Update on my Dad

For all of you who aren’t following me on Facebook, I wanted to let you know what’s been going on in my life this week and why I haven’t posted any quilt pictures.

Last Tuesday afternoon, I got a phone call from my mother, frantically saying that she’d called the ambulance and that my 82-year-old dad had just fallen off the roof.  No other info other than “he’s not good at all”.

Dad had been working on putting up new siding on the side of his house and when I found out what he had planned, I sent my son over to help.  Hoping that my dad would stay on the ground.  I should have known better – he climbed up on top of his metal roof last spring to fix some wind damage. I said, “Dad!, couldn’t that have waited until Ed (my husband) got home?” He seemed to think that it wasn’t any big deal. Yes, he’s 82, and I hope I’m that spry and active when I get to be that age. He putters around the house, runs a tractor for odd projects, tends to his chickens, and puts out a fantastic garden. He was trying to save a bit of money so they could vacation in Texas again this winter. Doesn’t look like he will make it there after all (pound foolish, penny wise).

He was transported by ambulance to St. Mary’s hospital and 3 hours later was transferred to Carle Clinic in Urbana, IL – a Level 1 Trauma Center.  CT Scan had showed he had multiple fractures, and was being referred to a neurosurgeon because of them.  Once at Carle, we were told he also had atrial fibrillation and needed to see a cardiologist also.

After several days in the ICU, he was transferred to a regular room yesterday and will be transferred to a rehab center of the hospital tomorrow.  After about a week of rehab, he should be able to go home. He broke 5 bones in his neck and spine, two ribs, and his left clavicle. He remembers hugging the Joshua tree on the way down and that probably saved his life. Otherwise, he’d have landed on concrete or large rocks. As it is, he missed both of those to land on his neck and shoulder on the hard ground. Knocked himself out and scared Mom and my son into thinking he was dead. The good news is even with all those breaks, and a great big knot on the back of his head, he has no numbness or paralysis or anything other than severe pain from fractures. If he had hair on the top of his head, he would have none left now as he scraped the entire top of his head. It looks like he was scalped!  His atrial fibrillation spontaneously reverted to a normal sinus rhythm.  I’m ecstatic about that!  That had us really worried.

In addition to this, I luckily avoided getting a speeding ticket when I slowed down from 80 to 65 mph to pass a state police car on my way to meet my husband to go to the hospital. After I passed him, the state trooper gave me every opportunity to slow down, but I just couldn’t seem to slow down.  I think I was doing pretty good to keep it between 65 and 70. At the time, all I knew was that Dad had fallen from the roof and Mom was crying and said it was really bad. I managed to get just a severe talking to by the state trooper – no ticket thank goodness. Mom tried to grab a quick snooze in the truck while it was parked in the ER parking lot and was suddenly awakened when a car rammed her truck.  Although she got the gal’s name and number and insurance company name; it turns out that the phone number is false (or the man who answered the phone lied) and there is nothing to do abbout holding that person accountable for the damage.  The damage is pretty light, thank goodness, but it was the principle of the whole thing.  Mom said the gal looked like she was honest and is disappointed that she was let down.

So, it’s been a pretty stressful week. I’ve camped out here at the hospital since Tuesday night and am planning on finally going home tomorrow. My mother and brother and I have been taking turns staying by his side. I’ve grabbed 2 hour naps here and there and it will be nice to sleep in a bed instead of a hospital chair. My sister just flew in from Germany today and will take over for me while I go back to work next week. The Red Cross assists military families in emergencies and they arranged for my sister and her husband to fly home. What a Godsend they are to do this. My sister is an RN and will be a big help when they discharge him (hopefully next weekend).

All ladders are going to disappear from their barn before he comes home, too. Just in case he didn’t learn his lesson the first time!

I’m also working when I can from the hospital room or visitors lounge on assorted job duties that can’t seem to wait and finally felt like I could take a breather and post a note to my subscribers on what has been going on this week. I want to thank LynnEl for your help, and thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers.


P.S. My Sunflower Stars quilt won 1st prize at the Illinois State Fair. Yeah!

2 responses to “Update on my Dad

  1. Oh my goodness, what a catastrophe! I know this was a terrible experience for your family and how thrilling news he can recover from the injuries with time. Take good care of yourself while taking care of your dad. And CONGRATS on winning that ribbon with your quilt, awesome!

  2. Joy,
    So glad to hear that your dad is starting to do a little better. It’s going to be a long road but so glad he will completely recover. Glad your sister is here now too. This has been a terrible week for you and your family and I just hope it gets better each day! Congratulations on your Awesome Sunflower Quilt! Enter it in Paducah now! Love you!

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