Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Life is Full

I hope I will always remember July 29, 2009 as the day I woke up and decided I had it all. I woke up this morning totally and utterly content by what my life has to offer. It is such a great feeling.

I have an amazing daughter and a wonderful husband. I have wonderful friends, old and new, friends who I spent a lifetime wishing for and who are finally here and who I love unconditionally. I have more offers of things to do than I have time to do them in. I have a wonderful home, drive a good car, enjoy doing volunteer work. I was offered my old job back on Monday, which indicates that I left at the top of my game and with the respect of my colleagues. I am on good terms with my family. I am taking control of my health and for the first time in 10 years feel good physically.

I can say with authority that I am having the absolute time of my life. I can't even say, "I hope it stays this way" which would indicate an innate pessimism that I just don't feel. It's strange to feel optimistic, but there you have it. Life is good.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

2009 National Book Festival

The authors for this year's book festival were recently announced. Judy said she didn't think anyone really great was coming, so I didn't bother to look at the site until yesterday. But when I did, I got all excited! Who's going to be there that's got me all excited? Judy Blume!! I can't wait to meet her!

Mark your calendar, DC reading friends :-) It's gonna be a blast.

(I'm also excited to meet John Grisham and James Patterson--hoping I can get Mike to go this year to meet these two!)

Friday, July 10, 2009

It's Gonna Be a Crazy One

Today I am looking after my niece, Dottie, as her day care gave her the boot temporarily while her fever from teething breaks. Due to my dad's illness, my sister has no more paid time off left, so I offered to help out for the day.

My day began at 2:30 this morning when Leah decided she'd had quite enough of sleeping for the day. At 4:00, I finally hauled her baby swing up to the bedroom, set her in it, and told her to work out the details. Presumably she passed out cold. At 4:45, she woke back up screaming because she was uncomfortable, so I put her in her crib, where she promptly fell asleep. Dottie woke up at 5:45, so I fed and changed her and put her on the floor with some toys.

I've decided to do a photo documentation of my day with two infants. It is now 7:15 and my first picture is ready to go--Leah and Dottie playing on the office floor.

Dottie has a real fetish about Leah's feet being covered and is currently attempting to rip off Leah's pajamas. Fun! Check back for more later.

7:40: Time to look at the ceiling fan

7:46 Time to go in the swing while auntie changes cousin Leah

9:45 (after a brief nap) No, really, your mother said you'd like the frozen washcloth on your gums

10:00 Dottie types a message to Lesley (yes, I'm still in my pajamas--deal with it people!)

They are taking turns rotating around the baby gym.

And I seem to have upset Dottie. This is mainly because after re-assembling the monkey mat for the 10398471st time today, I put diaper pins through the puny velcro strips that hold it together and now Destructor can't rip it apart.

Ok, so somehow I lost my camera for a couple of hours, but in that time, I fed and changed both girls and we laid waste to the basement, which is where we have now set up operations:

As you can see, they are both exhausted from all the hard work, and Dottie's been hitting the bottle hard today.

Leah spit up right down my back, so I'm off to shower while I have a few minutes peace and quiet! See you all again soon!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Will George Retire?

I know a question on everyone's minds has been "Will George retire?"

Honestly, I don't know, and I'm not sure he knows either. He's waffling. We talked about it on Friday and he said, "I took my first job voluntarily when I was in the seventh grade and I've been working ever since. I'm not sure I know how to not work."

He's decided that in the beginning of August, he will sit down with Judy and I and the three of us will look at all his options from every perspective to determine if the time is right for him to retire.

Obviously, I'd love for him to retire and come spend the winters with us where he doesn't have to shovel snow and he can be Santa Claus for the girls, etc. But he has no intentions of leaving Northern New York and made that perfectly clear when I suggested he stay with us for a few months each year.

So, we'll see what he decides to do, but if you were wondering, that's the plan! Stay tuned in August!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Picture of Dad from Thursday

I snapped a couple of pictures of my dad with Leah this week. Considering what all he's been through, I think he looks pretty freakin' good.

And oh yeah, we're home!

I cannot begin to thank everyone enough. Being home last week was SO NICE--all the friendly faces coming to see us, people stopping me at the store, people hugging me, welcoming me into their homes, coming to Dad's to visit us, it really was a huge help. In times of stress, it is nice to know that despite being so far away, everyone remembers us and wants to help in any way they can.

Even if you couldn't visit, if you sent a message, said a prayer, emailed, called, Facebook-messaged, etc. THANK YOU. I will treasure those messages so much, they made my day. Love you all!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Heading Out

Well, the time has come to say good bye to my dad for now. We are heading to Oswegatchie this afternoon to stay the night and get a little R&R before going home tomorrow. No real plans for when I'll be returning, but hopefully early August I'll be able to come and take him home for a week. Mike and I have plans for New England mid-August, so if I could tack a week in NY on ahead of that, it'd be perfect.

Dad and I conquered a major hurdle today--we tag teamed to give him an insulin shot. He says he is not the type of person to inject things and I have a long history of fainting when I so much as catch sight of a needle. However, the two of us got antsy when Beth went out this morning and we decided we should go ahead and attempt to do the injection ourselves.

Success! Neither of us fainted, we got it measured accurately, and it was injected just fine. We also tag teamed on his new blood glucose meter and got a good reading there.

While I doubt either one of us is likely to become a heroin addict any time soon, we were both so proud of our accomplishment.

I'll miss him and it will be very hard to drive away today, but knowing how much better he's doing, I'll feel more secure in going. He's up and about, he and Mike got in a game of Yahtzee, he's helping Beth slice veggies for lunch as I type, he's able to snuggle the grandbabies, and he just seems much, much better.

If anyone wants to send him a card, feel free to do so at:

George Cherepon
PO Box 78
Star Lake NY 13690

We're having his mail forwarded to Beth's house, so it will get here--I don't know how she'd feel about having her address posted on line, otherwise I'd do that.

Thanks to all for the prayers and good wishes and offers of help. I'm hopeful that when we go home, if we need someone to go running, we'll have lots of offers!

If anyone is in Oswegatchie this evening and wants to stop over, we'll be around.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Alternate Realities

We are all so happy to have Dad home and have looking so great and healthy compared to how he looked a week ago, that it's hard to reconcile that with the fact that he's already feeling down in the mouth about the fact that he's having trouble doing simple things like walking a few feet, getting up out of the chair, getting in and out of bed. We've encouraged him that it's going to take some time after all he's been through, but he keeps thinking of all he was doing before he had the attack and he's feeling a little down in the mouth about the fact that he won't be able to go straight back to doing that.

He's doing fine otherwise--took a little nap/break from the noise and is back up staring at the grandbabies. He's not allowed to pick up anything heavier than 10 pounds, so he can't lift them, but he can sit with them on his lap, which I think brings him great happiness. Dottie is very active, so she makes him a little more nervous, but Leah is still a snuggler, so they can snuggle up together and relax.

He's also been upgraded to regular insulin from his previous blood sugar pills for his diabetes. The pills he was taking had to be metabolized by his kidneys, which are still not working properly, so he's taking insulin for now to control his blood sugar levels. He's very unhappy about this, but is managing to learn the insulin pen. We're hopeful that he won't have to do it very long.

That's all for today. Still so grateful my dad didn't follow Michael Jackson and Billy Mays and Ed McMahon to the great beyond last week. We need him a whole lot longer. He said he'll stick around another 10 years. Judy and I have agreed, but only if we can re-negotiate at the end of that 10 year period.

Discharge Day!

Dad is going through discharge as I type. Many thanks to all who sent emails, we were overwhelmed by the wonderful response. Please do not send any today, as he will not receive them.

He is grumpy and demanding pizza.

Mike and I will spend Saturday night in Star Lake, so anyone who wants updates straight from the horse's mouth, feel free to stop over after dinner :-) I will update from Keeseville again soon, as soon as we get him settled back at Beth's. I expect he will stay there for the next 4-6 weeks, although he has already asked that I come back and bring him home for at least a week's time. Hopefully I will be able to do that in the not-too-distant future, as I know how many people are anxious to see him.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

So Sweet

I just hugged my dad for the first time since everything went down, and it was the sweetest hug ever... I'm so, so weepy with gratitude that I can hug him again. Life is good.

If You Would Like to Send a Message to My Dad...

...the hospital has a wonderful program called "FAVORS" and you can send an email to them and they will deliver it in a print out to his room. He's gotten 2 emails so far and they have totally made his day. More information is at Seriously, he LOVES getting these little messages. :-) He won't be able to email back, but he can get your messages and they will brighten his day.

A Scare

Sorry it's been a couple days since the last update. My dad was coming out from under the effects of the anesthesia and was talking crazy, but was seeming like he was doing fantastically.

Yesterday we went to Star Lake for the day and saw everyone. I saw people I didn't even plan to see! It was so nice to be home for a day and remove ourselves from the stressful situation of being in the hospital and such. In fact, we had decided to spend the night up there.

Around 7:30 last night, my sister called and said, "I need you to come back now, Dad's had a relapse."

Fortunately, my "aunt" Joyce was there with her family and so they helped us quickly pack up and Michael, Leah, and I hauled butt towards Beth's. There is very limited cell coverage up here in the Adirondacks as you might imagine, but we hit a pocket towards Tupper Lake and my phone rang. My heart sank. It was my sister.

"He's OK, he's OK!" she said. Thankfully! Because we almost immediately got cut off.

Knowing he was OK, we hit the local McD's for dinner and then got up here. It turns out he's very anxious about everything and thinks he is truly dying. He called to say good bye to each of us and then had a little bout of atrial fibrillation. They are going to put him on some anti-anxiety medications to help him through this little hurdle. They were talking about him coming home today, but damned sure that's not going to happen. He has been pushing it trying to make it so he can come home sooner, and now he knows he has to relax and let his body heal. We'll be going over first thing this morning and staying for the day--I can't take not being there more regularly. That'll be that.