What a week, “Dad’s not acting right”

We had another difficult week within my family. While I was finishing up dinner on Wednesday evening, I received a call from my Mom. She usually texts me, so I was concerned when I saw her calling. When I answered, she seemed upset and asked me to come to my brother’s house because my Dad was not acting right. I immediately agreed and headed over without asking any further questions. My Mom and Dad were at my brother’s house to watch his kids while they went to buy a car. When I arrived, my Mom explained that my Dad was acting unusual and not himself. I went in and started talking to him, asking casual questions to avoid alarming him if he was disoriented. Although he was speaking slowly and slurring his words, he was still thinking clearly. This was a good sign, but it was concerning that his hands weren’t moving correctly and his speech was affected. We tried to check his sugar levels but couldn’t find a reader. I offered to watch my brother’s kids so my Mom could take my Dad to the hospital for evaluation. He agreed without resistance, and they headed to the hospital, which was about 15 minutes away.

My brother arrived home shortly after they left, so I went to meet my parents at the hospital. I felt it would be helpful to have someone else there with my Mom during this stressful time to keep track of the doctors’ questions and explanations. The doctors performed a CT scan, which didn’t show anything significant, but they were treating him as a possible stroke patient. They conducted additional tests, including bloodwork and a chest x-ray. Although he was feeling slightly better on Wednesday night, his speech was still off, and he was tired and sluggish. He was kept overnight in the ER for observation and to undergo an MRI in the morning.

After a sleepless night, on Thursday morning, an MRI was performed. My Mom stayed with him, and I went home around 10:30pm, though I didn’t sleep well, constantly checking my phone for updates. We didn’t receive much information until Thursday afternoon when the MRI results revealed that he had a small stroke on the right side of his brain, which explained his difficulty using his left hand. The doctor described it as a small shower of clots. While the doctor believed he wouldn’t need to stay long, they recommended physical and occupational therapy, along with medication for a few weeks and follow-up appointments with his neurologist. Despite the scary news, there was optimism for a good recovery. He was moved to a room for further observation.

We visited him on Thursday night, and he was already showing improvement. His speech and facial movements had nearly returned to normal, with only slight slurring. The doctors conducted tests on his motor and cognitive skills, and he was performing well. It seemed likely that he would be able to go home over the weekend.

This experience served as a reminder to cherish time spent with friends and family. My parents are incredible individuals, and I can’t imagine life without them.