Friday, January 20, 2006

Cinnamon Dolce Latte - Happy Birthday to Me!

All I want for my birthday is a Cinnamon Dolce Latte and a Starbucks gift card.
They are easy to mail........ hint, hint.........

Besides, at my age, I need the caffiene, and the "free" trip to Starbucks is a reward in itself.

It's my birthday, it's my birthday...............

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Update on caring for my father.

My dad had 2 brothers from NJ and OR visit last weekend.
It was really great they were able to visit. It was extrememly sad of course about my dad, and visiting him was so emotional and taxing.
It was great for me because those are the 2 uncles I know the least. (Dad has 5 brothers) So we had a lot of catching up to do to learn about their lives and families.
My cousin D and her son J (19) also came with their dad. D was a super guest that helped me around the house so much. You hardly knew they were here. I think my house was cleaner because she was here! The kids, especially K, adored J. He is a wonderful young man.

I was OK when the 3 left for Oregon on Monday morning. The rush of it all and getting to the airport.
But Tuesday morning when dropping off J, I just had a terrible time saying goodbye.
He was so nice and helpful with talking about my dad.
He was very grateful for all G & I do to take care of my dad.
I was quite emotional all day after he left. I think it was so nice to have other people here and around who cared about my dad, wanted to visit him and talk about him.
When he left I felt all alone again.

But my dad is doing a bit better. He saw the neurologist on Thursday. She was surprised to hear how poorly he was doing and sort of wanted to see for herself. So it was a difficult morning.
Luckily the VA transported him for me and I met him at the hospital. Unfortunately, when I arrived he was covered in vomit. He did it in the van and they just left him sitting here in the waiting room.
(He left the nursing home @ 8 a.m. and I arrived at the waiting room @ 930)Finally after me trying to clean him up going back and forth to the bathroom (all the time keeping a eye on Derek) A nurse finally came to help us and wheeled him to a back room where we stripped
him down and cleaned him up and the wheelchair.
His Dr. was surprised to see how poorly he is doing. He was not able to do the verbal commands for touching and reaching that she always tests him with. He is not able to communicate how he is doing.
She is lowering his Sinemet medication and will be increasing the Seroquel over the next couple weeks.
She will call the nurses in 2 weeks and he has another appt. with her on Feb 9th
She orderd an EEG to make sure he did not have a seizure or stroke. (I don't know when that will be). She is concered about his lack of movement in his arms, and not being able to follow her commands to reach out and touch her finger and tap his heels.

I called our priest and he made a visit to dad yesterday. I was there and Fr. Matt gave him the Sacrament of the Sick. I will be meeting with Fr. Matt again on the 26th to go over the questions I have about the illness progressing, decisions about his care and about funeral things. I want to be prepared and do the right things according to the church.

Dad looked better yesterday. He got a haircut in the morning before I arrived. When we (me & Derek) arrived he was in physical therapy. He was tired but we were able to sit with him until Fr. Matt arrived. After the priest it was time for his lunch, so we left for our lunch also.

They take good care of him there. They keep him clean and his clothes and bed clean.
I spent the time there ( 1030 - 1230) checking in with B - a nurse and discussing his care, eating, weightloss and therapy. She is working on getting him a larger wheelchair.
And we are all in agreement that he should get a feeding tube inserted in his stomach that can give him extra nourishment and water in the night to supplement his daytime eating.
We are just waiting for the nursing home Dr. to come and see him - hopefully that will be Monday - to approve it and authorize it. Then we will see about him getting the tube inserted - probably at the VA hospital, and hopefully within the next week.
They weighed him on Tuesday and he was 130 lbs. He lost over 6 lbs last week.
He has lost 30 lbs. since July 20th.