Thursday, March 27, 2014
My 87 year old Dad, who lives alone, fell Monday morning, knocked his TV off the table, and hit the table with his ribs before he hit the floor. He doesn't like to ask for help, so, he lay on the floor for over an hour before he felt up to crawling to the recliner and somehow getting into it.
His neighbor called him after noon and willingly came over to get the walker out for him, put the TV back on the table, and get Dad some Tylenol for the pain. We are all so thankful for this very good neighbor!
My sister, the nurse, and her family are in Hawaii on vacation. She called Dad, found out what happened and called his Doctor. They all agreed that Dad should just stay home and rest rather than sit in waiting rooms for X-rays that wouldn't change the treatment even if there were broken ribs.
I found all of this out at 5:30 PM when I got home from jury duty. My diabetic Dad had eaten nothing since breakfast, and was in lots of pain. My husband and I picked up some dinner and drove 1/2 hour to Dad's, where we fed him and gave him the stronger pain pill the Dr. said he could take. (They were on a top shelf he couldn't reach.)
Tuesday I had to return to the jury, which finished its service that afternoon. Dad said he had slept well Monday night and was doing OK, so he didn't want me to come since I was planning to come Wednesday.
Wednesday I got to Dad's to find him in serious pain. He said he could feel something in his side grinding when he coughed. He didn't want to get addicted to the pain pills, so had only used Tylenol and had gotten no sleep. He wanted to see the Dr, so I got a pain pill into him, and was his chauffeur to the Dr and X-ray lab. He has 4 broken ribs, and is now convinced he HAS to take the pain pills or it will be harder for him to heal. He's rather discouraged about the 6 week recovery period.
Today I went over to do the taxes I didn't get to do yesterday, and found he had slept well but had not taken any insulin yesterday nor breakfast yet at 10 AM! Yikes! He's usually so good with his diabetes that we don't have to monitor him. I'm the "financial daughter." Medical stuff intimidates me.
He is back where he is supposed to be in food and medicine use. I have to keep at him to eat. I want my sister back! She's a great nurse and calm repository of medical knowledge. She's also better at getting him to eat.
There's such a fine line to walk between allowing independence and cramping his style to make sure he is safe. For now I'm just reminding and showing up often to do what needs to be done. He doesn't want to move or have anyone move in with him.
I need to remember this if and when my advanced age causes my children to have concern about my behavior! Maybe I'll be able to not worry them so much?