22 April 2010

Yin and Yang

I just had the thought...I can't wait till I'm out on the porch and sweating. Sure I'll complain when that happens, but I'll still be happy. I've been here for hours, moving my chair to stay in the sun. I just put on my slippers and a jacket. I'm not ready to go in, though the laundry is piled up and I'm hungry. Soon, I say.

I got an early start this morning for the rehab center. My plan was to see my father getting PT and OT. I spilled my Starbucks latte on the floor of his room almost as soon as I got there. (At least it was better than the time I spilled one in my car.) I planned on a short visit. It was very long. I was there on the right day at the right time, even though where I wanted to be was home. I was where I was supposed to be. I managed to see the doctor, the case worker, the nurse supervisor, and the physical and occupational therapists. They were all very nice. I voiced all the various concerns that my family and I felt weren't being addressed. I was heard. I was an advocate. I was well-received. I was courteous. I was thankful. Did I ever mention that I know I'm called The General by some family members? Someone has to have the job! I'm sure I was talked about by the staff after I left, but only because I made their job harder by calling them out on things that weren't being done right. An example? My father is diabetic, yet he's on a 'regular diet'--very high in carbs. Last night I went to the nurse's station twice to talk about the food. His nurse told me they don't have a diabetic diet, but that all the food is low sugar, low something-or-other. I told him that my father always gets oatmeal and runny eggs for breakfast and that he won't eat either. He told me that my father can ask for something else when they serve him and the kitchen will send it down. What a waste! I couldn't get him to change the menu. I went back to my dad's room for a while, but I wasn't OK with what happened. I went back again, to the same nurse. Finally someone else said, I'll write it down for the kitchen. I said my dad would like cold cereal and milk and two fruits and coffee. I saw a chart with foods that are available every day, and said my father would like any of the choices. Someone from the kitchen staff was nearby and she volunteered to take the form to the kitchen. This morning I found cold oatmeal and runny eggs on his plate. When I relayed the story to the case worker, she said, of course we have diabetic meals! I'm sure Charles, the nurse, was called out on this. At least I hope so. It's really hard seeing my dad in this place. Seeing him having his choices taken away, because he can't 'do for himself'. Seeing that he's not doing as well as optimistic ME wants him to. Still, I think he'll be able to go home. I saw him get up and walk. He'll have issues he didn't have before, when he gets home, but I think he'll be OK, even if it means help. My sister has an aide lined up to come 4 days a week, and that's for my mom and dad. If they need more, they'll get more.

I stopped at Home Depot to get the last of my mulch on the way home. The last three Lowe's I've been to have been out of stock. I picked up a hummingbird feeder...that makes 4. I was so happy to get home. I put on shorts and mowed the lawn. Then I planted some annuals. Then I sat outside. Read the newspaper. Talked to the neighbors. Talked on the phone. Hung out with my laptop. I just came inside. I'm so glad this day had two halves.


Jamie said...

You are right, someone does have to be the General and it sounds like you do a wonderful job. I hope more than anything that your dad can come home soon. Until then, hang in. You are doing great. Big, big hugs. friend. :)

Anonymous said...

You will never regret being your Dad's advocate. It is a must. I was my Mom's advocate for several years. I am grateful I did that for her.

Lena said...

It is such an important job to advocate for your dad. It was very hard to believe that they didn't have a diabetic menu! Glad you persisted!!

Isn't great to be able to be there and personally talk to all the professionals working with him? I loved when I was able to be there for my dad to see and hear updates first hand!

Hang in there!

happyone said...

You sound like me on the deck moving the chair around to stay in the sun. :-)

I can just see you being the General, but in a very nice way!! :-)
I hope things go well with your Dad and he gets to go home soon. He's so lucky to have you there for him!! You will always be glad you did all you could.

Lynx217 said...

I'm so glad you're doing this. No one did for my grandma and they ended up killing her because of a breakdown in communication between her doctor and the nursing home nurses. She was going anyways, but they only expedited it. HUGS!

KathyA said...

Remind me to salute the next time I see you!
I remember when my dad was in U of P hospital. He was having substantial pain and none of the attending were addressing it. I tracked them down and attempted to talk to them -- I think they would have run the other way if they could have.

KathyA said...

PS I hated that I had to do that for my dad -- that he needed an advocate.

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