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Rough Days

Okay, so on Thursday, my dad fell down at the lawyer's office. He's 84 going on 115, with artificial hips, a bad knee, and wonky-at-best spatial awareness ... so this is not terribly surprising. However, after said spill, he was having difficulty maintaining a coherent thought and kept sliding in and out of consciousness. This behavior suggested that the marathon document-signing session at the lawyer's office had led to low blood sugar[1], but whatever the cause, he found himself unable to walk under his own power, so laurie_robey and I went over to the lawyer's office and by means of bodily lifting him out of the wheelchair[2] and putting him into the Camry[3], managed to get him over to the after-hours office at Kaiser Permanente to determine what, if any, damage he had suffered and if he would be okay.

Kaiser poked, prodded, and examined, and decided it was beyond their facilities and so sent him over to Fairfax Hospital in an ambulance; there he has been for the past two days, getting MRIs, new med prescriptions, and increasingly cranky and rude to the staff because he wants to go home. They determined that he had not been injured in the fall (or at least, his brain hadn't been), and the attending physician decided to completely reshuffle my dad's list-as-long-as-your-arm of meds in ways that would hopefully make him more coherent generally, and less prone to things like internal bleeding due to the blood thinners[4].

So he's due to go home today; they're going to drive him home in an ambulance and the attending techs are going to cart him straight in to his bed. Before that happens, they're going to see if he can walk in the hospital — he hasn't tried successfully since Thursday — but either way they're going to try to get him a chair to scooch around in, and my mom has to go hunting for a car that he can get into and out of more easily.

Meanwhile, for myself, I'm still sick. :P This makes me profoundly grateful that I don't have to go over there and hoist him in and out of chairs/cars/beds, although I am a bit annoyed that I can't do more to help than lend a sympathetic ear at this point.

-The Gneech

[1] Did I mention he was diagnosed with diabetes a year or so ago?
[2] On loan to the lawyer from another office in the complex, apparently.
[3] Keep in mind that I am still quite sick myself. Lifting your ancient, incoherent father into a car while you have head congestion, body aches, and mental fatigue is not a fun experience.
[4] My dad has apparently reached the point where internal bleeding due to blood thinners is more of a risk than stroke due to blood clots. This is the kind of thing they have to deal with!



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 18th, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC)

I do know how you feel. Before she died in 1999, my mom was diabetic, had had a stoke, and had recently lost part of leg below the knee. I too well remember seeing things like what you describe.

I hope your dad and you get better soon.

Jul. 18th, 2009 06:03 pm (UTC)
Is your father a veteran?
Jul. 18th, 2009 09:34 pm (UTC)
Yup; served in the Pacific theater during WWII; if I remember correctly he was in the infantry.

Jul. 18th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)
Did he go back to serve in Vietnam? Remember, my job is deciding claims by veterans for benefits. One of them is that if you had confirmed service in Vietnam, we take responsibility (pay money) for any diabetes (and several other disease) because we presume it to be caused by Agent Orange.

I'm just checking to see if maybe he's entitled to some VA benefits he may not realize he has.
Jul. 18th, 2009 10:08 pm (UTC)
Nope; he was 40 by that point!

He does have emphysema from asbestos work at a factory, but that was settled ages ago.

Jul. 18th, 2009 06:45 pm (UTC)
Hope that all goes well for your father, Gneech.

However... YOU had to go to the LAWYER'S office to assist him? What the hell is wrong with the lawyer? As hemist assuredly is a client of his, the well being of your father should be of concern to him as well. At the very lest the lawyer should have called for paramedics to be in attendance even if your father was actively refusing to go to a hospital, which I don't read in this entry.

Still wishing good thoughts for your dad...
Jul. 18th, 2009 09:37 pm (UTC)
The lawyer was helping, but as she was a little gal who looked to be somewhere in the 60s herself, there wasn't a whole lot she could do. It was my mom's choice to call me instead of paramedics.

Jul. 18th, 2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
Always the little details!

/e Retracts most comments about lawyers in general ;)
Jul. 19th, 2009 01:01 am (UTC)
oh yeah... dealing with the spatial thing with mom too.. :/

Wow.. Kaiser actually demurred to another hospital, after the fact? wow... gotta give em credit for that one...

Best of wishes to your dad's care.. and strength for you too...
Jul. 19th, 2009 01:30 am (UTC)
I too hope you and your father get better soon.
Jul. 19th, 2009 05:18 am (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear that. Makes me wonder what my father's health would have been if he was still here. He would have been a little younger than your father.
Jul. 19th, 2009 06:44 pm (UTC)
Sounds like we're both having to deal with parents who are having health problems. I hope things go better for you in the days ahead.
Jul. 20th, 2009 06:14 am (UTC)
I've been there, Gneech.

In 1994 my grandmother fell in her bedroom, breaking her hip on my youngest brother's birthday (scheduled dinner was put on hold).

Soon found myself putting my teaching job on hold to help care for her and my grandfather (he had short term memory loss due to a stroke 10 years earlier).

The lifting, the assisting in/out of vehicles, doctor's appointments, the medications (and required adjustments there of) etc., etc.,... I've been there. No fun for you, and absolutely no fun for them either.

Even with the health problems you've mentioned for your father, at least (it appears) that he's on the mend. It might be worth while for you folks to have hired help once or twice a week (to also help your mother in lowering any possible stress).

As for the "Chair" to move around in that bugs me. After my grandmother passed, medical staff put my grandfather into a chair to help him get about. He became dependent on it - he never walked again during the last 2 years of his life. If this is a doctor's order, fine, but... Well, It's not my intention to scare you, it's just that I've seen the down side of those things.

I'll keep you folks in my prayers (and you as well). It's a tough situation.

Feel better soon yourself!
Jul. 21st, 2009 12:24 pm (UTC)
i just wanna say that even though ive never met you or let alone live in the same time zone as you ..ah whatever i just wanted to say i hope everyhing goes better from here and im here for you -AL
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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