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Posts Tagged ‘dad’

What’s Been Going On

It’s been awhile. I’m having a difficult family time at the moment that will not get better just worse. It’s clear that my parents are both at the end of their lives. My responsibility is to shepherd them through to the end. I didn’t understand that part about shepherding. I was trying to make it all better, fighting against what naturally happens at the end of lives, trying to “turn back the clock” so to speak. That all came crashing down around me and I kind of crashed along with it.

Mom and Dad both fell. They are 87 and still live in their own home. They are desperately possessive about their independence. When I got the hysterical call from mom that she and dad were hurt, Skip and I both got to their house in under 10 minutes.

Head wounds bleed a lot. Head wounds of people who are on blood thinners due to previous heart attacks bleed a copious amount. When I arrived I called 911. I tried to stem the bleeding. By the time the emts and the police arrived I had gone into shock. I was still functioning but in shock.

I spent the evening in the emergency room with them. The hospital said it would admit them. Of course. At 2 am I went back to their home and proceeded to clean all the blood up and out. I washed, scrubbed, scoured, made sure there wasn’t a speck of blood anywhere. I was still in shock of course.

The next day I was told by the hospital that dad had vascular dementia. Progression unstoppable. The forgetting, and misplacing of things was not somethingĀ little. It was part of a bigger disease that would take him down.

When the hospital released them I took them home. Things I hadn’t noticed about dad became more apparent. The vascular dementia was moving along. On the second day out of the hospital, dad started running a fever. Whenever he does that we have to get him to the hospital right away because it is a urinary infection. In the recent past, the infection has caused him to lose a kidney. Another night spent in the emergency room. He is still hospitalized.

Mom and dad work like a unit together. What one can’t do the other can. With dad in the hospital, mom can’t really function. She is in the middle of heart failure and all the symptoms associated with that. I have to be there for her most of the day. I run between her house and the hospital.

Yesterday I was so tired, I myself fell on the steps coming up into my own home. I thought the knee cap was broken, but it just seems to be terribly banged up. Today, I will do the same thing as I did yesterday. Take care of mom, then go the hospital and see dad.

Shepherding is not easy. It is so full of emotions I don’t want to feel: loss, fear, panic, despair. But I remind myself it is not about me. This is their time and I need to be fully present for it in a calming, soothing, positive way.

This is what I’ve been up to lately. Just trying to keep it together.

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Out of Whack

Things are pretty much out of whack here and I haven’t knit for days. I’m like a loose stitch slowly unraveling down the rows. If I don’t get needles and yarn in my hands soon I’m going to feel like a puddle of unraveled yarn looks.

To start with I have a head cold that has decided it wants to be my new best and closest forever friend. I can clear a crowded aisle in a food store with one coughing spell.

Dad is back in the hospital. So I’m taking care of my mother, plus The Skipper and the Yarn Rascal all at the same time. My mother doesn’t shop at the same food store as I do, so I travel between 2 food stores that are quite a distance from each other. Because of the coughing I now wear a medical mask while shopping, which gets a lot of strange looks. The upside is people get out of my way.

When I am in the hospital visiting Dad I wear the medical mask too. Because he has MRSA, I have to put on gloves and a gown to see him along with the mask. It’s kind of a surreal experience like I’m at the CDC or heightened security center where they play with germs and viruses the normal person doesn’t want to know about or get near. Every so often I expect a space alien to pop in to spice things up. Dad doesn’t look sick, but he does look tired.

Every time I get a coughing spell in the hospital the nurses become concerned and say I should see a doctor. I reply I have seen a doctor and this is where it got me. They say I should be on an antibiotic. I point out that MRSA exists because of the over use of antibiotics. The nurses and I stare at each other in a standoff.

The book on the new OS for the new computer finally came in at the library. It’s 2.25″ (5.5) cm thick. I think a dictionary is less thick. I have also located the manuals for both computer and new phone. The amount of reading should cover the rest of my life span. I’ll be in some nursing home and only up to page 1,250. In the meantime they will have moved on with the technology and everything I’m learning will be out of date.

In order to relax, I got the first two seasons of Homeland. I can’t say enough about how the show is not relaxing. It caused me to binge watch the entire first two seasons. Well written, well acted, not relaxing.

If all goes well, Dad may be out of hospital on Sunday. I, however, will still be wearing my medical mask. On the upside I’m ready for season three of Homeland if I can locate a library copy.

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