(This is the latest in an on-going series of reports
by Kerry Haines Derr on the recovery of her father, Coach George Haines, from a severe stroke two months ago.)
HELLO well wishers,
It has been a while since I last wrote to update you on Dad, but here comes the latest. We had a bit of a setback last week. Dad did, in fact, come home from the rehab facility, but 4-5 days later we were in the emergency room at Kaiser. He had non-specific complaints.
The doctors did all the scans, blood work, and X-rays and the only thing that could be found was a small bit of "striations" on the lungs, which could be the pre-cursor to pneumonia. We were able to get Dad admitted to the hospital for a quick stay. Once in the hospital, we were greeted by the doctor who cared for him after the stroke. She is a fantastic M.D. and she really helped get some additional meds that will provide Dad with better rest. We wish we could have access to her full time but she does not do clinic work.
What we learned in the 4-5 days that he was home was that Dad needed far more assistance than Mom could physically provide even with a healthcare provider in attendance. So, Dad is now in an assisted living community where there are 24-hour attendants, structured activities, and residents with whom he can visit. Let me tell you that the assisted living community is really very nice; it certainly exceeded anything that I had ever seen before.
As you can imagine, we are all extremely disappointed with this turn of events. Dad is very disappointed, as he worked so hard to get home and it didn't happen. Our hearts burn daily because of the disappointment. It was a difficult transition for Dad but it seems to improve daily.
He is getting physical therapy 3 days a week at his residence. He will have occupational therapy and speech therapy 2-3 days a week too. We still hold out hope that he can return home. We tell him this is a transition, in the hope that he will not give up. The P.T. at this point is going to focus on getting him to walk with a walker or cane without assistance. That's a tall order.
Mom is adjusting to this new routine. She spends a large part of her time at the assisted living residence helping Dad adjust. She is beginning to sleep at night again. We are keeping a close eye on her, though. She doesn't always offer up what she thinks, so we have to observe and probe. We watch closely so that she doesn't deteriorate from this situation.
I know this news will be troubling for you all, but let's be positive. Keep those wonderful cards and letters coming. Dad so enjoys opening them. I will continue to keep you updated. To all who e-mail, thank you. I am sorry that I can't respond to each one, but we do appreciate your concern and kind thoughts.
To those who may want to visit Dad, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will set something up.
Thank you all,
Kerry Haines Derr