My family thought I would have been so worried at the news from far away. To be honest, I actually was very calm as this was no surprise to me at all knowing my father has been alcoholic, a very heavy drinker, who drinks half liter of Vodka on daily basis. He is also a heavy smoker. The two unhealthy habits were boht developed due to poor and harsh life, especially during the cultural revolution in China. However, at this age, he is still farming and chopping fire woods, which help reduce the ill effects of smoking and drinking.
Once I heard the news, I asked my father if he'd need me to be back and he said he was taken good care of by the people around. My niece, his granddaughter, was the physician in charge and discussing treatment plan with me all the time. Therefore, he did not seem very stressed or concerned very much. What else amazed me was his attitude-he asked if he'd be able to exercise on his self-made monkey bar after rehab. I assured him that he would.
Over the last two weeks, I spent my time off work chatting with my family and hosptial staff. I was so surprised and thankful that he walked out of hospital after 15 days of the onset of stroke. He quit smoking and drinking, a habit of almost 70 years, all at once.
While being happy at my father's speedy recovery, I'm very thankful to my neighbors who have given their love and support during this tough period. I decided to take an extra trip to my village on April 8 just to thank my neighbors as well as the doctors who participated the care.
As departure date is approaching, I could not help but visualize the whoe scenario. My father was trying to fix the barn when he was struck by the stroke and fell onto the snowy ground. My mother called in a few neighbors to pull my father out of the muddy puddle and sent him to hospital in no time.
Stroke rehab could be a long journey, therefore my neighbors went to hospital to rotate with my brother and sister in law to help my father going through rehab. They even turn to video tape pre and post rehab status to keep me updated on my father's progress.
What about my 84 year old mother? Was she alone and worried at home? Nope! One of the neighbors, auntie Cong, moved in to live with my mom since then. Others dropped in on daily basis to make sure she has enough food, firewoods, etc.
Now my father is back to his life, minus smoking and drinking. It's time for me to visit and celebrate his speedy recovery and belated birthday. I just can't bring enough stuff to my village to thank my neighbors...
Here is a partial list of what I'll take with me: live prawns, lobsters, crabs, fish oil, vitamins, etc.