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Friday, March 28, 2014

A Bit of A Set Back

It's been a rough 24 hours. Dad was not able to eat much last night and was very worn out when I got him in bed. I was quite exhausted as well so was happy to find my bed. I slept well and didn't hear him through the night but in the morning found him quite weak and struggling with the severe diarrhea that is just wiping him out. We got him up and he tried to eat a bit of yogurt with fruit and some toast but the amount was hardly measurable. He tried to drink water but everything makes him terribly nauseous. I tried to change the catheter bag but couldn't figure it out. I was happy when the home health care nurse arrived around 11.00 a.m. It didn't take long for her to realize that he should never have been discharged to home. Low grade fever, low oxygen saturation, blood clot risk, low blood pressure, severe dehydration...unbelievable. Fortunately she sent us to Urgent Care where he was able to get some serious blood work done and get hooked up to both oxygen and an IV drip. Getting him in and out of the car was a real trick for me but by God's grace, we managed. And we have a wheel chair at home from when my mom was so sick so that has been a God send.
He slept comfortably and deeply the entire time we were at urgent care and his color returned and the color of his urine finally began to lighten. From Urgent Care we were referred to a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility which is where he should've gone in the first place. He tried to eat some dinner...a bit of soup was all he could muster but at least he is now hooked up to IV fluids.
It has been a very trying day. The home health care nurse was initially not convinced that he couldn't be at home so was saying things like, "He needs to drink more, you need to weigh him daily, he needs to make an appointment with his Dr. in order to get the catheter issues assessed" and I'm thinking, how am I supposed to do this when he can't even stand up? I'm not sure why it took so long for everyone around him to dial in to how sick he is. The nurse today finally said, "He's really very sick." Then at Urgent Care the Dr. asked how many times a week the nurse was coming home and I said he has been assessed as no longer fit for home care and she said, "Why not"? And I listed all of above and mentioned that he can't walk on his own. Her initial response was, "Well, he's 81 years old and has had major surgery." And I said, "Right...which is why he shouldn't be expected to heal at home right now." The nurse at Urgent Care was simply awesome and we had a nice conversation about Sweden while I watched him work on my dad.
The nursing facility is pretty good even if the rooms lack a certain loveliness. All of the staff were awesome, truly. Marco, a big orderly who was helping my dad as I was leaving assured me that they would take good care of him. He also said that while he is chronically weak, he sees signs of strength and is confident that he will get well. He was really very sweet. I left dad around 7.00 p.m. tonight hopeful that he will get better care and attention than I was able to give him at home.  At least he's hooked up to an IV. Did I mention how important that is right now as his ability to self hydrate is hugely compromised.
It's a road that's for sure. I hope when I see him in the morning he'll have had a good night and shows a bit of improvement. He is a bit discouraged that he's not improving and even a little progress would help him a lot. I know that I need to get sleep and eat as well. I'm thankful that the jet lag has not been too severe.
On a trivial note: I had picked Iowa St. to win the NCAA this year since dad went there and was born in Iowa. If this were a movie, it would've happened. But since it's real life, U.Conn managed to kill that dream! Small potatoes right now. Really longing to see some strength return to dad, for his sake and for mine. My current sports goal is to be able to enjoy the Masters golf tournament together in two weeks!
Thanks for your prayers...we definitely need 'em!
PS...I think there was just an earthquake...