This will be a quick update – there has been much that has been going on. So I will try to summarize as much as possible.
I arrived on Thursday around 7:30 PM. I wasn’t at the house more than 5 minutes before dad called and asked if I was going to stop by and see him. So mom and I went to the nursing home to see him. He was a bit crabby – I think because he was anxious to get home and afraid that he wouldn’t get there for some reason. He wanted us there at 8 AM on Friday – mom said no it would be later.
Friday morning came and about 8:30 dad calls and wanted to know what time we were coming to pick him up. Since there was still a bit of work to do in the addition, I couldn’t give him a specific time, but said we would be there by 10 AM at the latest. He was not happy with that time. However we were able to get furniture moved and things done before that and arrived at the nursing home about 9:30.
He was still a bit on the crabby side and demanded that I help him get his feet on the floor. I said no and said that if he can’t get his feet on the floor by himself, he really has no business coming home at this point.
His response is one that I can’t print. I remained firm with him and said that he was supposed to be working on basic living skills and that if he couldn’t get himself out of bed, he couldn’t come home. I had a lot of time to think about this encounter with dad and knew that that someone had to be really firm with him. Mom was already concerned because of some interactions with other people and he has been known to take advantage of situations. He must have thought I was serious because he did get his feet on the floor and himself into the wheelchair.
It took some time to get his things packed up. It is never easy to pack up someone else – he brought home more stuff than I thought he needed to, but I wasn’t going to argue with him.
Once home, dad began to bark orders and I remained firm on the fact that he could make requests, but neither mom or I would respond to orders given in the tone of voice he was using. He tested this several times and by God’s grace I was able to remain calm and remind him gently to restate his request. After several times, he began to laugh and realized that I was a force to be reckoned with. He has been fairly good for the most part.
Friday was a hard day as mom was trying to get used to a whole lot of changes, she is recovering from a nasty cold and overall did really well. She was caught off guard by a acouple of things and began to fall apart, but overall, for my mom, I was impressed. She genuinely seemed glad to have dad home.
My brother and his family came over for dinner and it was fun to have them there. I was able to touch base on a few things with my brother and get dad’s suppliments down to a more manageable number! They left around 10 and then the real fun began.
There are some things that make dealing with a Parkinson’s and Stroke patient interesting and mom was hit with one of them while getting dad ready for bed. It was not pretty and while I am not here to do as much but more to help mom think about routines, I ended up taking over and getting dad into bed. Mom is still struggling with this one and I am not sure how it will go. I have had to step in and help mom think about this one. Pray that she will accept this part of the routine as medical procedure and be able to do handle it.
Saturday was relatively smooth and mom is getting more comfortable. Saturday night was not a good night for dad – he did not sleep well. Mom doesn’t hear well – so I got up with dad about 4 times. Finally he just stayed up for about 2 hours before going back to sleep.
Sunday was harder as dad’s balance was off. He almost fell about 3-4 times. When he was walking I had to use the belt around his chest to help me if he truely did loose his balance. He did not sleep well again last night. I had to talk with him about this getting up multiple times – mom will not do well with it. He seemed to get the picture and said he would try to stay in bed tonight. Pray that he can. Part of the issue is that he can’t move due to rigidity in his muscles. So when he stays in the same postiion for an extended period of time, like when he is sleeping, he begins to get sore and wants to move. Pray for wisdom in dealing with this issue.
Today the home health nurse stopped by to see if dad qualified for home nursing care – he doesn’t. So this afternoon, I went to Wal -Mart to get a few things to make giving dad a shower easier. The nurse suggested that he take his first shower while I am here – just in case. I will need to see when mom wants to do that. Pray that it goes well.
Here are some things that need could use some prayer-
Dad’s bedtime routine is a bit un nerving for my mom. Pray that we can come to some good resolution for this issue.
Dad needs to stay consistent with his exercises. He seems to think that walking is the only thing he needs to do. The home health nurse said that upper body strength is more important. Pray that dad will do ALL of his exercises.
Praise God that my mom has been doing as well as she has. It will be a long haul for her. Pray that she will begin to understand that she can leave the house for short periods of time and that she will need to have friends/family come in to watch dad for longer periods of time or take him to the care center for those times. This one will not be easy as she has convinced herself that she can never leave the house.
Pray that I can talk with my brother about some issues – preferablly when my mom is not around, since most of the issues involve her or her response. My cell phone is not getting a strong signal here – so I couldn’t do it while I was out today. I need to be able to be fairly open about some things and it would be easier if mom were not around. She knows about all these issues, but there are sometimes when these talks happen that she gets really bent out of shape – even if we are trying to come up with solutions. She doesn’t always see it that way. Or if I can’t be away from the house, that mom would not be bent out of shape by these discussions.
Dad seems to be struggling with choking – a lot. I am not sure if it is due to a bad cold, which he has or related to the Parkinson’s. Pray that it would get better as it will stress mom out.
Dad’s previous stroked (2006 and 2007) have taken a toll on dad. His right side is not strong and is the most affected. This might be as good as he will get and that was not easy for him to hear. Pray that he will accept this and not give up hope, but remain strong and keep fighting for the best quality of life that he can have at this point.
On the positive side – mom is really glad that I am here. This is not always the case and she generally gets really mad at me. I think it is more that she is upset with the “new” normal and takes out her frustration on me. So to have her say, more than once, that she is glad I am here to help her work out the routines and think through the issues – is very encouraging.