Tuesday, April 23, 2013

"What Did We Just Do?"

My dad passed out at church on April 7, 2 days before his 79th birthday. Finally my mom was able to get him to the hospital because an ambulance was called. What we thought was going to be a couple day stay has turned into a two week stay so far with everyone's emotions going everywhere.

It was eventually determined that my dad had to have a quadruple bypass. What?! He is fine, except that sometimes his color does look a little gray (I thought this because I don't see him as often as I used to because of moving farther away).
Surgery was scheduled for Friday, April 12, but the anethesiologist was sick. They would not let him leave the hospital because they said he was a ticking time bomb. I am still thinking, 'You are crazy! His color is good, he has no chest pain, he says he feels fine'. (except for that really low blood pressure he keeps having).

So surgery is now scheduled for Monday, April 15 at 6:30am. Ugh, stuck in the hospital all weekend, why? He is fine, just look at him. (even though the cardio workup shows 100%, 95%, and 85% blockage). So, what is a man suppose to do...hang out at the hospital. The boys and I went to hang out with dad and play some games on Sunday to help occupy his time and help keep all of our minds off the upcoming surgery.

Monday morning gets here and surgery is pushed back to 1:30pm. Ugh, more waiting....although I was able to have the precious visiting time I would not have had if he went in at 6:30am.

Here goes the start of the crazy roller coaster! Surgery- in at 1:30pm, out at 11:30pm, finally see him at 12:30am. So upset to see my dad lying in that bed thinking about his heart being removed from his chest while they work on grafts. Crying my eyes out on a rainy drive home an hour away. Calling my mom and just being so sad and angry for what dad just went through. Finally tucking my two little boys into bed (who had been the best behaved little boys at the hospital all day through the process) at 2:30am and myself at 3am.

Then, the dreaded phone call at 6am, taking dad back down to surgery because the nurse spent the whole night giving him blood and plasma; the bleeding just won't stop. What did we just do...he was fine just two days ago! (except the doctors said it had to be done).

That Tuesday they not only went into his chest once, but twice! Onto bypass a second time to fix the graft that was bleeding all night. Leaving his chest open in case they had to go in again, plus he was swelled up. Thinking to myself, did we really have to do this! What is dad going to say when he wakes up!?

Wednesday and Thursday hanging out, sedated, bloating body full of fluids, can't stand to see my dad like this! What did we just do!?

Thursday they went in his chest cavity again to wash everything out and make sure all was good. They then closed up his chest. Friday, another day of rest. Watching the monitors and questioning. So scared for my dad just laying there not knowing what has been happening. Thinking, what did we just do?

Saturday, find out he is in A-fib and they need to shock his heart. Everytime they try to adjust medicines there are complications. Okay, shock him, let's get this heart pumping right. NOPE, didn't work. Just kept thinking what is going to happen if he doesn't come out of this. He was fine on Sunday, we were just playing cards. He wanted to go home! Nope, doctors said a ticking time bomb.

Okay, mentally yelling get the heart on track! Finally Sunday morning the heart started with a regular sinus rhythm. Okay, good news, can it stay that way and if not can it be fixed! I need my dad! Yes, it did stay. When it didn't they adjusted meds and got it back on track. All is going well! Except that I see a tear in dad's eye as he is looking at me but can't talk or move. My dad never is still for long. What is he thinking while he is looking at me probably seeing the fear (and relief) on my face but can't react and has no idea what has been happening! What did we just do!?

Big step on Sunday, the balloom pump came out. So scared, what happens if there is a relapse?

Monday, a week after surgery, they finally get him off the ventilator. This was suppose to happen last week. Why did those doctors tell us it would be surgery and up the next day when it wasn't. (because he is 79, that's why!)

Again, I had to walk out of the room today, Monday, before they extubated him because I saw the tear in his eye and the look on his face that said, "What did we just do?" I came back in rubbed his hand, acted all composed, and said, "It is going to be ok. I love you!" He squeezed my hand and that meant everything to me.

He has done well being extubated. They had to put an oxygen mask on as he was working a little hard and getting frustrated because he can't talk. He has to be tired of sitting in that bed and thinking, "What did we just do?"

Looking forward to many positives this week and trying to keep his spirits up and his pain down.

Everytime I picture his face in my mind of his helplessness as he lay there and the look of unhappiness on his face I think, "What did we just do?"

What did we just do.....hopefully gave him another 10 plus years to his life!

I love you dad with all my heart. You are my inspiration, my strength to do what people say I can't, my mentor, and the best grandfather to my children!

mom and dad - 50th anniversary, November 3, 2012

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Chicken Coop Set Up For Broilers

We have had to keep our broilers inside because it is just too cold out for them. They are growing fast but not growing their feathers fast enough. I moved them into a nice section in our new coop but to clean out the droppings every other day was getting to be quite a messy chore! So today my husband and I spent two hours setting up what I hope to be a much easier way to deal with it all.

First I built the base that the chickens will walk on. Surprisingly I measured correctly and it fit in the spot we already had set up. We then added the wire mesh (1/2" x 1"). The base is then supported up off the floor by more 2x4's on their side. This way I have room to put trays of a piece of tin or something easy to slide out from underneath the wire mesh for easy cleaning. The chickens are also not having to sit in their own feces. Today I just put a nice big piece of plastic under it until I can get to the tin/metal shop to get a piece cut to fit. Looking forward to some easier days of cleaning and happier chickens.

87 chickens are fitting comfortably in here right now. The weather has to break soon or they won't be so comfortable. This week is getting into the 70's but still a little too cool at night for them. This week I will be finishing the chicken tractors so in the next week or so they can move outside! This set up will then be moved out of the way until next year.

This coop is also going to be used for my son's 4-H chickens. He has chosen the polish crested. I have plans to build 3 separate stalls for breeding and keeping the show chickens separate. There will also be brooders in place for any babies we get and the baby broilers next year so everything can be kept out of the house.

These are Nico's Polish Crested. I love watching their feathers grow in. They are so beautiful!

Here is Luca with one of the new baby Wynadettes. He wanted to be a pirate and figured a chicken would work just as well as a parrot.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mining

One of Nico's projects in 4-H this year is geology. What a great way to incorporate it in our school year! We are using Intelligo Unit Study: Soils, Rocks, Minerals, and Fossils for this study. I have always loved Intelligo's Unit Studys and had forgotten about them until I did a search.

Anyway, one of the units is on minerals. Many of the links within the unit study are from USGS (US Geological Survey). I was so excited to find this link USGS Life Cycle of a Mineral Deposit. (oh, and it's FREE). It has a short reading and then about 10 hands on acitivities. Some included are orange plate tectonics, peanut butter and jelly crust, cupcake core drilling, making your own toothpaste, and chocolate chip cookie mining. We completed the plate tectonics and peanut butter and jelly crust last week. Today we did the Chocolate Chip Cookie Mining. The boys absolutley loved it! I couldn't believe even Luca (5yo) got into it. They love watching Gold Rush with Mike so we related some of the things to the TV show for better understanding.

Here are some pictures.

 Nico's final analysis was that we should have weighed the chips (gold) vs just counting the chips. One cookie that was easier to mine had larger 'nuggets', but fewer, while the other cookies had more 'nuggets', but a lot smaller in size. I thought it was a great analysis on his part.

Of course, the favorite part was eating the cookies. My least favorite part is now I have three bags of cookies left over. ;-)