May 28th, 2006

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Good Visit So Far / Dad Update

Well, here it is Sunday morning and I'm alone at home, while Mom visits Dad at the hospital. She said she'd be back around 1 so meanwhile I can go for a walk, play around the yard (there's a big toad I keep watching), have a good breakfast, etc. Later on we may go out to this historic home in N. Andover and check out their gardens. Then we'll visit Dad again.

Yesterday, after all the church work, Mom and I visited Dad for a couple of hours. Later Betty and her kids came to the house so we went home, hung out for a bit, and then Betty and I went to the hospital while Mom watched the kids. Dad got some good news while we were there; his lung specialist came in, looked at the one chest tube left, and took it out. Dad's main doctor has said that the one thing really holding him back from coming home is that tube, so hopefully he can come home soon.

As for Dad, he is really shockingly skinny and weak. I think he was like that last year too, but I didn't go visit until he was already home from the hospital and doing much better. The virus he had, the pneumonia, really did a number on it, wasting him away as he coughed and coughed. His legs are arms are like sticks and he has eczema / dry skin really bad. Mom puts Oil of Olay on his feet every day to keep them less gross, but he is kind of a prune. Dad was always a big guy (6'3" with thick arms and skinny but strong legs) and now he's just so skinny. He always weighed around 220 and now he must be down to 170. However, he is getting physical therapy and getting strong enough he can walk across the room to get in a wheelchair, plus Mom pushes him to do things for himself, so hopefully once he's home he will soon be able to get to the bathroom himself, go in the kitchen to get some food, etc. His hand are shaky, he's so weak still, but he just needs to be somewhere where he can get out of bed and not be, well, in the hospital.

Anyway, wrinkled up Dad aside, after my two visits I was tired, but Mom made us dinner and then she and I went out to a concert at the Unitarian church where she works. It was this amazing 7-woman singing group called Le Le Mam from Holland. They sang music, mostly folk songs, from all over the world, including Afghanistan, Turkey, South Africa, Sephardic, etc. I loved their stuff, as it's a lot like things I have in my own music collection at home. Plus, besides the music, the women wore nothing but black and red (my fav color combo) and were Dutch, i.e. some of them were really cute. I enjoyed it very much.

Oh, well, time for a shower. I plan on walking over to the local cemetery and taking a few pictures, visiting the family grave. My phone probably works there as well, so I can call Caleb.
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Sunday Funday

Well, today's been great.

Slept late, which IMO is awesome, I've been starved for sleep for the past couple of weeks. As soon as I got up, Mom told me she was going to the hospital for 2-3 hours, so I could go do whatever I wanted. She left and I went out and enjoyed the yard, had breakfast, had a nice shower, then went for a walk to the town cemetery, about a mile away. Took a lot of pictures along the way, which I'll post later, and generally enjoyed the cemetery, all the birds that were out, smelling all the springtime flowers.

Back at home, I had a popsicle -- Mom stocks up on these -- and veg'd out for a while. Mom showed up around 1:45 and we had lunch and watched the "Live from Lincoln Center" special, while going in and out of naps. Finally Mom got motivated to move and we drove over to this gorgeous historic preservation in North Andover, which Mom has always loved. There's a great 18th century colonial garden there, very, very English, with absolutely beautiful flowers, shrubs, boxwood, fountains, etc. We walked around there just all happy with it.

Finally we went to the hospital again. Dad was looking a lot better, now that he's stopped coughing. Lot more color back! We made him get in a wheelchair and took him down to the giftshop/cafe again, becaue that perks him up. They have good milkshakes there. Afterward we went up to his room and he went to sleep for a while, wiped out, and Mom and I watched An Officer and a Gentleman on TV. (Yes, "I got nowhere else to GO!") Finally Dad woke up enough to eat the dinner that got delivered. He claimed he wasn't hungry, then ate it all. We stuck around 'til he was done, then left ourselves

Mom stopped by King's Subs & Pizza in town and we got awesome subs. I got roast beef, because it falls under my rule of "no meat except at my parents' or on vacation." A real roast beef sub, with pickles, is just NOT to be missed.

Tomorrow morning we're going to the hospital, early this time so we can see Dad before he gets taken in for dialysis. Mom's talking about going to Marblehead afterward, which would be nice. My plane leaves around 5 so probably by 3 I have to be at the Express bus at Anderson station in Lowell. But still, there'll be time enough to do things.