Life Lately

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May 12, 2017 by thebolinbunch

Happy Friday to you!  Not doing my normal Friday Favorites post today.  Instead I want to catch up on life lately so I can remember this crazy season of my life I am in.

My go to Bible verse this week has been Philippians 4:6~

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

I have really struggled this week and have felt like I have been pulled in a million different directions.  When I’m at the hospital with my dad I feel guilty for not being with Chris and the girls or at school with my students.  When I am at school, I feel guilty because I am not by my dad’s side.  It’s a non-stop cycle of feeling like I should be everywhere at once.  I have really had to turn everything over to God and just trust that He will help guide me through this trying time.  I’ve been repeating this verse along with many others to myself this week.

Going to recap a little life lately for you:  Some happy/ some sad.  I ask that you please remember to lift my dad up in prayer.  He is still having such a hard time communicating with us and still has all 4 limbs restrained.  We are taking it day by day and hopeful he will start to show some improvements soon.

A little life lately in the Bolin house:

Last Friday night Elizabeth had her last cheer function for the season.  Her team performed at our Stoddard County Relay for Life.  They did a few harder level 3 stunts and did a great job!  Some of the girls also competed in a toe touch competition.  Elizabeth won 4th place out of about 16 girls and did 66 toe touches in a minute!  I was so proud of her!

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After Relay for Life we all headed to Poplar Bluff for the evening.  Elizabeth had a swimming birthday party over there and so Chris and I took Emily to spend some of her money she has been saving.  She chose a vanity for her American Girl dolls.  After shopping we went to Dairy Queen before we went and picked Elizabeth up from the party.

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Saturday Chris headed up to Teen Challenge to work and the girls and I went to Doniphan.  I wanted to sit with my dad for most of the day and let my mom have a day out of the house.  While we were there the girls helped her put more bird food in their bird feeders and we played outside for a little bit.  Then, she ended up taking all 4 grand-kids out to eat lunch, to the park, to visit Nini, and for ice cream.  They had a great day together.  I enjoyed my day with my dad also.  He had a good morning talking to me about squirrel hunting and fishing.  He knew I was going to be 33 soon and that I was his baby.  However, when he woke up from his nap that afternoon, he was very out of it.  He insisted that I call his mom (my grandma Helms) and wanted to go home.  I kept trying to tell him that he was home and he didn’t believe me.  It was a rough afternoon with him.  Dementia is a sad, sad disease.  Before we went back to Dexter, I took my nephews back over to my sister’s house and the girls got to play with their kittens.

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Saturday evening I caught up on a few house chores and had a nice evening at home with Chris and the girls.

Sunday morning we got up early and headed to Menard’s to get carpet for the basement bedrooms.  We are SO close to having Emily’s new room remodeled. Since we are getting her new carpet we decided to go ahead and switch out Elizabeth’s bedroom carpet so they both match and are brand new.

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After that we went to a special church service at Malden, MO.  Some of our very good friends, Mike and Becky, started their own church and my father in law, James, was doing the dedication service for their new church.  It was a great day in God’s house.  I was SO happy to get to hear my father in law preach again.  He was our pastor for the first 5 years of our marriage and he is such a great man of God.  I love to hear him preach!  We are so happy for Mike and Becky and their new church.  I pray many blessings over it and that it will touch the lives of many families in Malden and the surrounding areas.  We of course had to get our weekly #selfieSunday taken also!

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Sunday afternoon we got groceries and played outside.  Sunday evening around 8:00 my mom called me and from that point on everything changed quickly.

She told me she had called an ambulance and they were taking dad to the Emergency Room in Doniphan.  I immediately hopped in my vehicle and headed to Doniphan to be with them.  My dad had fallen a few days earlier and ever since that fall had really been lethargic and not his normal self.  My mom and all of us just blamed it on the dementia and didn’t really think much of it.  He falls all the time and we are still trying to learn what the new normal is with his dementia.

Sunday afternoon/evening my dad got uncontrollable.  He was starting to get very agitated, refused to take his seizure medicine and didn’t really know a whole lot that was going on.  He also lost any ability to walk and was completely immobile.  My mom had no choice but to call an ambulance.

When he got to the emergency room they ran blood work, did a CT scan, and X-Ray.  The CT scans showed he had a major brain bleed from his fall and he had to be air-evac’d immediately.  Because his case was so complex with his brain history, only Barnes-Jewish hospital in St. Louis would take him.

I left immediately to go get Chris and the girls and figure out what we were going to do.  This was about 1:00 a.m.  Sunday night/Monday morning at this time.  I drove to Dexter and picked everyone up and then we dropped the girls off at Chris’ mom and dad’s house and went up to St. Louis.  Since dad went by helicopter he was up there in no time.  Chris and I were the first ones there and went back and sat with him until my mom, sister, brother-in-law, and Nini made it up there.

The doctors at Barnes looked at his CT scan and determined he would definitely need brain surgery to evacuate the bleeding.  They wheeled him back around 6:00 that morning, but the surgery didn’t start until around 8:22 a.m. Monday morning.

We all waited and waited and waited.  The surgery only ended up lasting about an hour once it got started.  The doctor came and talked with us and said they were able to get 2/3 of the blood removed from the brain.  They had to leave a drain tube in to help get rid of all the extra blood that would come off once his brain started shifting back in place.

It took another 2 hours before we were finally able to go up to the ICU and see dad.  It tore my heart into about a million pieces to see him in ICU.

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Once he finally starting waking up from all the anesthesia, he was not a very happy camper.  He did let me feed him a few ice chips, but didn’t really realize what was going on or what had just happened to him.

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They kept him pretty sedated right after the surgery and he was honestly very miserable.  He was able to sleep some because he was still very groggy from the surgery.

We all had to regroup together and decide how to best plan for the lengthy hospital stay that he was going to have.  Since Elizabeth had her big cheer banquet that evening, Chris and I headed back to Dexter while my sister stayed with my mom at St. Louis.

Chris and I {along with everyone else} were going on 36 hours of no sleep, so we are all exhausted.

Monday evening we stopped at Cape and picked the girls up from James and Lequeeta.  They missed school that day but had a great day with Nana and Papa.  We drove straight back to Dexter so Liz and I could attend her cheer banquet.  She was awarded Great Personality out of her cheer group and received a certificate and cute new shirt.  I love being a cheer mom!

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I don’t really remember anything else that evening except that I went home and crashed!

Tuesday I went to school and worked half a day.  I left at 1:00 and headed back up to St. Louis to spend the night.  My sister and I are just taking turns being with mom right now.

Dad honestly didn’t show any improvement.  In fact, he had to become restrained on all 4 of his limbs because he was being so combative and trying to hit or scratch all the nurses.  He also had to get a feeding tube down his nose because he kept refusing to take his medicine.

I felt so helpless because I couldn’t undo his restraints and he was miserable just laying there not being able to move!

The doctor came and talked with us Tuesday afternoon and was pleased with how good his scan looked after the surgery.  It looked better than they even expected it to look.  He said it would just take time for dad’s brain to shift back into place and for us to know how exactly dad was going to handle all this trauma.

He did get the drain tubes out of his head so that helped with him resting a little better and leaning his head back.  He got to get out of the ICU only because someone in worse condition came in and needed his bed.

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So as of right now we are in the step down unit, but dad is still restrained by all 4 limbs.  He is still not communicating with us very well or totally comprehending what is going on.  He just mumbles and says bizarre things.  He did tell me I was the prettiest thing he ever saw and then winked at me, so that gave me a good laugh.

I came back home late Wednesday evening and my sister was up there with dad all day yesterday.  He got a good bath and felt a little better after that.  Social workers are in the process of talking with us and we are trying to look at all of our nursing home options to put him in.  We don’t know for how long, but there is no way we can risk him falling again while his brain is still healing from surgery.  If his case is too complex for a nursing home, we will possibly look at a specialized “step down” hospital to handle his case.

I am working today and then heading up to St. Louis again for the weekend.  Please pray for strength for all of us.  But say a special prayer for my dad and that God will wrap him tight and begin to heal his brain back to where he can communicate with us and understand what is going on.  Also pray he can get the restraints off and stay calm and not try to hurt anyone.

Thank you all for the overwhelming amount of calls, texts, e-mails offering help with the girls and most of all your prayers and love.  It means the world to me!

Have a great Friday and great weekend!

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One thought on “Life Lately

  1. Laura says:

    Oh wow, I’m glad your week had some high points, but I’m so sorry to hear about your father. I will keep him and your whole family in my prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

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