It looks like it’s time to consider a Nursing Home for Daddy, something I never wanted, and he certainly won’t want.
The last couple of weeks have been busy ones, as far as taking care of my Daddy is concerned. He woke up two weeks ago with his right arm in such pain and so stiff that he’s been having to eat breakfast left handed. He can’t even get the spoon to his mouth with his right hand. The Hospice nurse came and checked him out, but she couldn’t find anything in particular going on. She did get a prescription for Ibuprofen, so I’ve been alternating every four hours with the Motrin and Extra Strength Tylenol. By lunch time his arm has been better, but it starts all over the next day, just as bad as the day before.
With his arm like that, he’s having more difficulty getting out of his chair and the bed. Eating has been very frustrating for him, and he’s having more trouble using the walker. I’ve been trying to help him get up and down, to give his arm a chance to heal, whatever has been wrong with it.
Day before yesterday, the nurse looked at it again and was concerned about a good bit of fluid build up around the elbow and upper arm. I knew his hand was swollen, but I hadn’t realized the upper arm was larger, too. Anyway, she made an appointment for us to see his GP, Dr. M., in case it was a hairline fracture from the original fall, or something like that.
I didn’t realize until yesterday just how much worse Daddy is than he was when he first fell. Trying to move him from the chair to the wheelchair, and then from the wheelchair to the car, was just about impossible. I wore myself out trying to do it. Luckily, Frances, our sitter, was there to help move him into the car, and she was panting by the time he was in. It’s so much different than when we took care of Mama and Pop. They were both small people, not weighing more than 100 pounds, and they both cooperated. Daddy is about 160 pounds, and he’s a dead weight. To make matters worse, he doesn’t trust anybody, so he kept grabbing hold of the car door for dear life, and we had to peel his hands free to get him to hold onto us to maneuver him.
We asked for help at the doctor’s office, getting him out and back in, so at least we didn’t have to struggle with him there. But then, of course, we had to get him out of the car and back in the wheelchair on our own when we got home. He wasn’t any easier to move then than he had been at first.
The whole ordeal was extremely upsetting. The worst part of it was that the doctor no longer has an X-ray machine, so it was more or less a wasted trip. We have to see an Orthopedist next week. That means going through all this again. I did mention to Dr. M. that I had a sore throat, so the nurse swabbed it, and I have strep. So now I’m on antibiotics. At least we accomplished that!
Yesterday’s events have forced me to reconsider just how much longer we are going to be able to keep Daddy in his home. I can see that he’s fast reaching a point where I won’t be strong enough to take care of him. My DH and my Daddy have always had, shall we say, a cool relationship with each other. So DH gets frustrated with him, and Daddy stays mad at DH. My hubby is here for me, and doing a great amount of the work, but he’s just not up to the cheek to cheek “dance” it takes to move someone who’s not able (or willing) to help. And I’ve had a lot more practice at it, too. It is a skilled maneuver, but with Daddy, I’m just not strong enough to do it well.
So, I started thinking about Assisted Living homes vs Nursing Homes last night. I really don’t think an Assisted Living place would take Daddy, but he’s so mentally alert most of the time I hate the idea of a Nursing Home. I don’t think I’m going to have a choice, though. We had visited just about every good Nursing Home in this area when we were caring for my mother and father-in-law, so I have a pretty good idea which ones to check for vacancies.
We have an appointment Tuesday with the Orthopedist, and his diagnosis of what’s wrong with Daddy’s arm will have a lot to do with where we go from there. If he puts Daddy’s arm in a sling, we’re in a mess. So, we’ll get through the next few days as best we can, and go from there.
All this has been happening while I was supposed to be giving the Zelepar a fair trial. Considering how yucky my throat has been the last couple of weeks, and how much more work has been involved in taking care of Daddy, plus the extra stress of seeing him deteriorate, the Zelepar really hasn’t gotten a fair trial. I’m not walking as well as I did with the Requip, but my stomach is definitely better. From recent reading I’ve done, I understand that this is the maximum dose of Zelepar, so that’s not likely to improve, unless it’s because of the increased stress, or because I had strep, and that effected my walking.
So at the moment, my thoughts are up in the air, with lots of questions, but no clear way to answer them right now.