Friday, December 19, 2008

Catching Up

I have just realized that the dribs and drabs I have written over the past month have not gotten beyond the Word file where they were created, to be shared with the rest of the world.

My father's perspective of the last month is both accurate and skewed. He asked me yesterday if the police had been to the house. It seems that he "was driving someplace" and "got stopped". The other people involved [they were very rich people] "weren't very nice" so he "wasn't very cooperative, either". He "got a ticket and had to sign a paper", but I had to sign a paper, too. Then, somehow, he got taken to an apartment belonging to those "rich people" and was given a bedroom where he was very comfortable and slept for about 12 hours. Now he is "incarcerated".

So what is reality? People in uniform -- fire dept. and EMS -- picked him up off the floor and ultimately helped him to the car. He was combative and uncomfortable in the Emergency Room, so staff was very assertive with him. He probably saw that as mean. He signed at least one consent for treatment form in the hospital, and I am sure that I signed something on his behalf. Once admitted to the hospital, he was placed in a private room on the neuro/psych floor and placed in restraints "to remind him that he needs to have someone close by when he gets out bed", as he is a significant risk for falling. The food at Queen's was good, quite unlike any hosptial food I have encountered anywhere else, with the entree actually served on a china plate. He spent two weeks there, and was moved 10 days ago to a skilled nursing facility.

So he's gone from a private room in a 500+ bed hospital to a 4-bed ward in an 82-bed facility where he is one of perhaps 6 caucasians among patients and staff combined. Initially, he was extremely uncomfortable. Then he discovered that whatever he asks for (except his freedom!) he gets. This pleases him. He enjoys the physical therapy, and is discovering how much strength he has lost. He wants to know when he is coming home. It is unlikely that he will recover enough to ever come home again, especially with the incontinence and instability. He would have to be "reminded" at home that he cannot get out of bed without help -- thus, back to the restraints which make my mother very uncomfortable. I've not seen him in a walker, just a wheelchair. This house cannot accommodate a wheelchair. He is not free to come and go at will, or even get out of bed by himself. I can understand how he feels incarcerated.

So as Christmas approaches we give thanks that he is well cared for and reasonably happy. We continue to look for those silver linings. We keep praying ....

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