Today is dad’s birthday. He is still in hospital recovering from stroke. Poor dad.

I hadn’t realised that there are so many things involved when it comes to stroke rehabilitation. Dad is out of ICU now and has been in the normal ward for a week. He can’t move the left side of his body and he cannot swallow foods.

Not being able to swallow foods is the hard part, I think. Dad has to be fed through a tube that is inserted from his nostrils right to his stomach. Milk is poured into the tube using a syringe. This has to be done every 3 hours. Utmost care and skill is required so that the milk goes into the stomach and not the lungs.

Hopefully he will be able to go home soon. He will need a lot of care at home and require frequent visits to the hospital for physiotherapy. Once he is home, we will no longer be able to rely on the nurses to help us feed and move him about. It will be quite a challenge. Dad will be staying with big brother. Sister-in-law and dad’s maid will feel the full impact of this almost full time job of looking after dad. I know that both my sisters will drop by as often as they can to help out but it is not the same. It is not easy.

The nurses and doctors in the hospital are good. I am in awe of them. I think it takes a special kind of person to become a nurse or a doctor in a hospital. There are four doctors in attendance, speech, physio, cardio plus the neuro.

Dad was more alert mentally when he was in ICU. This few days, he is mostly having delusions and mumbling to himself. He thinks he is in a war. He keeps on saying “I must fight” and “I am not scared” over and over again to persons we cannot see. The night nurse said he gave her quite a scare when he spoke to someone behind her whom she cannot see during the night.

In a way, he is right. He must fight and he must not be scared. It is the same with us. We must fight and we must not be scared.

Happy Birthday daddy. This birthday I am not buying you anything but I have a prayer for you. I pray that you will be able to swallow foods soon and regain movement on the left side of your body quickly. I wish I could do more for you.

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