Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A new week

Well, last week I was feeling sort of whiny - but this week I feel a lot better. There is a lot to be said for the value of a weekend! Saturday was spent with friends - I did a little sewing, went out to tea, watched Ironman (I love that movie - Aaron ordered it so we now own it), then went to a dinner party. At the dinner party were two women with 3 month olds - it was great to get some good birthing advice from them. They both had natural childbirths... and were very encouraging. Plus, I got to hold the babies.

Sunday we spent going to my FILs and getting him some clothes, getting his mail, and other assorted things. We then went to visit him in the recovery center, and honestly came away a bit disturbed. He just seems really frustrated - and we couldn't find anyone to talk to. He tries to talk to us, and when we tell him we don't understand what he is saying - he gives up and gets angry. We bought a laptop at their request - he'll type gibberish on it and then get made when we can't read it. He asked us how we got there (by car) and tells us to take him out. When we told him he had to stay there, he gave us the finger. Nice, huh? Things is - Aaron and I have no idea what to expect. What sort of comprehension is really going on with him. Does he know that we can't understand what he is saying? Does he understand that he can't leave because he can't even sit up on his own? There really wasn't anyone there to answer our questions on Sunday - so we are planning a trip on Thursday morning, prepared with a list of questions so we can get to understand things better.

But in general, it's just really sad. We are glad that he is pretty much out of the woods in terms of the immediate issues (brain swelling, secondary strokes) but now we are settling into the harsh reality of what his life is going to be after the stroke. Seems to me like it's going to suck pretty bad - but maybe I'm just feeling down after Sunday's visit.

In happy baby news, my LO is moving around like crazy. I called to see the status of our crib - and it will be here by Nov 3rd! And the rug for the room has shipped! So, I'm hoping that this weekend Aaron will spend fixing the wall, so I can spend the weekend of the 8th decorating! Hurrah!


bleu said...

Oh the news of your FIL just breaks my heart. I know so little about stroke recovery. Is it possible to convey to him that when he tries to communicate it doesn't come across? I imagine he is so frustrated, like trapped inside himself.

I just ache for all of you on that front.

Yay on the decor and moving baby stuff though, and for feeling better this week!!

Vikki a.k.a "V" said...

Patients who have strokes may have what we call expressive and receptive aphasia. Expressive means that the patient is not able to express/speak/write what they are thinking. Sometimes it may seem like gibberish to you but to them they think they are making perfect sense and get very,very frustrated when you don't understand them. Not surprising about the lovely finger gesture. Do not get upset or take it personally. He also may have receptive aphasia as well. In which he hears/see's things one way and process' them a completely different way...also another reason for the lovely finger gesture. It is almost like being stuck inside and not being able to get out. Hence the reason why the computer may be so frustrating and incomprehensable.
Take your list of questions and a paper and pencil for answers. I would prepare the physician, therapist, nurse caring for him that you will be in on thursday and would like to set-up a time to sit down with them and have a few things answered. Otherwise, you will get them on the fly and may not get any answers...very frustrating for you.
Keep reassuring your father. Tell him that he had a stroke which makes it difficult for you to understand him but you will figure it out together. Patience is a necessity on both sides. Continuing to tell him that you don't understand him might not be the best answer. Try to run down a list of basic necessities first, "are you in pain? Are you hungry or thirsty? Do you need to go to the bathroom?" etc.
Sorry so long, I hope this helps.

Jen said...

I am so glad that you are feeling a lot better.

It seems to make sense to me that your father-in-law will continue to improve, right? I mean, he'll be getting treatment and therapy. His actual physical state might not improve much (or it might, what do I know?), but there should be strategies to help him deal with it.

Beautiful Mess said...

I'm happy to know you're feeling better! When my mom had a stroke, it was really hard in the beginning. As time went on, she got better and it got easier. Good luck and I'm sending you lots of hugs and positive juju.

Jennifer said...

I can't imagine how hard it is for you all right now...so sorry to read about the struggles with FIL stroke. Glad you're feeling better!

Geohde said...

I am so sorry about your FIL. Having seen many, many people with strokes the story of frustration is familiar.. Down to the middle digit!

The language stuff can be the most frustrating, along with the perceptual neglect/innatention that happens with some strokes.

Wishing your FIL a speedy recovery.


Chelle said...

Your poor FIL. That has got to be so frustrating for all of you. Do they know how much he will recover from this point?

I'm glad to hear your nursery isn't decorated either. I feel like such a slacker that I am 7 mos and haven't even started cleaning the room out yet. Now I don't feel so bad.

I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Kenya said...

Sorry about your FIL. It's just so sad.

Alyson & Ford said...

Visiting from Stirrup Queens...
Sorry about your FIL; sounds like you have lots of TLC to hand out between him and new baby coming. Take care of yourself! Glad you are adjusting with each new day.

Mommy to Alyzabeth for Six Weeks!
Forever Family Day 09/16/08

Becky said...

can't wait to see the nursery pictures!