Update on Daddy & our parent-teacher conference

Well, there is some news on Daddy this morning. Yesterday, they took him to get an MRI and lumbar puncture to check with infection in his spine (which could cause some of the confusion he's experienced). By the time I got to the hospital (about 6:00), he had just arrived back from the recovery room (he was sedated for the MRI and spinal). I figured he'd be drowsy, but he was wide eyed and pretty alert considering. Steve and Jenna stayed for a while and then headed home and then Bertie stayed a bit longer and then headed home herself. Because he had not rested all night or day, he was restless and so she did not go to the funeral visitation as originally planned. The doctor had not made it back around so we figured he would not be in last night and Bertie went home to get some rest.

I got to spend several hours with Daddy...mostly being quiet, but talking periodically. Even though he's lucid most of the time, it seems he is in his own little world. He's quiet and staring off into space like he's really thinking about something hard. If you ask him what he's thinking, he usually doesn't have a good answer.

Anyway, believe it or not, his doctor showed up about 9pm. He had come by earlier, but Daddy wasn't back from his testing yet, so because he was on call last night, he just came back later. Thank God I was there. The tests all came back negative for stroke, dementia (other than that which is common to 81 year olds!) and infection. The doctor spoke loudly and slowly and right to Daddy. He told him most of the memory loss and agitation he'd experienced was from the trauma of being so sick with the pneumonia (to start with), being in the hospital and having so many drugs pumped into him etc. He also told him that he had to quit drinking.

For those of you who don't know, my dad has been a heavy drinker my entire life. Mostly just beer, but we're talking 1-2 six packs a day usually when I was a kid. When Mom was diagnosed, he put it down and didn't drink a drop for 7-8 years. Some times ago, he started back up and ever since, things have really gotten bad for him in many areas of his life, mostly health. Much of the problems while in the hospital were caused from alcohol withdrawal. And this was the first time he'd actually heard that. So, I talked quite frankly to him about it after the doctor left. The result was good, he agreed to stop, but who knows what will really happen.

He still has a long way to go physically and mentally before they will discharge him, but every day should be better than the day before. I covet your prayers during this time of recovery. Unfortunately (or maybe forunately) he won't remember much of the darkest time of this stay. Fortunate that he won't be haunted by it, but unfortunate that he won't remember how awful withdrawing from alcohol was. But Bertie and I will remember. I can assure you, it is NOT something you want to watch a loved one go through. What I've written here is only a small part of what has happened. Nothing can erase what is forever burned in my mind.

On to happier things...we had our parent-teacher meeting with JG's teacher yesterday afternoon. First of all, we totally love her teacher. She's pretty, young and fresh. She said Jenna was doing very well. She's apparently very smart and on the second highest reading group in the class. She's right on the verge of being in the next group up. By Christmas, she should be reading at the level that they want you to be when you LEAVE first grade. Fabulous!

She said she was fine in math and had good handwriting. The only negative was that she is bossy. Um, yeah...I've noticed. I asked the teacher what she did when she was bossing around the other girls and they didn't listen. She told me that most of the times the other girls did listen to what Jenna said, but when they didn't, Jenna would tattle on them. Um, yeah...I've noticed that too! So, those are the things we have to work on. If you have any ideas on how to help with that, let me know. I know you parents of more than one child probably have had the tattling issue, so how do you tackle it? All in all, we have a smart girl on our hands. And if we can curtail the bossiness, she's going to most likely make a wonderful leader some day.

I'm leaving 1/2 day today to take her home since she's out of school. I don't know yet if I will stop by the hospital or not. I got home really late last night (11pm) and didn't rest well. I think I might just go home and veg on the couch. We'll see.

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