Sunday, September 13, 2015

Watch That First Step!

So much has happened in the last ten days that my head is still swimming. I'm not sure what the rest of me is doing, but whatever it is, it ain't fun.

Dean fell down some stairs and broke his ankle. No big deal, right? Just take him in to emergency and get him fixed right up.

But wait a minute, that must be somebody else's life, cause it sure isn't going to fly around here! There are so many other issues going on with Dean's health that we are reeling with how complicated his recovery is becoming.

The hospital wanted to let him out in two days, but when they found out he was on Medicare, they kept him for three. After just one night at the rehab center though, he was found very lethargic with his vitals not looking good, so they rushed back to the ER. Let me clarify that a bit, I'm the one who found him non-responsive when I went in to visit the next day.

Turned out he had what they thought was pneumonia, fluid on and around his lungs, so after three more days in the hospital, they finally discharged him to a different rehab center. These last three days in a rehab unit have also had their ups and downs.

I'm trying to stay positive about all this, but unless he starts complying with the doctors and nurses' orders, this recovery is going to take much longer than the six weeks we were told at first. So I'm still feeling very anxious about how this nightmare will end.

Things have slowed down considerably on the caregiving end. I only go to his rehab center once a day for a couple of hours, and then he calls me in the evening. Life in the house alone is very freeing, but then again very lonely. My emotions are all over the map. Upbeat and hopeful one day, but fearful and doubting the next.

I'm so glad God has a handle on all this, because I'm feeling very out of control here. The outcome is totally up to our merciful God. And that thought is what keeps me going.

Smiling--but only on the outside!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Listen to Your Man

One of the troubling parts of caregiving for someone with dementia is that at times they are not very adept at describing their symptoms. Dean's been complaining off and on about his mouth hurting, with a particular tooth as the culprit, for a couple of weeks.

He's also using a C-pap with oxygen at night now, so I attributed some of his mouth complaints to the very dry mouth it can give you. (This dryness is an on-going battle due to some of his meds though too.)

Especially since the pain seemed to come and go, I put off calling the dentist. But finally got him an appointment this week. It turned out to be an abscess and the dentist immediately started a root canal for it, sending us home with an antibiotic prescription to fill. We'll return tomorrow to see how it's doing.

Needless to say, I felt quite irresponsible for not getting him to the dentist sooner. He only has eight lower teeth left. I should have been more observant, listening to and taking his complaints more seriously.

What a wonderful God we have though. He not only listens to our complaints, but He is aware of our needs much better than we are. Like Dean, we often don't know exactly what our problem is, let alone how to express it. But God is the perfect Caregiver--never missing a beat when it comes to giving us appropriate care.

One of my favorite Bible verses, I Peter 5:7: "casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."