A Long Week

Being a “caregiver/caretaker” of an older person is difficult. The guilt part is the pits. Three years ago, my dad was still driving, chopping wood and generally taking care of himself. Then he became ill, was in the hospital and has now been in a nursing home since the illness. We investigated making his own home more “livable” and hiring caretakers, but due to the isolation of his home, decided that was not an option. We looked at having our own home redesigned so he could live here with the help of aides and decided it would be very difficult, nearly impossible. So, he’s in a nearby nursing home and is relatively content. But, it requires a constant vigilance. His nursing home is good, we’re lucky; but sometimes, things don’t go according to plan. This past weekend he became ill and by Monday morning we met him at the ER where he was admitted. Just getting to the hospital was an experience. We had icy conditions that morning and literally slid down our road and then bounced over the frost heaves to the local hospital. He was admitted and he said, “Well, if I’d known they’d keep me here, I wouldn’t have come.” Last year, he made the decision that he wouldn’t go to the hospital again. He spoke with his doctor and said he would not go to the hospital again, he would prefer to die. He asked the doctor to talk to me about his decision as he thought I’d be angry with him. I wasn’t – I think he’s made the right decision, but on Monday, he asked to go to the hospital. He was discharged today, is back at the nursing home and is content, again. I need to have a meeting with the nursing home administrators concerning his wishes. It’s not easy to say, it’s time to let him die if he becomes ill again. So, next week I will ask his doctor to meet with the nursing home staff to design a care plan for the next time he is sick, that will not include going to the hospital. And yes, the guilt is unreal.

Meanwhile – on the diabetes front, today I had part of an ingrown toenail removed. I did one right after my diagnosis and it was good. Although I’ve had no problems with loss of feeling, I worry about any infection. If you have an ingrown toenail problem, it’s a great solution!

On Monday, while walking into the ER, I took a flying leap on some ice and landed flat on my back. I still have a bump on my head and many sore muscles from the fall.

And so, it’s been a long week, bouncing over frost heaves to the hospital each day, having the nail procedure this morning and worry over my dad the whole week.

It’s supposed to snow again tomorrow. I am so very, very tired of the snow! I am so very fortunate to work in a church office where it’s not a big deal if I close the office due to problems with my dad or… the weather.

I am more than ready for spring!

7 thoughts on “A Long Week

  1. What a difficult time. I’m so glad that you have a job where you can go to your dad’s side when needed. He is in God’s hands no matter what, and that is simply the best place to be. But I’m truly sorry for the heartache that goes along with you overseeing his care.

  2. Hi Colleen. I remember you writing about your Dad’s wishes last year. I’ll include an extra prayer tonight to ask that things begin to go a bit easier in all respects for you and for him.

  3. Oh Colleen,What a week you’ve had! I wish spring would arrive there soon. You’ve had way too much snow, ice, etc. this year.I’ve had a few ingrown toenails removed in my day. So I feel your pain. But it’s definitely worth it.I’m so sorry about the situation with your dad. I will keep you all in my prayers. Carol is so right – there is no better place to be than in God’s hands.

  4. I don’t think anyone can ever be ready or willing in their heart to say it’s time for their loved one to go. It’s almost as though it’s got to be unwillingly ripped from our hands to finally let go.You are so strong to want to do what’s best for your dad even if it goes against the grain of your love for him.

  5. Colleen. I’ve just made my way over after receiving your snow email. I’m ready for spring for you!I’m sorry that you’re in this position with your dad. I can’t imagine having to make such a decision. At least you seem to have made piece with it, he’ll always know you love him.

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