Sunday, January 16, 2005

Big time Blogus interruptus

My few daily visitors will note I haven't posted for a week. Pardon the abrupt disappearance, but I've been dealing with the medical issues of aging parents.

My Mother is 82 and bed-ridden, having suffered a stroke in December 2002, followed by a broken foot in the summer of 2003. The broken foot called for 6-8 weeks off her feet, and that has turned into 18 months. I doubt she will walk again. Before that, she was able to move about the house (carefully), go potty and feed herself. At this point, she can feed herself, if you don't mind it taking an hour--all other needs require assistance. She "lives" in a hospital bed, looking out the window and watching TV. Her mental state varies from fair to non-existent. It isn't much of a life, but it's better than the best nursing home I've ever seen....

My Dad, who is 81, has been her primary caregiver, although he has had CNAs in to help with her personal hygiene needs and a lady who cleans house. We've been concerned about his health for some time, but trying to discuss it with him is an unpleasant experience. He *really* doesn't want to talk about it.

However, at 2 AM Tuesday morning, he called me for help, and after an ambulance ride to the emergency room, was diagnosed as suffering congestive heart failure aggravated by anemia. Later tests showed that congestive heart failure was not going on after all, which is a Good Thing. However, the anemia is very bad. He has a history of this, but never so drastic as it is now.

In order to care for my Mom, we've been hemorrhaging cash to keep CNAs in the house 24x7. We can do this for a while, but eventually the money will run out. Of course, neither has long term care insurance.

Things are very up in the air. My expectation is that he will improve to the point he can care for himself, but I doubt he will be able to appropriately care for my Mom again. However, we're still early into this, and things change.

My postings will be erratic for some time to come. I had a whole list of things I wanted to comment on, but at this point I'm too tired and too busy to do it. By the time I can, they'll be worse than yesterday's news.

I'll try to throw something up every few days if at all possible. Ya'll take care of yourselves. Me, I'll be checking into long term care insurance....

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