Bear with me as I've lost all track of time here, spending days and nights at Dad's bedside. About a month ago, or longer, life changed for him (as it did for us, his kids and grandkids) as he stood in the parking lot of Home Depot, probably his favorite place to shop. At 85 he's still building his backyard oasis in the desert--an outdoor kitchen, bird aviary, was thinking of a fish pond, and repainting the fence in what is apparantly his favorite color, green.
What Happened: But in that parking lot, next to his car, Dad suddenly doubled over and began to throw up what looked like blood, and he collapsed. An off-duty fireman (one we're still trying to locate) came to his rescue and called 911. Other men stopped their cars and came to his aid.
His stroke was the big one and they told us to gather the family to say goodbye. But God and Dad had other plans, though his condition seemed irreversable--he could not speak, could not see, had no comprehension of any sort, could not swallow, could not walk, or make any voluntary movement.
He was medivac/ed from Loma Linda Murietta to Loma Linda University Medical Center in Redlands. Nurses said he was doing so much better, we didn't see it. From Redlands, about 3 or 4 days later he was transported to Kaiser in Moreno Valley.
The Bills: Of course the bills started piling up yet we knew God would provide. That copayment is a bear! But Kaiser people are still working on our behalf to see if we can make it disappear. Only God knows (The ambulance and transport-to-his-doctor-appointments bills are also piling up. Who knew? Kaiser does not cover ambulance or private transport.)
A week or so later Papa was on his way from Moreno Valley to Hemet, Manor Care, for rehab. We were finally close to home. Manor Care, because Dad still needed restraints and he had other issues, required a family member to provide a 24/7 watch. Thus the loss of any sense of time, day, and healhty eating habits.
We'll be discussing the Manor Care bill and other details with social services on Tuesday, June 20th.
But wait, there's another part to this story. As Mom was visiting Dad, she got very sleepy sitting comfortably in a chair. Suddenly she slumped over the chair arm, drooling, and her speech became slurred. Yes, two weeks after Dad's stroke, she suffered one of her own and we had to go through the exact same scenario again. My kids were, and still are, troopers and a great source of support.
Another Way For You To Support: I love this video. I made it a long time ago. It seems to fit this occasion as well as other hard times we've gone through. Maybe it will bring comfort to you. If you cannot donate anything, watching this video will send pennies from heaven our way. Thanks for watching.
Recovery: Mom, surprisingly, recovered in a few days although she is just a tad bit different and still disoriented. But she can walk with a walker (short distances), she talks, and can do normal activities like all that personal hygene stuff. We're not letting her cook and bake though, not yet anyhow, even though it's her favorite thing.
Mom also cannot be left alone at home. The kids and I, friends, family, and amazing volunteers from my church have worked out The Watch hours. It's amazing actually, tiring but amazing.
Future Home Life: Mom and Dad live in a two-story home and we are in the middle of moving their lives from upstairs to downstair. This is quite a large undertaking, and we need to set a few safety requirements in place--support railings from their room to the bathroom, shower and general bathroom safety, ramps in and out of the house, home care and ongoing physical therapy for both of them. We've also discussed the Acorn, the chair lift since Mom still tries to escape upstairs.
To sum it all up. Life has changed, and we know God can use this change for good. We will take care of Oma and Opa no matter what happens. So we hope that our humble GoFundMe campaign will give us a headstart on the finances. God will multiply any gift, I know He will, and we pray that His blessings will shower all over you.
Debby A. on behalf of
The DeQ and Alten Family
- Gideon Dado
- Susan Hook
- Carrie Ryan
- Don Dequilettes
- Jim Douwes
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