I've been gone for quite a while! Thanks again for all the comments and emails. I really appreciate it! Things are going remarkably well...except that I've been having some serious computer problems., and Fee has been out of town. Since I've been so busy lately, it hasn't bothered me as much as it normally would, but it is amazing how addictive blogging is and how much you come to depend on it.
Laddie's surgery went smooth as silk, and the pacemaker is working quite well. Leaving him in the care of my brothers, Fee and I left on Friday afternoon to go to Natchez and then to Baton Rouge for Mila's birthday - a fun-filled and hectic party with 4 year olds! Then returned on Sunday night.
Laddie was released from the hospital on Tuesday, and we had made arrangements for him to go to The Cottage at the Glen, an Alzheimer's Unit. It is a marvelous place, and he thought he was in a hotel and wanted to tip the staff! The place is huge and beautiful, and everyone is professional and caring. For the first few days, I went twice a day and watched television (huge, flat-screen), interacted with the "guests," sat in the sunroom, listened to a lady who can't remember much other than how to play the piano (and she plays beautifully... all the old tunes that generation love), had disconnected conversations with the friendly residents/guests, sat on the patio, exercised, etc.
As the days have gone by, Laddie has seemed more and more comfortable, less shy, and more content, although he never protested, as Dr. Liu told him it was for rehab. And he is receiving physical and occupational therapy several times a week.
The kitchen opens up into the "great room" and people sit around the bar that surrounds it as if at a counter at a diner. The dining area has lovely tables and looks like a nice restaurant; the food looks and smells delicious. It is all beautifully furnished and tastefully decorated...puts my house to shame. There are 15 apartments with microwaves and small refrigerators (a state requirement, but the guests are hardly aware of them). We put a queen size bed, a chest of drawers, a desk, and two of the chairs from home in Laddie's apartment, distributed family pictures all around, brought lost of his magazines (Ducks Unlimited, travel magazines, the Smithsonian, etc.) for him to browse through when he feels like it.
On Sunday, when I was visiting, he said, "Why don't you spend the night?" I said that I'd love to but that I couldn't right then...maybe soon. He must think he's on vacation and maybe he is. Lots of socialization, although they frequently introduce themselves anew each day. What thrills me is that I don't feel sad when I'm there - I'm amused and interested and happier - and confident that he is cared for and safe. The other guests (Mrs. D., Mr. W., Miss D., Mrs. A., Mrs. V, Mrs. J.; these are the most active and sociable) are friendly and sweet and remind me of the 4 year olds at Mila's birthday party!
I know this is a long post, but so much has gone on since I posted about ten days ago. Fee worked on my computer last night and things are better, but still not quite right. He had to go back to Texas again today, but made sure I could play on the computer before he left.