Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Behind the scenes....

It has been a while since I blogged. Dad's progress since his skull piece was replaced has continued, as many said that it would. Unfortunately my dad thinks he should be further along than what he is.  You know how sometimes we don't see the progress we have made but other people can?  We see how much he is doing and has done and yet he thinks its just too hard and he should be further along. Yesterday he seemed a little discouraged and I got him up and we went for a walk.  He didn't seem like himself.  Last night was rough.  He is losing the fighter spirit.  That can't happen!  He made it through the night, thanks to my incredible mom.  You know I sit back and think sometimes (well all the time really) and I reflect on just everything.  I can honestly say that when I think back to him going in for the surgery on November 21st  and the days that followed, and the many doctors in and out, mom kinda gave us no option but to believe the best.  She is the one who would correct the doctors and when they would say, 'if his right side comes back it might take a year' and she would follow up their 'if' with 'when'.  She would go in the little meeting room to talk with the doctor after surgeries, by herself.  I'm not sure if that was on purpose or just how it worked out.  Even though we are all adult children, its like she was shielding us from as much pain as she could.  I guess that's just a mothers love.  Somewhere in the mix of my thinking though, I started wondering, who is shielding her from the hurt?  Everything is raw and most of the doctors have definitely given her the worst case scenario.  As hard as it has been on all of us, I can't even begin grasp the magnitude of the impact this has had on her.  She gets up every day and goes to work.  She keeps pushing.  She keeps believing. She keeps encouraging my dad.  

Anyways - yesterday was a walk and my sister also had him making faces while looking at the phone.  Believe it or not that is part of speech therapy. Making the faces and the sounds with the lips will help bring back the muscle in his face.  So the next time you make a silly face for a picture - just know that for some people that takes great concentration.  
Today I went to pick up my dad around 9:15.  I told him we would go see Uncle Jay today and when I got there and got in the door he looked at me and said, "I'm ready."  I have to say, we must have some miracle blood that runs in our family or something....my uncle was in a car accident on October 23, it was bad.  He was in taking to Shands trauma with two collapsed lungs, shattered ribs, broken shoulder and leg. Fevers, infections, cardiac arrest. He spent a good while in the ICU and is still in the hospital, in a transitional care unit. There were many times that my dad would call me in tears because he didn't know if his brother would pull through.  None of us knew.  Somehow he did, and he will tell you, well he told me today that God has a plan for him and my dad and that for some reason he is still around.  He was encouraging to my dad.  Its beyond me to think that back in November we didn't know if either one of these guys would make it through.  Yet today they were encouraging each other.  My uncle is so proud of my dad and when his buddies would come say hi to him in rehab he would always introduce my dad.  It was sweet to see.  They understand each other so well. 

On our way back from Shands he got his next 'assignment' for the day - here is a grocery list - lets go shopping!  I needed a few things from Walmart.  While we were there I got him to push the cart, mostly he did this with his left arm but I had him put his right hand on the handle to get a feel for it.  He had to find the milk and the cheese and the peanut butter and the broccoli....what a combination?!  I told him his reward was a bag of chips and some dip!  I have been told that he will do things for me that he won't do for others.  I will that out to his advantage....and help him progress on this journey. When it was time to check out, I had him find the barcode and scan the items and place them in the bag.  EVERYTHING is a a re-learning experience for him.  I enjoyed the time we had together.  When we came home, he had a little snack and rested for a bit before having lunch.  In the afternoon we worked on matching letters and saying what each letter is.  We also walked outside and enjoyed the warm weather.
I have included a video to give of his latest achievement.   

 I close this blog tonight, asking you all to really lift him and my family in prayer.  I try to highlight all that we do in a day when I do blog, and I try to show his improvements and what he is doing and keep it positive.  But in reality, every day is challenging.  Today the brakes on the truck sounded funny, the truck needs some work and is no longer safe to drive. This is one of those little reality checks for me.  If none of this had happened, we could easily go to him and ask what was wrong.  He could tell us and fix it and we would be on with our day.  But who do you trust with getting work done on your vehicle when he has always been the one to do it?  It feels like a slap in the face - your dad had a stroke - he is not currently able to diagnose nor fix the problem.  It doesn't make me sad that he can't fix it right now, it makes me sad to think about how much life has changed. My dad seemed really discouraged all day, he gets this certain look in his eyes and kinda just stares. We try to keep him busy when he is feeling like that but sometimes he just flat out refuses to do anything.  It takes my mom encouraging him and sometimes just pleading with him to keep trying.  Tonight was rough.  He is struggling.  He is frustrated.  He is sad.  He is discouraged.  He doesn't want to keep going like this. As strange as it seems he and I are oddly connected.  I face my own struggles, just like the next person.  Somehow we can both be struggling, not know it and find out later that we were both having the same thoughts and feelings at almost the same exact time.  There is always more than what meets the eye.  There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes.  Be gentle with those you meet and be gentle with the words you use.  And most importantly N-E-V-E-R walk out on somebody.  Even if you can't relate or fully grasp the extent of their pain, the worst thing you can do is say nothing or back away.  I love my dad so much.  I love my mom so much.  They are both fighters. 


Kim Lahaie Day said...

What a good reminder for us to be persistent when others need us, and consistent, especially when it comes to hangin' in there!

Rachel Van Deusen said...

Nonie Austin Marasco --Days like this make the better days more special. I think of how long your days must be. Your blog covers the highlights, but you are filling every minute of your day doing something to encourage, motivate and strengthen your dad. You can only do so much Rachel and I am so impressed with how much you get done. You have encouraged me just by your words. Hang in there girl.💕