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Daddy Ate today

Discussion in 'The Safe Harbor' started by BostonsJ, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. BostonsJ

    BostonsJ Guest

    The best words I've heard in a very long time. The speech therapist came in and he was still giving her a run for her money. So she waited for Joe and Mahala to arrive. They brought a coffee and a jelly doughnut since that is what he was craving. The therapist sat there and watched as he ate and listened with a scope to make sure he wasn't choking as he swallowed. He ate half a doughnut and drank half a coffee. Not too bad for 9 weeks 3 days without food! He was quite pleased with himself and gave his nurse a hug telling her he liked her. Joe and Paula both told me they really like this rehab the nurses are all very kind and attentive. Tomorrow he will begin getting ground moist type of meats and soft foods for each meal. He is still kind of shakey to feed himself so an aid will have to assist him. I pray he will eat some good foods now. That is important. The kids will cook and bring things in for him although according to Paula the food looks pretty good. Paula is going to make him a bananna cream pie. They will continue with the tube feedings until he is getting the required calories and nutrients he needs but maybe back off to one 12 hour feeding instead of 24 hour a day feedings. Yiiiipeee.

    The second piece of good news I have is they did a chest x-ray. No pnoumonia. They believe he is coughing all the junk from some 65 years of smoking. He is on a patch now and all that junk is coming up out of his airways. Plus moving him around after not being moved in 9 weeks or more is getting all that junk out.

    And, he is getting dressed each day. No more hospital Johnnie. So we all need to get him a few more jogging suit type of outfits for his exercise each day. We had bought him a couple before he got the pnoumonia when he was at the other rehab, but now he needs more with more underwear and socks.

    He is still quite weak, his hands shake and his arms have lost all muscle tone, his legs are not strong enough to stand on. But we knew this would be baby steps....his mental status is excellent and he asks every night if this is the weekend I'm coming home. I've been trying to span it out a little because my mother will also be in MA mid-November but that plan may not work since he is getting antsy for me to get back there. I still have work to do at my house and will do some of that when I am home also, In fact I'll probably put an air mattress down and just stay there and that way I can have some privacy instead of couching it at Audras and not getting any sleep. I'll be able to wake up to a pot of coffee and a shower instead of kids screaming and yelling and total chaos. I'll do some Christmas shopping with Audra when I am home also to save on shipping it all. So maybe I should take a few days vacation this next trip home in addition to the weekend.

    Thanks for all of your prayers. This is starting to go in the right direction. I so appreciate all of the support.
  2. popcorn

    popcorn Guest

    Your Dad is giving you all an early Christmas gift by perking up! How is your cough/cold?

  3. BostonsJ

    BostonsJ Guest

    Liz my cold is getting better finally. I spent the weekend on the couch sleeping other than running a few errands. Today I coughed less so I'm praying that I have the better end of this thing now. Last year this happened to me also I think I had a cold for 10 weeks with these injections I tak it is really difficult to fight any bugs off. Thanks For Asking, I'll shake it eventually.. The next couple weeks I'll try to build myself up because once I go back it will be a marathon for 4 or 5 days and I hope to shed this first!

    I'm going to be OK now to get Daddy OK and I'll be a happy girl!
  4. TexasSue

    TexasSue Guest

    WONDERFUL NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is the boost you needed so that you can take care of yourself with everything taking an upswing.
  5. Beryl

    Beryl Guest

    Judy....those are sweet words to me too! I know you have been waiting for this day. It is wonderful to hear that your Dad is moving forward...and even if they are baby steps forward is the way to go! =hug=hug=hug
  6. debowah

    debowah Guest

    That is very exciting news, Judy. Prayers that this trend continues......
  7. nieciez

    nieciez Guest

    :thumb That is wonderful news Judy!
  8. maw

    maw Guest

    Judy good to hear of some improvement -sad to say at your Dad's age each time you take a step forward it is a red letter day. Paw and I went thru it and sure is good to be back taking care of ourselves. Hang in there kids.
  9. KathyC

    KathyC Guest

    Glad things are looking up and that you have found a good rehab center.
  10. GloBug

    GloBug Guest

    This is great news to hear. Now you can start to emotionally unwind, and start getting back to normal.
  11. Cruise cutie

    Cruise cutie Guest

    =phone tried to leave a message too full.got booted out.:grin..sigh...sent an e-mail.=hugs Joanne
  12. BostonsJ

    BostonsJ Guest

    Eiy Yi Yi. Well I got a call from my sister last night. She asked when are you coming home? I said November 19th why? She said because your father has decided he isn't going to cooperate and that if they kick them out for failure to cooperate you will move him in with you. So he wants to know when you are coming for him. LOL "My Father". Really I said. Yup he told me that tonight she said, poor Paula is being the bad Cop, Joe the good so I need to get there and help her out some. She had a migraine and was ready to knock her head against the wall she goes to work everyday and then goes to visit him and isn't getting home until after 9pm.

    So, I said OK this is what you do. You tell Daddy that when I left I told him what I expected of him and that he needed to work hard. That was the deal and use the thumbs up agreement that I was using to make the pact with him. Make him do it Paula I said, and don't let him roll his eyes at you either. You tell him that if he gets himself kicked out of that facility where people are trying to help him and he has no place to go, that will mean all three of us will lose our homes because of the cost of drugs and feeding tube food to keep him going because Medicare will stop paying. And then ask him do you really feel this is the best way to get home? .......... Is this fair? Ask him what part of working he thinks he is doing? And then I said, if that doesn't change his attitude get really blunt and ask him if he really wants to go home with me and not be able to stand to go to the bathroom, so it would mean I had to change his diapers? That ought to really shock him I told her. OMG he is stubborn. And we are going to have the kids bring my grandmother in to visit with him to explain to him how hard it was for her to get out of rehab, but how well she did and she is 93. And then if that doesn't work I just don't know.......I'll send my mother in when I am there in 4 weeks ..... LOL they have been divorced since I was 12 and she will whip him into shape.

    He asked the speech therapist what model car the hamburger came off of it was like 30 year old tire. So they brought him turkey. And he asked the therapist if they had dug this out of the bottom of the freezer from last Thanksgiving. Paula slapped his hand and told him to be nice. So the therapist turned and said to him no as a matter of fact no, the Turkey flew in last night and I plucked it and cooked it today for you. LOL So then he looked at the therapist because she sassed him back, and said (she was chunky) well you don't look like you have any trouble eating. And the therapist replied yup you are so right because I can go home at night and eat with my family. Ohhhh and the coffee tasted like it was made with a dirty sock and hot water. OHHHHHHHH Lord. He is acting like a 10 year old. He is just being onery because he is mad he doesn't want to be there.

    Anyway we have put some plans in place and hopefully they will work with the kids until I can get there and beat some sense into him. Jeeeesh he wants to go home but doesn't want to do what he has to. Paula is apologizing to everyone and they just keep saying don't worry this is how elderly people who want to live alone and can't yet, act sometimes however if he absolutely refuses his therapy he can be kicked out. There is so much potential for that move home to happen if only he would just do what he has to. So they have decided that they will reduce the tube feeding some and try cooking at home and bringing it to him. Right now he is getting what he needs through the tube so all he wants is his sweets by mouth. Joe told him last night Dad we made promises to you and now you have to work with us here, you are wasting days and weeks of time when you could be closer to home. I told them if the weather is nice this weekend to put his behind in the wheelchair and take him outside for a walk, to let him feel a little freedom. In fairness to him Paula said she has tasted the food a few times and it isn't very good. But that is fixable, they can cook and bring it in. The other rehab had wonderful food but their medical care was sorely lacking and they were not as attentive to dads needs. So I'll take the lousy food and know he is getting very good care and work around it.

    So that is the latest. He is backkkkkkkk, this is a side of him none of us saw much as kids, but when he gets in one of his little snits he can be a PITA.

    Thankfully yesterday I did make a reservation to go home on 11/19 but at this rate he will drive Paula and Joe crazy first.

    His health status is good, so now we just have to convince him to work on the rehab. Eiy yi yi.
    I can't wait for tonight's call! NOT.

    Thanks for all of your good wishes and prayers. Now please just pray he figures out that the way home is to work and stop telling people no. LOL
  13. popcorn

    popcorn Guest

    You do have a plate full with your Dad!! But I know what he is feeling - been there done that! But most of his recovery now is up to him. So he needs to dig in and work with his therapists. So that he can go to the bathroom on his own! Or feed himself. Good luck to all of you.

  14. BostonsJ

    BostonsJ Guest

    OK just got off the phone with sister and then my Mom. Mom is crying almost every night because she hurts that we are going through so much with Daddy. If one of us doesn't call her she calls me. LOL She just keeps saying the one thing I have is very loving children, I'm proud of you all and how you have taken care of your father.

    So I was afraid to call Paula but I did. At 11am she got a call daddy wasn't cooperating. And not eating. So at noon on her lunch hour she was filled with fire and about ready to blast him again. Basically tell him that this can't be this way and it has to stop.

    Well she walked in and he was sitting in a wheel chair in front of the nurses station with a tray in front of him. She was very upset but there were lots of people and patients around so she didn't want to yell at him in front of people. She said she quietly said Daddy why aren't you eating your lunch and why are you yelling at the nurses? He said I want to go back to my room I've been sitting here 45 minutes. Good sign he is watching the clock! So she said Daddy I need for you to eat. He looked at her his eyes filled with tears and he said Paula I don't feel well. She said she just put her forhead to his totally broken and said Daddy what is wrong what hurts? She said he was pale and had circles around his eyes. He said I ache all over Paula please put me back in bed. So she got an aide and they got him back into bed and she asked the nurse for tylenol. She said he just looked like he had a bug or something. Anyway he ate a little for her and she talked to him and then explained to him instead of yelling at the nurse tell her when you don't feel well. This is his way, rather than admit something is wrong he will get angry. So she got him settled down and told him she would be back after work.

    I guess he slept for a while and when she went in tonight he looked better, was watching TV and said Paula you need to read those papers on the table. So she picked them up and he kept saying what does that mean the $9,000. The first note said Mr. R we want you to eat and we are trying to get you to eat so that we can remove the tubes. We want to take those tubes out but we can't if you don't eat. The second note said, Mr. R. We need you to tell us when you don't feel well. We know you have been very ill and we know moving you and making your exercise is tiring for you...... So we have decided to cut your excercise down to 2 x 45 minutes a day and will as you get stronger increase the time. But Mr. R. You can't keep saying no and get well enough to go home. We want you to go home because that is what you want but we need your help. And if you keep saying no Medicare will stop paying and it will cost your children 9,000 a month to care for you with no insurance. He had absorbed every single word. Then he asked Paula about the feeding tube and asked if it is true that they would remove it if he eats. She said Yes daddy and explained how sick he was and why we had to put that in to save his life. Then he asked about the 9,000. she said yes Daddy this is for you, this is your chance to work to get home but what happens if the insurance runs out? Do we all just have to sell everything to take care of you? We don't have that kind of money unless we sell our houses. He said ohhhhhhhhh no.

    So his dinner tray came and he said why don't you help me eat some of that. It wasn't something he really cared for but he tried. He had 1/4 sandwich and a cup of coffee. And then my half-brother came in with lasagna and apple pie. Daddy got all excited and asked if he could have some. He just kept saying one more bite one more bite to the point that Paula got alarmed it might be too much too soon. He really enjoyed it she said. Then he said I'll try the pie. So Rob went and got ice cream and he had pie and ice cream until Paula said enough for one night. The ice cream sat there a little while and he said I might like a little more. So Paula gave him a few more spoons of the ice cream. She said she believes that with his hearing problem, his distrust, the anger was coming out because of the way people approach him or just move him. So she spoke to the Nurse Administrator who decided that they need to write things down for him so that he understands what is happening. It seemed to work today.

    Paula and Rob left and I guess the speech therapy person came in. He told her all about what he ate and how much and he was happy and cooperative and just talked her ear off. She was so thrilled she called Paula at home to tell her how excited she was at the turn around. She said I see now why you keep saying you know your father can get well if only he will try because this man is not the same man I have worked with for the last week. I know what is going on, it is trust. That move from the hospital was just wrong before the family could explain things to him. He was so taken by my half-sister that I believe deep down inside he wasn't believing that we were not just dumping him in a nursing home for the rest of his life. So maybe the new approach will be more effective where everything is explained to him in writing. And I know the money issue scared him because Daddy would never want to hurt any of us financially.

    At any rate we are so pleased that he actually ate a full meal. We have his g tube feedings being adjusted starting tomorrow so that 2 hours before meals the tube is disconnected so he will have more of an appetite. If he is eating well it will be cut back to 12 hours a day. And then hopefully it can be discontinued. It really seems to be an issue for him. He keeps asking questions about it and how they would take it out etc. But the note from the nurse seemed to confirm to him that yes in fact it can be temporary if only he eats.

    I was so relieved to hear this news tonight and since I can't get home right away to encourage him I sent him a Vermont Teddy Bear tonight with a shirt that says I love you Daddy and a balloon. Then I wrote a really long note telling him how proud of him I am and how when I get home in 3 weeks I expect to hear that he is exercising his arms and legs. I'm thrilled. Baby steps for sure. Paula and Joe are going to have to bring dinner meals in. And desserts that he likes too. But I told Daddy in my note that 3 weeks from now when I arrive I will come straight to see him and to see all the progress he has made. Of course I reminded him that I know he is sad but our promise is a promise, we will get him out of there as soon as he is able and that means he has to work really hard and not say no. I hope it cheers him up a little until I can be there myself. Daddy isn't much for flowers or balloons or even stuffed animals. But just getting that bear he will know I am thinking of him, calling every night and do mean every word I have said to him. I know when he looks at it he will know I'm still in his corner. My Mom and I will go to his apartment and wash everything, floors, walls, clothes etc. I'm sure it has been a good long time since that house was cleaned appropriately and then if he is able to go home with help, it will be all ready for him.

    Well it has been another long emotional day for me, but we are miles ahead of where we were when I left Boston. Forward progress. Thanks all.
  15. popcorn

    popcorn Guest

    Good news! When I was in the hospital for 7 months, Alf kept a diary for me. But I wish now that they had kept a note of visitors. And one time my brother gave me a small stuffed dog that I would focus on when I was alone. What a turn around! Good for your Dad!


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