Endo – Your Kids – My Dad

I saw the endocrinologist this week. My “numbers” aren’t wonderful but compared to what they’d been creeping up to the last few months, they are much, much better. I’ve even had readings in the 70’s – haven’t seen that since I was diagnosed. 70’s are low for me and I was dumb enough that it took me awhile to figure out why I felt so crappy. His only concern is the first test in the morning and so we’re going to give it two more months, do an A1C, then he said we’d look at using an insulin pen in the evening.

Meanwhile, the ENT’s office called and scheduled me for a CT scan to re-look at the mastoiditis. I’ll do that this week.

I know that some of you viewed the video I mentioned in my last post. I know that parents of children with diabetes go through similar times/feelings in their lives every day. I know it’s difficult. But, never having been around young children with diabetes I didn’t REALLY know. I still don’t really, really know but I do want you to know that I care.

My dad had a great!!! birthday today. My husband and I went over toward the end of lunch time. I had spoken with the kitchen director this week as they always make a birthday cake for the birthday person, and my dad can’t eat cake. He has swallowing difficulties and eats a pureed diet. I asked if something different could be done as I didn’t think it was fair to my dad to bring a cake to his table and then for him to eat a different dessert. We decided on a lemon meringue pie in addition to some other choices for the other residents. It worked out nicely, dad was tickled to have his piece of pie brought to him with a candle to blow out and everyone sang Happy Birthday. The cousins and friends overwhelmed him (and me) w/ cards and notes. He was funny, told me at lunch that I needed to help him with a problem – then told me he couldn’t get all the cards back in the right envelopes. A staff member told him she thought he had the “record” for receiving the most mail in one day. My brother’s wife had put together a CD of their youngest playing the piano (and wishing his grandfather a happy birthday) and then some recent photos of the kids. Dad was thrilled. My sister in St. Paul was able to find one of the Dean Martin DVDs and also sent a Johnny Carson DVD. Those will make visiting just a little more fun for me, and for my dad.

I’ve written about this before but – if you know someone in a nursing home or other type of residence, send letters or cards to them. Try not to send a card with just your signature, add a note of some sort – in large print so they can read it themselves. It makes a difference to the person AND — this is going to sound mean but, it is noticed by the staff at the nursing home. Just about every aide/nurse said something to me as I left this afternoon about the number of cards that dad had received. And anytime the staff knows someone is cared for, it does seem to get their attention. If you are someone who works in a nursing home, my hat is off to you. The patience and love that I observe every time I’m at dad’s nursing home is wonderful. I know I couldn’t do it, so am very glad that there are people who are good at taking care of our parents and grandparents.

5 thoughts on “Endo – Your Kids – My Dad

  1. Colleen,I am so glad your Dad had such a nice birthday. It sounds like the people who work at his nursing home are really special. I’m sure it helps put you at ease knowing that he’s well-cared for.We used to go to church with a woman who was definitely called to work with the elderly. She loved them & especially loved helping them take part in recreational activities at the nursing home where she worked. I am so glad there are people like her that God calls to do this type of job. They are a real blessing. Happy Birthday to your dad!

  2. Thanks Donna,Yes, it makes a huge difference that I feel he’s well-cared for. When he first left the hospital, he was at a different nursing home. It wasn’t terrible but, I kept a daily journal (this was all at the same time that I was dx’d with diabetes – how fun). Within 48 hours of moving to this nursing home, I stopped the journal and I think my BP dropped to safe levels. And yup, most people who work in nursing homes are incredibly patient and kind. I’m so grateful.

  3. My first job was working in a nursing home where my great grandma was at. Nursing home is hard work but can be very gratifying, while working in one in Las Vegas, I took care of a 21 year old kid, (call him a kid, cause that is what he was to me). When he was 16 he was hit by a semi and they never thought he would live and if he did they said he would always be in coma. When I met him, he was feeding himself, regaining control of bowel and bladder and was working on walking again. He got attached to me and him and I had a thing when I put him into his bed at night after he got back from therapy I would always say to him, ok try to take a step for me. One night he did take a step while I was holding him. I cried I was so happy, his mom was very very thankful for me and the care I took with him. She used to buy him and I pizza once a week.

  4. My granny used to get really ticked when she’d get cards that were just signed. She’d say “as usual, there was no writing in it”, as if what’s the point?I have an 82 year old uncle who lives in sr. housing in Boulder. We occasionally email, and I think well, what do I have to talk about but the weather? Yet, he responds by saying “always nice to hear from you”. So, I think I need to make it a weekly thing.That was a nice reminder, Colleen. And we who are glued to our computers sometimes forget the power of a hand-written note.

  5. Cody – it’s special and caring people like you who make my dad’s life a pleasant one!Kathy – selfishly, the notes from dad’s friends give us wonderful starting points for conversation when I visit him. It’s nice for him and I love hearing some of his old stories (yeah, some of them over and over and over). But it lets him talk about fond memories and we enjoy it.

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