Saturday, February 7, 2009

this is where we are at..

I have been extremely busy with my dad ..
His doctor is great ..he understands
my dads wants and needs and listens to him ....
really listens and explains everything I great detail to help calm my fathers worries ..
and mine too.
He ran a bunch of tests just so he could really see for himself what is all wrong with my dads heart ....
previous tests done by other doctors where conflicting and inconclusive to him plus two years have gone by now sense these original tests where completed.
The truth is that we didn't have a lot of faith in his last doctor ..and while she was one of the best in Michigan she lacked compassion that our family needed.

My father has beat the odds now for so many years ..his stroke could have taken him away from all of us back when he was in his mid fifty's. The heart problems that started back in 06 that doctors then gave him no real hope.
Later in 2006 he was given the wrong meds when a pharmacy mistake stopped his heart and a pace maker defibrillator was needed to give him more time...his doctors told us there was nothing else they could do.
I was personally told to take him home make him comfortable and to cherish the time we had left with dad.This doctor told me he had maybe a year or two at the most.
This didn't sit well with me ..and his doctor knew it ..
he is no psychic and you know even psychics wont predict time of death ..something some doctors have forgotten they are not God and only God knows when he will call us home.
Anyway His new doctor really has been great about things and was very upset with the fact that a fellow doctor would give us this time frame ..That positive thinking and living can really make a difference ..and my dad really tries to be positive and just not worry about all the problems and just enjoy his life and he has a pretty good one ..even if in his down times he questions it ..but that's understandable. I remind him of all the good things when he needs me too. I am sure in his alone moments he is scared at times ..that's understandable too but as I remind him that worrying about it all wont make things easier ..to just focus on all the good stuff and God will take care of the other stuff. His strength is really amazes me.
Well tests are now in as I was saying ..they saw the problems with the heart during his chemical stress test
they are very concerned.
But this is really not new news to us ..
we where told about this blockage two years ago and then told by one of Michigan's top cardio docs that there was nothing more they could do. This doctor wants dad to check into the hospital and have a heart catherization so he himself could see the problem and then possibly go in and try to fix the problem.
He would do fine doing the next procedure
but surgery they really don't know.
We sat listened to the facts ..
Dads first response was no ..I didn't respond.
I asked a ton of questions asking for more information and what the doctors instincts tell him not his text books. He said he would feel good about the catheterization but he wouldn't go in to fix anything unless he was fairly sure he could help and not hurt dads heart worse. I thanked him for his truth fullness. My father turned to me and said what do you think I should do ..I said well dad I think this needs to be talked about further ..you need to ask mom and my siblings .
So We told the doctors not right now ..we are not saying no completely but right now my father does not even experience chest pains and this is a good thing they tell us. He is doing pretty much anything he wants and anything he can no longer do gets done for him.
If his health changes ..if pain starts to develop then we can go back and rethink this choice ..My intuition tells me this is the right choice for my dad ..All the medical questions I asked only validates what I feel and Dad feels. Choosing to go home now and just live and talk and think over it when the time for that comes is what he wants and inside I agree.
I am not giving up on my dad ..just the opposite I have faith .
I don't want my dads final years to be filled with hospital stays and being cut open.
and I don't want ... when its the only hope to not try one more thing..
then will I fight to prolong dads life ..when its possible for him to still live a good life.
Now it's up to him to talk about with the people he wants too ..
his mind was pretty made up from the get go ..
I saw great relief when I agreed for now.
I pray today that I made the right choice for now...and have faith I did.

Mean while ..
About a 2 weeks ago the nursing staff alerted us that gramps
was having a hard time swallowing ..he was switched to pureed foods only
....but still was choking on that.
Every week ..when I visit
I drop off snacks ..for gramps
he's has gained a few lbs lol Like 60 maybe even more...
at the nursing home
but that's ok as long as he is happy.
To not be able to eat will be heart breaking to watch.
Working in nursing homes in the past
I know it happens ..but it just so very hard to think about it
His biggest joys these days involve food
Let's just say gramps is never late to the dinning room for any meal
or snack time.
If an activity involves a snack he is there on time
I hope they are able to keep him involved after this major set back.
The DNR order he signed and we updated
signed says no feeding tubes
but I asked up front if I can revoke that
section at any time..
~ which brings me to think about things
Grandpa and Grandma both signed DNR orders in their wills
7 years ago ..they made it clear there wants ..
The wanted none of this ..no tube feeding no cpr no nothing
they
also made it clear that they wanted no pain
and for me to bring in hospice when their pain became to much...
I made that choice with grams back in 06
but to starve him?
thats basically what I would be doing
would it not ?
I don't know if I can do that ..
I made such a point when I updated his DNR
order at the nursing home that I wanted to know if I could revoke the
feeding tube part and now its here ..
now what do I do?
follow his wishes ? yes.. I should I remind myself ..I promised
They said he is in the late stages of dementia
which we knew he had
and that As their dementia gets worse, nearly all patients will decrease their intake of food and water. This happens for several reasons.
First, people with advanced dementia often lose the ability to use the muscles needed to
chew and swallow.
This change puts them at risk for choking or getting
food into their lungs
where it can block their breathing and cause pneumonia.
Second, they
often lose the feeling of hunger and the desire to eat..
after that the stages involve respiratory failure..
After talking to the doctors and to dad
we have decided to go along with grandpa's wishes
For right now he will remain on a puree diet ..
and we will wait and see if he improves..taking it day by day

sometimes its just to much to think about the future ..
I just got to deal with today


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