Writing, Writing Prompts

W.O.T.D. Challenge 10-20-21 Bubble Wrap

I know this is going to sound horrible, but I wish I could encapsulate my dad in bubble wrap, because he fell again last night!!

UGH! I was walking right behind him on the way to where ever it was he wanted to walk, and I guess he lifted the walker too soon (he always lifts it over the floor transitions) and lost his balance. Dave was sitting on the couch and couldn’t move fast enough, and I was trying not to let him free fall, but he still landed pretty hard on his left side. Naturally, that phone was in his shirt pocket, and I believe it bruised his ribs, unless the fall did. Either way, he is extremely sore today and it is hard to move.

I patched his elbow where it hit the floor and broke open again, and his finger somehow got scraped up, gave him 8-hour arthritis Tylenol, and before he went to bed, we put a 5% Lidocaine patch on his back/rib area. I have been awake since 2am due to many things, but listening for him being the main one. He rung the bell around 4am, so Dave and I went to help him up and to the bathroom. It’s been a day already! I will spare you the details, but man, if I had some bubble wrap, this never would have happened. LOL

I have to laugh to keep from crying.

I called his home health nurse, his PCP nurse and had to leave a message, the VA PCP and everyone else I could think of. My brother is recovering from surgery in the hospital, so he cannot help, and Dave had to go to work. I am managing ok, but I have to do things to keep busy because (this is going to sound terrible) he is moaning a lot from the pain, and I have done everything I can to ease him. Part of it is that he needs constant attention, the other part is he is really sore, but I can’t do any more than I am. He would not let us take him to the hospital, and I can’t give him anything stronger than that Tylenol until I get a doctor’s order. I gave him ice, rubbed Icy/Hot on his back, fed him breakfast, took him to the bathroom. Offered to lay him down in bed for awhile…No!

Luckily, he passed on the coffee this morning or there would be a real need to go to the bathroom more! I just told him it would be hard to manage, because he has a hard time drinking it on a good day. He agreed to that one.

If I would have been alone when this happened, I would have had to call 911. Thank God Dave was here to help me get him up. Tomorrow is his birthday, and I had previously told him we would celebrate on Saturday, because his niece is going to surprise him with a visit. I called her to make sure that was still a good idea and she thinks so. We will see. Her plan is to make gumbo and just visit. I hope he is up to it, luckily, his appetite has not been affected!

Y’all say a prayer for me and for him. I sure hope another documented fall helps expedite getting him (and us) some more help.

Writing Prompts

WOD Challenge 09-11-21 Emphasis

A letter to my son and brother this morning:

Dad got up at 5am, I’m lucky I can hear the doggie door, because I put the cat up last night. Thank God for my sensitive ears, because this alerted me that Dad was up.
Dad was sitting on the pot, naked, trying to put his undergarment on. 🤬
The bed was totally soaked, because he went to bed early and wouldn’t let me change his diaper to a nighttime one.
While on one hand, I’m thankful he didn’t fall, but I’m so pissed that he did all that by himself and he easily could have. And I’m mad about the bed because the room is going to start smelling like pee if this keeps happening.
Dave got up as I was getting him in the chair and I was about to tell him off, but he stopped me, thank God.
I’m still shaking because I’m upset. I DID tell Dad he is taking the bell to bed tonight and is to ring it in the morning when he gets up.
Sorry, but I had to vent to someone before I explode 🤯

Then there was breakfast cooking, cleaning it all up, give Dad a shower and a proper shave, mop the kitchen, washed the clothes and the bedding and remake the bed. What a morning already!!!!

This was all done before 10am!! I’m glad every morning isn’t quite this bad, but every morning many of these same things are done. Caregiving is a full-time job, emphasis on JOB!! I’m worn out every day by lunch. But there is no rest.

Kevin came over and gave us a break so we could get out. Dave took me for a much-needed massage…that was the best massage I’ve ever had! Then we went to Mi Pueblo for lunch and a margarita, and ran to the mall so Dave could get some more work clothes. He found two pair of chinos and three shirts, plus we got Dad a new set of shorty pjs! what a find, i can never find him shorty pajamas!

When we got home I rested a while and let Kevin tend to Dad, then I got up and washed all the new clothes. Unloaded and reloaded the dish and made banana bread with the ripe bananas Kevin brought over. The house smells so wonderful, I may have to sneak a taste. 😛

Now we are watching The Grapes of Wrath. Praying for a good night, my headache to go away, and a less eventful morning!

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Writing, Writing Prompts

WOD Challenge 09-07-21 Tribute to Becky

I want to acknowledge Chris’s girlfriend Becky and pay a tribute to her for coming over yesterday and helping me with Dad.

Becky and Dad last year.

No one else has done what she did yesterday, which was offer to go pick up some much needed equipment this weekend from her grandmother’s house. Her grandmother unfortunately recently passed away, and she has a few key things there that will help out a lot with my dad, one being a wheelchair. If I have to take him to an appointment, there would be no way I could handle him without that. In addition, she has a hospital tray, so he will have a bigger surface to eat on, after the occupational therapist suggested yesterday that he could control the tremors in his hand by putting his elbow on the table. It is worth a try! The tv tray he’s been using is too small to attempt that. She also might have a curved bed rail that slides under the mattress, which would make it easier for him to sit on the side of the bed.

She took copious amounts of notes, since she is trained in social work, so that she can make some phone calls to the appropriate people and hopefully get some answers about benefits, and what services he is entitled to, because I am not getting much help from home health. I am overwhelmed and exhausted, so she also offered to come sit with Dad so I can get out and go to my Airrosti appointment (if they ever call me back). Becky leaves in two weeks, so I appreciate her taking the time to do what she can before she goes.

In other news, the occupational therapist gave Dad some new arm exercises which I will have to coach him on and had many useful suggestions for eating and drinking. My friend Stephanie will appreciate that she told Dad the trick to prevent choking while taking his pills is to swallow with his chin tucked down. It sounds crazy, but she said that opens up the throat, making swallowing easier. It will take some practice, but he did well with it this morning. We need to get new wrist weights for his exercises, as this will strengthen his arms. The ones I had previously bought for him are too heavy. Sean said he will get them for me. I have to ask, because he does not offer up help, yet if I ask, he brings whatever I need over pretty promptly. She also suggested a no-slip pad go under his plate, and to use cups with lids and straws for his drinks. I pretty much do that anyway, but never considered a sippy cup for coffee because I thought he would consider it juvenile. She said do whatever works. Another tip was to wrap his utensils in foam so he can get a better grip, and a plate guard for his plates, so he can push the food into the guard making it easier to get food on his utensils. That would be a big help, so I will be on Amazon later to find one of those.

Each therapist brings their own suggestions and/or exercises, and while it is appreciated, it’s a lot of information to remember. I need to start writing everything down more and utilizing help when and where I can get it, so I don’t become overwhelmed. At least we have settled into a kind of routine, and Dad seems less angry and more content as time goes on. We still haven’t tried the Scrabble tiles, because it hasn’t come up yet that he needs to tell me anything I can’t get from a head nod or shake. The physical therapist will come tomorrow morning, which means more exercises to remember. Then I have the job of making Dad do them. Once they are incorporated into the routine, hopefully, it won’t create a problem, but everything he does tires him out quickly. Even his hourly walks to the bathroom or around the circuit of the kitchen/living room area cause him to need a short nap. Maybe his age, or his disease, but he naps a lot!! Oh, and she suggested he stop drinking fluids at 6pm so he would wake up dry. Well, we did it last night and this morning everything was wet except the underpad. He had risen, took everything off, put on a new undergarment, and got back in bed when I went to check on him. It’s progress, but it’s scary too because he got up without help and I’m scared to death he will fall again. We got lucky this morning.

Becky also suggested I get what’s bothering me off my chest with my other family members so I don’t let resentment fester. So I started with my brother last night, I wrote a typical day for me since Dad has been here, so he knows what I’m going through. I don’t know if he’s read it yet, but I need to do the same with Sean. Chris and Josh live too far away and work all the time, so I can’t count on them for help, but if I asked, I’m sure they would find a way. This is a family affair, and all parties should be involved in some way so everything isn’t on Dave and myself. Don’t you agree?

Well, I’m off to make some phone calls myself since no one has called me back yet. You all have a beautiful Tuesday and keep those kind thoughts and positive vibes coming. I appreciate them so much!!!

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SoCS & WOD 09-04-21 A New Ride

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “pin.” Use it as a noun, use it as a verb, use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

Linda has given the prompt for today’s SoCS Saturday, so here is my stream.

After a breakfast of pin oats, more commonly known as “steel-cut” oats, an egg and a banana, Dad and I got his basic bathroom routine done and he assumed his spot on the incliner. I did laundry and filled his medicine box, freshened up his room, and went and got myself ready for the day while Dave was out running errands. He had to go get ingredients for dinner, and things to make breakfast sausage.

When he came home, he had some breakfast and got busy assembling Dad’s new lift chair he purchased for him. We moved furniture and cleaned the floor, placing it where the incliner sofa was, then moved that to the wall opposite our sofa. Then it was time to test out the new ride. It worked great, and still features heat and massage.

The chair in the up position
Dad seems happy with it.

We are all so tired today, we’ve been resting every time we sit down, Dave and Dad have no problem napping, but I can never relax during the day time. So, I just rested my eyes and didn’t look at the tv or iPad for a bit. My shoulder is screaming like a toothache and my trap muscle is hard as a rock again. This new chair will help me too, as I won’t have to pull up on Dad as much. I don’t think that’s what’s got it tight again though, because I lift with my left arm. I think it’s lack of sleep and always being stressed about something. I haven’t been doing my exercises properly either, when I have the time, I’m exhausted. I have at least done the stretches, but that’s not enough.

Later, Dave gave him a shave and we dealt with his pain, and now he is resting comfortably, but I’m not.
All I can think of is what he must be thinking, because he doesn’t seem happy or grateful, more like he is just tolerating the situation and wondering why he is still here. My friend said I’m just gonna have to get used to him being this way until he comes to terms with it. But part of me wants to spell it out. Now you know why I have knots on my knots. When my brother had the chance to talk to him, he didn’t approach the subject either, and I think Dad would accept it more coming from him than me. Dad is not my biological dad, but he’s been my dad all my life, and I love him. He adopted me when he married Mom and that was when I was 2 1/2.

Well, this has stretched into more than just a SoCS, so I’ll go and let you move on to other reads. 🤗

Happy Labor Day wknd everyone!

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Communication Breakdown

Today, the physical therapist came by to assess my dad and see the areas that he needs to work on and strengthen, so next week he will come a couple of times to start the actual program.

Dad is still lost as to why he is not going home, and I don’t want to say, “we’re trying to get you strong enough to go home,” because I don’t know that he will be able to. The physical therapist, Zach, said he is not bad, we need to work on balance and strength, but it will take about 6 sessions to tell if it is possible for rehabilitation or if his disease progression will continue and make him unable to live alone.

I told him there are more issues than the physical ones, he witnessed the communication issue and showed me an app that translates your speech into large text. That’s cool for us, but dad can’t talk, so it doesn’t help him much. Zach suggested a speech therapist come evaluate him and see if she has any suggestions, and I also found something on line used for deaf and mute kids-a flip chart with pictures showing words and pictures that I think might be helpful…if he will use it.

See, part of the problem is that he is in denial that anything is wrong. The other thing is he gets so frustrated because he knows what he wants to say, but the part of the brain that helps translate that to paper (or a white board) is dead. I was up til 11:30 with him last night, past tired and frustrated, because I could not figure out what he was trying to say. Dave had worked late and we woke him up, dad yelling and me crying. It was awful. I’ve got to figure out something that works before I go mad.

My brother is coming today to help with a shower, Dave had to go back to work an hour after he got home last night, so Dad never got a shower.

He is so bored here, he just goes to sleep until it’s time to eat again, and I hate that too. I’m almost to the point of letting him go home since the home health can go there to help, but then I’m back to going over there all the time because they don’t come every day, and I’ll worry about him 24/7 just like before. It’s an impossible situation. Should we just ask him how he feels about going into an assisted living facility? That is the question. 🤷‍♀️

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