Taking a break from the running/exercise chat to talk about my Dad.  Just like running, I find writing to be therapeutic too.

It started innocently enough a month ago.  I spoke to my Dad and he said his knee was hurting him.  He had to stop what he was doing (climbing up on the RV to cover it up!) and was icing his knee.  He was going to research what the issue might be.  The next day he’s in the hospital with an infection and the hardware that was put in place for a knee replacement surgery years ago needed to be removed to get rid of the infection.  Surgery takes place, and big slice is made in his knee.  Ewwww.

A week later he is at a rehab facility/nursing home.  Rehab is moving along pretty good.  He’s not ready to go walk any miles, but he can get up into a walker and get around the room.  A few weeks later, he’s still there, but things are changing.  He’s no longer able to get himself up and do the same things he did the week before.  He’s really tired all the time and just wants to sleep.  He falls asleep when I’m visiting him if I’m not engaging him in a conversation and he struggles to get his words out.  One day, when I wasn’t there, my Mom tells me he barely spoke at all.  Things just aren’t right.

Friday I get a call that he is being taken back to the hospital because his heart rate is all over the place.  Low.  High.  He spends the night in the ER having all sorts of tests.  I see him on Saturday, and he’s exhausted, but they are getting him stablized and my Mom thinks he is already more alert thanks to the care of the hospital.  I’m glad he is there so we can get him fixed!

And then I went to see him yesterday at the hospital.  He’s still in the ICU, which I guess is because they are still monitoring him?  The infection Dr has put him through a bunch of tests because they are still not sure what the “problem” is.  He’s just not the same guy who entered that hospital a month before.  A month ago he was my Dad who had an opinion about everything. In fact, the when I visited him at the rehab facility he asked me “So what does Alan think about all that running now?”.  Say what Dad?  Yes, my Dad is not a fan of running.  He thinks that we are slowing deterioting our knees and body with that senseless pounding on our joints.  Trust me, the reason my Dad has knee problems is NOT because he was out running 100 miles.  I know he means well, but once again, he’s got an opinion on everything.  My Dad was also the guy who called me up to complain about his computer, and viruses, and the weather, and politics… well, you get the idea.  He was in his right mind a month ago.

I went to see him yesterday on what I thought would just be a “Hi Dad!” kind of visit on my lunch hour.  Man, I was wrong.  He seemed OK, but also angry that no one knew what was wrong with him.  I think it’s good that he’s angry.  It would be far worse if he didn’t care.  And then it happened.  He asked “when am I going to the hospital?”.  “Dad, you are in the hospital”.  My Mom told me that she tells him that every day.  That morning he was telling a worker that he was in the army and eating army food.  And told my Mom there was a party going on in the hospital hall that she needed to go to.  And many other random things that made no sense at all.  My heart sank.

That’s when it hit me.  My Dad may never be the same again.  For that matter, my Mom’s life will never be the same.  He may never go back to his home.  We just don’t know.  And that’s a scary thing.

Hope I didn’t bum you out too much with all this stuff, but hey, keeping it real.  It’s life 🙁

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Any random comments are appreciated today… thanks for reading!  Hope you have a great weekend.  Thursday is my Friday, so the long weekend starts tonight!!

10 thoughts on “Dad update – when the plan changes”
  1. Five years ago, I was where you are now. My mom was a tough, opinionated, no BS woman who was the oldest of six kids growing up in the Depression. Then I noticed some things she said just didn’t make sense. She would talk about things that never happened and when I would correct her, she would get angry. After she accidentally gave herself food poisoning and tried to microwave a dish towel, almost burning up her kitchen, I had to move her into a nursing home. It has been sad to watch a woman who loved to read and would finish a book in one day, not be able to comprehend the headline of a newspaper. We still have an occasional good conversation but more and more she is slipping away into her own private world. I hope the doctors can figure out what is going on with your dad and he makes a 100% recovery. Take care of your mom and dad, but take care of yourself too.

    1. Thanks Drew. You know exactly what we’re going through. I’m sorry you do! Not sure it’s any better to watch someone deteriorate mentally or physically. It sucks either way.

  2. Sending my prayers to your Dad and Family Lisa. I can’t imagine how hard this is for you and your Mom. Three years ago I almost lost my youngest brother. The doctors took a few months to diagnose him. But in the meantime we felt like we’re loosing him. My baby. He was only 16 at that time. That experience made me acknowledge how deeply I love my siblings. Ironically, this also strengthened our bonds as a family.

    I totally understand when you say writing is therapeutic, because it is for me as well. I truly hope your Dad gets better.

    1. Infection is supposed to be all gone now. He does take meds for early onset dementia, so not sure if this is temporary or something really triggered it to come out more. I saw him today but he was just sleeping during my visit. It’s frustrating- I just want to shake the Dr’s and say “what happened to my Dad!!!!”

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