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August 27, 2006: A week of forever

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Since yesterday was his first day in rehab, we all figured we would wait until the afternoon to go visit my dad, to give him a chance to settle in to his new routine. It worked out well, because I have had this weird thing on my arm that looked kind of like a strange and miniature volcano, and when I finally called the advice nurse about it yesterday she thought it sounded like I'd been chomped by something, and told me I should have it looked at. My lucky little sister got to go with me to the hospital, where the doctor poked at my arm and said that it might be a bug bite or it might be some kind of bizarre wound reaction, and either way, I ought to keep an eye on it. So he wrote me up a prescription for what turned out to be massive horsepills of antibiotics. Lucky me.

I worked feverishly on the lace stole that was supposed to be done last weekend (ha) and my little sister whipped up some banana bread and a white peach crisp that I was far too tempted to just insist we eat ourselves, and we went through the usual laughing phone calls with my mom, accumulating a list of stuff she needed us to pick up at my parents' house and bring to the hospital. And then Richard and my sister and I all piled into the car and drove off to see how he was doing, and the very best thing to see was him in his regular clothes again, having finally gotten rid of that oh-so-stylish hospital gown.

This morning it was hard to drive my sister to the airport and hug her goodbye. I am so very glad that she came down and stayed with us because it made it easier to bear all of this with her here. And I know how much it meant to my mom to have someone else at the hospital with her to handle all the scares and worst case scenarios and news that the doctors kept bringing in.

It seems impossible that this all started barely over a week ago, and even more impossible that my dad could have progressed so quickly from lying like death in his hospital bed hooked up to too many machines and IV's to count, to being able to scoot around in a wheelchair and, even more amazing, even stand on his own. There is still so much work ahead for him and for my mom and for my whole family to adjust to all of this - figuring out a new diet and doing some temporary reconfiguring to my parents' house so however he comes home - if it's a with a wheelchair or a walker or a cane - he will be able to have as much freedom of movement as possible until he gets better. But I feel like there is hope, and that finally, my dad is starting to see that there is hope too, and that will somehow make the next few weeks or months or however long it takes feel less like the forever that the last week has been.

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