ShellyBlog Shelly Brisbin's life consists of several long tails. She writes about them here.

November 28, 2008

Dad Update

Filed under: Random Personal Nonsense — Shelly Brisbin @ 4:44 PM

My online friends have been a real help to me in the past few days. Thank you all. A hospital room is a decidedly offline place; not very connected at all to the usual kinds of communication and trappings of a plugged-in life. So when I come back to my computer, it’s both comforting to find you here, and jarring to the part of me that has just left the institutional environment.

Dad did indeed have a stroke; two small ones, actually. Various tests and scans are ongoing, and he’ll have a heart scan on Monday (Monday is a long way away when you’re in the hospital) to examine the back of his heart for any damage or clots. When he is released from the hospital, he’ll have to spend some time in a rehab facility.

Being in the hospital and under the control of others would have been tough for my father under the best of circumstances. But with a droopy left side, and bouts of confusion, it is pretty harrowing. He doesn’t want to be there, and he gets agitated about that. It’s our job to keep him calm, be with him, advocate for him, and remain sane ourselves. Difficult stuff.

Thanks again to all of you who have reached out to me. It really, truly means a lot.

November 26, 2008

My Dad is in the Hospital

Filed under: Random Personal Nonsense — Shelly Brisbin @ 9:25 AM

Good news first. My dad is alert, awake, and cranky about being stuck in a hospital bed.

This post is mostly about getting the basic info out to all the wonderful people who have been supporting me and my family with prayers, virtual hugs, and best wishes. Thank you all. It means a lot. I’ll post more later about how we’re all feeling. My coping mechanism is to be very focused and to try to ask the right questions.

Last night around dinnertime, my dad, who uses a wheelchair, was unable to get himself from his recliner into the wheelchair, and my mom was unable to move him. He was very weak, especially on his left side. It is possible that he had felt this way for some time. My dad is not one to let anyone know when he’s not feeling well. He’s a “tough it out” kind of guy.

While trying again to get himself out of his chair, dad ended up on the floor, and, because of his extreme weakness, mom called EMS. From her description, Frank and I suspected a stroke, though the EMS people initially said they didn’t think so. His heartbeat was irregular.Frank and I met them at the house and followed to the hospital, where my sister (who had been maddeningly stuck in traffic) met us. Dad had an EKG, chest x-ray and CAT scan, and was finally put into a hospital room five or six hours after arriving. One of the doctors did suspect it could have been a stroke or something to do with his heart, but the EKG and CAT scan were inconclusive.

This morning, he’s having an MRI and other tests. My sister and mother are there now, and I’ll take over for my sis later in the day.

Thank you all again for your concern and support.

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