23 September 2016

A Trial Run

 I was just thinking that I need an old-fashioned typewriter to write this post. I need to jab keys and slam the thingy that makes the paper return to emphasize frustration and emotions.

Kevin's dad just spent a week in the hospital with an untreated, massive UTI, a-fib, and out of control sugar.  He was really, really sick and in the CCU for a while.

So, that was awful.  He's a horrible patient, either being jerky or being "funny" (borderline to straight up inappropriate)  He would justify his behavior as flirting and that is "how truck drivers communicate".  You can imagine the chorus of "Umm, NO." from the family.  "These folks are NOT waitresses."  we said.  The CNA said "Well, we're waitresses that wipe butts."  This fell somewhere between funny and OMGSHUTUP.

He's had potty issues, if you will, for a while now.  It's been a thing but if the mom brings it up, he has these massive outbursts and doesn't talk to her.  Because...she's causing him to smell like pee? But he just figured he was old and this is how it goes.  We all admit to thinking that as well.
He claims he didn't notice his heart fluttering or skipping beats but we call bullsh*t on that because we've noticed things.  And, sigh, the sugar.  That's a hopeless topic right there.

To add some extra special sauce on the situation, he is ALL OVER the mom if she doesn't take her meds, or go to the doctor, or whatever.  But the same rules don't apply in the reverse.  Oh no, don't you Even.

Because he is Kevin's mom caregiver, she had to have a babysitter while he was hospitalized.  This is where I say Thank tiny baby jesus for our sis-in-law who isn't working right now.  She shouldered all the burden.

They moved the mom into Kevin's brother's house (again:  thank you baby jesus) and then s-i-l had custody of her during the day, as well as at night.  I know I couldn't have done all that she did and still have everyone alive.  Although, I don't know that she doesn't harbor dreams of smothering multiple family members in their sleep.

Now he's home and saying he feels better than he has ever felt. He said he's going to do All The Things but I don't think he actually left the house today so we'll see.  Even if he does feel brand new, he's still 78 years old and just spent a week in hospital.

He's on massive antibiotics, blood thinners, and is supposed to monitor his sugar.  We are skeptical that all of these things are going to happen.  The both of them are really big on not doing what doctors tell them.  Because: reasons.

AND, we still believe he's had a stroke in the past year or so.  He was so sick while in the hospital that we couldn't get an answer about that beyond "could be".  He's going to a new geriatric doctor next week and we'll see.  He's been unusually combative, saying random garbled words/sentences, forgetting things.  All the things that Kevin's mom does, really.

The problem being (out of many but let's focus on this specific one) is that both parents are horrible reporters.  She can't remember anything or fixates on the one irrelevant thing.  He also struggles with remembering everything AND BONUS ROUND: often goes for the melodramatic.  "It could be cancer!" are words that have actually been said.

Also, we have a solid plan for when his mom goes to the hospital.  Grab her meds, her DNR, her list of illnesses, we know who to call and who's responsible for what.  But with this adventure, it all fell apart.  The biggest piece that fell apart was alerting the hospital staff of the mom's issues.  You know, letting them know about unimportant things like the DNR and that she has vascular dementia so don't expect her to remember or understand everything.

But, the parents don't need help.  Just ask them.  Doesn't matter that they both forget her oxygen, neither wears their CPap masks, eat high sodium, high sugar, and high fat foods, and that their house is a mess.  They don't need help. They don't want Visiting Nurse or Chore Program, Meals on Wheels, nope.  They've got this. Right up until they don't.<----shaking br="" head="" my="">

We have to get to that place where a person just had to stand back and let it fall apart.  Like teenagers, they're going to do it their way and that's that. However, the challenge being is they essentially live with us.  There is no disconnecting.

The "fun" part about my parents when my dad was dying is that they didn't tell anyone anything until it was all resolved.  Ambulance rides, falls, hospital stays, no need to know until afterward.  As messed up as it was, I think I prefer it to the "OMG EVERYTHING IS FALLING APART. COME RUNNING RIGHT NOW" only to arrive to find that everything is fine.

This aging parents thing sucks.  I can't even sugar coat it.  But, at least we have some experience from when my dad was sick, and all the times that the mom has been sick.  We just have to stick to what we know.  Ugh.  We know what to do next time.

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