Thursday, May 29, 2008

Happy Birthday to everyone in the Klassen family

We all met tonight (all of us) to celebrate the birthdays we had between March and June but ignored because dad and mom have been in the midst of life or death health crisis's for the past 5 months.
But we've been hospital-and-care-home-free for a whole 30 days! Yay for us. So, today, on my brother's 45th birthday we all met at the Keg for a big pig out.

Here's my dad, ignoring us and sucking back his 4th of 5 consecutive (virgin) Caesar's. That man does love him some salty, spicy beverages.
He swallows a Keg size drink in one sip.

We found out a few weeks ago that it doesn't matter to him if there's alcohol in it or not. His pleasure is exactly the same. So we order with the not.
Win. Win. Win. This is Jake, the youngest of the cousins. He wanted to be in every photo. So I took about 50 of just him:
Mandi and Clint:

Oh, look! Jake again:

Sarah-cakes and her man, David: (They're both graduating from a 4 year Graphic Design program next Friday.)

Birthday boy and his woman, Jacquie:

Mandi and her Bups. (Isn't her haircut cute? Now that she doesn't work at Dairy Queen anymore, she doesn't need a pony-tail style...)

Drewbs and Bupsidoodle: (My old man has spent a bit of time in the sun)

Clint and Bups:

PETER Chadwick (aka "Chad") - and his Bups:

And, some black and whites...
Oh! Jake! Again!


The hunter in the family:


Goofball -

The grandkids - 2. (Max and Zac left early. LOST was on.)

So, my dad had an appointment with a neurologist yesterday and we found out a few things. Interesting things.
Turns out the problem with his head stems from the problem with his heart.
In 1990 he had a massive heart attack that damaged a good portion of his heart. Since then, he's had a bypass, a couple of pace makers installed and other miscellaneous bits of work done. His heart is weakening and he has congestive heart failure, meaning that it doesn't efficiently move the blood through his body.
The doctor explained that what happens is the blood pools at the bottom of his heart and then every once in awhile, surges up into his head. When that surge of blood (a clot of blood, so to speak) lands in his brain, it causes a mini (very mini) seizure and kills off the brain cells in that area, sort of like a tiny, almost indiscernible stroke. This has likely been happening for almost 20 years.
So over the years, when dad would have dizzy spells for no apparent reason, I guess there was a reason... he was having tiny seizures in his brain.

As his heart got weaker, the spells would happen more frequently, but he wouldn't say anything, and we hardly noticed.
But I guess, after a person has continual mini brain farts for 20 years, eventually the fact that a whole lot of brain cells are no longer in operation is going to become evident.
Which is where we were at last year with the Alzheimer's diagnosis.

In a way, it's a huge relief that it's not Alzheimer's.
But this is sad too.
Because now? Those little seizures? Are happening with more frequency because his heart continues to weaken. And instead of just getting dizzy? He collapses. Which is what happened at Harrison Hot Springs in February. And again in March. And April. It was scary for him, to be on the floor and twitching, which is why we had him in the hospital for so many weeks.
But last week, when it happened again, he just lay on the floor and asked for a pillow. When the episode ended, he got up and continued watching James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause.

His brain cells have taken alot of hits over the years... his heart has stopped beating on a number of occasions, and each time it happens, his brain doesn't get the oxygen that it needs to operate.
So now we now.
And it doesn't matter.
We love him to bits even though he mostly only wants to talk about that '57 T-Bird he's gonna buy.
The brain cells that are still working? Are the ones that know who we are. Are the ones that remember the important things. Are the ones that are contected to postive thoughts and a cheerful outlook. Are the ones that look forward to corn-on-the-cob season and dinners at the Spaghetti Factory.
The brain cells that are still working are the ones that are gentle, kind, appreciative and quiet.
He's not the man he was.
But that's OK. We like the 2008 version of Bups just fine.
My new kitchen gadget: Let the baking begin. (Thanks mom.)

Drew, setting it up for me:

Drew's daily night snack:

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. My fam. They're awesome.
2. The yellow daylilies right outside my front door. Ahhh, that scent. Heavenly. (Of course, that's making a big assumption about what heaven will smell like...)
3. Hairspray.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love the pictures! That night sounds like it would have been fun. You will LOVE your Kitchenaid. Thanks to Auntie Susie I have the 5 extra attachments. I will never grind meat with my Kitchenaid, but I know it can. She got the attachments with her ZELLERS "points" - she didn't have a Kitchenaid! My countdown on FACEBOOK says 48 days. YIPPEE. See you then.