Sunday, August 5, 2012

My Dad

It has been hectic here for the past several days. My 93 year old Dad had been having chest pains for a few days, and never mentioned it to me. I wasn't happy to find that out. Can't imagine what he was thinking. :-(
About 9 A.M., Friday morning he called me after having chest pain the night before and again that morning. He took nitroglycerin, and I told him to call 9-1-1. I rushed to my parent's house and he was sitting at the table having his breakfast, I asked if he called for the ambulance..Of course he hadn't as he wasn't having pain at that time. He insisted on calling his doctor to see what he would say. I told him the doctor would want him to go the ER.  STUBBORN FINN!!!!

I left to run a few errands, because he was sitting at his desk going thru piles of junk mail and I couldn't convince him to go to the ER and he was pain free at that time. I had waited at the house for over an hour waiting for the doctors call back. ( as a nurse, I told him that he was crazy to wait), but when the office hadn't called back I left to run an errand, because I couldn't get him to listen to me. Awhile later I got a call from my mom's care giver to say that the doctors office finally returned Dad's call and they wanted him to get to the ER. You guessed it...He wasn't budging. He told the care giver that he would ask my older brother what he should do when he came later in the day. ( OMG!!!! can you believe this, I couldn't) Anyway, a few minutes later the care giver called me back and told me he decided to go to the ER. 9-1-1 was called, and I raced back to the house as I wanted to follow the ambulance to the hospital so I could be with him in the ER, because he is so hard of hearing, even with hearing aides in. I stayed all day with Dad and when he finally was transfered to a room I left. I didn't get home until 8:30 p.m.

  At the hospital after doing a rectal exam they found a lot of blood in his stools. From blood test he was extremely anemic. They gave him a shot of Vitamin K and hung an IV with medication to stop the bleeding. After much discussion between the doctors they told him they/he had to make a hard choice..on whether to stop his Coumadin which his level was high at the time. If they stopped the Coumadin he could have a stroke, but if they didn't stop the Coumadin he could have a massive heart attack due to the heart not getting enough oxygen because his blood levels were so low.

Dad decided to stop the Coumadin. The doctors are closely monitoring his blood and coumadin levels, but yesterday the blood levels were still dropping. Dad had no chest pains yesterday, which was a good thing, and he didn't have any other problems. Thank goodness!!!!

I spoke with Dad this morning and he had no chest pain during the night. Today, they are suppose to have a gastro doctor to scope him to see where the bleeding is coming from, but most likely it's in his stomach. Then a cardiologist is to consult to discuss further testing to see what's what. It has been 23 years since his bypass surgery. His pacemaker always tests okay. He is in good spirits.
Dad will probably be in the hospital for several days. He is in a private room on a cardiac floor.  Dad got a unit of packed red blood cells in a transfusion yesterday afternoon. Please keep my dad in your thoughts and prayers, and my mom too as she is very upset that he had to go to the hospital. Any upset is so unsettling for those suffering with Alzheimer's. I went to see Mom yesterday, and got her pills set up for the week in her pill box for the care givers to give to her.
I let ma talk to dad on the phone last night to calm her down, and the care givers dial dads room a few times a day so Mom can talk to him.
I will be taking my Mom to see Dad today.


PeggyR said...

You are going through a lot. Being a caregiver is hard, I know, I've been doing it for 2 years with my husband. Prayers are being sent your way.

Linda said...


My prayers are going up for you and your family! I sure hope and pray for the best!
XO Linda

quiltmom said...

It is so hard to see our parents get ill and have health challenges. We have a mother / mother inlaw ( me) who has Alzheimers' It is such a difficult illness for families- hard to lose a parent by inches.
I hope that your father soon is feeling better- it is not always easy to find a solution. He has great support and a determined attitude that will help him during these health challenges.

Barbara said...

My parents are in their 90s with many issues. I am not nearby, but I see what my sister goes through who is near them -- all the issues laced with stubbornness, dad especially, as he seems tired of living, not happy. I used to think my sister could do more, but I've come to believe that she is making the right choices for them by allowing them to sometimes decide how much more they want to continue. Keeping them safe is paramount, but beyond that it has become mostly their call what they will endure. It's a hard choice to let go this way, but an act of love. Their time is near, and we have to love them enough to allow them to decide how they want to live out the final chapter of their lives. God bless, Elaine...glad to see your Dad still seems to have a desire to continue. It's hard to accept when they've lost that, but we must.

Joanne Huffman said...

Prayers and positive thoughts to you and your parents.