The Twilight Years Are Here

The Twilight Years Are Here

Friday, June 25, 2010

5 Easy Ways to Keep Your Brain Sharp

5 Easy Ways to Keep Your Brain Sharp

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day


I wish that Dad were home with us (he is in a rehabilitation facility). I have been keeping notes on the events of the last 10 days and hope to catch everybody up some time soon. Life is a giant roller coaster right now and it makes it hard to find time to sit down and write. Today, I will spend more than my average 6-8 hours with Dad. I will encourage him to get stronger so that he can come home (even though I do that everyday). But mostly, I will simply love him as I thank God that he is still with us.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

It's Been a Long 10 Days

June 5, 2010

I am going to encapsulate this the best I can. I went out of town on Thursday, May 27th. Dad was very anxious about my leaving him. He understood that I had to go (my sister had surgery and I needed to be with her and I was taking one of my grandsons to see his mother) but he really wanted me to stay here with him.

On Friday, I received a call saying Dad had fallen and had cuts/scrapes on his arm, hand and head. Richard had gotten the bleeding to stop but needed to know how best to provide first-aid. I was in a panic and wanted them to take him to the ER but they insisted it wasn’t that bad! I called to check on him every day and he insisted he was fine but missed me.

I returned Sunday night but Dad was already in bed. Monday morning (Memorial Day) Dad awoke and was thrilled to have me home. He summed up all that he felt when he hugged me tight and said, “I am so glad you are home. I missed you. Everybody did ok but things aren’t right when you aren’t here. They don’t take care of me the way you do.”
I was not so thrilled to see that he had what appeared to be Conjunctivitis in both eyes. The cut on his arm had been cleaned and bandaged, as was his hand. His head had a small cut but no bump. I called the doctor but they were closed for the holiday.

On Tuesday morning, I called and got us an afternoon appointment. I was right about the eyes, he had a case of good old Pink Eye. Oral antibiotics 3 times a day for 7 days and antibiotic eye drops 4 times a day. The doctor was unconcerned about the small cut on his head but he decided it was time we explore the reasons for the falls more thoroughly. At this point, we have pretty much ruled out medication as a reason (we have cut out virtually anything that could cause dizziness or loss of balance in the last 2 months). He scheduled Dad to do Lab work on Thursday.

On Wednesday, we met Dad’s new Dermatologist. He explained that they were going to do Moh’s Micrographic Surgery on Dad to remove the cancer on June 30th. Dad has Squamous Cell Carcinoma (sometimes referred to as non-melanoma carcinoma). Although generally more aggressive than Basal Cell Carcinoma, this cancer is highly treatable. The procedure can take anywhere from 1 ½ hours to 5 hours. There is no way to know ahead of time exactly how long it will take.

On Thursday, we went in for the ordered lab work. Now, we wait until our appointment next Tuesday to find out the results. We are still trying to get in with the Neurologist to have him tested for a host of Neurological possibilities for what is causing his loss of balance, dizziness and fainting. The lab work makes me feel like we are taking a more active role in finding the problem. Deep in my heart, I fear that it is simply a matter of “old age”.

Friday was rather unremarkable since we didn’t have any appointments and Dad has been sleeping a lot all week because his eyes are bothering him.

Today, he rested a lot again. Jordyn spent the day trying to find ways to involve Dad, ways to get him to communicate or connect with him. He did play several games of Gin Rummy with Jordyn (which I take as definite progress). He also let Jordyn make him a grilled ham & cheese sandwich for lunch. We have got to get Dad interested in doing something, anything! I am surprised and delighted that my 11 year old sees the importance of this and takes an active part in trying to help. As I point out frequently to Dad, I need him to spend time with Jordyn... Jordyn needs it. Once again, I am reminded that we can do anything as long as we work together as a family to accomplish our goals!