What a Day!

Where to begin?  Today was my dad’s initial appointment with a specialist as a follow up to his recent hospitalization.  I usually go in the patient room with him, but since it was the urologist, I let him go alone.  I told him I’d come in the back once the Dr. is finished and wants to talk with me.  The nurse called me back sooner than I anticipated and I should have known something was amiss.  Apparently my dad couldn’t tell the Dr. exactly what his symptoms were, and, in his view, everything was fine!  When in reality, nothing could be further from the truth!

I honestly was flabbergasted at my dad’s response to the doctor’s questions.  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  I did speak up a couple times to correct my dad as he should be able to decipher reality from make believe in his mind.  It was preposterous.  I actually entertained the brief thought that my father was experiencing early stages of Alzheimer’s disease!  Nah, it’s just either a.) his pride getting in the way, thus claiming he’s just fine or  b.) fear – if he says he’s fine, they can’t find anything wrong with him.  I think he was reflecting on his father’s terminal illness of colon cancer, but he mixed it up somehow and thought of prostate cancer.

To every detailed question the urologist asked, he answered as though he was experiencing 100% health.  It was an “I could’ve had a V-8″/smacks forehead with gusto moment!  (Remember that commercial?)  Meanwhile, on the way to the appointment, he adamantly reminded me that he needs more Depends.  *Smacks forehead again over the irony!* … I think I need to get away!  Calgon … (Is that another reference to a long ago commercial??  Comedic relief can be very therapeutic in situations like these…)

It turns out his prostate is slightly enlarged and was prescribed some medicine to help with that and another symptom.  Once the lab results come in, they’ll call me if anything is wrong.  So, at least some progress was made, despite my dad’s lack of cooperation.  Follow-up in six weeks…

Granted, the urologist’s bedside manner left something to be desired, but I have found that some specialties tend to breed “eccentric” individuals.  (Take for instance, podiatrists…You have to be a little “different” to want to handle often times very neglected metatarsals and phalanges!)  However, I have a great deal of confidence in this doctor’s approach and experience in general.

On a lighter note, my dad’s life was forever changed today!  The Dr. informed him that he should not drink coffee, tea or sodas.  Pepsi is his thing, so this change will be very interesting!  He had an unopened 36 ct. case of Pepsi sitting at home, so he gave that to us.  Basically, those drinks will only aggravate his condition.  So, we stocked up on Gatorade and juice at Wally World on the way home.  He has a lot of bottled water already, so hopefully he will actually drink it.  Previously in his mind, water was something you drink with medications and that’s it.  😉  So, you see how challenging this is going to be.

One Dr. appointment down, three more to go over the next few weeks!  The next one is a test he cannot fail!  It’s a follow-up trip to the orthopedic Dr. and they will do another x-ray of his fractured foot.  The prescribed care is not contingent upon anything he says, so he should be safe.  Plus, he likes the orthopedic Dr.  He jokes around with him and has a great bedside manner.  (As you may have guessed, this is a huge category for prospective doctors – “likeablility”.)  The orthopedic Dr. is nearly seven feet tall and built like a linebacker.  But, I digress … Foot wise, dad was able to walk from the SUV into his house today without the assistance of his walker.  I was surprised he did that, but he’s nearly back to normal!  Praise the Lord for that!  Once we got back to his house, I changed his socks for him and adjusted his orthopedic boot.  My son and I stripped his linens and brought home a bunch of laundry to be washed.  He’s my big helper!

Aging is a part of life and as I become more and more involved in my father’s care, I am determined to:

  1. Exercise more!
  2. Continue eating healthy.
  3. Keep my mind active always.
  4. Maintain a positive attitude because no one wants to deal with a sour puss.
  5. Love.  Love extravagantly because none of us ever know the extent of our days.

Today was definitely one of the more challenging days with dad.  For reasons beyond me, he didn’t want to let on that he was in anything less than tip-top condition.  Somehow, we made it through and I am grateful once again for the strength and grace that God grants me as I deal with my dad and his health issues.  I’m leaning heavily on Him and continually praying, knowing that nothing escapes God’s watchful eye and He is holding us in the palm of His strong and mighty hand.

Incidentally, I had such a powerful time of prayer this rainy morning during the 40 minute commute to my dad’s house in rush hour traffic.  I just knew it was going to be a blessed and victorious day!  And, perhaps it was in many regards.  Perhaps we were spared from something we may not know of until we reach heaven.  Maybe today was a great day after all, despite the extent of the challenges.  Just maybe God’s strength is best on display at my weakest.  Conceivably, when I am at the end of my rope, that’s when God’s power in my life is most evident.

“And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” ~ II Corinthians 12:9



Filed under Caregiver

2 responses to “What a Day!

  1. birdchirp

    I am taking care of my 95 year old mother, so I know exactly what you are having to face every day. It is not easy. Sometimes she says, “I think I know you. Do I know your mom and dad?” You are in my prayers and have my deepest admiration for the work you are doing.

    • Birdchirp, thank you for your kind words & prayers. The issues of aging are difficult at best, but somehow God grants strength to face the challenges. I’ll be sure to keep you in my prayers as well. Blessings to you & your dear mother, friend!

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