Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sherry's nursing, light housekeeping. packing and moving plus freebies

I'll try to make it short. Wednesday Dad fell for 6th time and hubby, who had gone over to take him to doctor's appointment had to call paramedics. Paramedic convinced Dad to go to ER to be checked out. Spent 9 hours there while he got CT of head, spine, shoulder, and hip. Very busy so everything took long time. NP came back in and said she saw an "infusion" in his chest and he was wheezing slightly. Worried it might be pneumonia, we waited to get another CT of chest. You know how it goes - wait to get tests, wait for results. Blood work and urinalysis too, of course. Finally after 2 docs read last CT they decided not pneumonia so let us take him home. Husband spent night with him so I could come home and crash. Monday when home care nurse came in to check vitals etc, she called doctor with her opinion and called me too - very concerned. Then doctor called me. They said Dad isn't eating and drinking enough, is unsteady on his feet (no joke!) etc. etc. and that he should not be alone. Their opinion - he should move in with me and we should move in there. So helpful. No concern that I am handicapped and at 67 husband has serious health problems too. We could pay for nursing in home full time or he could sell his house and move into nursing home. Dad's mind is sharp and he won't have any of that. So now I am staying with him until we can work something else out. Fun when both his children are officially disabled, as is his DIL and SIL isn't healthy either. Brother can't come up until after 2/8. We were able to get our 18 yr old grandson to stay from 8pm last night to 6am this morning so I could come home and sleep. Grandson has school function today but will come back around 8 pm again to spend the night. We are paying him for elder sitting. BTW he has just gotten 2 acceptance letters for college.

No internet at Dad's so just able to post now while home.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Happy Monday! Freebie Time

First, a little news from home. On Saturday, Lisa and Cindy came to Dad's to clean. The plan was for them to clean while I took Dad out for lunch and then to see June. I'd loaded the car with a bunch of her clothes and things to deliver. Before we could leave the restaurant, Dad had a bout of diarrhea. That meant going back to the house so he could clean up and change clothes. By the time he did that it was pretty late and he was exhausted. I stayed until he was safely in bed resting. The girls did a great job cleaning up. I went by to pay them and then went back over to Dad's yesterday to bring some groceries, do 2 loads of laundry and put fresh linens on his bed. I asked him about bill paying, knowing he has been so fatigued to do much. We worked together on gathering and sorting the mail on his desk and he agreed to turn bill paying over to me until he is doing better. My name has been on his checking account for months now but we never had checks reprinted with my name and I worried that some companies might question why I was signing his checks. Went to bank today to make deposit for him and got new (free) checks ordered that will have my name on them too. The manager said no problem with me signing the ones we have right now because they have me listed and have my signature card. Also got myself an ATM card. Dad won't mess with ATMs but it will be easier for me to get cash for him this way instead of writing a check and standing in line. Now I can look at the account on-line too. Daddy stuff done, I came home and made a chicken potpie with leftover chicken.

Tomorrow Home Health is sending a physical therapist out at 3:00 p.m. so I'll go over to meet him and see what he will be doing for Dad. Plans are going forward. Now to see how much improvement can be made in Dad's condition.

Today we have zip 5 of Holiday Tea:

*** BTW - my Dropbox was full and no longer syncing so I had to delete 2016 links.

Kristi, thank you for informative links. My brother and I are looking into all avenues at this time.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday freebie

Yesterday Home care came out to evaluate Dad. The nurse questioned his meds and is going to talk to doctor because of those blood pressure meds. She checked BP when Dad was sitting and again after he stood and found BP dropped 10 points uppon standing. He definitely needs physical therapy to get strength back. after talking with me, she also is going to ask for approval to have an aide come out 2x/wk to help Dad safely get into and out of shower, check to see that he is eating and staying hydrated and check his blood sugar since dosage has been adjusted. He was amazingly cooperative. Nurse had no sooner left than the neighbor I called about cleaning came over. We have a plan. I'm to take Dad out to lunch and maybe to see Miss June and Lisa and her sister, Cindy, will clean up the house: scrub all floors, vacuum, clean bathrooms and kitchen. Happily, Lisa was not shocked at the condition of things. Said her father had been much the same way about being stubborn and insisting he could care for himself and being messy. It's going to cost $100 for this major clean up but I think it is worth it. After this, Dad will be able to call on them as needed. Believe me, I will stay behind him on this. He's worried about money and I've suggested that we sit down and set up a budget and, for now at least, let me handle his checkbook and bill payments. (His handwriting has become so shakey.) And when nurse asked him if he had advance medical directive and durable power of attory and he said, yes, she pinned him down to be specific. Turns out he has both. I know about the medical directive but not that he has given me power of attorney. I'm going to need copies in case it comes to me making decisions for him. All in all, I cam home relieved and crashed for about 4 hours.

I've decided, for now at least, to limit blog posts to Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I plan to get back to Wacky Wednesdays too as it is a good way to share whatever I find time to play with. I am very appreciative of your kind comments in support at this trying time. And Krist, sure hope your husband quickly recovers from his little accident.

Here is today's zip of Holiday Tea:

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Mid Week, Caregiver News & Freebie

A few things have been set in motion. Home Care is scheduled to contact Dad for evaluation. Doctor is going over all his meds to see what might be changed. He started Lexapro today for depression. And I contacted one of his neighbors who does housecleaning. She was so good to my mother when Mom was battling cancer and we trust her. She totally understood the situation with Dad having gone through much the same with her father whose disposition was similar. We will meet tomorrow to consider the extent of cleaning etc needed and come up with a plan to get things done. I felt better after talking to her. Meanwhile, my brother is doing some internet research about assisted living in the area and contacting places for prices.

My dear husband realized I neede to just crash today so he canceled dinner with his daughter and grand-daughter and instead is taking them some lasagna to eat at their apartment. Told me to remain in my robe, take it easy, and try to get my mind off of things. Easier said than done. But I sure appreciate it.

Here is your next zip of Holiday Tea:

No post tomorrow as it is going to be a rough day. Will post again on Friday.

Back again with freebie

Yesterday was grueling. We were unable to wake dad by phone for his appointment so had to go over to get him up. Took Dad to doctor and discussed all that has been going on. She said it was time to get Home Health involved, see if they could do some physical therapy to help him regain strength. So we will be called by end of week and someone will come out to evaluate him. Doctor also suggested starting him on a mild antidepressant; he will try 110 mg of Lexapro. There is some concern that the combination of doctors he has may have him on too many blood pressure medications. Dad went over his med list with the doctor and she asked me to verify it when we got home in case any thing had changed and Dad had forgotten to update. So once we got him some breakfast, we went back to the house and I tracked down all the meds. Morning stuff was on dining room table so he can take it with breakfast so that was all fine. He sent me to the bathroom cabinet in his bedroom to check the evening meds. What a disgusting mess! I've been after him to hire someone to come in and clean because I can't do it, and he has resisted claiming it costs too much. I sort of lost it and told him we cannot have him living in a house that is so dirty and he must get cleaning help. I reminded him that with my health problems, I can't keep it all up even though I wish I could. We sort of went around about it but I insisted so tomorrow I have to call someone, get her to come out and evaluate how bad it is (very) and what the price will be to get things back in shape and then follow-up on regular basis. I also informed him that my brother is coming up to stay with him for awhile until he gets back onhis feet. Not that thom can do much more than watch him and keep him company. Thom has been disabled longer than I have, his due to a serious back injury and surgeries that did not go well.

Came home exhausted and crashed for a few hours. Then my brother and I talked for for a couple hours. I was grateful to hubby for running dinner to Dad and making dinner for us. All I managed to do was clean out dishwasher and reload. This is a chaotic time!

However, I do have some more of Holiday Tea for you:

I apologize for being so erratic and will try to work up some plan to do things on regular basis again but it is unlikely to be everyday.

*** Thanks to all for being so supportive!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Where I am & start of new free kit

We had a Blizzard Warning last Friday - something that doesn't happen around here. Some of the local area got as much as 12 inches of snow! I live on a main road, one that heads into the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story ( a base that combines Navy, Marine, and Army forces) so city snow plws came through multiple times, pushing the snow and ice up against our vechicles that were parked on the shoulder of the road and across the end of the driveway. Secondary roads didn't get plowed at all with the result that everything stopped. Offices and schools were closed (many didn't open until 1/12) and the military only required essential personnel to try to get in.

Hubby and I were fine. I'd gone to the grocery ealry on Friday to pick up some essentials and set about making cold weather comfort food to get us through: chili, split pea soup (with Christmas ham bone), etc. When bread got low, I pulled out a loaf of frozen bread dough and baked that. We worried about Dad because we couldn't get out to go to him if needed, but he did alright.
He'd woken up Sunday morning to find his heater not working properly but got hold of the company he's dealt with for years and they came out and rigged up a bypass to get heat flowing until they ordered a replacement part. And he does have a gas fireplace he can use at times like that. Fortunately, he had on hand some sandwich supplies and a TV dinner, so he made out okay.
Tuesday, my husband was able to get out the new car which has four wheel drive and made it up the street to the grocery yesterday for a couple things we needed. But store and other parking lots are not cleared and the side streets still impassible. Local weathermen are saying we are going to get a major warm up to about 60 degrees by the end of the week! Local area quick care places will be full of people who get sick with all this temperature flucuation.

I'm not wanting to do anything - just hibernate. Haven't even finished putting the Christmas decorations away. 2017 isn't starting out so well. Last I spoke with my son, he and his wife were still sick and having to work through it. My son's stepmother lost her father not long after Christmas. Learned my brother had a second stroke Christmas week while his wife was away. He didn't go to the hospital because he didn't want to leave his new (rescued) dog alone and because, he said, they couldn't do anything for him anyway. My husband's tests didn't go well. Doctor wasn't able to complete them and hubby says he isn't going through any more prep and isn't going to allow any extreme measures. With Dad continuing to slowly decline, I'm getting pressure from some family members to get him into an assisted living facility. They mean well but don't seem to understand I don't have power-of-attorney and since he is of sound mind, he makes his own decisions.

So much for the whining. I'm really unhappy with myself that I do that as if it really explains what I do or don't do. I have been working on a Holiday Tea kit for January but I'm not all that happy about it. I guess I'll start giving you what I have tomorrow after I get back from my doctor. Have been thinking that I might want to go to one post a week so I don't feel like I'm neglecting other things to play with Photoshop. Don't know yet.

I wrote the above section on Wednesday and here it is Saturday already! Thursday I didn't get around to posting, planning to do it that night after doing a few things. But my father fell again. I'd taken groceries over on Wednesday and he seemed okay. Planned to go over Thursday and do a few things but had bad headache so it was around 5:30 when hubby called to check on him and got answering machine. No surprise as he often can't get to the phone quickly, is sleeping without hearing aid, or talking to June. About 30 minutes later just as we were getting ready to call again, Dad called just to say, "I need help." When we opened the door, there was blood on the entryway floor and he was over at the end of the sofa where the phone was, on his knees, bent over the sofa. He had left his chair about 2 hours (!) previously with mug in hand, planning to drop it off in kitchen before heading down the hall. Said he had reached the linoleum entryway and suddenly knew he was going to fall and hit the floor. His right eye was blackened, nose scraped and nose had been bleeding. He said he laid there, wishing he'd kept his cell phone with him like he'd been doing but it was on the dining room table and he knew he couldn't reach it. So he crawled over to the wireless phone by the sofa. Where he was positioned, there was no way we could safely get him up so I called paramedics. They checked him out well, saw no signs of concussion and even ran an EKG which read normal. But they told him so many falls is Not normal. Since I don't have power-of-attorney, I could not insist he go to the ER for further check. There's more but that's the gist of it. He doesn't want one of those call button thing because he doesn't want paramedics breaking down the door. Won't move in with us or let me stay there with him. I'm at my wits end. Every night as soon as I cut off the light thinking I'm going to sleep, I start worrying about him. Do it during day too but this means I sleep about 15 minutes and wake up and have to get to sleep all over again. Spoke with my brother and his wife yesterday to let them know update. SIL went through much with her parents and gave some advice and offered to come up and give us a break but Dad really wouldn't like her staying with him. Anyway, that is what is going on here.

We did get that warmup and snow is gone but it has now turned cold again and by Sunday we may have a mix of rain, sleet, and snow. Oh joy.

Here is a little of Holiday Tea: