Thursday, July 19, 2012


4:10 a.m. Today's project is the ongoing need to find appropriate care for my father Oliver. I am looking to the Lord to show me what to do, as his power of attorney for medical and financial decisions. Psalm 37:23 says, and I'll cling to this,

The steps of a good man are
  ordered by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.

My dad has been doing very well for an 85 year-old, driving, living on his own, with only a complaint of being tired. He is a bladder cancer survivor who refused any further invasive treatments after his surgery three years ago. On Monday, his speech was a bit slurred and he made some odd remarks during a phone call. That evening, I consulted with Darlene Merkler from the Riverside Office on Aging, who told me to call his doctor to inform him of the change I was discovering, and I called Dr. Fox's office and was told the doctor would call when he returned from vacation. My daughter Heidi, who lives down the street from Daddy, called to tell me "Grandpa isn't answering his phone," on Tuesday. I had her go to the house, and she knocked on every door and window, but no response.

After arranging care for Steve, I drove to Redlands and met her and her husband Pavel at the house, let ourselves in with my key, and there my dad was, sitting in his reading chair, seeming almost dead, in a 90+ degree house with no fan running, despite being 4 feet away, the swamp cooler not on, either. We started giving him cold water and some crackers with lunch meat and cheese, and he began lifting his head and could stand up with help. While he was spitting up a few times, we all noticed his severely swollen calves, and with encouragement from the Beaver Clinic advice nurse, we began against barely audible and incoherent protests, to dress and prepare Daddy for the trip to the ER. His blood pressure was 67 over 41! He was admitted, and because the cancer has spread to kidneys and bowel, there was such a severe loss of blood that he was given a transfusion of 6 units of blood, but the blood pressure only rose slightly. So he was admitted. We stayed until bedtime.

At 1 a.m. Wednesday, I received a call frm the night doctor, telling me that Daddy could not ever go back home, and telling me that they could not continue to transfuse him, and that nothing further could be done. Hospice would be recommended. Later, and for the whole day, my daughters and their husbands Nick and Pavel, were in the hospital room; my son Sean and his fiance Pam came and stayed, and Destiny, our niece from San Diego, visited for several hours, as did son Kriss and his wife Marisela from Long Beach. I was in and out, because of the need to meet Steve's bus, and to keep prior commitments. Our pastor came to pray with Daddy and anoint him with oil in the morning as well.

Now two days later, my sister is coming later on from San Diego with her the midst of a quandary: Daddy can't live alone, and unless someone volunteers to stay with him at his house, hospice would naturally see him at my house. BUT, with Steve in late-stage dementia, trying to run away, angry and erratic, there's no way I can move my dad over here. Steve would panic, and be devasted to see Daddy bedridden and dying. The two have become very close over the last 31 years. My husband is my first priority, and the hospice nurse I spoke to last night will be speaking with a case manager about a solution.

Better get back to bed, now that I've eaten, and get a little more rest before my alarm goes off. I'll have my Bible study women pray for and with me today before I meet with the doctor and hospice. And I covet your prayers also!

Please put my steps in oder, Lord Jesus!

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