Moving On, in a Wheelchair

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Moving On, in a Wheelchair

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I believe I last blogged about a month ago here about how routine our life had become with Dean in a skilled nursing center since last summer. Well, is there ever routine or normalcy in the caregiving world? About a week after I blogged about how smoothly things were going, bam, he starts showing new symptoms (it's so hard to identify them when dementia is involved). It turns out that they had to rush him to the hospital and start pumping antibiotics in him because he had pneumonia (fluid in his lungs).

After five days in the hospital he is once again at the care center, but on oxygen full time. It seems his COPD is becoming the main concern, as his blood sugars have finally been tamed down with all the insulin he's getting.

It looks like going to church is going to be hindered for awhile though, because they are keeping him in a wheelchair, as that seems to be the only way he will stay on his oxygen. The O2 tanks they have available there are not that portable, but they do fit well on the back of a wheelchair. I might point out that this is probably their widest wheelchair. It barely fits through some doors at the doctor's offices, and with his almost 300 pounds of weight in it, there is no way I can push it around. He can use his feet though for this, scooting himself around with his feet. At least that is some exercise for him. Plus they are doing physical therapy to keep up his strength.

My prayer is that he will remain strong enough to walk himself in and out of church at some point, and will use his O2 to do so. Church is the only thing that he can truly look forward to there. Watching the service on a DVD is just not going to cut it for this man, who likes to shake the hand of every person there. He's missed a few weeks already.

I can see him getting discouraged and despondent, as it's gradually dawning on him that his fate is to permanently be at this care center. It breaks my heart to see him come to this realization, although I've known it myself from the start.

I'm so thankful for a daughter with whom I can share my griefs and worries. She understands all too well the challenges we have and loves her dad with the same intensity as I do. God never takes away, without leaving us with a substitute. That's what families were designed for, I'm sure.

Life moves on, and so does our love. It's the one constant we can count on.