Thursday, August 30, 2012

Back from the Wilderness

Life took control and I had to go with the flow since this spring.  I spent most of my time this spring weeding and preparing garden beds before I left to help my Dad.  My Dad lives in Anchorage AK.  I promise him I would go up and help him clean his basement apartment and move him into a first floor apartment.  I was planning to do this over the month of July and return to work by August 1st.  The Wednesday, June 27th, before I left for Alaska my Dad called me to let me know he was being admitted to the hospital due to a painful infection in his right foot.  The following day he had surgery to remove his toes up to the ball of his foot.  I left for Alaska on Sunday, July 1st.  My Dad said everything was going fine and to take my time driving up to Alaska.  I planned on visiting Banff and Jasper National Parks in Canada then drive the Yellowhead Highway (Hwy 16) to Stewart-Cassiar Highway (Hwy 37) to the Alaska Hwy and finally ending in Anchorage.  I took 11 days to reach Anchorage and on July 11 my Father was moved into a rehabitation center since he lost a lot of muscle strength because of not being able to exercise for nine months due to the infection in his foot.

I spent July 11 to August 13 in slaying at my father’s basement apartment in Anchorage.  I spent most of my time cleaning the apartment or being with my father in the rehabilitation center.  My father’s apartment was a mess.  It took just 3 days just to go through and shredded over ten years of paperwork and that did not include organizing the reminder of it.  I threw out dozens of extra large garbage bag that included food, 4 feet of catalogs, newspapers, cardboard boxes and just plain garbage.  What was left needed to be sorted and determined if Dad still used it.  The items he not longer used were sent to relatives or donated to Salvation Army.

I found an old bag of rice which must had been the source of the springtail bugs (no bed bugs thank god) that was infesting the apartment.  The bugs were everywhere; I first found them in bed sheets on the bedroom floor which I threw on the bed not knowing that they were in them.  I started to wash all the laundry and put them away thinking they would be ok in drawers under the bed.  Later I would find more bud in the drawers and sheets I cleaned.  I decided the only way to get control of the bug was to rewash everything again and seal them in plastic bags.  I also asked the landlord to call for an exterminator after I finished cleaning the place.

When not cleaning the apartment I was visiting my Dad or running errands for him.  The first week in Anchorage Dad seemed to be recovering from the operation just fine but hospital released my father before they should due to Medicare rules.  This caused a blockage in my father’s GI tract and the rehab center seemed to have problems giving enemas.  On Wednesday, July 19, I demanded they transport Dad to the hospital since the center could not help my father.  The hospital fixed the problem by giving him a proper enema that clears out his colon.  At the same time his urinary track started to shut down too.  An enema may clear out the colon but all that matter in the large and small intestines still need to move down into the colon so he was in pain for a few weeks.   My father’s GI system is just starting behave normally now.

That same week Dad was having a reaction with the pain and sleeping pills causing him to hallucinate.  On Thursday night he fell from his bed believing his room was on fire in the middle of the night.  The center sent him to the hospital again and he was release that night.  The next morning the hospital found a small bleed out in the lining of his brain.  He had another one on Saturday, July 21, and stayed two nights in the hospital before being released.  His health is slowly improving now but he is still in the rehab center.  I left Anchorage on August 13 after having lunch with Dad.

The trip back was fun I followed the Alaska Highway all the way to Dawson Creek.  I took so many pictures along the highway; it took four days to reach Fort Nelson.  I drove from Fort Nelson starting at 6 AM on Friday and arrived home at 10 PM on Sunday.  Those last three days were long but it was nice to walk into a clean home.  Now that I got this out of my system I hope to post some pictures of the trip.  Sometime soon I will try to update you on my garden and house projects.