A Revolving Door

My house has become quite the revolving door, especially today!  Early this morning, I ran over to my dad’s house to pick up a few things and check on the house.  (Incidentally, there was a police flyer by the door indicating a recent armed robbery in the area…just makes one feel all warm & fuzzy!  Yes, the neighborhood ain’t what she used to be!) It’s about a 45 minute drive each way and I needed to make sure I was back in time to meet with the home health nurse, who was due at 11a.m.  Thankfully, they coordinate very well with your schedule and are able to accommodate my prior commitments.  I was back thirty minutes before she came out to draw my dad’s blood.  She had a difficult time as his poor veins have been worked over during his hospital stay.  In the end, she was finally able to get it.

I called the nursing association to inquire about when the physical therapist may be out to begin working with him.  I was just concerned that his file might be lost in the shuffle.  I am becoming more and more aware that when it comes to health care, in particular, you have to be very pro-active.  Human error seems to be a widespread epidemic.  😉  (Take for instance, the nurse had in her file that he broke his right rib…Dad and I looked at each other quizzically…Then it dawned on me that they meant to say that he broke his right foot!  That’s a lot like a rib, isn’t it?!)

The physical therapist called me right back and asked if she could do an assessment this afternoon, which worked out perfectly (especially since she mentioned she’s off tomorrow).  We all are anxious to get this therapy rolling, so he can manage walking up and down stairs with the orthopedic walking boot.  The therapist mentioned that he could begin walking upstairs to the guest bedroom, which my dad balked at.  He doesn’t feel like he’s ready for that yet.  So, I suggested that we conquer the outside, front two steps by the door first and work our way up to the long stairway.  I think he felt like that was more manageable.  He was worried about the pain in his foot coming back downstairs.

It turns out that the therapist is a Christian and she is interested in possibly homeschooling her children.  We had a nice chat about that on the front steps as she was leaving.  She even offered to come out on the day my dad has his first Dr. appt. to make sure he gets down the front steps okay.  I thought that was very kind.  It’ll be good to have her assisting.  I especially like her and know that God orchestrated her being assigned to my dad’s case.  Yes, God is interested in the details!

We’re expecting one more person and then we can all relax for the evening!  Yesterday my dad put in a call to a friend he works with at the church and requested that he make a run to Sam’s Club for some groceries for us (& he would give him the money).  When my dad mentioned he wanted to call this gentleman, I had no idea that he was going to ask him to do grocery shopping!  I thought he just wanted to give him an update on his recovery.  (This gentleman holds a key position at the church and is very busy. But, he and my dad have quite a comradery.) I know this is my dad’s way of “helping us”, but it is sometimes difficult to accept help from others, especially outside of the family.  We are accustomed to being very independent and not relying on anyone.  We certainly have enough food and there is no risk of starvation around here.  But, I have learned over the years that sometimes one has to be gracious enough to receive others’ generosity.

I am a giver.  So is my husband.  We LOVE to give.  We also love to help anyone we can.  So being on the receiving end is rather foreign and, in a way, awkward.  It places us in an unnatural position, so it would seem.  But, I am reminded once again, that sometimes one has to allow others to give and assist because if we don’t, we are shortchanging them of a blessing.  I guess you could say it’s a matter of pride getting in the way, although I wouldn’t consider us to be particularly prideful.  Just independent.  So, I am learning and re-learning all sorts of life lessons through this process.  It’s okay to be vulnerable and accept help.  If the giver didn’t want to assist, they wouldn’t.  Grace.  We’ve got the giving thing down pat.  Now, we’re understanding what it is to be a gracious receiver.

As I sit here typing, my dad is dozing yet again.  He’s had a filling lunch, consisting of left over chicken casserole from last night, a dish of peaches and a cup of milk.  He was up and down several times during the night, so I know he’s tired.  Each day he’s making greater progress.  He gave himself a bird bath this morning and brushed his hair.  I am charging up his new electric razor, so we’ll give that a whirl later.  He even wrote out a check to pay a bill this morning and my son put it in the mailbox for him earlier.  I got out a spare calendar and wrote all of his upcoming appointments on it, so he can easily keep up with our schedule.  Plus, I know I would feel better seeing everything written down and he can keep up with the days.  I also brought him a spiral notebook as well as clipboard with paper in case he wanted to write anything down.  So, he has all sorts of things on tray tables beside the couch and readily accessible.  The goal is that he resume his normal activities and maintain mental clarity by being as independent as possible.  I am a mother, but I am attempting to not be too “motherly” as to hinder his recovery.  I don’t want him to become accustomed to having everything done for him if he can attempt himself.  The ultimate goal is for him to return to his home, where he is most comfortable; and then back to his regular volunteer work at his church.  When he is healthy, he volunteers full time, five days a week and enjoys it very much.  It really helps to keep him going and gives him a sense of purpose.  An active lifestyle is key to maintaining a sharp mind.  He may be 77, but in his mind, he’s 35!  😉  He gives me great hope! 🙂

Our praise report today is that my dad is able to withstand walking greater distances, and, most importantly, that his strength is returning.  He actually got up off the couch by himself earlier.  Of course, he was holding onto the walker, but this is no small task, especially since the couch is at an angle.  Bit by bit, we will get there!  I say we a lot…because we are a team.  Since our move back to the area four years ago, my father and I have spent more time together due to medical appointements than I ever thought possible.  The Lord has used this time as a season of healing for me and continues to show me things that I don’t know how I might have learned otherwise.  Life lessons are everywhere, often in places we least suspect.

Our prayer remains that my dad will continue to regain strength and that the pain will be reduced in his foot so he is able to resume normal activities very soon.  God is so faithful and I just give Him all the praise, honor and glory for answered prayer thus far.  And I know that He is ever faithful to complete the work He has begun.

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2 Comments

Filed under Caregiver

2 responses to “A Revolving Door

  1. Good report. Still praying for you all. Thanks!!!

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