This morning I got my weekly report from the Hospice nurse, complete with gross photos of Dad's cancerous foot growth and his vitals from bed. When the nurse asked Dad if he had any pain he told her his leg hurt. She noted his foot with the cancerous football sized growth, was unwrapped and sitting upon a towel. She got one of the nursing home nurses to give Dad a pain pill and to finish wrapping his foot.
The growth is growing and putting off an odor. The doctor has prescribed some Bactroban antibiotic cream for it.
Both the hospice nurse and I have been attempting to reach Dad's physician, but he has not returned her calls or my emails. This morning, I sent him another one.
Mom went to visit Dad this morning, arriving to find Dad still in bed. Dad's caregiver for the day informed Mom Dad refused to get up for his morning shower and has been fighting everyone who attempts to help him brush his teeth...his teeth look terrible.
All Dad wanted to do was sleep. Mom sat beside his bed talking and sharing family news. Every ten to fifteen minutes, Dad would awake, open his one good eye and make a loud, GROWL and claw at his skin scratching. Mom could see red marks, broken skin and scabs on Dad's arms and stomach. She attempted to calm him and urge him not to scratch. She asked if he was in pain...
Dad told her, "My skin hurts".
She went out to the nurses station and told them what Dad said and what he was doing. The nurses told her they give him extra strength Tylenol three times a day for discomfort and Vicodin if it appears Dad is in pain.
The wound care nurse (or skin Angel as we refer to her) told Mom she could not treat Dad's skin until after his shower....hopefully they were able to get Dad up and in for his shower...
Mom got Dad to drink two glasses of water in between his dosing, growling and itching...
This morning the hospice nurse informed me Dad weighs 119. It's up and down with Dad lately and we all feel he is on his last stages of his Alzheimer's....sleeping a lot is one of the definite signs. We would all rather him sleep than be awake and be miserable.
Mom emailed all of us and asked for our prayers for Dad. She also hoped we would all learn a lesson from Dad's procrastination. All of his skin cancer problems and dental work could have been resolved if he would have not procrastinated and taken action in the beginning when it would have been simple to treat.
Unfortunately for Dad, when it happened, he was still at home, but was very paranoid and suspicious. I used to work as a medical assistant and told Dad his wounds looked like skin cancer and urged him to go get it seen by a specialist....but he would not hear it. He would not allow me to even say the words dementia or Alzheimer's.
He would take himself on and off his medications. He had leg ulcers, rapid/irregular heart beat and prostate problems.. We all tried to get him to go to the doctor but he knew better. No one could make him do anything until it all caught up with him...it always does....we can run, but we cannot hide.
We all feel it. Visiting Dad alone is the worst. I feel for Mom taking on the burden of regular visits each week. When we talk, we all confess to being emotionally drained and mentally exhausted. Thank God we have one another to lean on....some days it feels almost unbearable.