Monday, November 11, 2013
On Friday afternoon, my dad passed away. He had a heart attack and was gone before my sisters and I could reach the nursing home. The staff was able to get Mom into the 'Comfort Care' room where he was. They told him he was there and he nodded so we know he knew she was with him, holding his hand. And then the staff, whoever was nearby and could leave what they were doing, gathered in the room with Mom & Dad, providing their loving support and comfort.
Dad will be cremated today and my sisters and I are preparing a memorial celebration for him (which will be held on Sunday).
Through all of this, we just have SO much to be thankful for:
That Dad was ready to go into the nursing and that he didn't have to wait long to move there
That Mom and Dad had 2.5 weeks together there (before that they could only see each other weekly as it was too hard on Dad to leave the house to join Mom for supper at the nursing home.
That Dad didn't die at home, alone, but in his new home surrounded by Mom and many people who had come to know and love him in the 1.5 years that my Mom has lived at the nursing home.
That we all had time to say goodbye, even my son, who came home from the US for nearly a week and went to visit his grandparents every day that he was home.
That we can all be at the memorial celebration on Sunday.
That my sisters and I are all on the same page about everything.
And I could go on, but you get the idea. Life is emotional right now, yet I can centre myself to a great peace in the midst of the swirling chaos. Life is good!
Rest in peace, Dad. I know you're challenging DH's dad and Mom's brother to a game of cards. Say hi to everyone there for us... we'll be reunited someday!
Tuesday, November 05, 2013
Well, on Friday night, my sisters and I were called in to the nursing home. Dad was in great distress and really when I saw him, I didn't think he'd make it through the night. However, the great staff at the nursing home pulled out all the stops and got him to calm down so he'd stop hyperventilating, got him a second oxygen machine & wider tubing so he'd get more oxygen at once, and eventually we all came back here to the condo (closest to the nursing home) and slept. We all went back to visit on Saturday. Our son flew in from the states and he's been out to the home Sunday, Monday and is heading out there again this afternoon. He will fly back tomorrow or Thursday evening. Our daughter and her boyfriend visited on Sat and Sun. I was back out on Sunday and will go tomorrow. We are taking it one day at a time now.
We are concerned about Mom... she is not getting up out of bed much, and isn't eating much these days...her way of dealing with the news about Dad I guess.
Today I'm catching up on laundry and cleaning while I have some time. Tomorrow my sisters and I (and perhaps my DD and DS) will work at the house & then visit with my folks.
Hope you're having a wonderful week, everyone. Treasure each moment!
Friday, November 01, 2013
Another busy week, and an emotionally tough one. We were told that my dad is in one of the highest levels of COPD. His breathing is ragged & he gets out of breath so easily. So we are dealing with the fact that he may not be with us much longer.
However, we are doing what we can to make his life enjoyable. Last night DH and I bought him a new 32 inch TV with wireless headphones. He was using a very small TV that the home supplied, which would have been fine, except he couldn't run it loud enough to hear it. Now he can hear it just fine, and having a bigger screen is good too! I've emailed a list of the satellite channels to the home to be printed off to give to Dad. He was used to a different company's satellite in his home, so has to relearn channel numbers. Another thing I'll be looking for soon is a remote which has satellite guide buttons on it (the satellite he's using at the home doesn't have the right remote for it anymore). So, once he gets this remote, he'll be set!
We are looking into essential oil diffusers to put beside both mom and dad's beds, once we get permission from the nursing home. We'll put eucalyptus oil in these, which is great for anti-infection, plus the moist mist will be good for my mom's dry eyes and mouth, and hopefully the moist mist will help dad breath easier.
Today, I'm making supper to take to my mom-in-law's tonight. We'll stop in on our way home to the farm, our DD & her boyfriend will be there, and DH's 2 brothers and their spouses too, if they can make it!
T'ai Chi Chih again this morning! Looking forward to learning another new movement or two!
The rain and wind is pretty intense here still. Hope it tapers off soon!
Be blessed everyone, have a super Friday and an awesome weekend!!
Saturday, October 26, 2013
First off, just have to say the rebounding, stretching and T'ai Chi Chih exercise combo, plus paying more attention to how the carbs combine with other foods is paying off! Down another 2 lbs this week, and was finally able to put this in the weight loss chart as I'm .4 lbs below where I was the last time I recorded my weight!! Onward and downward, I'd say!
Next, to recap an exhaustingly busy week. Having moved Dad into the nursing home on Tues, the 'fun' had only just begun. Fielding phone calls to cancel services at the house, etc. Many calls to / from the nursing home to get things sorted out (SO glad I put their number as one of my Top 10 on my phone so I won't be charged for these calls)! On Thursday, one of my 2 sisters met me at the house. She cleaned out the fridge, I found some papers I needed. Then to the nursing home, where we each took one of our parents in our vehicle, separately to 2 back to back vision checkups. Then to a restaurant for a late lunch and back to the nursing home to get them settled in for a more restful afternoon.
Dad has been given a prescription that he can ask for to calm him when he gets panicky about not breathing well. This has been a great help at settling him down, his appetite is much better than it was, and he actually slept 7 hours solid the third night he was there! This is unheard of for him and he's thrilled. The home is allowing him to put his loom in a spare room by the administrative offices, where he can go with a few other residents and one staff at a time to show them / teach them to weave! And, there will soon be a requisition for him to get an electric blanket ... he had one at home and it's a big part of his able to stay warm.
I know I've mentioned how much we appreciate this small, cozy nursing home with it's wonderful staff, but I just have to say it again! They are so awesome there!!
I was able to get a much needed haircut on Wed (which I was planning to get on Tues when the call came to move dad). And DH went with me to the meeting with a Veterans rep... it looks like we finally will get an accurate, straight answer to our questions about how they assist veterans with long term care costs!
Yesterday afternoon, I went with DD to check the cottage (it's fine, despite all the rain we've had) and then she took me to see her friend's home that is in the process of being built. Sure hope the weather smartens up so the house can be finished for them to move in by end of November! It was fun to see this, but SO cold! I came home and dressed in many layers as it was time to go to the camp for supper with DH & his students. What a fun bunch of students this year... think 22 people sitting around several long camp tables on long pull-up benches playing 1 game of Apples to Apples after supper! I got home at 10:30 and read til midnight, then slept til 6:30 this morning, and stayed in bed until I finished reading the book at 9:10am. So love the author Victoria Laurie - if you like mystery novels check her out!
After a late breakfast, I did some rebounding before I sat down here to type this blog. Time to finish my exercise time, then want to go through all the notes, emails, etc and re-group so I'm ready for next week's projects!
It's a dreary, cold, miserable day here and I feel sorry for my DD who has gone to assist with photoshoot of a wedding this afternoon. Though at least she can dress in more layers than the bride and attendants!
Stay warm, everyone and have a great weekend!
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