Tuesday, July 17, 2007


"Yesterday sucked," said the courier.  Last night, Dad would occasionally say, "I sure didn't think today would end up like this."  I do agree.  Then, once he added, "Ah, well, there wasn't anything good on television today, anyway."  I COULD complain, but what's the point?  Just deal and move forward.

For those of you who have asked, thanks, my brother Doug is doing remarkably well!  He's out of his cast, and will start physical therapy once he gets the handicap tag.  His appointment Friday was rescheduled due to emergency, to yesterday.  Along with everyone else's.  He got a scant if that 15 minutes, and is still feeling as if he doesn't know a lot about what's going on.  He can't get his mail, he can't use some of his house, but he is sure looking forward to sitting in the shower.  Apparently sponge bathes get old.  This new set of un-splinted sensations can be almost as painful as that first day.

So, feeling a lot of relief yesterday after having a cathartic conversation with Beth (following a not great Sunday evening but I did NOT let myself get too down, nope, C can't do that to me any more even if I do miss M), I got some other things rolling.  Almost stopped by Sears last night enroute to visiting Dad, still finding the right refrigerator for Dad.  Nah, Daisy and I will spend some time together instead.  Righttt.   A nurse called me.  Apparently they tried my office when I'd stepped out for a short lunch.  This time, it's Dad.

Late afternoon Sunday, I brought Dad groceries, realizing he really had not eaten as much this past week or did I just over buy?  He was dead asleep, snoring, though, so I knew he was likely alright.  Not feeling well, not even physically, and the house dark, I departed without waking him.  I knew trash gets picked up Tuesdays, and that I'd visit him Monday.  Oy.

Before I was off with the nurse, Dad called me, finally remembering the number I suppose.  He never ever usually forgets numbers.  He was lucid enough, yet I could tell his breathing was not right.  Doug asked if Dad was slurring his words as if another stroke.  "No, I don't think so.  It sounded like pneumonia."  I knew it was something lung-related.  I didn't need to be correct.

Dad fell, and the contractor and helper had difficulty picking Dad up.  He'd missed cues that he had eliminated, also.  He was wheezing.   (After walking Daisy and feeding the pets at home,) I spent oh, however many hours first at his home (he USUALLY has the trash ready for me, but he didn't this time instead it was a bit scattered, and other things that are off for him).   A lot of things got put into the freezer, fresh fruit I'll try to eat I suppose.  Bringing him clean clothes, I met up with Dad at the ER.  Ultimately, about 1 a.m., I finally left after confirming that the doctors would not return, and Dad WOULD be admitted.   Antiobiotics for the pneumonia, tons of questions by everyone, EKG, monitors galore, and insufficient urinal availability.  (Doug thinks Dad had to urinate that often due to the fluids in the IV, but gosh, hourly?  Dad could tell me, though, that he had to go, in advance.)  They'd tested for blood clots with ultrasound (his feet looked horrible, very swollen, I've never seen them like that and I am the one who usually bathes him).   Dad enjoyed that guy, a Mike, said that Mike did all sorts of things with Dad's feet and legs.  They ran a CAT scan with a technologically-advanced looking CAT scan machine (what chipper, positive guys working there, the one cute one offering me a blanket as it was cold).  During the actual scan, I waited in the hallway to protect me from radiation, I assume.  An elderly woman was wheeled up, alone, to wait.  I said something to her, and then she just opened up and talked and talked.  Her dog just came home from a week in "the" hospital for pneumonia, for one thing, but I took note that the womans niece was there, so the niece would know to take care of the dog just in case...   They gave Dad a blood thinner, also, in case he had a blood clot.  His father had died of one at age 76.  Dad's 74.  I think today when I visit, I'll ask them to check his prostate, also; Dad's brother died of prostate cancer oh, late 50's / early 60's?  If Dad really has a "going problem" as the ads say. 

I'm so tired.

At one point last night, I went into the restroom as much for something to do as anything else.  Alone, I thought, "Can I just scream now?"  Or, was that when I first got into my car, leaving Dad knowing he'll be okay and thanking the nurse, and praying. 

I've talked a lot with Doug.  The nurse wants me to call her back with an update.  Fine, nice of her, great, just she called me an hour after we'd talked.  LOL.  I wasn't HOME.  Canceled Meals on Wheels for now.  Get a key to the contractor, and meet up with him to discuss additional needs (bars throughout places, for one of many things).  Dad okayed me giving this guy a key, heck, when he wasn't sleeping (it was SO late for Dad), we talked of a few things.  A few times we went through, "This is where Doug was born, right?"  "Yes, Dad, (some new thought)."  "And you were born in Texas.  NO, that was Beth, that must have been Beth who was born in Texas."  Being so very late at night for him, and on medications and sick, I figured that amount of lucidity was good.

The one doctor told me that my job is to tell the hospital that I am NOT taking Dad home, so that they are forced to put him into physical rehabilitation.  I had to do this once previously, learning that the hard way and a nurse slying telling me this.  Dad had had a stroke, and was still in real bad shape.  They didn't realize that this wasn't his normal.  His incoherency (sp) was on high alert, too, questioning why the other patient in the room would dare enter Dad's home.  That man was being discharged and played along.  Shook Dad's hand, said he was a friend of mine and had been invited, but would leave now.  The man nodded to my distressed face, and wished us luck.  I had to leave, also, discharge was taking hours longer than anticipated (I'd come to pick Dad up, but he physically SO not right, couldn't even lift himself up from lying down).  I had to pick up M and said I'd be back.  Except, in Dad's best interests, it killed me, but I didn't come back that day.  I still cry to think of that.  The next day, they had worked out admissions to rehab, and I drove him the couple blocks over.  Rehabilitation did wonders for Dad after that, physically, AND he's never been that confused since.  What about the people who never recover?   This time, it'll be easier, and this time, it's not a stroke.  They estimate approximately 5 days in there.  Just, this time, CAN he go home after, with more care available than now perhaps?

I've talked a LOT with Doug about a lot of this situation, the larger and littler aspects.  He feels badly he can't help out physically.  I would feel badly I am likely not going to be able to help take him to HIS physical rehabilitation.   But, Doug, and N (who is busy as heck himself), and other friends, have been able to be at the other end of the phone for me.  That still helps:)  

Even Daisy, who barked for SO long this a.m. as they power-washed the sides of our condo.  I can't blame her for that.  I prefered our spirited walk at 1:30 a.m., and her snuggling next to me while I attempted to sleep a few hours.  Life goes on.


  1. It's sad the games one must play to get people the help they need.  The rehab will do your dad well and who knows it may help him make the transition to assisted living.  Take care of yourself.  ~ Mike

  2. You sound to have such a lot on your plate as the saying goes over here in England.I will pray dad gets much better soon and that you can have more rest too.It  is so hard caring for sick people.All th etravelling backwards and forwards to hospitals etc.I had to do thsi for a long time for my father.I sometimes think it is much harder for th eones who have to care.Take Care God Bless Prayers being said Kath
    astoriasand http://journals.aol.co.uk/astoriasand/MYSIMPLERHYMES

  3. I am so sorry to hear about your dad...I will keep him in my prayers!  I bet you feel like screaming!  Hope all changes soon!  Hugs,TerryAnn

  4. seraphoflove9001July 18, 2007 at 3:11 AM

    You are in my prayers.

  5. I will keep your dad in prayers. (((((hugs))))))

  6. I will also add your dad to my Prayer list.  It is so difficult to go through what you are dealing with.  I've been there, it isn't easy.  Take care of yourself.