This blog was formerly dedicated in 2009 to my Dad who died of Alzheimer's in 2013. It's been three years now...and I find myself missing blogging...so I am re-inventing my blog... because, after all, life is about moving through, and going forward...

Friday, May 14, 2010

May God continue to Bless you and keep you safe....

Last night, a Neuro Surgeon called me after reviewing Dad's 2nd CT Scan.  He explained Dad had fluid on the brain (subdural hydroma).  He proposed drilling a hole in Dad's skull, under general anesthesia, to release the fluid on the surface of Dad's brain....

Its very difficult to think clearly when my heart was beating so loudly, I could barely hear myself talk....

I knew Dad was not in pain.  I have been calling twice a day talking to him or his nurses.  I asked the Doctor what would happen if we did not do the surgery.  He told me Dad would most likely be sleepy or more demented.  It may or may not resolve itself.  I told him I would discuss it with my family, but I was almost certain we would not want to put Dad through brain surgery.

Dad used to forbid us to even say the word "dementia" in his presence, let alone admit he had it.  He was convinced, it would mean "exploring his brain" or "using him for experiments".  Dad used to be a Volunteer Chaplain in both hospitals and nursing homes for over 15 years.  He is well schooled in patient rights. He would want to know why a Neuro Surgeon was seeing him!  He would have to go kicking and screaming against his will to have brain surgery.

I emailed the family and talked with one of my brothers and my sister over the phone.  We all agreed to not do the surgery.  As long as he is not in pain, we will not put Dad through it.  We would rather lose him from complications from the fall, than watching him go further down the dead end road of Alzheimer's.

I spoke with the Neuro Surgeon again this morning.  I needed the reassurance, once again, that if we did nothing, Dad would not be in pain.  He gave me that reassurance.  I explained the results of our discussion and he was very understanding.  He said he would put a note of our conversation in Dad's chart.  He further told me it would be up to Dad's primary care physician to determine when Dad was well enough to return to the nursing home.

I have tried twice to speak with Dad this morning.  Our last conversation  on Wednesday, when they were going to do the CT Scan, his voice was very garbled.  Probably from the huge scab covering the opening of his nostrils. He talked non-stop.  I could tell he was scared.  Each time I called he was getting a bath or sleeping.  The nurse said to try again in a half hour, when he will be eating his lunch.  Happily, Dad's appetite has returned.

I feel like a raw, exposed nerve ending.  Very sleep deprived and tense.  I am so tired, but when I lie down to rest, my mind flashes all my worries and fears regarding Dad.  I can't help but not feel how he must feel.  I hate he is alone in that hospital.  I wish I could have stayed longer to be with him...

Even now, as I write, I can barely see to type.  My eyes seem to always well with tears when I think of or just utter the word, Dad...

It is so very sad how, after all my Dad has been through, his life has come to this... I cannot imagine being in my Dad's position.  We want to protect him, but we cannot take care of him.  I don't know if I will ever be able to shake that guilt from my psyche.

Despite our familie's belief, that family comes first, life and the economy get in the mix, and we are forced to work long hours, live further away, and keep continuously spinning the hub of the wheels of our own individual families.  My heart goes out to every family member out there, who must fight each day to keep their loved ones safe, protected and fed.

Dad's primary care doctor just called.  After one week in the hospital, from his terrible fall last Friday, he is transferring Dad back to the nursing home this afternoon...back to Dad's Angel, Doctor-Doctor.  Dad sounded so excited and happy.  He told me how well everyone treated him....

Daddy, you are such a gentle spirit.  So loving, so caring.  All the goodness that you have shown over the years in being played forward to you now...May God continue to Bless you and keep you safe.

10 comments:

DeanO said...

Great story - It must be hard to write but thanks for sharing. God bless

That corgi :) said...

I think you made the wise choice (although difficult decision) not to put your dad through surgery like this. I can imagine it was a difficult decision to make. I'm glad he will be able to go back to the nursing home where people and surroundings are very familiar to him. It is sad when our parents age and become incapacitated or have memory problems, etc. I know my hubby and his brother are going through similar issues with their parents who are in their mid 80s and I can imagine it is hard for them to see their once vibrant parents a shell of themselves. hugs to you all!

betty

Jeanie said...

Your feelings are very understandable, but don't overlook how fortunate your dad is given the circumstances he is in. He has a loving family and caregivers that will see that all the best things are done for him. There is no place for guilt in all that you have done for him. Looking at things and making decisions based on what you know his perspective would be is the best thing you can do for him.

Mari said...

I think you made the right decision. Going through a surgery like that would have been very hard on your Dad and would have made him so confused and I think frightened too.
You are a wonderful family and I know how hard it is for you to be away from him. I'm so glad he is being transferred back. His Doctor, doctor will keep an eye on him, as well as the other people there who love him. I think it will be easier for your Mom to visit him now too.
I agree with your parting words here - May God continue to bless him and keep him safe - and you too!

mickeydee said...

A difficult decision, but, in the best interest of your dad. We had to make the same decisions with my mom, and we have always felt comfortable with the decisions we made.

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Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I'm so glad that he's well enough to be back to what he knows and is familiar with.

Is it a possibility that the fluid will diminish on its own? I think you all made a wise choice. It would more than likely bring on more confusion and discouragement.

Tabitha@ichoosebliss said...

Hi Donna, it must be very hard to make the decisions you have to make. I live away from my family and when things go wrong I can't always jump up and leave, so I know somewhat of how you feel. I will be praying for your dad and you.

Donna B said...

Deano: Thank you. It is very difficult to see a loved one suffer. We are so grateful he was not more seriously hurt.

Betty: Yes, thank you. We think it is best too. As long as he is not in pain, we won't traumatize him further. I am so sorry to hear of your inlaws going through this too. It is a long,long, road...

Jeanie: Thank you. We are Blessed. It could be so much worse. We are grateful for every day he knows who we are. I am so close with my Dad, I wish I could be closer to him....and I will feel guilt for that. I hope one day we can...

Mari: Thank you as always. I know your prayers are strong and steady. We greatly appreciate them. We KNOW we did the right thing. Dad would mostl likely not survive knowing of the surgery much less the surgery itself!

dianne: We feel comfortable with our decision. We know Dad rests in the hands of the Lord.

Chocolate: Yes, both doctors feel the fluid will most likely resolve itself.

Tabitha: Thank you for your prayers. We can sympathize with one another in being far from those we love. Your blog gives me great peace.

gayle said...

When making decisions for our love ones......many times we second guess ourselves. That was the hardest thing for me. You just have to know you are doing the best you can. Reading your posts on your dads good days makes me smile and on the bad days it breaks my heart.