loren Eric Swanson: Update on Dad

Friday, January 12, 2007

Update on Dad

Boyd had surgery to clean out a carotid artery on December 28th and was released from the hospital on Saturday and was glad to be home. Physically, Dad had a small stroke during the surgery which has resulted in something called "expressive aphasia" meaning although he understands what is happening around him, can watch, enjoy and laugh at TV programs (think hours of "Everybody Loves Raymond"). He can read the newspaper--was telling me about Apple's new phone that was just released, made the connection in a Pickles cartoon to granddaughter Mary's trampoline, checked the stocks he had on the Money page, etc. so his mind is all there. Yesterday he was working on paying bills and this morning drew up a calendar for next week on which he will write his goals. But apart from greetings and short sentences has trouble expressing verbally what he wants to say so sometimes gets frustrated or just gets up and gets the object he is talking about. But like any couple that has been together for nearly 60 years, Mom can finish his sentences for him and he uses his non-verbals very well. It is interesting the the automatic words and sentences Dad does say are things he's said hundreds of thousands of times in his lifetime--"Thanks so much," "Pass the gravy," (I brought a bucket of KFC home last night) and "I love you."I can't tell you how good his attitude and outlook is. He smiles, gets up frequently to see what is going on and apart from his inability to find and form the words he wants...which hopefully will come in time, is doing remarkably well considering he had surgery two weeks ago today.

Since I've been here the speech therapist, physical therapist and occupational therapist have been here working with Dad and are all encouraged by what he can do. I don't think any of them want to convey any false hope of a full recovery but Dad is making progress daily and he even seemed to improve from the time I arrived and last night when after trying to get out a sentence, said, "Oh, why can't I talk?" to which we all had a good laugh! I think it will be "cinch by the inch" as Dad so often has said.

Mom too has a great attitude. She’s upbeat and optimistic she says, "Oh, we can't complain. We were talking the other day before Dad's surgery and said,' If after 59 years of marriage something should happen to one of us we have nothing to complain about. We've had a blessed life." Mom had a cleaning lady in today for a few hours. What she did, I can't figure out since the house is virtually spotless but she says, "Oh I don't want to be doing housework. I just want to sit and talk with yer father and look through picture albums together." Both Mom and Dad are treasures.


At Friday, January 19, 2007 9:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Eric, It's Jean Sakoda, your dad's OT. I emailed Mark Tanouye to tell him I met you and came upon this site.

During my visit today, your dad showed me the books you wrote. I was interested in The Externally Focused Church. He told me to take it to look at, but your mom told him to have me buy it! Pastor Ellen always said she doesn't believe in luck or things happening by chance, but everything as a plan from God. I think my meeting your dad is such a plan.


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