Easter was a little different this year.  More depressing than previous ones though.  First of all, my dad is now in a nursing home.  He is very negative on nursing homes, so we had to assure him that if he can get better with the rehab, and get to walking on his own again without the risk of falling, then he can go home.  The doctor isn’t so sure, but who knows, miracles can happen.  He went into the home straight from the hospital on Saturday.  Sunday night I got a call from the nursing home–he tried to go to the bathroom on his own again already, bare feet, and fell again.  An aide was supposedly helping him walk back from the bathroom when he fell though, and he landed on his butt, so there was no injury.  Now he’s wired with an alarm.  Any attempt to get up o his own, and everyone instantly knows about it with a shriek.

Sandy had already bought everything for a big Easter dinner at my dad’s, so she still cooked over at his house and Kevin, Matt, Sandy and I had a wonderful Easter Feast there.  Afterward she brought a nice Easter dinner plate to my dad at the nursing home.

Sandy and Kevin decorated eggs Easter Eve, and I took a few pictures.  The kids got their Easter baskets Easter morning, and we took a few photos and a little video.  Kevin got the Narnia movie in his basket, and he’s already watched it at least 3 times, as expected.

Kevin’s off school for spring break and enjoying himself.  Matt’s out of town for a couple days doing some testing and getting a complete physical for his military recruitment.  He’s going in the Army.  He’s be doing his Basic Training this summer, and he gets work experience credit toward his high school diploma if all goes well.  We’re rooting for him, whether he believes it or not.  If this is what he wants to do, more power to him.  Defending your country is not to be taken lightly.

Dad’s Fall

My dad had another fall yesterday. Well, either a fall or a collapse, we’re not real sure at this point. I was on a computer job when I got a call on my cell phone from my brother. He said my dad was just taken to the hospital by ambulance. He had fallen to the floor while walking toward the front door. My brother heard the loud thump and ran downstairs and found him. He was initially unresponsive, so Clayton called 911. At some point he was a little bit conscious, apparently, but my brother said he was talking incoherently, and he couldn’t understand anything he was saying.

I called the hospital to get hold of Sandy, and I headed to the hospital shortly after that. When I got there he was still in the E.R., sedated, but woke up a few times while in the emergency room. The nurse asked him who I was and he didn’t know the first couple times. As the medication wore off and he came around more, he evenually recognized Sandy and I as who we were, which was a great relief.

They did a CT scan and at this point they say he may have had some “mini strokes” in the past and that this could have ongoing for some time, based on the look of the scan. This explains a lot, since Sandy and I have been concerned lately about his forgetfulness and some loss of memory we’ve noticed in him, as well as more and more weakness. He just doesn’t have much energy at all lately, and if he’s not forced to get up, get dressed and out of bed, he’ll just lay there all day without getting up at all.

They also tried to do a lumbar puncture on him, but were unable to get the needle in, so they gave up. The doctor said it was “like a rock” and they couldn’t get the needle in, so they gave up. They wanted to see if he might have menengitis, but they ended up just giving him the antibiotics for it just in case he had it anyway. He has been admitted, and he’ll be spending a few days in the hospital at the least. He has been getting steadily weaker and weaker over the past several weeks, and very unsteady on his feet. He wasn’t supposed to be walking in the house without someone helping him, so we don’t know why he was walking around without help.

Sandy had recently been calling visiting nurses and trying to get an aide to come in for a few hours a day a few days a week in the mornings to get him washed up, dressed, and fed and maybe even a little exercise. We found a good aide with a lot of experience the other day, and we had her scheduled to start next Monday. Unfortunately that’ll probably have to wait now. At this point we’re not even sure what’s going to happen after the hospital stay. It’s just wait and see at this point.

A hard lesson for an 8-year-old

Kevin had a short day at school Friday and no after-school program, so we decided to go to the museum and the park, two of his favorite places.  The museum was nice, but we went a bit soon since last time, so not much had changed.  They change the second-floor collections often, but those were still mostly the same things we saw last time.  This isn’t exactly a bad thing, it just means we get to spend more time looking at details, reading more about the things we see, and basically learning more.  We took in a lot of the civil war paintings this time–something we largely overlooked in the past””and also learned more about native Americans, their tools and weapons, and saw some huge (live!) giant millipedes from Africa.  Kevin even found some “hidden” cabinets that you can open to reveal lots of artifacts he had never seen before.

Before we left, we visited the gift shop as we always do.  Kevin still loves getting a plaster dinosaur egg now and then and spending hours excavating the egg with the small pick and brush included with it.  Each eggs holds a hand-painted ceramic dinosaur.  He has a collection of 5 of the dinosaurs now.  Since the first one, we have reminded him many times that they are fragile, but they look so much like just another dinosaur toy that he plays with them.  I’ve already had to repair 3 of them, supergluing legs and tails that have broken off.  Anyway, along with the dinosaur egg he also wanted one of those wooden animals with the spring-loaded thumb-button underneath them.  They’re assembled with strings attached to the spring, so when you push the button underneath up the string loosen and the animal appears to collapse, or “dance” with repeated pushing and releasing of the spring.

After the museum we went to the park for a short time and then went home.  On the ride home Kevin said “Dad, my toy broke!”.  I checked it when we got home and sure enough a string had broken and one whole leg had fallen off””4 pieces in all””leaving him with a 3-legged animal.  I couldn’t repair it myself after trying several times last night, so I left it for Sandy to try to fix.  This morning he played with his 3-legged animal some more and the head fell off.  He refuses to let me throw it away though, wanting to wait to see if Sandy can fix it for him.  And so it waits.

This morning he spent over 4 hours with his latest one and he was very excited to finish it.  We washed the remaining plaster powder from it and he was all grins.  Shortly after this he was dancing around in the dining room with it when he said “ooopsie!” and it hit the floor with a crunch.  The tail and one leg had broken off and flew across the floor.  He found the leg and it looks like another clean break, so I could probably repair it easily.  But he’s still searching for the tail.  Without the tail it’s pretty pointless to repair it at all.  He’s still searching the area, and neither of us can figure out where the heck it could have went that we can’t find.  He’s searching for it right now, refusing to give up.  So basically, all of his little treasures from this weekend were a total loss.  He’s pretty sad right now, but still searching.

Update:  It’s about 45 minutes after writing that last paragraph and Kevin has found the tail!  Using superglue I have performed emergency dinosaur surgery, reattaching his tail and leg.  He is resting well now, and we expect a full recovery.  Whew.  I guess it wasn’t a total loss after all.  We’ll see how he holds up after recovery.  Kevin is now relieved, glad to have one trinket intact, and I think he might even be willing to give up on the three-legged headless spring-loaded animal now and put him to rest.  We’ll see.