Sunday, July 8, 2012

Checking In

I just got back from visiting Cheryl in Denver.  I was scheduled to visit later this month, but a few days ago, she got the news that her cancer is spreading faster than expected and her liver function is failing.  I decided not to wait any longer to see her, so I got on a plane the next morning.  My visit with her was wonderful.  Her stroke recovery continues by leaps and bounds, and she is full of energy, so she kept me busy with projects and errands the whole time.  Her partner has returned to work full time, and Nurse Nick, who has been caring for her around the clock since she got sick, finally had to return to work in Baltimore the day I arrived, so my arrival was fortuitous. 

It also meant I had Cheryl to myself all day, which was delightful, if tiring.   She is mentally fine, but she has had some emotional and behavioral changes since the stroke, and has poor impulse control, which means she needs someone to keep an eye on her all the time.  She tends to forget she has physical limitations from the stroke, and has forgotten how to perform many everyday tasks, which can be dangerous--like trying to pick up a hot pan without a mitt or incorrectly using a sharp knife.  She is walking pretty well, but it is still dangerous for her to use the stairs alone or walk on uneven surfaces, and her right arm is still paralyzed.  Every evening is a party at their house these days, with friends dropping in, bringing food, and hanging out.  I really enjoyed spending time with her awesome friends and family. 

While I was in Denver, my father died.  He had been in the hospital for about three weeks, with an ever-increasing number of health issues.  By the time I left for Denver, he was no longer conscious.  My mom decided to remain with him while I went to Cheryl.  Mom is now on her way to Denver, and the KH and I are making funeral arrangements for my dad for later this week, after my mom gets home.

Things are, naturally, a bit hectic around here, but I hope to get back to regular blogging shortly.