Sunday, August 5, 2007

Updates and things

Well, Dad is perkier and much more alert, but conversely, since he's more alert, he's much more desirous of his usual chatty ways and much more easily frustrated when communications via letterboard fail. Overall, he's better.

A social worker spoke to Mom on Friday about moving Dad from ICU to an acute care facility now that he has his tracheotomy in place and stomach wall feeding tube. A family friend with a history in nursing brought some salient questions to the table about the importance of continuity in care and questioning why a transfer direct from ICU to an off-campus acute care facility was advisable when non-ICU beds were available on-site and much closer to more intense services should it all go pear-shaped...

On another front, I learned to turn a WinXP box into an assistive text>speech device (next: migrating application from test-bed to production environment). A free program called DSpeech translates typed text to spoken word rather nicely, and I know where I can get a large key keyboard.

My biggest problem is that ideally, I need someone clueful that can weld or do amazing woodwork (welding is better, I suspect, from an infectious disease standpoint - easier to wipe down metal and keep it sterile). What I am imagining is a mutant hospital bed table wherein as Dad lays in bed, the top of the stand holding the keyboard at an adjustable height and a flatscreen LCD monitor and a pointing device (I'm thinking a large trackball with low sensitivity/click rate).

Ideally the CPU box would be a tower, slung low on the support base of this mutant wheeled table.

So, am beginning the quest in search of someone that knows how to weld (I don't) and contemplating which PC gear to pirate for my cause out of the house here, or alternatively, picking up a new dedicated box (appealing on a number of fronts) that Dad can wheel around - essentially a disposable PC that's designed around the notion it's going to take a beating, fail, and then be replaced.

Mom is running low on steam as we approach 2 months in, and I grow concerned. Understandably, she wants to be at the hospital every day, but at when approaching the eighth decade that is not an entirely supportable pace - particularly when to/fro involves cab rides or, alternatively, attempting the drive herself or doing the bus thing.

This is not made any better by the impending 11 day traffic adventure in the area, with the major north/south freeway closing to one lane in each direction - traffic is predicted to back up to 33 miles (or more) by the State DOT unless at least half of commuters abandon their cars in favor of buses or other forms of transportation.

Finally, on a more upbeat note, Mom and I picked up some lights for the kitchen today on the way back from the hospital. Working on getting the house sufficiently beaten into shape that Mom feels confident she can make the whole thing work on her own, if she needs to (the new job requires me to travel, if naught else).

Being able to see to cook, run the furnace controls, and generally keep the place in working order has its' little advantages. Dad's not got a lot of strength in his hands so I'm struggling to install some faucets that turn easily I bought a few years ago, before he gets back so he can at least wash his hands w/o asking for help...a ramp in front of the house is also on the "to-do" list.

Another day, another adventure.


Queen of Dysfunction said...

It sounds like a lot to do. Good luck, I hope you find someone that can weld and make your mutant bed and that your mom is able to keep up with what will undoubtedly be a frenetic pace.

Gay_Cynic said...

Thank you :) it's going to be busy for a bit, but better busy than sitting about fretting.

Diamond Mair said...

Posed the questions to my spousal unit & 3 friends, who are ALL computer guys - they can probably come up with some suggestions for you ....................
Semper Fi'