Today was jump started with a panicky call from Dad saying his nose was bleeding really bad like it had Monday but he couldn't stop it. I didn't know his nose bled on Monday. In my fog, desperately trying to claw out of sleep, it occurred to me he said he was headed off to the doctor. I asked if he could drive with his nose bleeding so bad. He assured me he could and said, "I'm leaving now. You can call ahead if you want. I love you." *click* I stood there looking at my phone like it could help. Big problem. The clinic doesn't open until 8am and it was 0745 his time. So I brushed my teeth and did my normal morning routine then paced until 8am. I made him the only same day appointment I could for 0910. Then paced some more. Did he make it okay? Really praying hard that he did. By lunch time I hadn't heard from him so I called his house every 20-30 minutes for a few hours. Finally I called the clinic to ask if he had checked in for his appointment and was told he had. I was transferred to the nurse and got voicemail. So I left a message and paced some more. FINALLY, Dad calls and says he went to the ER (they don't have one at the clinic) and they had packed his nose. It seems Dad had bought a nasal spray sometime recently and had irritated his nose to the point of bleeding. I asked if he had gone to the clinic and he said no. Now I'm confused since they told me he had checked in. The nurse from the clinic called me an hour or so later to say that he had indeed gone there but they couldn't adequately treat him so the doctor sent him back the 7 miles he had come, with a bleeding nose, to the ER in town. Ugh! So I talked to him after the nurse called and he said that he was going to remove the packing tomorrow. After 20 minutes of trying to get him to tell me what the papers said about removing the packing (3 pages) and him asking me every few minutes what it was I wanted to know, he suddenly said, "Uh..umm..uh oh..." and the phone fell. I'm panicked. For the next 3 or 4 minutes I was trying to decide whether to call 911 when he picked the phone up to say his nose was bleeding again. I asked how bad and he said, "Oh just a little. Don't worry. I won't let myself bleed to death." Men! A few hours later I called him back and it was still bleeding a little. I am now praying all will be okay overnight. I'm pretty sure that I'm going to go insane.
My sister had surgery today for a double knee replacement. I was finally rewarded with a call nearly 3 hours after the surgery was over to find she is okay. Since my dad had his nose bleed today he had forgotten about the surgery. Small blessings, I suppose.
I found out today that one of my dearest friends likely doesn't have breast cancer as her primary doctor thought she might have. Rather, an enlarged lymph node. It requires further testing so I'm praying that turns out to be nothing.
Onto the good part of the day...one of my friends called today to tell me her friend that she has known for some time mentioned that her dad has dementia and he is becoming agitated and losing the ability to care for himself. So my friend tells her that she knows just who she should talk to...me. She calls and asks would I be willing and I excitedly say yes. I'm not excited that her dad has dementia. I'm excited that there is someone that I can help. So I email the lady and give her a little info on myself and tell her about this board. I went on to tell her about the three wonderful women on here that have helped me immensely and encourage her to join the forum. Judy, Nina, and Deb, you have all helped me and I will help her. I know that if she pops up on here you will help her, too. It felt so good to be able to reach out and help someone.
Oh on a side note that made me feel like screaming...I found out tonight that my older sibs, who had agreed to plan the family reunion on June 30, have done nothing. So I get to do that. And plan a "Fear Factor" birthday party for my soon to be 12 year old son. Oh and let's not forget Easter. But I will get it done because I refuse to disappoint my dad or my children.
I had blessings today and I cursed a little. The joys of life, right?
When you let go of a hurt, YOU are the one set free! - Rick Warren
Welcome to the world of long distance care giving for a loved one with dementia. I read your post going uh huh... uh huh... uh huh. I so remember those days! Losing Mom and Dad on a 5 hour trip for over 13 hours and actually calling the police to search accident reports and checking with hospitals on their route! Oh, and that last episode when Mom called to say Dad was having a stroke, what should I do! I still don't know if she took him to the ER or called 911. But later she was back home with him and couldn't get him out of the car. The ER didn't understand why I ask they keep them BOTH no matter what! Oh wait... she had given him an overdose of Xanax which was only discovered when I finally got home and counted pills. We still have NO idea how she broke her arm. What I do know is that she let Dad drive her to the ER (he had not driven in years) and to in the drug store to get her meds (I am sure that was a mess) and... Mom is at home alone with pain meds!!! YIKES
The distance makes it so very difficult to find out what is going on in a timely manner or to intercede effectively. You can't trust all your loved one tells you and the rest of the world is taking their time while you are in a panic... and again, you never know what is real and what is unreal. Even after it's over you still have questions!
This does go back to one of the major problems with loved ones alone at home in the early mid stages. They can handle the every day routine with a level of effectiveness but when it comes to the out of the ordinary and emergency situations they have trouble. Unknown to Dad, he overused the nose spray which started the chain of events. Then he was perfectly ok driving along while taking care of the excessive nose bleed at the wrong time of day. Then having no idea what he should do after the fact in the way of follow up care. So you do pray a lot! ... and it always happens on a day when you are already up to your eye balls with other stress
This is a glaring example of why Dad has to move your way ASAP!
I am glad your sister did ok and yep those late calls can be frustrating but you had your Dad's drama to keep you busy!! Not surprised Dad forgot... and could be a factor in his inability to handle his situation. Stress does us in but it's takes a huge toll on those with dementia. As for your friend YEAH!! I do hope that it is all benign and she does well.
As for being able to give back... that is what keeps me going and what validates all that I have been through. If I can give some relief to another person dealing with this disease it makes it all worthwhile!!!
Be careful trying to make everybody happy and not disappointing anyone. It's too easy to push yourself to exhaustion. The first rule of care giving for anybody is it take care of yourself first so you will be able to do what you need to do for others. Sometimes big plans need to be downsized, postponed, or forgotten all together. It's about priorities and making sure to give yourself a slow nearer the top than we tend to do
As I said to the new ED at the facility yesterday.... there is one thing about this disease.... it is NOT boring!
Boy! You are so busy with everyone! I hope your Dad is Ok with nose bleeding now. Would it help if you or the uncle hires some part-time caregiver to check in on him? At least if the person comes once, you can call the person next time when there is anything urgent. The person can check on him easily.
It is good that your sister's knees are OK after surgery. Easter is also family union time... It is not so bad in the U.S., but it is a holiday here in Quebec, Canada. Long weekend. So families are gathering together.
It took us a whole day to pass the custom to go to VT from Canada on Good Friday last year to see my FIL. Tomorrow we may try again - if the line is too long, we will see him Wednesday for his urologist appt.
My FIL had severe nose bleeding at the end of 2008 and he went to the hospital to get it under control.
However, OK, here is the thing, he cannot touch it! So what did we do? The caregiver tried the glove and he threw it far away. He will touch it and he will take out the pad. I bet your Dad took out the pad.
In the end, it stopped but he went to the ER twice to apply the nose pad! Somehow he got dry the second time and etc. Caregivers had a hard time!
He got 24/7 caregiving at that time as well.
I think you need to get a part-time caregiver for your Dad until you move him.
oh the road we travel is a bumpy one, I think the idea of getting someone to look in on him and get to know him is an excellent idea and then when you are faced with this panic you can call them and ask them to go over and check, this will come in handy for you and your dad. you need someone with the experience to be able to go at a moments notice to go and check on him and be able to relate to you precisely what is happening. get intouch with a caregiver in the area and explain what you need, that should help with the calls from dad, you will be able to say, hang on dad my friend will be right over to give you a hand.... or something like that... that way dad will feel he is not alone...
glad your sis is alright, one thing down onehundred to go... i would ask you sibblings to give you a hand.. deligate, deligate,, that is a good word for today.