Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday and Sleepless

Yesterday was a grueling test of patience. My mother called in the morning to say that the hospital wanted to release my father. They wanted him to go to a rehab facility for four weeks. After that time he will need surgery done on his carotid artery which is 80% obstructed. That is what caused this stroke and will cause another, possibly more serious, stroke. I say that tongue in cheek. My mother, the one communicating with the doctors, does not understand medical lingo and she forgets what they tell her. I think she is in denial and yesterday she almost fell apart. I doubt she can be my father's voice in this. She doesn't want to make decisions and be responsible but someone must.

I went to work yesterday but left early at 2:30. I have left early three days this week which will be without pay for those hours. I went to my mother's house and my sister and I were just ready to put some dinner on the table when the phone rang. A nurse said my father was being combative and they were going to send him back to the hospital. We asked her to wait and we would be there as soon as possible.I went with my mother and my sister, who came down from upstate New York just that morning, to the rehab center they had just moved my father too. He was very agitated. I had wondered if he would be alright taken in the ambulance by himself. I feared he would think he had been tricked into being put into a nursing home. I believe that is what happened. His aphasia is so bad that he has great difficulty communicating. He clenches his fists and sometimes screams out of frustration. He told me that the men could not be trusted. He couldn't really elaborate on that but he had refused any meds, to have his vitals taken or to eat. When I began to explain the situation to him, calmly, he began to yell at me and tell me and the others to leave. He kept saying he wanted to go home. The charge nurse came over and said she was having him transported back to the hospital. We tried to get them to give us more time but they called the ambulance and back we went. At the ER the doctor said it was ridiculous to have sent him back. He called the rehab and said that they needed to accept him. Then another ambulance came to transport him back. By now it was after ten p.m. Since my mother had my sister and by now my brother had arrived I headed home. Not sure what tomorrow will bring. One interesting thing: when he was back in the ER my father and I were alone for a few minutes. I looked down at him, he seemed so small, the man who was always bigger than life. He looked so frightened and helpless and it broke my heart. I hugged him and told him I loved him but he could tell I was so choked up. He looked at me and clearly said "Nelle, it's not that bad honey." Then he went back to rambling about things that made no sense. I did observe that he speaks of himself in the third person. He never says I or me but he says "the man" or "he". When the nurse asked him if he knew his name he said
"His name is James." I keep thinking if we can break more of his language code we will all be less frustrated. It's just so sad to watch this. I fear a lot of him was lost in all this.
It's only 7 a.m. and I need to pay bills now and figure out finances. I have accepted that the car payments will never be paid by that company. Right now I have so much on my plate I don't know where to begin and I am ever mindful that my health must be my number one concern.

if you are between 18 and 60 you could save some one's life!


Susan C said...

Nelle, you sure have a lot of challenges in your life right now. It really irritates me off that the car payment thing has to be an added, unnecessary stress. GRRRR!! to the insurance company.

Thanks so much for posting the PSA.

alphawoman said...

Oh Nelle, Ihad no idea. I am teared up reading about you Dad. So much reminds me of what my family went through. It did not take us long to realize my Dad could never be left alone while in the hospital. We took shifts. There are five of us siblings living near to the parents. Oh, Nelle. You're poor Dad.

BTW, I never told you how much I love that song you suggested to me, th Pouges (Sp correct). I downloaded it and the first time I listened to the beginning kind of was so sad. Then I listened to it again and again and again. Now when it comes up in rotation on the MP3 I always without fail, listen to it several times. I love it. I love the way it changes melody about three times! And I love the lines..."I could have been someone" "Well so could anyone, you took my dreams away when I first met you, Yes I took them Babe and put them with my own..." I just love it!!

Ronni Gordon said...

It's so hard to watch our parents go through these difficult times. I hope you find some ways to take care of yourself.