Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tour De Nursing Homes

It has been a wild and crazy last couple days. It started yesterday morning with a quick get together with Liz, my buddy ole pal since pre school.


Then it was off to see dad in the nursing home. I hadn't seen him since September and was extremely eager to do so. I was expecting the absolute worst but hoping for the best as I rounded the corner and saw his face for the first time. He was hanging with his new dementia buds watching TV.....or maybe just staring at it...not sure which. He seemed to recognize me which is more than I can say happened in Sept when I saw him when he was still living at home. So that was good. He also seemed to really understand what I was saying....either that or he is a dang good actor because I got the exact reactions that I would expect from him.

Dad shares a very sparse room with a gentleman named Norman. Norman seemed to have his stuff together still (mentally) and was a pleasure to talk to. But since Norman is in the dementia unit with my dad so he could have been feeding me a bunch of horse manure too....who knows and who cares because he was so cute and very entertaining.

Other than Norman there was a lady who carried a baby doll around. She decided she liked me enough to poke me in between the eyes. Thanks a bunch. Then there was another lady that would swear up and down that something was on the floor and needed to be picked up (there wasn't). That same lady is also guilty of stealing dads walker all the time because she likes the color of it. It is like walker wars in that place.

Did I mention my dads hair was all frizzy and crazy looking? What is up with that? Just because he is in the dementia unit doesn't mean he needs to LOOK like he is. Good lord. That needs to be fixed although dad could probably give a rats ass about how he looks these days. That is quite the change coming from him taking 10 years to get ready for anything before when all hairs had to be perfectly styled.

The nursing home does their best to keep everyone engaged and busy and not sleeping. It has worked too from what I have seen. From that standpoint, having dad in the nursing home has been BETTER than having him at home. Dad at home was only sleeping and eating. That doesn't do too much for the ole noggin to keep it alert and thinking. But now that he is at the nursing home they keep him going and active and like I said, I saw a significant difference in him for the better. I did NOT expect that but will happily accept it!

As for mom, she is tired, beat down, worn out - need I say more. This has been a lot to take in and she has had her own set of issues to deal with these last few months. She did just today get cleared AGAIN of her bacterial infection with a negative result from the doctor which is great. This means that she will be able to start taking her arthritis medicine again here soon which will help with her fatigue and of course, pain. She hasn't been able to get her arthritis infusions for months now due to the infection. That has left her an achy mess but we look to be turning a corner on that one at the moment.

As for today, I spent the whole day with my brother and mom at an assisted living facility closer to home. We were there a good 6 hours but that is partly my moms fault since there is no one she doesn't know it seems. We went there with the intent of checking out the dementia care facilities for dad and checking out assisted living for mom. She needs it and bad but getting her to realize this is another story. Well actually that isn't that true, its is getting her to actually DO IT that needs working on. We understand though that it is easier said than done. She would need to move and have dad moved to the same locotion and all that is a massive endeavor at the moment! But I think the more she slides down the stairs at home on her rear and the more she crawls up the stairs on her hands and knees, she is seeing the light and so are we. My parents need us kids more than ever right now and that is why I need to stay up here a while until the dust settles.

1 comment:

Mother Theresa said...

What is sadly funny about upheavels and grief is how we deal with the situations as humorously as we can. It alleviates the craziness of the situation.

You, my friend, are handling the life pretty well considering.