sorry about the belated update, guys! somehow these things just keep getting put on the back burner . . .
yesterday my dad was transferred from the neurology level at Mayo to the Rehabilitation Unit; in fact, today, for the first time, he had a full morning of rehab! when my mom and sisters and i walked into the room this morning, he was fully dressed with his tennis shoes on, maneuvering a wheel chair! this afternoon he'll have some more therapy. he'll have a total of 3 hours of therapy a day, and it will be split between speech, occupational, physical, and recreational therapy. the weekends are normally a little more leisurely, but they DID decide to put in a full day's work today.
a couple of days ago, we took my dad outside for the first time since the stroke . . . we got him all set up in a wheel chair and took him to a little outdoor courtyard that they have at Mayo, and we just walked around and let my dad soak in the sunshine and the fresh air. it was so nice to let him enjoy a change of scenery:)
my dad is completely off all IVs now, and grows stronger day by day. he doesn't have any more diet restrictions -- now he can eat whatever he wants, thank goodness! he always turns his nose up to the hospital decaf coffee, so i think we'll have to make a coffee run at some point, so he can enjoy a TRUE dark roast! the staples have all been removed from his head (40 staples!) and the scar is healing nicely . . . he had a helmet made for him as well just to protect his head while the piece of skull he had removed remains out. he doesn't wear the helmet all the time, but while he is up and about and working with the therapists he puts it on.
communication is our big focus right now. his continues to try and speak to us, but we usually only hear the same word, YOU. he gets frustrated with himself, knowing that he cannot communicate his ideas, but as he continues to get better, we find other ways to communicate -- hand squeezing, pointing, motioning -- and he also tries writing. it will be super exciting for him to begin working with a speech therapist, and see what results will come of it.