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Topic In case anyone's wondering about my dad... Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By Tara On 2009.07.10 23:50
Since Dad's stroke, it has become necessary for him to stay in a nursing home. It really is for the best, because he was severely debilitated by it -- ALL of his PD problems have increased tenfold -- and he needs 24/7 supervision.

I don't know if I really can be of any help here, as I have not really had to deal with the worst stages of this disease, and financially, he will be taken care of. We are very fortunate in that the NH he's in is very nice (he's actually asked to have them let him stay because he really likes it there) and very close by.

Just in case you were wondering....

I will still stick around and try to offer advice as best I can.

By Pearly4 On 2009.07.11 06:40
How great for you -- I was always terrified of the whole nursing home thing and my what my mother's reaction would be. I'm glad your dad love it.

Don't minimize your participation as a caregiver -- you're still a caregiver as long as you stay involved in his life. At this point, you just have lots of assistants! I'm sure you'll have information to pass on as well as questions to ask as things progress.

By truckette22 On 2009.07.11 08:28
I have been doing the nursing home thing also. I got the final OK that my husband will get to stay at the nursing home since he went under Hospice this week. He also loves it. I think it is all the constant attention they get. He got attention at home but it was not 24/7. It seems like they go back to the childhood days where they want to be #1. Of course, we are still caregivers going to visit everyday and taking care of matters that we see when we come in. It seems almost everyday when I get there it is something even if it is something small such as talking to them and asking them why they keep getting out of bed on there own and explaining that when they do that they fall and it causes them more problems and it causes the nurses to panic. It is definately comforting to know that they have experienced help to back you up.

By rajenriver On 2009.07.11 12:40
Jane, I am so glad this worked out for you!

By lostdaughter On 2009.07.12 02:19
I have been wondering what had happened with your dad, Tara. I knew he was in the NH but sort of assumed that was a temporary thing. I'm so glad for both of you that he's happy there.

Please do stick around if you have time to check in. Your experience in dealing with PD are still very valuable. You've offered a lot of good advice and that is still needed.

How are you dealing with the fact that your dad is going to stay at the NH?

By Tara On 2009.07.12 03:08
Thanks, everybody.

At first, we thought it would be only a temporary thing, also. But he started showing what they called residual effects of the stroke. At first, all that was affected was his speech; but then, he regressed and now he shows serious signs of disorientation and physical problems. But one thing is certain: He does want to stay where he's at.

Jane is right about him enjoying his "second childhood." When I saw him Friday, he had this sort of "baby" look on his face, all smiling and full of wonder. It was both heartening and heartbreaking at the same time. Heartening because he was happy, but heartbreaking because I knew that his happiness had nothing to do with anything I had done for him -- these "new people" were taking my place. I'm jealous, and although I hate to admit it, I feel like a failure.

Believe it or not, after almost a month, I still haven't gotten rid of his stuff -- diapers, urinals, walker, wheelchair, knee braces, etc. are still here! I didn't even think, until just now, what I'm going to do with all that stuff! Weird -- all that stuff I used to HATE so much, part of me still wants to keep around!

I guess I just don't want to admit that *this is really it*

Can you relate?

By Pearly4 On 2009.07.12 06:26
Oh I can relate definitely! As much as we hated all my mother's medical stuff, we haven't gotten rid of it either. We've made some changes and slowly moved some of it out of plain sight, but it's all still here. I'm realizing it was a way of prolonging her existence in some strange way, but finally also realizing memories do a much better job of that. I can't take care of her anymore, somebody else is (GOD) and doing a much better job of it!

By Tara On 2009.07.12 11:42
Thanks, Pearly, for the thought. I'll keep it in mind.

At the risk of sounding like I'm wallowing in self-pity, here goes:

I have come to realize that the reason I wanted to keep Dad with me is that it gave me at least the opportunity to prove that I'm a better human being than I thought I was.

I believe that when we can get past the anger, the resentment, the unfairness, etc. and when the cards are in our favor and the stars are aligned -- in other words, when we are experiencing caregiving at its best -- it can come close to making us feel like we've risen to a higher level of the human experience. Like I really CAN be Wonder Woman, which was my first ambition in life.

Of course, as we all know, most of the time, the stars are NOT aligned and we are really just ordinary human beings with all the usual hard feelings. But at least there's the opportunity and possibility that the best COULD happen.

All that's been taken away now.

Okay, that said, I know Dad is better off where he is, and I'll climb up out of my wallowing now.

By lostdaughter On 2009.07.12 12:34

You've had MAJOR changes in your life recently. You're obviously very intelligent so I won't tell you that any change in one's life, good or bad, requires a period of adjustment. I will remind you of that fact, though! I say that with love & concern for you. All that's happened in recent months has affected not only your dad but your life as well. I know the move was good for you but imagine you feel a certain amount of loss now that you suddenly are no longer responsible for your dad 24/7.

You are NOT in any way a failure. Please don't ever forget that. You did your best to take care of your dad while it was possible. Now that he needs care beyond what anyone could give at home you've found a place where he can get the best care possible.

I don't think what you're experiencing is self-pity. I think change many times brings on a certain amount of grief. Is is possible that's what you're experiencing? Please don't be hard on yourself. When you're feeling down & need to "wallow" talk to us so we can help remind you that you were Wonder Woman for your dad because you were & are there for him.

As far as getting rid of things, you & Pearly both will reach a place in time where you're ready to do that. Be gentle with yourself. When I lost my husband over 20 years ago it took me over a year to get rid of all but the things I wanted to keep for myself & the children. I started out slow & can remember sometimes wondering why I hadn't let go of certain things sooner. Both of you will get there & there is no rush. I had a lot of medical supplies when my husband died & I donated those to the American Cancer Society. When you're ready to get rid of things I suggest giving to a local charity or some individual you feel can use them. It made me feel good to know I was helping someone not as fortunate as I when I donated my husband's diapers, walker, ostomy supplies, etc.

Your dad is in a place where he's happy, Tara. Right now, this is about you & the loss you feel. We're here for you. Please remember that.

By Tara On 2009.07.13 02:01
Thank you, Christy. I really needed that.

By WitsEnd On 2009.07.13 15:34

If your dad needed surgery--you wouldn't try to operate would you? This isn't any different. Nobody can provide 24/7 care indefinitely by yourself once the PD gets to a certain stage--and just becaue he has nurses around him doesn't mean that there's not lots for you to still do. Taking him his favorite foods, personal items--and checking on the NH to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to do--talking with the will always be something.

Hang in there...

By colettem On 2009.07.14 09:46
I think your insight into some of your possible motivations for keeping your dad at home strikes a chord. Being a caregiver brings out a completely unknown part of us that would never have been uncovered save for this otherwise incredibly difficult task that is thrust upon us. I feel that I've become a completely different person since caring for my mom after her stroke 3 years ago. And I'd say that it goes both ways, some of me I'm proud of and some of me I'm ashamed of. But I think it helps a lot to be able to evaluate ourselves and understand why we feel the ways that we do.

My mom's in a nursing home also and it's been a good experience for us. It's like we have a new family there. I know not everyone has that experience but I do hope that it will be good for you and your dad. Best wishes to you.

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