Posted By Kathleen David on January 2, 2013
New Years Day was again one of both ups and downs. The downs really sucked as we learn about Peter’s health and what is in his future. Nothing life threating however there will be major changes in how Peter is going to have to live the rest of his life.
The ups may seem minor but it is pretty big in my book. When Peter was asked to stick out his tongue after the stroke, it pointed to the right rather significantly. Today it was almost back to the middle. Also the droop on the right side of his face is not as pronounced. And best of all, he could grip my fingers tight enough that I could lift his hand off the bed which is an improvement from yesterday. I’ll take my wins where I can get them these days.
The big change was bringing Caroline into the loop as to what happened to her father and what the future held. How do you tell a very empathic and sensitive 10 year old that the father that she left at the Magic Kingdom is not the same father she is returning to?
It wasn’t easy but I did. I explained about the stroke and what had happened and, between the cascading tears, let her ask me questions. It was a long ride to Jacksonville trying to figure out how to tell her what was going on and a long ride back as I was driving so I couldn’t hold my sobbing daughter. She came up with a crazy theory that it was her fault because she wanted to come down to Florida, which I quashed quickly. I pointed out that even if we had just gone home from Atlanta, this would have happened sooner or later. Eventually she cried herself to sleep as I tried not to have tears fill my eyes as well since I was driving.
We got to the Hospital and I took her up to her father’s room. She stood in the room looking at him a little stunned. Ariel was sitting next to him and asked if Caroline wanted to sit next to Daddy. She nodded and fought back the tears that were welling in her eyes. Peter explained to Caroline what had happened and what he could and couldn’t do. Ariel explained how to stimulate the right hand and help Daddy with his “kung-fu grip”. Caroline was trying not to cry but Peter asked if she wanted a hug she nodded yes and as Peter hugged her the flood gates opened. I couldn’t understand half of what she was saying but she was pouring out all her fears to him. Peter told her that he understood and he was scared too. There were more hugs and assurances given to her.
In the end she understood what had happened and what was going to happen next. She is not happy about it but understands that this is all to get her Daddy back to her so they can do things together like they always did.
Since the blackout dates are past except Magic Kingdom, I took the girls to Disney Hollywood studios (at Peter’s insistence that we get out of there for a bit) and we rode Star Tours a couple of time and then build their father a Skippy the Jedi Droid with a pirate hat (because to solve the double vision, Peter has to wear an eye patch).
I am grateful for every improvement that Peter has shown since the stroke.