Mom had a doctor’s appointment yesterday, Feb. 7, 2020.  It was her follow-up for the swollen wrist and the fall outside the emergency room.  I was going to take her after breakfast but Dad wanted to go. I reminded him that he had to stay in bed.   Doctor’s orders.

He saw the podiatrist the day before and had his toe nails taken care of and a culture was taken of the pressure sore.  The doctor was concerned and told Dad why.  Mom and Dad had the appointment at the same time.  He gave us a prescription for the nurse to place on his heel when he came that afternoon.   I had to go to the medical supply store and get booties and a walking shoe which would cushion his heel.  Although the doctor told him to stay in bed, the therapist the day before told him to walk for the pneumonia.  We hadn’t seen the podiatrist yet.  As a result, the podiatrist gave him the walking shoe so Dad could walk for the natural breathing to exercise his lungs.  He also has to breathe through a spirometer.  He is getting up to 1500 and his goal is 2000.  It wears him out and he doesn’t know why he is so tired all the time.

After I told Dad he couldn’t go with Mom to the doctor, he started the father-daughter thing.  Why can’t I go?  Why won’t you let me go?  Why are you doing this to me?  I wasn’t to see what the doctor says.  Those phrases and the whining continued until I told him he had to rest.  It was a major struggle but he slept for 2 hours.  Mom lay with him so I didn’t take her.  They woke up at 10:00 am and I got Mom in the car.  My brother put my Dad in the car.  Why did I give in you ask?  I don’t know.

The new morning caregiver was supposed to come at 10:40 and I knew we would miss her.  I called the agency and told her to tell Marina to meet us at the clinic.  She wasn’t there when we arrived and my brother and I wheeled the parents in.  I told Dad that he probably couldn’t go in with Mom and he started again with the same phrases as the morning.  Everyone heard him.  When it was Mom’s turn, the nurse led Dad in behind her.  I had to stay with Mom, and my brother stayed with Dad.  They took us to a bigger room.  The four of us and the 2 walkers fit, but it was a little crowded.  Serena, the nurse practitioner came in,  and Dad immediately started talking about his predicament.  She turned to Dad and said that put a kink in your golf game. She then said this appointment is for your wife, you’ll have to make an appointment to talk about what ails you.  She proceeded and recommended palliative care.  I told her about the transport walker. That Dad was supposed to stay home but he insisted he join us. She could see that my brother and I were trying so hard to accommodate my father.

Palliative care starts on Feb. 12th with an assessment/evaluation of my parent’s health.  I think Dad needs a full time nurse especially on the weekends.  The caregiver in the morning will give us 2 hours of relief.  That afternoon I was able to get my hair done at the salon.  1 1/2 hours of ME time.  I am so grateful for my afternoon caregiver.  The morning caregiver is so nice and is willing to work extra hours if needed.  Mom and Dad both like her.  I am blessed and my prayers have been answered.

I pray that Dad can get through this.  His vitals are good, but this month is critical for his recovery.  He must follow doctor’s orders and I have to hold my ground.  It’s what’s best for Dad.  The wound nurse will be here tomorrow and the physical therapist will also be here in the morning.

About anneda

I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. I married Greg after college and started teaching the same year. He was a horse trainer, and I sold tickets at the track working my way through college. After 17 years, we needed a change and we moved to Las Vegas, NV. We moved the summer of '89 when my daughter was 7. I rarely went home to visit. My parents are in their early 90s and during a visit Christmas, 2017, Dad pleaded for help. Although my brother was living with them, Mom needed me. I told him I would help when I retired. Here I am. Little did I know that this would turn into a full time job. Helping and living away from home has been difficult. I've decided to write about my experience on my personal pages, support groups and in this forum to reflect and get support as I deal with unfamiliar and new situations.

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Denise
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I’m so glad to hear about palliative care. Please keep us posted on how that goes.

It’s so hard to explain the decisions we make, like your decision to bring your dad to the appointment. I truly believe some day you’ll look back and take great comfort in how much you did for your parents. Your decision about bringing your dad to the the doctor’s appointment will make so much more sense to you in that future reflection.

LeatherLady64
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Anita, you are doing so well… I know it feels hopeless, and endless at times…But like we said in Chat this morning…We make the best decisions based on the facts we have, at that time…when the facts, change, we change our decisions…You need to hear you are doing a great job…keep taking those moments for yourself, and soon, you will get the break again to see your dear, supportive husband! Loves and Hugs! And most of all Positive Prayers to you!