On the Road with Tom and Gloria travel blog

Sioux Falls

Dealing with reality


Owen and I left Murdo at 9:00 am - an hour later than we had planned. Lots of little glitches. When we finally got on our way, Owen did a magnificent job of driving through sideways wind, an 18 mile tight construction zone , and inaccurate directions to the campground. We made it - we are set up- and I will be fine here by myself when the kids leave.

Spencer was in touch with updates while we drove the four hours to Sioux Falls. This morning's CT scan showed improvement but the drain is still needed. Tom actually had scrambled eggs and orange juice for breakfast. He asked for a second cup of coffee but that request was not granted. He wasn't happy!

Colin arrived at noon so we found him there when we got to the hospital. Tomorrow he and Spencer will leave - Owen will stay a bit longer. It's great to have them around. Spencer is particularly good in handling his father's "Brooklyn wiseguy" moments. Today Tom asked the nurse to explain what kind of fluid was coming out of his head, how large was the incision, what kind of drill did the surgeon use, is there a schematic for the route the fluid takes through the body.

We ordered grilled chicken over pasta for lunch and he ate some of it but complained it was dry. Tonight's salmon , however, was served with a dill sauce and he ate half of it with some diced peaches.

There are certain times of the day when we must leave the room. Today we drove downtown and went into Sioux Falls Park. The boys walked the rocks and contemplated what was ahead for their Dad. It was tough for Colin and Owen on this their first day dealing with the reality of it all. Spencer has been absolutely wonderful to have around. He's a very in charge kind of guy and has really done a magnificent job encouraging his Dad to concentrate on moving the leg, squeezing the hand, and eating his meals. He is a tremendous help.

Three therapists visited today. The physical therapist worked his left leg and was very pleased with what she found. Tom said it helped to relieve some of his hip pain. I think that's great that he is aware of his left hip and pain. The occupational therapist worked on his arm and thought she saw slight improvement. The speech and memory therapist got the same treatment that the first one got. She said she was going to tell him a story and he should repeat it to her. Unfortunately, she choose a story about taking the car at 8 am to the dealer for tire rotation and oil change. If she only would have picked a story about a horse, or a plane . Tom said she should go to the dealer earlier - by eight lots of other cars would be lined up already (he didn't know that wasn't the case in Sioux Falls.) She left that story and went on to numbers and word association. She asked him what do you do when you take a shower. Poor thing didn't know we live in an RV. Tom was explaining how he leveled the coach when it is parked, how water sometimes puddles towards the back of the shower, how he takes a sham-wow when he is done and dries everything down and then pushes the water to the drain. She returned to the car story and asked him what he remembered - all he said was - if you insist on going at eight okay but I think that's a mistake . Then he repeated the rest of the story. I saw her leave the room and she was smiling even though a bit shell shocked. I think at first he thought she was telling him to actually do these things then he realized it was just an exercise.

When we left him tonight he was watching TV- his vision is less that perfect so it is frustrating for him to not be able to wear his contact lens. Today I brought his electric razor and he did a fine job of shaving. Tomorrow I will bring his reading glasses but I am not sure they will help much.

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