This is not the first storm our family has weathered. We’ve toughed it out through some doozies, but this newest venture is really hard. Maybe it’s the constant-ness of it or the fact that they’re my parents. It could be that these diseases are progressing far faster than we expected and there’s no guessing what tomorrow will bring.
Recently, my dad fell in the street during his daily stroll. My mom is unsteady on her feet and even though she has a rolling walker, she prefers a cane and holding onto her husband. Usually one of us goes with them. So far so good… until this afternoon when the child next door ran to tell me Papa went down in our cul-de-sac.
They were a little scratched up, but ok. Later on however, we noticed he was not able to use his right side- arms or legs. A call to 911, and an overnight in the hospital for tests confirmed TIAs (mini strokes) due to A-Fib (irregular heart rhythm)… all side-effects of Alzheimer’s. He now qualifies for long-term, in-home Hospice. No more doctor visits, ambulance rides or hospital stays! Thank God, they all confuse him.
Professionals have been coming daily to assess him, bring products and teach me care. Honestly, this is proving to be quite a blessing with so much help and instruction. It came just in time, as dealing with them both has left me physically, emotionally, and spiritually wiped-out. My mother is not happy about any of it, but I am thrilled.
I’ve been thinking I should be stronger and wiser instead of so befuddled, cranky and ready to throw in the towel. I’ve learned from these nurses that this is a huge job to take on. They have each been so encouraging and compassionate, answering my many questions, giving me tips. I’m even getting insight on how to deal with Grandma.
I’m hoping we’re at the mid-point in this long, dark tunnel… just about to turn the corner where light is visible. There are no guarantees… even from Hospice who sees these cases daily. Sigh. My job is to keep them “safe and comfortable.” And God has sent helpers who really understand and will share the load. This is fresh grace. I’ll take all I can get.
1st up, two walkers, please!