Monday, May 25, 2009

A Grandfather found and almost lost

After four years of living with my dad and his illnesses I had hit my limit with his mental illness. I totally fell apart in his doctors office. She listened to both of us and was a huge help. She prescribed medication for my dad. The difference was amazing. He became social and calm, oh he still had outbursts but overall was wonderful. My children finally had a grandfather they could be in a room with. My baby and him became so close it brought tears to my eyes.

Last week my dad went in for a heart catheterization. Totally routine, he has had six of them over the years. He had my drop him off at the hospital and told me they would call when he was done. I received a call about an hour later. He needed a bypass that day. Again I was told routine no worries they would call with the time so I could be there. Two hours later a nurse calls to ask if I plan on being there for this major surgery. I was completely baffled. "What major surgery? I was told by the doctor the hospital would call me to let me know what time the bypass would be started.". She tells me to wait for the doctors call. I get a call five minutes later. The bypass was now a double bypass and two heart valve replacements. I was in total shock. I was told to get there immediately. In shock I drove to the hospital where my niece was waiting for me. We were rushed in to see him and told to say goodbye while we could.

He survived the surgery but has a long road to recovery. My children are very shaken by this. They finally have had a chance to get to know their grandfather and he was almost taken. Maddie, the baby, has not eaten breakfast since he was hospitalized. They sat and ate together and chatted in the morning. I am very grateful for the peace that has been in this home the last few months. Should my dad pass I can at least know my children got to know someone that was lost for a while. I have learned two things from this. The first is always ask for help, don't try and ride it out. The second is cherish the times you have.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Don't touch the baby

I took Evan and Maddie to the store with me the other day. At one point I really had to use the restroom. I parked Maddie outside the bathroom with Evan. I came out to a clearly livid Evan. I asked him what was wrong.

" This woman came up and asked where the babies mommy was."

" All you had to tell her was I was in the restroom."

" I did and then she asked if I was Maddie's dad. She thought I was her daddy. How dumb can someone be?"

" Well Evan you are tall for your age and very good with Maddie. It was just a mistake, not worth getting so upset."

"I am annoyed over the dad comment. I am mad because she touched Maddie's foot."

At this point Evan's pitch changes and Maddie grabs her foot and holds it up for me. This may seem like no big deal but one of Evan's OCD's is germs and touching. I can not take Maddie in and wash her foot this will not work for Evan. I think I have an easy solution go pick up a bottle of hand sanitizer and purchase it and use it. No, no that simple, they have none in the store. The swine flu has everyone in some sort of hand sanitizer panic. I ask a clerk that asks another clerk. Nope sold out. I explain that I really need something as my son is a bit OCD and now hyperventalating as he is sure Maddie has been exposed to some horrid virus. The fact that they are sold out of hand sanitizer proves there is something out there to pass along. One clerk kindly lets me use hers. I have to put it my hand give Evan some and then he can sanitize Maddies foot. I need a sign to hang on Maddie, "Do Not Touch The Baby" at least not when Evan is around.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Waking up

I feel like I am waking up after a long nap. I am starting to touch base with friends again. I am starting to blog again. I have yet to figure out where my dad is going but that he will go has helped a great deal. He is on new meds for his "emotional outbursts" as the doctor put it. They seem to help. We don't walk on as many eggshells now. Everyone has been sick so we have stayed clear of his living area as not to expose him to it. I worry that my children will never have positive feelings towards their grandfather. They have seen the harsh reality of aging too young as far as I am concerned. I wish I could go back in time and do things differently but I can't. I can however try and make things better from this point forward. I am afraid the guilt I carry from bringing him here will remain for some time. The husband and I are working things out. Now if I can just stay awake and move forward things will be better.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Been a while

It has been a while since I blogged. I have been very busy with family problems. My dad moved in four years ago. He was hospitalized with several health problems including malnutrition. Now four years later and several hospital stays things are worse. His health is bad and his mental state is worse. I thought he was malnourished due to mild depression. No, he has dementia. I am now facing the hardest and most heartbreaking decision of a lifetime. I must find a care facility for my father. This is not an easy thing to do. He has become too hard to handle here. He has caused a major rift in my family and marriage. He is mean, angry and just flat out cruel. He prowls my home at all hours taking things and stashing them in his room. He treats my husband like a villain and flat out hates two of our children. THIS IS NOT MY FATHER. I have to say he has never been a warm fuzzy person but he has never been like this. He was put back in the hospital late November and moved from there to a rehab center. They called me one day and said, "hey your dad is ready to come home". THEY LIED. He won't bathe, won't shave and refuses every other meal. What is heart breaking is that he worked for the State Of Nevada for 52 years then retired. Instead of traveling and enjoying life he sat at home. He would come here for dinner but otherwise refused to do much. He stacked and stacked his home and yard with junk, paper, cans and such. I now see this is all a sign of the dementia. I just wish he had done something fun. Traveled and visited with friends and family. I wish he had dated and over enjoyed life. Dementia is cruel in that a person can deteriorate so slowly it is hard to see. Once you do see it and look back you can't understand why you didn't see it clearly before. I have learned one thing, I will live my life with more happiness.