Saturday, May 22, 2010

How Will His Garden Grow?/Phoenix

I went to Utah to help my Mom with my Dad. He's doing well. He still has the "cement" that is infused with antibiotic in his knee. This makes it so there is very little range of motion in his leg and it's still very painful. He's also taking Vancomycin via a pic line in his arm every day for six weeks. The doctor says after 6 weeks they will take him off the antibiotic and wait two weeks. Then they will check Dad's blood for infection. If there is no further sign of infection they can put in a new knee prosthetic and pray the infection doesn't come back. His chances are pretty good, but nothing is a sure thing. Dad's pretty healthy so we are hoping everything will go as planned.
"Who will be taking care of Dad's super garden this year then?" you ask. Good question. But my Dad has been trying to convince many friends and neighbors and family to prepare the soil and do some planting. He's got some of it figured out. My brother Todd is going to be visiting from South Dakota and Dad's got some plans for him. Dad put me to work on locating and obtaining hundreds of seeds for planting, which seems like a really easy request but you'd be surprised. I had to run back and forth from the computer I was ordering on line from, explaining the difference between growing seasons of everything from cantaloupes to pumpkins. It was comical after the first 10 times. Dad refuses to let the land go unplanted and it should be interesting to see how things come up (no pun intended).

I had fun spending time with my Dad and my Mom and I got to see a lot of Erin and Phoenix, my sister Jenny's two daughters. I love to spend time with them. The way Erin looks at me with those big blue eyes reminds me so much of Jenny at that age. She has a sweet disposition and rarely causes any trouble. She's a dream of a child! Phoenix is equally as sweet but let's just say she has more of her Mom's disposition/temperament :). She can be a bit stubborn but we all adore the funny things she says and does.

While I was visiting Phoenix celebrated her 4th birthday. It seems like yesterday that Jenny had given birth and was calling me to persuade me to come to Phoenix's baby blessing. She was really intent that I travel to Utah to be there for it. She even offered to pay for half of my plane fare. It was a touching time we spent on the phone for me, because I could tell that it meant a lot to her that I be there for this milestone. I'm so thankful I went because I got to spend a lot of time with my sister. I remember we shopped and had lunch together and I held sweet little Phoenix, who seemed so tiny. I hung out at Jen's house and we took walks and watched the sunset over Antelope Island and talked about our future plans, as she was preparing to move. I don't think Jen thought that baby Phoenix would ever make her safe entrance into this world. It was a relief she was here safe. I also remember going to see the architect who drew up the plans for her new house. It was to be built next to my sister Mindy and my Mom; the house she would sadly take her last breath. Those are such sweet almost dreamlike moments as I look back. I am so grateful I could get away for a few days 4 years ago, and again last week! I leave a lot of love back in Utah.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My Poor Papa

Last week we had a scare when my sister from Utah, Mindy texted me saying my Dad was in surgery. I, of course, freaked out! Apparently, Dad scraped his leg a while back on some farm equipment. He noticed it wasn't healing but didn't think anything of it and went about his business. He started running a fever one night and by the next morning he couldn't put any weight on his leg because his knee was so painful. Mom took him to the ER where an orthopedic surgeon assessed the problem. Dad's cut had become so infected that the infection traveled to his knee and his whole knee had then become infected. The problem is that Dad has prosthetic knees that he got about 8 years ago during a very painful double knee replacement surgery.

The only option seemed to be immediate surgery to remove the prosthesis, let the leg heal for 6 weeks and then put in a new knee once the infection was gone. This means a Summer of difficult recovery and no fun for my Dad (no growing corn, no puttering in the dirt, no devising new and interesting ways to grow tomatoes...nothing). Poor Dad. He lives for the summer like a kid does. He is totally taken aback by this blow as we all are. I feel so bad for the poor chap.

I am going to go home next week to help cheer my Dad up and also help my Mom with some of the nursing responsibilities. He is home from the hospital but can only walk with a walker. He has a pic line for heavy antibiotic therapy. I'm hoping he gets well soon.

I'm currently contemplating fun ways to keep Dad entertained this summer since he can't do his usual "stuff." I wonder how he feels about spending the day at the pool with about 15 grand kids and me....Any other ideas??