Friday, February 23, 2007

Back in the Hospital Again

Dad is back in the hospital again. He never did start eating again after getting out of the hospital. Obviously, he was eating some, but not very much at any meal. He’s also been very lethargic, not very talkative – and when he does talk he’s harder to understand than usual. The other day the doctor came in and said that he thought Dad was anemic because he was so pale. So they started running tests and were going to start him on Iron and some different vitamins. Then they started talking that he might need a transfusion and I started wondering. See anemic is lack of iron in the blood. Transfusion is not enough blood. Quantity vs. Quality. Yes, I’m aware that if you don’t have enough blood then you’re going to be anemic. My point is: If he doesn’t have enough blood, where the hell is it going?

So yesterday I called and talked to the director of nursing at the home to find out what the hell was going on. She said that they’d done some bloodwork and that his hemoglobin came back critical, and that they had found blood in his stool that day (they usually do a 3 day test to make sure there’s an actual problem and that was the first day of testing), and that his doctor wanted to run more tests next week.

NEXT WEEK? Dad’s telling me that he thinks he should go to the hospital (so you KNOW he feels bad), his hemoglobin is half of what it’s supposed to be – apparently that’s the how much blood you have test – and he has blood in his stool. Can we say BLEEDING INTERNALLY? The nurse told me they were still talking to the doctor and I told her that I wanted Dad in the hospital immediately.

So, the hospital gave him a couple of units of blood last night and admitted him. Today they will be testing to determine where the bleeding is coming from. They believe it may be upper GI, and one doctor came in asking about the asprin and naproxin that he takes, so that may be an issue as well.

He’s not in any danger of dying or anything, but if we’d waited around for this doctor he could have been. I think I need to find another doctor for him, but there’s only so many who go to nursing homes to see patients. I guess I’ll start talking to doctors in the area to see what my options are.

I talked to him this morning and he's already ready to go home so he can have a cigarette. Must mean he's feeling a little better.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Today is the last day

I get to smoke. Pray for me, and stay very far away!

In the meantime, I'm going to smoke as many cigarettes as I can today, hoping it will buildup in my bloodstream and carry me thru a few days anyway!

Man, quiting meth was so much easier than quiting smoking. It just doesn't seem right.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Thanks Sandie

Sandie gave me the name of an amputee support group that she had found, so I called them today, and they are going to meet with us at the nursing home next Monday at 4:00. The husband of the lady I spoke with is a double amputee, and they will both be meeting with all of us – Dad, Mom, Chris, and I. She said that the support groups are for the families of the amputees as well, that we need help coping with the amputation just as much as he does.

I’m excited and relieved, and really hoping that Dad will give this a chance. He’s got that man thing going on – you know, the one where they can’t talk about their problems because it’s not manly or something.

Men: you gotta love them, even when you want to beat them over the head!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Good news Bad news

Dad’s heading back to the nursing home this evening. I haven’t actually talked to him yet, but I’m sure that he’s thrilled, he’s been asking to go back for over a week now.

The good news is that he’s going back skilled nursing, which means that Medicare will pay for his time in skilled nursing. The bad news is that skilled nursing is a different wing, and if we want to keep his original room, we have to go ahead and pay for it, even though Medicare will pay for the skilled nursing room. I’m of two minds on this one – Dad doesn’t do well with change, so I’d rather keep him in the same room, but he hates his roommate, and he hates that his room is at the very end of the hall, so.... Of course, he’s been out of that room for going on three weeks now, and will be out of it for at least another couple weeks (I’d think), so maybe a change wouldn’t be so bad. We’ll have to talk about it.

In other news, the catalytic converter went out on Chris’ truck. That’s $500 down the tubes. The guy told Chris that Chevy’s had problems with this particular part and he’s had to replace a lot of them, but of course there’s no recall or warranty. That would just be too easy.

Lesley – In case you see this before I get home tonight and call you - I forgot my cell phone today, so I’ll call you later this evening.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Who do you talk to?

Dad's not dealing very well with the loss of his leg. He's angry and depressed, and he's taking it out on the people around him (I feel sorry for those nurses at the hospital), but he won't talk about it to anyone.

I expected the anger. I started to say I understand the anger, but obviously I can't. I did expect it though, and I've tried to find a support group, or someone to come and talk to him about it. Someone who's been through this and who can understand what he's been through. I called the only support group listed in OKC and they can't be bothered to call me back - obviously they aren't a very good support group.

Mom says I'm expecting too much too soon. I say the sooner he starts to deal with it, rather than ignore it, the better off we all are going to be. Because he's still not eating, can't speak civily to anyone when he does speak, and just lays there telling us that the breeze from us walking by hurts his leg.

Part of the problem is that he hadn't admitted to himself that he couldn't walk anymore - he hasn't been able to for almost 2 years now. And before that, he could barely walk 5 feet. But in his mind, he always has walked, so by God, he could still walk. So now he feels like his mobility is gone for the first time, and he's having to deal with that issue on top of losing his leg. That losing his leg has cost him his mobility.

Hopefully he's going to go to physical therapy in the next couple of days, and they will be able to show him that he's just as mobile now as he has been for the last couple of years. Maybe then he can start to deal with the loss.

Maybe I am expecting too much too soon, but I can't stand to see him like this.

Friday, February 02, 2007

He made it through

The doctor was very pleased with how things went yesterday, and said that Dad has good muscle in that thigh, which will really help with the healing. Dad was in quite a bit of pain yesterday, which he didn't understand. He seemed to think that there wouldn't be any pain once the leg was gone. We tried to explain that he'd had major surgery, so he was going to hurt for a little while, but that they would be giving him drugs to help, and once he was healed, there shouldn't be any more pain at all.

Unless he gets phantom pains. Please God, just for once make it easy on Dad and let there be no more pain.

As for me, I was fine until they brought him back up to his room, and I saw his wrapped leg. My first thought was "Oh God, there's been a terrible mistake. Put it back!" My second thought was a morbid curiosity to see the amputation. Probably perfectly normal, but still. I did manage to hold it together until we were almost home. I asked Chris what he thought they did with the leg - incinerate it, throw it out with the trash, what? And then I cried.

I know that this was necessary, and I still believe that he will be healthier minus the leg. But Dad didn't want to do this, and I think he agreed to do it because I told him he should. And last night he kept asking why it still hurt, it wasn't supposed to hurt anymore. Just make it stop hurting.

I know that life's not fair. It's hard and it hurts, and sometimes I wonder why we even try. But it's the only game in town and we have to get up every morning and do the best we can.

But for once, just one time, I wish that it would stop kicking my Daddy in the face.

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