Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Peaceful Day

Yesterday was difficult for Dad, but today was better. Mom said that it was quiet. The aides allowed him to remain on his back more, instead of turning him as much as they had been (because of his pressure sore). Minimizing movement helps keep him comfortable.

Dad did not talk much today, but Mom said he seemed content for her to be there with him. (When he is tired or in pain, he sometimes asks her to leave--which is hard for her.) His feeding tube is still working, and he even wore his hearing aid for a little while! :-)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dad fairly comfortable today

Mom and I are thanking God that Dad's feeding tube was able to be cleared last night, and that he remained fairly comfortable today with his pain meds.

Also, at the Care Plan meeting this morning, Dad's professional caregivers, Mom, and I were all in agreement about the matters that were discussed. Thanks for praying!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Dad resting with pain meds

Dad's abdominal discomfort became unbearable today. The charge nurse contacted the staff physician to get a prescription for pain medication, but was told he would take care of it tomorrow--his office was closing early due to the snowstorm! So the nurse suggested that my mom call the doctor herself--a departure from Ledgeview's usual policy. My mom spoke to someone in the doctor's office and PLEADED that it not be left until tomorrow!!

The doctor did not call her back, but thankfully, he DID call in a prescription. Dad received both a shot of morphine for immediate relief, and also a "pain patch" that delivers a narcotic through the skin. The patch is supposed to be effective for up to 72 hours. So Dad was able to rest some this evening.

His feeding tube has another blockage, after only a week. When they tried to clear it this afternoon, it was hurting him, so they gave up the attempt until he got his new medications. The nurse was planning to try again tonight, which is likely to wake him up. :-( But if they can't clear it, that means a trip to the hospital in the morning to replace it. We are really hoping that won't be necessary, because the transfers and ride over bumpy roads would be really rough for him at this point.

Mom and I have a bi-monthly Care Plan meeting scheduled tomorrow morning with Dad's care team. (I'll participate via phone.) We would really appreciate your prayers for wisdom as we all seek to do what is best for Dad.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Difficult Days

This Christmas season has been poignant for us. We realize it is likely the last one that we celebrate with my Dad on this earth.

Dad received some special gifts on Christmas Eve from our dear friends the Melvins. They brought him a throw with a kitty design on it, and shirts they had printed with his train photographs. So thoughtful!!

Dad did not want to open any gifts on Christmas, so Mom waited until today to bring him the others, hoping that he might be feeling better. But he wasn't, so she opened and showed them to him. A few of them got a positive response. :-)

Dad's abdominal discomfort and nausea have increased significantly in the last several days, and his stomach is no longer draining freely. He is starting to express his pain more often. Mom tries to enter his room wearing a smile. She says that occasionally he will give her a small smile in return, but not often. We are praying for comfort, courage and strength for them both.

Lois has tickets to come with baby Daniel from Ecuador January 14-28. We are praying that Dad will be able to visit with her, but also that he will not suffer long. We trust God's timing for his Homegoing to be perfect.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Good news (we hope)

Thanks for continuing to pray for my parents. Dad has been "up and down." Some days he stays in bed all day, but other days he gets up and walks--one day he even walked to the apartment, sat down in a KITCHEN CHAIR and visited for a half-hour! That's the first time he has sat in a "normal" chair in 2 1/2 months.

On Monday, Dec. 13 Dad received his new hearing aid, which he is happy about. Monday was also ANOTHER trip to the hospital with a blocked feeding tube. The tubes are supposed to last a year, but his has needed changing six times since September, when his care team has been unable to clear the blockages. (Several blockages have been able to be cleared.) They don't know why it becomes clogged so frequently.

Mom got good news this morning. The nursing home administrator told her that if she applies for Maine Medicaid right away, it will probably begin covering Dad's care immediately when his Medicare runs out on Dec. 25! This would allow her to keep more of their savings than we had previously thought--which would be a blessing.

So now Mom is torn between wanting to work on mailing Christmas cards, and hunting for documents needed for the Medicaid application. I told her to focus on the application, because everyone will still love her if they get a card from her in January! :-)

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Good news--at my dad's monthly weigh-in, he is HOLDING at 145, about the same as last month!

The last couple of days have been difficult though, because they are keeping Dad's drainage tube closed longer, so his stomach can HOLD his medicine long enough to absorb it. He quickly becomes very uncomfortable with it closed. Mom is planning to talk with the charge nurse tomorrow about whether the benefits of the medication are worth the discomfort.

Lois & baby Daniel's plans for a visit are on HOLD at the moment. They have both been ill with a serious cough. Lois also has Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in her wrists. I believe she is planning to seek medical treatment for that when she comes to the States.

We are thankful that God is HOLDING us in His hand!

"If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me."
Psalm 139:9-10

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Comfortable and Contented

Dad has been doing really well for the past week or so! He seems comfortable and contented, which is a great answer to prayer, for his sake as well as Mom's.

Mom chose to spend Thanksgiving day with Dad, declining other invitations because she said this might be the last one she will have with him. Ledgeview delivered a nice dinner for both of them to his room, and he was able to eat half a piece of lemon meringue pie!! That is the only solid food he's eaten since his surgery.

We were able to connect with Mom via Skype on Thanksgiving Day. As we talked, she could see us in Florida on her computer screen, and we could see her. Technology is so wonderful for long-distance families!! She asked Dad if he felt up to visiting their apartment so he could see us on the computer too, but he was too tired. :-(

However, Dad has been able to walk a bit. Yesterday he walked to their apartment (about 40 feet) and stayed for 45 minutes! He did get a ride back in the chair and went straight to bed afterward though. :-) He sleeps much of the time.

Lois is still working through governmental red tape in Ecuador to bring baby Daniel for a visit. It looks like it may be right after Christmas.