Sunday, April 20, 2008

Home Again

Last night, we got back home just after 9 PM Mountain Daylight Time. It is good to be back, although I wish we could have stayed longer. It turned out that it was critical that we were in Houston to help my parents during my dad's first week home from the hospital, just as I thought it might be. We got him to three doctors appointments (urology, cardiology, and cardio-vascular surgeon), plus an appointment to get a chest X-ray. My mom could not have handled that on her own, as we even ended up taking her and dad both in wheelchairs to one of the appointments due to the walking distances involved. The lovely spouse worked herself nearly to death cleaning the house, as my mother cannot physically handle that chore in such a big house. All in all, I believe we made a vital difference in Dad's recovery from his triple-bypass.

Not to say we didn't have some touch and go moments, however. Still, huge progress was made. When we arrived last Sunday, Dad was rather pale and very weak, having just been out of the hospital one day. By the time we left on Friday, he had gotten rid of the catheter and was walking a little further each day. When we arrived, he could make 2 loops of the living room, through the kitchen and back to his bedroom with his walker. By the time we left, he was walking a loop around the supermarket while holding on to a shopping cart. I hope it won't be long before he can shed the walker altogether, but he has still got a ways to go to get there.

The surgeon gave him a heart-shaped pillow with a human heart picture on it. The surgeon had drawn what the bypass looked like on it, and signed the pillow. Dad holds it to his chest to cough, helping keep him supported while coughing. He named the pillow "Pete". So during his recovery, Pete stays right beside him.

Friday was a crazy day. Thursday night, the lovely spouse's left eye developed an issue. She wears special contact lenses for her keratoconus, and light hitting her eye was even causing pain. She also had extreme pain in her eye all around the socket. Thursday overnight brought a thundershower to Houston, with the lightning illumination even causing her pain. I was asleep and didn't know, since she was letting me sleep. SO...Friday morning off we go to the emergency room at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Sugar Land. They had to turn off the lights in the ER to keep her out of pain. She ended up getting drops for pain put in her eyes and a referral to an opthamologist. The opthamologist diagnosed an ulcer and a scratch on her cornea. So we had to fill a prescription for antibiotic eye drops and a follow up appointment was made with her doctor back in Colorado.

Here's the odd thing...while we were in the ER with her cornea problems, our oldest son was receiving a cornea transplant back in Colorado. He found out a day before that a cornea had become available for him. He has keratoconus so bad in one eye, that he could barely see out of it. We are hopeful this transplant will give him his full vision back.

So anyway, back to Friday...after returning from the opthamologist's office, we took Dad in for his appointment with the surgeon. Then we decided that since we have to work on Monday, we should try to get back to Colorado with a little time to rest. So, at 4:30 PM, we hit the road, avoiding I-45 to Dallas, opting instead for Texas 6 to Waco and I-35/I-35W to Fort Worth. Houston's god-awful Friday PM rush traffic stole an hour-and-a-half from us, but we still got in to a hotel on the north side of Fort Worth by 10 PM. That gave us a jump start, and less than 800 miles to home, with Saturday and even part of Sunday left to cover it. We got out of Fort Worth at 9 AM after eating breakfast at Waffle House, and got home about 9 PM...thus a 13-hour drive on Saturday, accounting for the gain of an hour at the New Mexico line.

Oh, one more thing. Coming back, we saw the Estelline cop and his new silver Dodge Charger parked in front of a house about half-a-block north of the highway. Cool looking car for this nothing town's speed trap. Luckily we avoided any "imperial entaglements" anywhere along the way. But since I don't speed, much to the lovely spouse's chagrin, I am not in much danger of that anyway.

So today, we have to go pick up Molly the dog, and try to get the bugs washed off my car. And it is a beautiful day here in the Rocky Mountain West!

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