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...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dad's Care Conference and Updates...

On the 17th, the skin care nurse called to tell me Dad is still screaming when she attempts to clean out his right eye...Also, Dad's left pinkie toe is very swollen and it looks like the basal cell carcinoma on his pinkie toe is growing.  She told me Dad's doctor opened it up to see if it was infected, but there was none.  She suggested we take him to a Dermatologist or Surgeon because it really looks bad...When I asked if Dad complained of pain or discomfort, she told me he rarely complains...

She invited me to find her next time I come to visit, which will be in May, and she will show me the progressive photos she has taken of Dad's toe.  I thanked her for taking such wonderful care of Dad.  She thanked me for the Alveeno lotion and told me what a difference it makes on Dad's skin.

Dad's Care Conference was also on the 17th... Mom attended in person and I attended via the phone.  First topic, as usual is to review the emergency procedures.  Apparently my brother K_____ put himself and our other brother S_______ as the 2nd person to call and removed Mom's name.  I am the first to be called.

We told them we are having a family meeting in May when I go to California to discuss whether we want Dad resuscitated with CPR should his heart stop or he stops breathing.  We all have to discuss this together as there is much to consider...  Since Dad is a Veteran we also need to discuss burial plans as both Mom and Dad prefer cremation.  We all have avoided these topics, but the sooner we make these difficult decisions, we can be relieved of the burden of indecision hanging over our heads...

We listened to the review of his medications and the services he has had over the past several months, with the Podiatrist, the Dentist, the Psychiatrist and heard how well he is doing with his rehabilitation and exercise.  Dad enjoys Bingo, Bible Study and especially music with a fast beat.  The staff all chimed in on how much they enjoy Dad's dancing and singing.

Dad is on two anti-depressants, Lexapro and Remeron.  The Remeron helps him have more of an appetite.  It is doing its job because Dad has gained 6 pounds and now weighs 148 pounds.  Dad gets ice cream twice a day, as well as supplement shakes three times a day.  Dad has never weighed more than 150 pounds, which is his ideal weight, so he is doing much better.

They confirmed again that "Pickles" will accompany Dad on the transport for his appointment with the specialist (Opthamologist) tomorrow to examine his eye and determine if it is in fact cancer... I really believe it is cancer because it has not gotten any better in the last four years he has had it.  I can't imagine the possible treatment other than disfiguring Dad's face or removing his eye...I don't want to think of either one...I know Mom is really nervous about the results and stressed with the entire appointment...

We would greatly appreciate you keeping Dad in your prayers...

4 comments:

Mari said...

Your Dad is well loved - by family and the staff there! I'll be praying about the appt.

That corgi :) said...

Hugs to all, Donna; I know it is a hard discussion to have about final wishes and medical care, but it is a good one in the long run, believe you me; you will all be grateful to have done it sooner than later, as hard as it will be!

betty

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I will keep in my prayers, Donna.
And although those will be difficult decisions to make, doing it now will be easier than trying to deal with it when the time comes.

Linda O'Connell said...

Donna, My heart goes out to you and your family. I think a DNR is a blessing as it allows the body to do what it is naturally doing. If your dad seems happy and doesn't complain, why put him through surgery and discomfort. Sending prayers your way. Hugs.