Friday, May 12, 2017

News from my little corner & freebie

Once upon a time that seems so long ago, I was putting together a free digital scrapbook kit called Holiday Tea. I posted 7 zips but still had a bunch of elements left in the folder. If any of my former readers are still around, you know my father was in poor health and I was taking care of him. Trying to anyway. Dad had fallen so much that he required someone to be with him 24 hours a day. Guess who? My brother ( 8 years younger) and his wife live in Sarasota FL and both have health problems. But Thom, my brother came up from Florida to stay for awhile so I could get some rest. [You can skip the rest and move down to freebie. I'll understand.]

Unfortunately, things went downhill quickly. The very night Thom arrived, Dad, ignoring our insistence that he call us whenever he got up so we could watch out for him, headed down the hall using his walker and fell backward. Thom has such severe back pain that he has a pump implanted there to provide pain medication. No way he could lift Dad. He called the paramedics who checked Dad out (no obvious injuries) and put him to bed. Same night Dad wet the bed for the first time. Drenched it was more like it. I'd finally convinced him he had to wear Depends because he was losing bladder control but even that didn't make a difference.

It got worse. Bladder incontinence, soaking the bed during the night no matter what precautions we took, doing the exercises for Home Health only when the therapist was present, gaining more fluid, getting argumentative etc. Finally, on March 3rd, Thom got Dad up, gave him breakfast and dressed him so we could take him to see his cardiologist. Instead we ended up following the ambulance to the ER where Dad was diagnosed with a UTI, sepsis, and congestive heart failure! When he was released from the hospital, Dad went to a transitional care facility for physical and occupational therapy in hopes he would regain his strength. His blood sugar readings stayed high, his mental state continued to deteriorate, he remained weak and had more falls. Dad went from mild forgetfulness to having hallucinations at times and becoming mean at times. 7 weeks at that facility and we were all disturbed at the lack of communication, difficulty reaching the doctors and social workers. My brother went back home where he had a series of small strokes (he had one years ago) and is now in physical therapy.

I looked for a better place. I found an assisted living facility that could provide the care Dad needed and moved him in, thinking the better environment might be good for him. But when we reach the point where Medicaid would be needed, assisted living facilities don't qualify. The elder care attorney says I need to move Dad to a nursing home. Meanwhile, I changed his doctor because his previous doc waited for Dad to fall 5 times before calling in the Home Health therapists and didn't let me know Dad has stage 3 renal disease. That last very important because all we could get him to eat where the things that were the worst for him! The transitional care facility kept putting me off when I expressed concern over Dad's mental state and only got around to doing an EEG which showed brain damage of unspecified origin. Not helpful. The new primary care physician is a geriatric specialist. Following MRI's this week, he was able to tell us that Dad has a condition called Cerebral Small Blood Vessel Disease which has caused multiple small strokes. Small strokes will continue to happen. Those have caused balance problems which may end with Dad being unable to stand even for short periods. It has also resulted in dementia and mood disturbances. And boy have we seen some of those! There have been a number of days lately when Dad was absolutely nasty to my husband and I. The doctor recommended long term care at a nursing facility and I've applied to that.

The assisted living facility staff tried to pressure me yesterday when I presented a termination letter. They insisted Dad is doing better, they can provide the increased care he will need, and played with my emotions, knowing I want what is best for my father. Maybe they meant well, but I was having a bad pain day and felt they ambushed me - 3 against one. I told the nursing director I can't see any improvement and this is what his doctor recommended. Think on it, they said. Today when I stopped in to see Dad, instead of going down to the dining room for a healthy lunch, he was in bed, eating a grilled cheese sandwich and potato chips! Neither good for him. And before I left, he asked me to bring me cereal and milk, a bowl and spoon so if he felt his blood sugar was low in the middle of the night, he could eat cereal. He has fallen 13 times! Should not be getting up on his own and shouldn't be eating junk food.

On my way out, I spotted the executive director alone in her office and "ambushed" her. I told her that my father, whom they claimed was doing so much better was not. That he had come to think he could be independent there and do what he wants and was making bad decisions like eating things he shouldn't be and so on. I said I spoke with family last night and I will be moving him, just waiting on date from other facility. I have no doubt he's going to hate me for it. What he really wants is to go home, do whatever he likes but have someone to take care of things like fixing him the food he likes, changing his diaper and so on. I am not able to do it and he knows it. As it is, my health is suffering, my home is a disaster zone and I am not joking about that. 24 hour home care is out of our price range. And that is where things stand.

And now the last zip of Holiday Tea:

Hope to work up a little something every now & then for freebies but it isn't likely to be fukk kits for awhile.


Seymoure said...

Hi Sherry,

First of all, thank you so very much for the last of the Holiday Tea kit.
Secondly, I am so sorry to hear about the trials you and your family have been going through with your father. I have been following your blog for some time now and figured something had happened to keep you away from posting. I will include you in my prayers that a smoother path may be found for your fathers care. Stick to your guns regarding his care.
God bless you for all the delightful contributions to our digital world out here on the 'net.
Carlyn Moore

KM Miller said...

I was so relieved to see your update. Your blog is pinned and I check it all the time. To say I was concerned is putting it mildly when several months passed and no updates. I am very sorry your father's health is in decline. It sounds as if we are both in a season of role reversal with respect to our father's. My dad was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer. It is non operable so we will be traversing the path of daily trips to the University of MN for radiation treatments.

Please know that I am thinking and praying for you and your family.


Anonymous said...

so sorry about your dad. I was worried that maybe he had died and you were unable to cope and you went downhill yourself. You just have to keep pushing for what you think is the right care for parents and self. Glad your back missed you and take care just remember there lots of readers think about and praying for you and yours. suzanne

Deb Burroughs said...

Like the others, I am so glad to finally hear from you! I am sorry it is such a bad situation with your dad and brother. I hope the new center works well for him, but it is sad when it comes to that point. You and yours remain in my thoughts and prayers. (((hugs)))