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Update for all.

Normally, I don't write full details about what is happening medically in my families life. I am doing so now for a selfish reason - so I don't have to retell the story over and over again.

Went to see Dad tonight, and also spoke at length with his doctor when I got home. The surgery on Sunday was a quick, 1-hour bit under local anasthesia to get rid of some of the infection and dead tissue. He will have another of these surgeries on this coming Friday.

In the meantime, he is on heavy antibiotics throughout his stay. Sometime soon... possibly this weekend or Monday, he will be transfered to a rehabilitation center (read: nursing home light.) He will stay there for 4-6 weeks, where he will have 24/7 antibiotics through an IV. Once a week, he will return to the hospital for progress checks. He will also probably have several additional operations like the two mentioned above.

There is still a great risk of losing his foot or leg. The infection is that bad.

I feel somewhat better because there is a plan in place, with a time table. I feel confident that the doctors are doing everything in their power to avoid amputation.

I am nervous about picking the facilitiy. It must be close enough to my Mother for her to get there easily, so my Dad isn't so lonely. It also must be a great facility, one that I can trust. Hopefully, I will have assistance in picking one out.

I am also very freaked out over the potential need to do some serious contingency planning. A part of me feels like I have been given hope and respice from these major life-impacting decisions. Another part of me wonders if I need to plan for the inevitable.

Doing so means confronting possibilities and questions that I really, really, really want to avoid.

It sucks knowing that these decisions must be made by me. That when it all comes down to it, it is my call, and my life that will be the most impacted.

I've never quite felt this mixture of hope and fear all at once. I don't like it.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 8th, 2006 03:25 am (UTC)
Thank you for the update, selfish or not.

Here if you need me, (though here is so very, very far away...)
Aug. 8th, 2006 05:30 am (UTC)
*hug* Im around if you want to talk...
Aug. 8th, 2006 06:42 am (UTC)
No matter the outcome, you should face the fact that you will need to plan for what you deem to be the inevitable - both short and long-term scenarios. Do your parents have Long Term Care (LTC) insurance? If they don't, or you don't have it for them, i *STRONGLY* urge that you look into Long Term Care Insurance - it fills a huge gap that health/medical insurance overlooks.

i urge this for anyone who has parents they care for - as well as for themselves. Eventually we all face our parents/guardians aging as we face ourselves getting older too.

Don't put off getting papers in order - wills, power of attorney, health directives for yourself as well as those you may have to make decisions for. No one likes to think of such things, but it will make it far easier to handle the situations when they finally arise. It's best to know ahead of time what the person would want, rather than second guessing yourself because you avoided discussing things that might happen.

~ pug

Aug. 8th, 2006 12:08 pm (UTC)
All of the paperwork is in order. That we had thankfully taken care of a long time ago.

The decisions that need to be made are scarier than that. What to do if amputation indeed is the answer? Their current apartment isn't laid out for a wheelchair. Then there is transportation and other needs.

Do I move back in with them? Find another place that they can somehow afford? Find a larger place for all of us? Very tough decisions that will change my life just as much as it changes theirs.
Aug. 8th, 2006 02:57 pm (UTC)
>>Their current apartment isn't laid out for a wheelchair. Then there is transportation and other needs.<<

You might want to call the human services department in the town/borough where they live. They should be staffed to help with aging/disability issues *and* they might even be able to assign a social worker to your dad/family to help you navigate any additional situations.

I have a number of friends who've had to confront parental aging issues and situations and in most cases, it came down to good social workers assigned to their parents to help them navigate everything from paperwork to long-term care.

Hope this helps.
Aug. 8th, 2006 03:01 pm (UTC)
We have the hospital's social workers working with us on picking the appropriate rehab center closer to home. (If only they would return my calls!)

Long-term care is something I am thinking about heavily. The issue is they really aren't that old, and assisted living facilities just isn't something I saw coming so quickly. It's hard to wrap my brain around that particular option.

Plus there is my little brother - he isn't ready yet to be living on his own.
Aug. 8th, 2006 11:42 am (UTC)
Just as you said you feel better now with a plan in place and the doctors are doing all they can. It’s now your turn to stand up and do your best so that you can have that same internal peace that things are taken care of. Once you build your plan it will be much more calming to experience the rest. Also something to consider once you have a plan in place for him then if you tell him he will have the added confidence and respect in you for taking care of him. This will also give you a better ability to be warm and caring toward him and his needs because you frustration and anxiety are relieved by having already made some/all the tough decisions allowing you to relax and deal with what he needs.

It’s never easy to deal with these type of things just remember that there are plenty of people to lean on and there’s a sometimes surprisingly large array of talent and care around you to help you through the tough times just as you are there to help him through the tough times. Never forget that there are always more people that will come to your aid that you can think to ask.
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 8th, 2006 12:09 pm (UTC)
They were aware of the problem. He was with other doctors, and they were trying some other non-invasive, experimentative treatments to stem the infection.

It didn't work.
Aug. 8th, 2006 12:53 pm (UTC)
I look up to you for your ability to do what you need to do even when things are scary and uncertain and all the decisions are up to you and the world is on your shoulders...
Aug. 8th, 2006 01:08 pm (UTC)
that's awful :(


good and healthy wishes, for both of you..
Aug. 8th, 2006 01:27 pm (UTC)
Aug. 8th, 2006 03:00 pm (UTC)
*hugs and good thoughts*
Aug. 8th, 2006 07:12 pm (UTC)
*gentle quiet hug*
Aug. 9th, 2006 02:35 am (UTC)
it sucks
no way around THAT fact....i believe you'll find the best solution available.

Couple of suggestions - if you haven't already, call Neptune and get his input on the rehab places (if he doesn't know em, he might be able to find someone that does) Believe me, knowing what the facility is ReALLY like will give you (and your family) a lot more peace of mind. Same kind of note - with your dad looking at a few weeks of rehab and IV antibiotics you want someone with at least a decent medical backround to backstop you on questions and potential issues - again, my suggestion is call him, or anyone else you know with that kind of backround. FWIW, my email is this name at yahoo - if you don't have others or they're unavailable, you can always bounce stuff off me if you need/want to.

For the rest, one step at a time - and you've got a pretty great support system already in place *s* Your family, and you, will get thru this :-)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )