Saturday, August 13, 2011

Drama unfolds in Redlands

3:35 p.m. Today's project, and my day, began a little over 12 hours ago as we left my dad's bedside at Redlands Community Hospital at 2:00 a.m. for a couple of hours of sleep.

Daddy had called the night before about 7 p.m. to say he was having bladder urgency probelms, and blood in the urine. We kept in contact every half hour, but by 9:45 Steve and I got out of bed, dressed, and I put on my "basic face," since Daddy's said no rush., and drove to Redlands, about 20 minutes away. Our daughter Heidi had spoken to us and her grandpa also, a critical aspect because, since she lives on the same street, we need a back-up in case we cannot come over, and she and her husband are happy to help.

After all, "Children's children are the crown of old men," Proverbs 17:6 says!

Steve and I dressed, took drinks and snacks and a book for each of us, plus some Mary Kay sample handcreams, and drove over to Daddy's house. Steve sat in the back, and Daddy up front with me, for what I imagine was a tortuous time for him as we took the very long Fern Avenue to Redlands Community Hospital on Terracina, parked and walked way around to the emergency section. Happily, they took him back fairly soon, I gave out my handcream samples to the receptionists, got Steve settled in a seat in the waiting room, and and was buzzed back to keep Daddy company.

After samples of what appeared to be mostly blood, it was decided to flush out the bladder, a painful and invasive procedure that called for medication. It did break up clots that in the bag looked like chocolate chips...

I so appreciate the ongoing prayer from so many friends and family members, because the blood clots began to subside and urine flowed freely! Then clots and stoppage recurred, and I was told at 2 a.m., "go home for a couple of hours, and then return to take Mr. Gray home." I flatly told them that if I waited much longer, I wouldn't be able to drive safely; I needed some rest. (And though I didn't say it, there would be no alertness or consciousness of potential danger coming from Steve at this point in his disease).

We slept at home in our clothes after I put the dogs out, and then got a call about an hour later insisting that I pick Daddy up! I asked for an hour because we needed at least that much more rest. Then as we were on our way back, I decided to call, and got the doctor. Praise the Lord, Dr. Berringer said, "I'm keeping him. The clots keep recurring, so he'd be home and then have to turn around and come back." So we were able to turn around not far from the house, sleep until 8 a.m., shower, have our devotions, breakfast, and be ready for the 9:30 call that Daddy was ready to go home.

I found Psalm 127:2 so apt:

It is vain for you to rise up early,

To sit up late,

To eat the bread of sorrows,

For lo, He gives His beloved sleep.

Steve and I made it to Daddy's room by 10:30, where he was receiving instructions on using a leg bag with his catheter at home. We left with a prescription to fill and a promise of a home health nurse visit that would be coming soon to make sure Daddy worked the leg bag properly.

I began to realize that keeping Heidi and Pavel informed was going to be critical part of helping my dad with his care. So I made sure she would be over at Daddy's while we were there. It didn't go over well with Daddy, because he is dependent on me alone to help with his medical affairs, and of course I'll be with him for all of his doctor appointments. I can arrange for a caregiver for a planned appointment, thankfully. But I can no longer run out of the house on the spur of the moment with Steve in his current state. Broken sleep is hard on any adult, but an Alzheimer's victim becomes totally disoriented when his routine is disrupted. He has had a very bad day today. My Dad is reluctant to understand that, but with Heidi and Pavel living down the street, and reiterating their commitment to help out as they can, he will have to allow someone else to take him to the hospital occasionally. Or call 911, which is what I would do!

The couple popped over for a brief visit, we kept it light, but I did bring up their availability and hours either of them could help. In fact, the doctor told me that if he has any more blockage or clots, he has to go to the emergency room immediately! And that could happen any number of times around the clock...

My sister and I talked this afternoon, and we are solid in forming a family "care team." She'll make sure Daddy knows that she knows all of his issues, and that she is on board to help when she retires in 2 weeks. The Lord is with us in all of these things, I believe.

Psalm 91:15 assures God's children,

He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble;

I will deliver him and honor him.

With long life I will satisfy him,

And show him My salvation.

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