: Think of my Dad



ewill3rd
12-04-06, 07:55 AM
I think my family is approaching a hard time.
My Dad is historically bad about taking care of his health and it's finally caught up to him.
He's got congestive heart failure, fairly advanced Diabetes, a poorly healed foot that got broken a few years ago, he's badly overweight and recently his kidneys have started shutting down.
He's been blacking out and dropping into what I innacurately refer to as diabetic comas (I am not a doctor so I am sure that may not be what they are called). He won't maintain his blood sugar and my mom has had to call the paramedics several times this year to revive him and then he spends some time in the hospital to get his blood sugar stabilized but he does it all again.

Anyway, he's not doing too well and he refuses to go to the hospital.
I come from a family where we don't express emotion very much so we don't get all toucy feely about it and I am not freaking out because I have seen this coming for a long time.
I just wanted to share because despite all the arguments we have, I love my Dad and it breaks my heart to know he's suffering, even if he's doing it to himself.

I appreciate any prayers from those of you who have faith and the kind thoughts from those of you that don't.

My Dad gave the 20 best years of his life to this country serving in the USAF as an enlisted man. He has seemed lost since he left the military but it would have been too hard for him to stay in.
My mom is having a hard time dealing with all the extra work of taking care of him and especially having to call the paramedics, watch the father of her children suffer and live in fear that he could die at any time.
My sister used to fight with him more than I ever did but she's got 2 boys now and she has gotten much closer to him so it's really bugging her.
Plus she is a nurse so she knows what is happening to him and she won't even tell my mom some of it.

Anyway, I have to get to work, but I just wanted to share a little and get that off my chest.

Thanks.

Jesda
12-04-06, 08:01 AM
:( :( :(

Will keep you and your folks in my thoughts.

dp102288
12-04-06, 08:11 AM
Will keep your family in my thoughts. I can say one things he had a great child...you.

Sandy
12-04-06, 08:30 AM
Being a softee, your note brought tears to my eyes. I truly feel your pain. It's very very sad. Go to where he is at present, go now. Tell him your feelings, your love & caring for him. Thank him for the ways in which he enriched your life. Make sure he hears you. Touch him. Hold his hand.
Know this, that each & everyone of us will lose their parent(s) at some time. I lost both of mine, but had them in my life longer than many.
I'm Jewish. Our Synagogue has a support group for persons going thru this. Perhaps your religious faith's house of prayer has similiar. People tend to shun this, but they offer alot of help. You might wanna check it out.
Keep the faith.

Sandy

CIWS
12-04-06, 08:50 AM
I have friends (Vets) and family both going through medical hard times right now. I will be more than glad to add your father and family into prayers.

RightTurn
12-04-06, 09:05 AM
ewill3rd--God bless your Dad and your family. I'm sending positive thoughts and prayers for you.

RobertCTS
12-04-06, 09:09 AM
I have diabetes but I manage to keep it under control. My Mother is 87 and has been through a lot of life threating health issues. Although she has asked God to quit fooling around and to just take her, she still has a will to live. She takes her medicine and does her excercise therapy. We got her a bracelet that notifies a health care center should she falls or becomes ill.

There is a lot of help out there for you. Mom gets visits from friends and church members. My brother sister and myself call and visit often. We take her to all her appointments. Little things like taking her to the hairdresser is uplifting for her. We try to get her out of the house as often as we can. Last weekend I took her to a Sonic Drive-in. The girls serve you on roller skates and she delighted in seeing that.

I mentioned earlier that I was diabetic. You must take your medicine. You have to alter your diet by only eating low carb foods. Don't buy him sweets or junk food. Don't even keep these bad things in the house to tempt him.

You have to keep him active and give him reasons to live. To allow him to just sit in the house is going to lead to clinical depression. It sounds like he's already depressed. Medication can help control that.

Make your family knowledgeable about diabetes. Here's a link for some help.
http://www.diabetes.org/about-diabetes.jsp

We can offer your Dad our prayers Bill but your Dad has to be willing to help himself.

Bob

xxpinballxx
12-04-06, 09:22 AM
He'll be in my prayers.....
I have been through a whole lot of health issues and know that prayer goes along way.
Make sure he knows how much you love him and take the time no matter what you have to do to spend time that you never did before. Somethings in life that matter the most are often pushed to the side knowing it will be there when you get the chance to acknowledge it.
Believe me regrets are something that haunt you.....

ewill3rd
12-04-06, 09:25 AM
Thanks, just to fill in a few blanks.
His heart is so weak from damaged caused by a blood clot that he can't get the excercise he needs, his kidneys were damaged by exposure to chemicals in the military and his diabetes makes them worse.
He's 1500 miles away from me right now and mom is doing the best she can. The church they attend is helping them out when they can.
I think mom is getting some in home care for him this week and she can't leave him alone at all so she is probably going to have to cut back on her hours at work.
It's an impossible situation really.
Plus due to his congestive heart failure he's limited to a specific amount of liquid per day and he's on a low salt diet.
Plus he has developed anemia, presumably because of his kidney problems.

Thanks again for the kind thoughts and prayers.

We lost my Grandmother early last year in nearly the same manner. Congestive heart failure and diabetes, plus old age and generally failing health took her.
My dad lost his dad just before he was born, was badly abused by his mother who died back in 1977 and recently lost both of his step parents which really hurt him too.

xxpinballxx
12-04-06, 09:28 AM
I know kidney problems......does he like grapes?
Try taking some seedless grapes and throwing them in the freezer.
great for people with renal failure or any type of liquid restriction for that matter. better than sucking on ice thats for sure!

RobertCTS
12-04-06, 09:38 AM
Bill,
with this new knowledge you shared it sounds like your Dad is ready for Hospice? They are a tremendous help for individuals diagnosed as "terminal". Hospice is free. Check "Meals on Wheels". They will bring a warm meal every day and the portions are generous. This will help your mother a lot. Tell them he's diabetic and they will bring the proper food. They only ask for a donation to help cover some of their costs. It sounds like your Dad needs a wheel chair too. If prescribed by his doctor his Medical Insurance will cover it (Medicare?). Does your mother drive and able to take him to his appointments?

ewill3rd
12-04-06, 10:05 AM
I think she is making arrangements for a wheelchair, he could barely walk due to his foot injury until recently, now he has no strength to lift his own weight really.
The only healthcare he has is what the military offers him in retirement.
They are both in their 60's, mom can still drive him but can't get him in and out of the house very well by herself, I think a wheelchair would help.

CadillacGurl
12-04-06, 10:19 AM
I'll keep you and your family in my prayers...

90Brougham350
12-04-06, 10:30 AM
Consider you and your family in mine as well!

RobertCTS
12-04-06, 11:07 AM
I think she is making arrangements for a wheelchair, he could barely walk due to his foot injury until recently, now he has no strength to lift his own weight really.
The only healthcare he has is what the military offers him in retirement.
They are both in their 60's, mom can still drive him but can't get him in and out of the house very well by herself, I think a wheelchair would help.

Is he receiving SS checks? If so he can use Medicare and the wheel chair will be covered minus the Co-pay. Look at the wheel chairs closely as some are a bitch to open and collapse and put in trunk. Consider weight too. Some of the big stores have motorized carts that are easy to drive. Meijer and Lowes are two that I'm familiar with. You enter with the wheel chair. They will help you into the cart and store your wheel chair.

Having been thru some of this I hope I'm being of some help for you. Most drug stores also have free delivery of medicines also.

LittleB
12-04-06, 11:26 AM
I'm really sorry to hear that. That's horrible. It must be so hard to watch someone you care about so much, not care about themselves in a sense. My thoughts are with you and your family....stay strong.

ewill3rd
12-04-06, 11:49 AM
He is on SS, yes. So is my mom now.
I have to trust my mom is taking care of the necessary arrangements but I don't know the details, I'll try to talk to her about it the next time I call her on the phone.

littleB, thanks, yes it has been hard watching him do this to himself for years but whenever we try to help him do what he knows is right, he just tells us to shut up and leave him alone, he claims he knows what he's doing.
We all know what he has been doing and now he's reaping the "benefits" of his previous behavior. It's easy not to think about what something is doing to you now, but when the pain begins you can't undo what you have done.

CIWS
12-04-06, 12:04 PM
his kidneys were damaged by exposure to chemicals in the military and his diabetes makes them worse.

Is your father a Vietnam Vet by chance, spend time in country ?

ewill3rd
12-04-06, 12:20 PM
CIWS,

Actually I was born when he was stationed on Okinawa, then we lived in the Philippines and he went back and did a year in Korea while we lived in Florida.
He was 319th FMS and painted aircraft.
I don't think they even used dust masks back then and the exposure to the paints and whatever wiped his kidneys out. I think he had one removed but I am not sure. I know when we lived in Alabama he had major surgery and came home with a scar on his belly as long as a football.
They put him behind a desk for the remainder of his 20 and offered him another stripe to do 6 more but he said no thanks and we retired to MO where he went to work as an editor for a publishing company.

He's quite remarkable really, he has a degree in social psychology and has read more books than I have seen. He was a great writer and photographer but he never really found an audience for his talents.

CIWS
12-04-06, 12:28 PM
Ok, cool. Wanted to check due to a link with Nam vets exposure to Agent Orange and the onset of diabetes as well as other health issues.

Vets definately get exposures to some pretty nasty stuff. Especially back when the goverment didn't know or care about exposures.

gdwriter
12-04-06, 12:37 PM
Sorry to hear about your Dad's health issues. Prayers sent to you and your family.

Family health problems are always hard, harder still when you're far away and can do little to help. I saw my parents go through this when my Mom's mom and my Dad's dad were dying of cancer back in the 80s. We were in Texas, and my grandparents were in New Hampshire. Now, I'm 2,000 miles from my parents, but at 65 and 69, they're in good health, thankfully.

I can vouch for both Hospice and Meals on Wheels (my Mom's been delivering meals for years), and I'm glad to hear your parents' church is helping, too.

Even if your family isn't good at expression emotion, be sure to tell your Dad you love him. You won't regret it (neither will he).

Ranger
12-04-06, 01:49 PM
Bill,
I feel your pain and like Sandy it brings a tear to my eye as well. I lost my father to congenital heart failure a few years ago. Watching a man who fought in the Pacific and landed on 5 islands fight the last battle that I knew he could not win was not easy. Being the one who had to give the order to with hold further treatment was harder yet and holding his hand as he took his last breath was by far the toughest thing I have ever had to do. I guess it is something we all have to do. Getting hard to type as I can't see the keyboard through the tears. My thoughts and prayers are with you both. God bless you.

RightTurn
12-04-06, 02:19 PM
Ranger--OT, but have you read Tom Brokaws "The Greatest Generation"? Your post makes me think of that book. Sorry about your Dad; I lost mine in 1996 and I miss him every day.

P-Funk
12-04-06, 02:52 PM
My prayers are with your dad and family.

ewill3rd
12-06-06, 05:54 AM
Just so everyone knows, it looks like he has returned to "normal" for him. My mom said yesterday when they checked him out he was doing better and back to what would probably kill any of us, but for him is fairly status quo.
He's still having trouble getting around and my mom did call hospice.
They won't give them full day care but they said someone will come in and out of the house to help him with meals and make sure he's okay during the day when my mom can't be there.
So far so good, not sure how the outlook is, we didn't get that far in our conversation.
Thanks again to everyone for the kind thoughts and prayers.

RobertCTS
12-06-06, 06:53 AM
Just so everyone knows, it looks like he has returned to "normal" for him. My mom said yesterday when they checked him out he was doing better and back to what would probably kill any of us, but for him is fairly status quo.
He's still having trouble getting around and my mom did call hospice.
They won't give them full day care but they said someone will come in and out of the house to help him with meals and make sure he's okay during the day when my mom can't be there.
So far so good, not sure how the outlook is, we didn't get that far in our conversation.
Thanks again to everyone for the kind thoughts and prayers.

We're glad we were of some help. Possibly we helped both you and your Dad. If you have a cell phone and free long distant calling, call your Dad often. Those short phone calls will make his days better.

RightTurn
12-06-06, 07:07 AM
Just so everyone knows, it looks like he has returned to "normal" for him.

Great news!! :)

dp102288
12-06-06, 09:45 AM
Glad to hear the good news!

Sandy
12-06-06, 03:09 PM
Likewise, happy for you !:)

madooch
12-06-06, 07:03 PM
my prayers are with u and your family

AlBundy
12-06-06, 08:09 PM
I wish the most for you, your family and your father. Hospice is very good care system and they will be there for you. I know the fact of him hurting himself is very emotional and painful for your family and your in my prayers. God bless you and your family.