Monday, January 25, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes!

Change number one is the most exciting and memorable! Grandchild #8, son of Marty and Kevin Long was born yesterday morning at 5:23. He weighed 8 lbs. 14 oz. and was 21 1/2 inches long. Mother and baby are doing fine and were at home about 12 hours after they left for the birthing center. Oh yes, his name is Colin Henry Long--the Henry being the middle name of his great granddad, his grand dad and his uncle.

The other change includes the frustration and my taking charge. If you know me, you know I am not an aggressive person, but I do have opinions and have learned to take charge when people I love are involved. There are some other times I take charge, but are not pertinent to these comments.

Let me share our days back at the nursing home. Since Tom returned there last Monday, his condition has gone down hill. Even though I do understand the whys and wherefores of their rules and appreciate the care he is receiving there, I am a bit frustrated. When he checked out of the hospital, Tom was walking practically unassisted, and doing well in that department. When he returned to the nursing home, he was back to monitors to keep him in bed or the wheelchair. There aren't enough helpers to help him walk, I cannot be there all the time, nor am I strong enough to balance him and that is frustrating. A medication change was made and he began to be lethargic, have low blood pressure consistency and sleep a lot. I checked on the medication and what I read confirmed my suspicions--too much medication. This morning I called the nursing home and requested they withhold the noon dose until I could consult with the doctor. They agreed to do that much. Neither two calls I made, nor one from the nurse to the doctor's office have had results. What a frustration!! I'll have to call the facility again in the morning and make the same request before I go to plan B.

The pluses of today's changes are two: 1. Cutting back the medication has made visible changes in Tom--wasn't as sleepy; was responsive; seemed stronger; and his talking made more sense. 2. Dellora brought someone for me to interview as an addition helper at home. She is quite acceptable and comes with lots of experience, her latest job being with a couple, both of whom have Alzheimer's and one of them had also had a stroke. She's ready to start when Tom is dis-charged.

It wasn't easy, but I finally was able to release Tom to God yesterday. How well I remember visiting in a Trauma ICU w/ the family of a man who had been hit by a car! There was no medical hope for the man and his wife at by his bed, begging him to hold on and to try to make it. She kept saying over and over,"I can't live without you." The fact of the matter is that had he lived, he would have been nonfuctioning. One of the nurses spoke up and told the wife that she had to release him, to give him permission to relax and let go. The wife finally did that and the man died as peacefully as he could. When my mother's time came, one of the nurses in the facility where she was said virtually the same to me: give your mother permission to let go and reassure her that you will be fine. She knew about my cancer and Tom's Parkinson's and believed we needed her to help take care of us, even though she was 97 and had been mostly bedridden for three or four years. I remember that she asked me if I was sure and then said, "Okay." She died three days later. I'm not ready to say goodbye to Tom, but I have truly put him in God's hands. I have quit telling God how to fix things. After all God knows best!

Pastor Margaret

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