Ever since my dad had a stroke 17 weeks ago, I have been in charge of sending out email updates to family and friends. During those first weeks, I was sending nearly daily updates. It was not only good to get the news out to family members but it was quite therapeutic for me to express my thoughts and feelings the way I know best, through the written word. The updates slowed down when he got home. He was making strides everyday but there weren't huge things to report. Until now!
When he arrived home from rehab 4.5 weeks after the stroke, he had very limited mobility. The last 2 weeks in rehab he started to practice walking but needed a lot of verbal cues and 2 spotters. At home, he was getting in-home physical therapy and at the first visit, the PT walked with him in his kitchen, which is about 10 feet long. Soon, he was walking out the front door, down the driveway and to the driveway two houses down. Then to the end of the cul-de-sac. Then out of the cul-de-sac and to the street corner.
A week ago, he walked (with cane and the company of a friend) .6 miles to the park.
Earlier this week, he vacuumed and retrieved the newspaper from his driveway.
Today, he rolled the garbage cans back to his backyard.
As for his mind, well.....
At a family dinner on Saturday when I stated that I was going to eat 6 cupcakes he said "come here, I'll just stick them to your thighs. Whats the saying? Through the lips, to the hips?"
He is as funny as he ever was. Quick witted and full of jokes. And he is managing many everyday tasks on his own. He isn't quite ready to drive or go back to work but 17 weeks ago, he couldn't swallow anything, could barely stand on his own and we weren't sure what the future held for him.
As I told a friend, the pride I feel is probably similar to the pride a parent feels when their child accomplishes developmental milestones. My dad has the heart of a lion. The man who has completed The Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii 8 times (is it 10? I lost track) can't be stopped. We are all so proud of him and although we know that there will be ups and downs as his recovery continues, the progress he has made is nothing short of amazing.