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...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Face Time and Dread...

Our family company left late last night after a wonderful, fun weekend...the sheets and towels are washed, the bed re-made, everything cleaned and tidy...ready for my Mom's arrival tomorrow morning.  She is going to stay with us until the 14th, which is our 11th wedding anniversary...

We are all on pins and needles...the wound care doctor had the nursing home called me last Saturday to advise me he is recommending amputation of Dad's left foot. They had left a message for me to call Friday evening when I was walking my dog.

I have been emailing and calling Dad's primary care physician since July, around the time Hospice started.  I wanted clarification on Dad's left foot since the physician had stopped Cryotherapy because it was not working.

In my email, I asked the doctor what would happen if we DO NOT have the foot amputated....I am guessing there is a chance of infection or gangrene since Dad does not have good circulation in his legs.
I don't want to guess...we need to hear from the doctor on what our options are...because amputation will probably mean the end for Dad...

My sister Holly called to let me know she was on her way to visit Dad and she wanted to face time with me so I could see Dad.  (Face Time is like Skype, on Apple products).

When she arrived at the nursing home, Dad was in the dining room playing ball.  The staff pushes all the tables together and sit the residents around the table.  They take turns pushing a large beach ball back and forth, up and down the table.  Holly video taped the exercise on her iPad and after awhile, asked Dad if he wanted to go to the lobby for a visit...

Dad thought Holly was me.  When she got me on face time, Dad began to laugh happily when he saw me on the screen.  I waved, smiled and blew him kisses....he returned the kisses, only he kissed the screen!  He did not have his glasses on so he held the screen which is larger than 5" x 7" about an inch from his face...so all I could see was his right eye with the cancer.  I could see how the cancer has spread from his lower eye lid, to the center of his eye and up the side of the bridge of his nose...

Dad didn't say much...he was struggling to see me...must have been difficult looking at the screen so closely...Holly attempted to get Dad to sit back so I could see his full face...but he would go right back to holding the screen close to his face.

I asked if his eye hurt him...and he told me no...told me he felt fine and kept giving the screen kisses.
We visited for about 10 minutes...me talking and Dad laughing and kissing...

After our visit, Holly showed Dad pictures from my grand son's recent 2 year birthday party...pointing out the 7 year old (who will turn 8 the end of this month) and the 10 year old...  Dad seemed very confused on the names and who was who...

When Holly took him back to the dining room for lunch, Pickles, one of the nurses, asked Dad who the pretty lady was visiting him...meaning my sister....and Dad replied, "Oh, this is Donna".  Pickles knows it was my sister Holly...  My sister is so gracious and understands how much Dad loves her, but the disease short circuits his brain, criss-crossing his memories and emotional connections.  Its one of the more difficult challenges we each endure on our journey with Dad...

We all agree it is getting more and more difficult to see him more confused and the inevitability of his afflictions.  My sister noticed how awful his eye looked...but could not investigate his foot...she cannot deal with gruesome stuff like his foot...although Dad seemed happy, he appeared more confused than he has been in a long while...

She kissed him good bye and left him to enjoy the Bible Study and guitar playing.  Dad just loves the music and hearing the Word...Dad thanked her for coming...

I've had this sense of doom for some time now... I want the doctor to return my email...but at the same time, I don't want to read or hear what he is most likely going to tell me...

4 comments:

Jeanie said...

What a difficult time, Donna. You have to take comfort in knowing that you and your family have loved and taken the best possible care of your dad, and will continue to do that as new issues arise. It sounds like he is still happy and enjoying the things he is able to, especially seeing his family,

Mari said...

I'm sorry to hear this. I know surgery would be tough on him on several levels. Praying for him and all of you as you wait for more info.

thisisme said...

This must be such a worrying time for you Donna, wondering just what is going to happen about dad's foot. I will remember both of you in my prayers my friend.

Linda O'Connell said...

Donna, I hope things work out for your dad. I feel so bad for you having to experience all these issues. Stay strong.