Yesterday was my dad’s fourth Dr. appointment post-hospitalization. It was an all day event as usual. I drove the 45 minute trek listening to praise music on my iPod and praying while fighting the normal, congested traffic that is our area’s trademark. Before I had the opportunity to suggest that my dad take the walker, he mentioned that he thought it was a good idea. I definitely agreed. He’s still in an ankle brace from his recent fractured foot and his equilibrium is not what she used to be.
Our first stop was the lab so he could get his routine blood work done since he’s on a blood thinner. He has to have it checked every 3-4 weeks, sometimes more often depending on the previous results. If he’s put on antibiotics (like now), we have to check it more often as it interferes with the Coumadin. He’s been on it for almost two years and my life has become increasingly busy. We were in and out of the lab in no time flat, which was a blessing.
We enjoyed a nice brunch at our favorite French cafe afterwards. We both really enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and great service there. I suggested that he get a hair cut as it’s been a while and he was unsure about climbing the three steps that lead into the barber shop. I assured him that I’d go with him and help him, so he agreed. As he held onto the railing, I turned the walker sideways (like the physical therapist showed me) so he could use it as a railing of sorts to navigate each step. So, he climbed one step, and I put the walker on the next step up. This sounds like an easy process, except for the fact that each step was challenging. Normally, when I take him to get a hair cut, I wait in the car, so this was the first time I went inside. They are fast and always do a superb job. I know he wanted to look nice for next week when my sisters visit. (He usually fights me on hair cuts…unless it’s his idea…)
We still had time to kill before his cardiologist appointment, so I ran into Walmart for a few things he needed while he waited in the car. God gave us a beautiful, sunny day and he was happy to sit in the car with the windows partially down and enjoy the breeze. After we got gas, we headed for his follow up appointment with the cardiologist. They did an EKG and everything looks fine, so that was good news! His blood pressure is good too. All in all, a great report…next appointment in six months! (I can’t even think about six months from now, but it’s on the calendar…)
I was on a mission to get him out of that ankle brace contraption as I knew it was too tight for him, which made walking painful. His feet and legs swell, which is why he’s on a diuretic. Apparently, this brace was the largest that the orthopedic office had in stock. I popped into the medical supply store on the way home and they only had small and medium ankle braces, which didn’t help at all. Then I needed to get a half gallon of milk for him, so I popped into Target. They had one that I thought would work, so I got that, as well as an ace bandage type ankle brace for when it heals further. I figured between the two, one should work.
When we got back to his house, I took that contraption off (which is great for athletes, but not for 77 year old men whose feet and legs swell!!) and changed his socks. He’s in the fifth week of healing post-fractured foot and he’s improving all the time, but it’s still tender. So, I was trying hard not to further inflict pain as I got his foot into the new ankle brace. I barely got the criss cross velcro straps to adhere to the other side, but it worked! I had him do a little walking so I could make sure it’d stay in place and it did! Yay for success! When I removed the old contraption, I saw the reason why I know the Lord was nudging me to get him into a different brace. His leg surrounding where the brace had been was incredibly swollen and it was not good for his circulation, I know. He said the new brace was so much better and he wasn’t in pain like before. So, that’s what we were shooting for! Good deal. He did have to take some Tylenol when he got home from all the exertion of the day. I’m sure he slept good last night!
My dad definitely seemed weaker yesterday and I was surprised at how much he was relying on the walker, considering how much he detests the thing usually. He did mention that he didn’t want to fall into me like last time and I do appreciate that. I don’t want him to fall into me either! He’s still battling the urinary tract infection and has one more day to finish that round up. We’ll go to the urologist early next week and they’ll reassess.
Aging is really stinky sometimes, isn’t it?! Somehow God gives both dad and I the grace and strength to face each new health challenge. I know he’s ready to return to his volunteer work at the church and misses the interaction with the church and school staff very much. Due to his hospitalization and subsequent recovery, he’s been away from the church for five weeks now, which is a long time for him! Volunteering is what keeps him going and his mind active, so it’s a good thing. His primary care doctor warned him not to return too soon, which he agreed with. If he continues progessing as well as he currently is, perhaps he’ll return to the church in another month or so. He has to regain full mobility and be able to navigate the eighteen concrete steps that lead to his area at the church.
One blessing I noted yesterday was the fact that, although his body was a little weak, his mind was very sharp. It was one of his good days, which is always a blessing! God is so faithful.