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...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Care Conference on Dad for July 17, 2012

Mom and I attended Dad's Care Conference yesterday.  She in person, me over the phone.  They confirmed I am the first contact and then went right into asking if we had decided on the Advanced Directive.  We determined on a DNR and no feeding tubes.  We will agree to Limited Intervention, meaning if Dad needed antibiotics, oxygen, keeping him comfortable or having him transferred to the hospital to treat him for anything the nursing home could not provide.

Mom and I brought up a letter Mom received about taking Dad off Lexapro in September if they did not receive a letter from the Psychiatrist saying it is still required.  I have a phone call into his office and Mom will write a letter, sending a copy of the letter, and asking the doctor to make sure Dad stays on the medication.

Dad attends activities four to five days a week and especially enjoys the music and singing.  All agreed Dad is slowing down and keeps his eyes shut a lot of the time...but will open them upon prompting.  Dad eats 80 to 100% of his food and weighs 148 pounds.

The dentist visited Dad and attempted to take x-rays which Dad refused.  The dentist came a month later and was able to do a visual exam.  Dad has several cavities, moderate gingivitis and heavy tartar build up, but will not allow any treatment.

The podiatrist and primary doctor both agree on not being able to get a manual pulse in his left foot and they may decide to do another Doppler test.

I received a phone call, later in the afternoon, after the Care Conference from the nursing home after Dad's primary doctor visited Dad, telling me he discontinued further Cryotherapy treatments as it was not helping the infection.  More blood tests were ordered for this coming Monday.

Mom visited Dad after the conference and found him fairly chipper.  His eye looked dry and well scabbed over.  He had a new haircut, but needed a shave and his facial hairs trimmed.  Doctor-Doctor helped Dad into a wheel chair so Mom could take him out front and enjoy the weather and all the beautiful flowers newly planted with the latest renovation.

Their visit was short and sweet as it was close to lunch time.  Mom noted both in and out of the building, Dad's alarm did not sound, so she informed Doctor-Doctor and she promised to have Dad's batteries changed in his alarm.

I had called the nursing station after I hung up from the Care Conference and was lucked out as Dad was sitting in front of the nursing station when I called.  I find Dad responds more positively if I am very animated and upbeat.  I greeted him with my pet name for him and he responded back with a laugh and repeated what I had just said... The nurse had told him I was on the phone so he said my name...

He repeated most of what I said to him back to me...but sounded happy.  He did mention I "found him this nice house"...meaning the nursing home...and told me "he loved me so very much"....

I could hear him smiling as he told me "Someone is here, who you know and love..." and I thought he meant Mom...so I asked to speak with her...Doctor-Doctor came on the line...and we both laughed as I told her I thought Dad had meant my Mom.  I thanked her for all she does and told her it was good to hear her voice, then asked for her to return the phone to Dad.  I realized Dad had forgotten her name...

When Dad came on the line, I told him how much I enjoyed talking with Doctor-Doctor...and Dad laughed and repeated her name....as if he was thinking it was such a perfect name for her...

Our conversation was very brief, as it seems to be lately, but it was so good just to hear his voice tell me he loves me...

He said he was going to take a nap soon.... so I told him to get his beauty rest and have only sweet dreams...how much I loved and missed him....and God Bless you Dad...

I usually have to call back to the nursing station to make sure they take the phone, because often Dad continues to stay on the phone even after I disconnect.  The nurse laughed and said, "Oh, you're not still talking to your Dad?"  I told her we were finished so she told me she would get the phone from Dad because he still was talking and holding it to his ear...

I had received an email from Dad's primary care doctor apologizing for not answering my email of June 30th.  He has been very busy with sick patients in the hospital, but he planned on seeing Dad Tuesday, the day of the Conference, and would email me afterward...

I anticipate hearing from him by next Tuesday, as he ordered more blood tests on Dad....I assume to see how the infection in his foot is reading in his blood work...

We leave tomorrow for my step-son's Marine Core Boot Camp Graduation in San Diego....then Saturday to another step son's home for a family BBQ, an Angel/Ranger game on Sunday and back home on Monday... I pray the activities keep me mentally occupied...

I am lifting Dad in prayer....since the Cryotherapy is not working on the infection in his toe and foot...I am anticipating the doctor suggesting the removal of Dad's toe or foot... I know how traumatized Dad will be if he has any realization about the surgery....and how much he would protest...  We discussed how detrimental general anesthesia can be for Dad with Alzheimer's/Dementia in the Care Conference, so we all are just holding our breath.

I also asked the doctor about Hospice if he should determine surgery would be the best option...

We can only put our faith in God and lift Dad up to the Lord...

Thank you so much for each and every one of you who offer advice, support and prayers on this blog.  You all remain so close to my heart and life long friends.

3 comments:

Mari said...

Sounds like a good conference, in the aspect of all being on the same page and doing what is best for your Dad. I'm so glad you got to talk to him and that he was upbeat. You always describe him so well, and I can almost picture the conversation as it would take place in my nursing home. We also have people who keep holding the phone, even when the conversation is done. :)
Will keep your precious Dad in my prayers.

That corgi :) said...

Seemed like an "okay" conference, Donna; and it also seemed like he was a bit better than your mom's previous visit with him. I do hope surgery can be avoided at any cost at his age and conditions, as I am sure you guys feel the same too. But neat with your stepson graduating from the marine corp; certainly a wonderful thing to celebrate!

betty

Thisisme. said...

Donna, I do realize how worrying all this must be for you, and I know I've said this before, but your love for your dad does show so much in these posts that you write. I will continue to hold your dad, and you and the family in my prayers. "In quietness and trust is our strength".