my dad, an alcoholic? they wanted to make sure that they weren't dealing with someone going through alcohol withdrawl. dad was very belligerent and thrashed around a lot last night. it sounds like he was cussing a lot, too. he wants to come home. so they have him in bed restraints.

we saw him this morning, but he was asleep, we didn't want to wake him up. my mom and i think he probably needs some good sleep because he hasn't had a good night's sleep since this all went down.

the biggest thing right now, it seems is this: he doesn't know where he is. today he thought he was in coney island on the subway train. he's not, he's in a hospital in beech grove. we talked to the nurse who was caring for him this evening and she said that he has been a model patient, happy, cooperative, and was eating.

my mom and i did something today that i have dreaded i'd have to do someday. we went and looked at rehabilitation centers that have long term care facilities, in short: nursing homes. we know that we can't take care of him that way he'll need to be taken care when he is first released from the hospital. i have to work and my mom just isn't strong enough to do it all by herself. and i'm pretty sure that i'd be a nervous wreck. we looked at three places today and we found two that we really liked.

we went to see my dad this evening; he was asleep, again, but he woke up and saw us. he knows who we are. he had to go to the bathroom so we got his nurse to help him. he wanted his book that we brought for him, part of me wonders if its not a "security blanket" issue for him right: having a book nearby. i don't know, i guess we'll see.

this is very hard. so very hard.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

this evening we went to see my dad. he was watching the football game. he seemed to be in good spirits and was fairly lucid. we were able to have a good conversation with him, he was still a bit confused about somethings, but he seems to be on the mend, i guess. i think now, he just needs intellectual stimulation. the more he talks and thinks the better he seems to be. the cathator was taken out today, so i'm sure he is much more comfortable. he was able to lift himself into a better position in his bed using handle that hung from a bar above his bed. i think tomorrow they start physical therapy and occupational therapy. he has to get his strenght on his right side back. i felt much better after i left this evening than i did last night. his color was very good and his eyes were focused (i'm sure it helped we had brought his glasses). he's still not a hundred percent sure where he is, but i think he's gotten it a bit better than before.

the doctor said that they had found a bloodclot in his heart and they think that part of it might have broken off and moved to his brain and that is what caused the "stroke." he is on blood thinner right now, cummadin, to help with the blood clot. he had some chest pains this morning, but those went away.

he is in good spirits.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

i don't know how describe my father's condition right now. he is alert. he is awake. he has movement in his arms and legs. the grip on his right hand is strong. he seems to have his gross motor skills, but his fine motor skills seem to be affected-- i think. also his memory seems to be addled, but i'm not sure if that is because of the incident, or because of everything that is going around him. he's very tired. we are trying to get him to relax, but he gets excited when we get there. he keeps trying to get out of bed (i sort of take that as a good sign) so the nurses have put a bed alarm on so they can keep track of him. he can stand, with help, so i take that as a good sign, too. there is going to be physical therapy involved, i'm sure, but i don't much more than that. its the weekend, so there aren't many doctors around, obviously its bad form to get sick on the weekend and need a doctor. the nurses don't know much because they aren't told much. dad can't really tell us what's happening because i either doesn't know, doesn't comprehend, or just doesn't understand, or maybe a combination of all three.

he is conversant, but muddled. he asks about things, but then forgets things, too. when he found out how cold it was going to be tomorrow, he stated: "well, i won't be going to church tomorrow. i can't go out in this kind of weather." he also worried that the heat was on at home for "the cats." he asked if emma missed him. i told both she and woody did. he smiled at that. he wants his glasses, but he hasn't asked for a book, yet. that's a little disconcerting. i may take a book tomorrow and see if he wants it. just to test. books are very important to him. i can't stress that enough. books are his life. seriously.

his heart is good. his vital signs are fine. he looks good, a slight lilt of the right side, but nothing too bad. he has decent color, he's eating, but he started to hack like he was going to throw up while he at. he ate, but i fed him. he wasn't too sure what the fork and spoon were for. he couldn't quite get them to work properly. i helped, i didn't mind.

i'm not going to lie. i've found myself, today, asking what will i do? i can't quite my job and stay home and take care of him, as much as i want to. i'm not going worry about that right now. when that bridge comes, i'll cross it. this when my faith comes into play. i have to believe that God will be with me, my mom, and my dad in the next few days and weeks. there will be a lot of adjustment to make.

so, he's doing well. considering. the journey continues.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Stroke. That's a word one never wants to hear. Its a bad word, a scary word. A word that brings consequences. A word that changes lives. That word was used today on my father. He has had, it is thought, a "small" stroke. I find that word "small" to be no consolation at all.

I got a call from my mom sometime this afternoon, I'm not really sure what time it was. I was at home, eating lunch. Maybe about 130, or so. She said that my dad was sick, he was vomiting in the car and he was listless. She wanted to come quickly, they were in the parking lot of Walmart. I hung up and ran to the car. There was no such thing as a stop sign. It took me about ten minutes to get there. She wouldn't call the ambulance. I got to Walmart and drove my parents' car to the hospital all the while asking my dad questions, trying to keep him awake. He answered them, somewhat. He vomited some more. I have a natural gag reflex when I'm any where near vomit. I had to do my best not to join him.

I got to the hospital and ran to the doors, went in, ran to the desk and told the attendent I needed help right away. My dad. In the car. Sick. Hurry. Two nurses came out. When they saw he had gotten sick on himself the went back and got gloves. One of the got a wheelchair. Another nurse came out. They had to work carefully and together to get him out of the car. One pulled while the other pushed. His right side seemed to be affected. They got him the ER.

He could talk, but not he was out of it. He didn't have much strength on his right side.

He improved, a bit. He can move his right side, he can smile, lift his arms, and push his feet. His speech seems to be a bit slurred.

They admitted him, of course, but there aren't any beds available. He will be spending the night in the ER as they wait for a bed. The nurse sent us home. There isn't anything we can do right now, but wait and pray at home.

Friday, January 11, 2008

In Which Your Faithful Narrator Sets a Goal and Almost Gets Schnookered

Here's a goal of mine: to get through a month without getting an overdraft fee on my checking account. I think if I can do that, I'll be truly happy and content. For some reason, I go stupid when it comes to bankbook management. My ultimate goal is to have my financial world in some kind of nice neat package by the end of the year. I don't mean be out of debt, that's going to take a while, but I just want to have a handle on it. I checked my credit score the other day. It was better than I thought it was, but it's gotta get better, its in the high 600's.

I got a phishy email the other day, that is, I got an email from Bank of America telling me that my account had been blocked because of too many improper log ons. Funny thing is this: I haven't had a Bank of America account since last August. So, I called the Bank of America customer service line and told them about it. They told me it was a rogue email and to ignore it and to forward them the email. Here's the scary part, I almost fell for it. I actually started to fill in the information they asked for, I got cold feet when it came to the Social Security Number. It just felt wrong so I stopped and closed the email and then called Bank of America.

Sometimes its just too hard to keep track of everything. Why can't it be just a bit easier? I mean, really!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

In Which Your Faithful Narrator Finds His Mellow

I enjoy the soft light of a candle burning. There is something very relaxing and comforting to it. The subtle smell of burned carbon from the match, lingers. Emma watches the flame dance from her perch above my computer. A little red dot is in each eye, as the flame reflects. Jazz flows softly from my cd player. My feet and legs hurt from an eight hours shift of bookpushing. I want sleep, but I'm too wound up. I don't have caffine in my system, its the retail, its tough to sleep after a full shift of retail. I yawn, that's a good sign. A couple more of those and I'll be giving high fives to the Sandman. My window is open, cool air flows through. No wind, not even a breeze. I relax a little more, unwind find some peace. My feet tingle and talk to my calves. My calves relay the message.

Friday, January 04, 2008

In Which Your Faithful Narrator Gets Pimped by Herman Otten

I was leaving for work this afternoon. I was headed to the law library when my cell phone rang. It was Rev. Wookie, from New Jersey, a friend of mine from my "glorious time" at the, as I like to call it (for no particular reason) The Big House, in St. Louis. Its unusual for Rev. Wookie to call me, not unheard of, but a bit unusual. When he does call there is usually a good reason behind it. It more often than not has something to do with some idiocy that LCMS has done. So, when I answered the phone he said "Hey, Pnut, how's it feel be one of Herman Otten's favorite blogs?"

Naturally, I was a bit taken aback. I doubt very seriously that Herman Otten has ever read this blog and, if he has, I'm sure he probably didn't like what he read. What I assume is this: he found a blog roll of some sort of another, did some cuttin and pastin and published it in his little rag of a newspaper: the "Christian News."

Here's what House, M. Div has to say about Rev. Otten. I told my dad that I had gotten pimped by Otten's newspaper and he asked, in a somewhat concerned voice: "did he use your name?" No, just my blog name.

Now, I'm not tooting my horn because this blog was listed amongst others according to Rev. Wookie. I have to take his word for it because I haven't seen a copy of the Christian News since I left the seminary. Though, I do remember reading it when I was there because I needed something to chuckle over.

So, Lutheran bloggers, be quick! Find out if you, too, are a part of the Otten Faves. *chuckle* a dubious honor, for sure.