Monday, October 19, 2020

How Am I REALLY Doing?

 Several have asked me how I "really" am doing. 

This is a TOTALLY new season. I have enjoyed older children, the freedom to meet ladies for tea and lunch, the ability to take a day here and there and go play all day....I have abruptly left that season behind. 

I wasn't prepared for it to feel so overwhelming - but it's territory I remember. It's like those crazy, twilight days when  you bring your first newborn home and wonder, "What did we think we were doing to be trusted with a newborn?" One is on call 24/7 alert. Another depends deeply on you. Sleep is interrupted.  New routines have to be developed. Life begins to center around home.  One finds ways to entertain AT HOME and counts the minutes until a spouse or child comes home to help. ::snort:: 

In the same way, my sleep is short.  I cram every task I can into the hours when Dad naps. Until the ramp is built I really can't take Dad out, it is quite a bit of work to take him out right now anyway. My muscles ache as I do a lot of lifting to enable Dad to "stand" and "move."  I've not been able to accept invitations to play.   His discharge papers state he needs to receive 24/7 supervision.  Now, he was not in 24/7 line of sight in the center....

Millie loves to grab wood from the woodbox

We quickly realized the biggest fall danger dad has is his certainty he CAN walk.  The solution is simply to have someone with him when he is awake.  If  I duck out while he is reading the paper, he is apt to forget and decide he can walk "that little bit." I've caught him several times just as he began to fall.  Twice when grandkids were here he stood up without assistance. I love that - but still one of us needs to be near in case we are needed. He has horrendous bruises from all the falls he has taken.  The hope and prayer is he WILL eventually be able to walk around home, with no assistance other than a walker. Currently, he needs one of us to have him in our sight when he is awake.

I am perplexed. In all the scenarios discussed with the heart surgeon, Dad being unable to move without assistance wasn't mentioned. We continue to pray for Dad's complete recovery. He IS in better spirits here at home. I don't see an improved quality of life resulting from the quadruple bypass. I see the opposite...but he still has 3 1/2 months before he reaches the magical 6 month post-surgery mark. This is the point where they consider he will have reached the level of recovery we can expect.  

At home the evenings end with Farkle and MacGyver.  That beats the nursing center any night according to Dad. 

Yes, we're tired. Yes, the days are long. Yes, there are challenges. But this is family. We are blessed to have Dad at home. We are blessed to have such ready ministry at our fingertips. This matters too. 


Laura said...

Dearest De'Etta,
Just a note to let you know that I think of you at odd times... :) I am feeling many of the things you expressed so well here in this post. While I am not living in my parents home, I am next door and we are there much of the time and called to 'come quickly' fairly often. In the midst of the very real physical, mental, and emotional strain, it is also hard to see those you love so dearly in a failing condition, isn't it. So many hard things. I am not nearly as open about all this right now because my parents have such a huge 'presence' in our town and I am just not wanting to add to that in this way. But that means that a lot of people have no idea what we are really going through. I'm rambling now... sorry about that. You are now, as you have been for so many years, someone that I look up to, pray for, think of, and appreciate. For myself, I keep praying that I just want to "walk this time well". Honoring our parents with our love and care is a joyful thing and a hard thing. But it is always an honor. I know you understand the depth of that, as well.

Your closing lines are exactly right...
"Yes, we're tired. Yes, the days are long. Yes, there are challenges. But this is family."

Thinking of and praying for you, my friend. You are doing an incredible job of walking your days well and continue to be an inspiration to so many - most assuredly me.

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

You've made my eyes leak, my friend. Yes, our hearts desire is to walk this well. We look a bit more like Jesus in some days than others, but we want to honor our last parent.

Kim said...

Thank you for sharing this, De'Etta. I've been thinking lately about caring for parents and how somehow that was not a part of the dreams/plans for reretirement, but it should be put in as a plan, not an afterthought. Obviously speaking about us. I guess not knowing exactly when that season starts for real, and honoring parents desire to be independent as much as possible just makes things a little more complicated. I'm rambling now! I'm excited to see what changes your Dad will be able to make in the next 3.5 months!!! Will keep praying!❤

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

It IS so hard to know - isn't it, Kim? Our heart was to honor Mom G and that meant moving to allow her to be independent....but this is much better for family. We are happy not to be living in an RV. LOL We are blessed Dad agreed to move in with family.