My dad's in a real hospital room, finally, with a TV and a window (no bathroom, oddly). A CNA watches him 24/7. I went to see him in his new room yesterday and the day before. He got moved there on Tuesday.
He's in a diaper with a catheter. He's got a massive urinary tract infection (they hurt like hell; no wonder he was flipping out) and is covered with bruises.
He is still not eating or taking his medicine. I managed, on Wednesday, to get him to eat half a cookie, a bite of chocolate donut and some Coca-Cola. He kept sticking his fingers in his mouth like he had a hair on his tongue, but that wasn't it. His tongue is cracked and white from dehydration. They have him on a drip, but it doesn't seem to be helping much.
He's still restrained, wrists only, but soft restraints, not the manacles he was in down in the ER. He can move both his arms quite a bit, just not enough for one hand to reach the other. So all his pick sores on his arms are getting better because he can't pick anymore.
Yesterday he got another x-ray on his hip because he keeps saying it hurts. This is still from that fall on Saturday night. Yesterday's CNA told me she heard the girl who was supposed to be watching my dad took a 45 minute cigarette break and left him completely unattended. I can't find out her name or anything more about her. I am seeing our elder care lawyer today. I am not a lawsuit inclined person, but....if we can get some money toward his care, that would be helpful.
I don't understand why the trained nursing staff cannot manage to get food and liquid and pills into my father. Isn't that THEIR JOB?! Why do I have to bring in food I paid for and make him eat? Why do they listen to him when he says he's not hungry and doesn't want his food?
When I went on Wednesday, the first time I'd seen him since Sunday when he was so drugged and incoherent, he smiled and said "There she is!" and pointed at me. The aide said, "Who is she?" He looked at me and said, "That's...that's....that's her!" The aide tried to get him to say my name (ha-like he knows my name) or that I'm his daughter, but I told her he doesn't know any of that. Recognition & "That's her" is the best I hope for. So he was awake and alert, although his words were very slurred and often wrong (I provide translations most of the time). She told me he still wasn't eating or taking his medicines. Like I said, I got him to ingest some junk food--at least it's calories--without her help.
The next day, I brought him a montage of pictures of me, my mom, my husband, the cat, the dog, and the old cat and old dog to hang up. I thought it might upset him to see the pets, but he just petted the picture of the new dog and said how "nice" it was. I stopped at Dairy Queen and got a Blizzard with peanut butter cups in it (happens to be my favorite, but my dad likes peanut butter too). My intent was to put his pills in the ice cream. The aide (a different one) got the head nurse and she offered to crush the pills. I got about 80% of the pills into him. He wouldn't take the second spoonful. So I was forced to eat the whole Blizzard myself, what a sacrifice. But it was $3, I can't buy $3 worth of ice cream every day to get my dad to take his pills!
His dinner came right before I left. It was a really nice meal of linguini, a roll, chicken noodle soup, coffee and a glass of milk. The aide put the tray over his bed with the food. "I don't want it," he said, very clearly. Then he mumbled something which translates as "I'm not hungry." I got one forkful of linguini into him (and an equal amount all over him) but he pressed his mouth shut and turned his head away like a stubborn child. "I don't want that!" The aide got another forkful into him, and two spoonsfuls of soup. Then he started to get the "mean look" and his fists clenched and he started pushing the aide, and I told her to stop for a few minutes or he was going to hit one or both of us.
Right after that I had to go, so I don't know if she got him to eat anymore after I left. She said if I bring some more ice cream in, they can label it with his name in their freezer and bring it out when I visit so I can make him take his pills. That's fine, saves me $100 a month in Dairy Queen (and who knows how many calories if I finish every one myself), but the point is THEY ARE THE NURSES; THEY SHOULD GIVE HIM THE GODDAMN PILLS.
My mom might have found a nursing home right in town to take him. But there's vast and complicated paperwork to fill out which our elder care lawyer is helping with. She is wonderful and if anyone is in my area (Connecticut) and needs an elder care lawyer, I recommend her highly. E-mail me for her information or post a message here that's not anonymous so I can get back to you.
Living with Bob and "Al"
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