And Daddy takes another turn for the worse...

scotland1December 19, 2005

I just got a call from my brother. HeÂs at the assisted living place with my father. Seems that Daddy drank a quarter of a bottle of Dawn, which is rapidly exiting his body out of both ends. Daddy is insistent that his doctor told him to do this, and that heÂs been doing it for four years. He was also apparently unaware that he had activity on both ends, and was walking around dripping. Ewwww. His caretakers want to have a meeting with us about moving him to the AlzheimerÂs/dementia ward. TheyÂve already removed anything Daddy shouldnÂt drink from his room, including shampoo. I was hoping to not deal with this for a while longer, because DaddyÂs sure to go downhill quickly in the dementia ward. Although he has seemed to be getting a bit worse in the past few weeks, this is the first time heÂs done anything to endanger himself or been incontinent.

What is it about my father and Christmas? He spent last Christmas in the ICU after being picked up by paramedics the evening of the 23rd. Something had ruptured in his colon.

Bah humbug.

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Oh, no! This is tough news to take at any time of the year, but you must think that Christmas is jinxed now. I know how you feel.... let's declare Christmas some other time when everthing is quiet and everyone is well. Well, it sounds like a good idea.

Maybe if he gets into the dementia ward, things will be calmer, because he'll have more supervision, and that will be less stressful for you and your brother. It sounds like he is indeed already declining.

My heart and prayers go out to you all.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 8:26PM
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Seems to me that keeping the non-drinkables out of his environment would be relatively simple for the facility, unless he wanders unsupervised. Not to mention, an accreditation criterion . I would investigate further before you let him be moved. Derry

    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 10:12PM
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Oh myyy, that is horrible. I wonder how he stood the taste. I do agree, with Derry that you ask that any thing that would be credible to his well being be supervised. Hope he gets it out of his system soon and that that should never happen again. Gabby

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 12:35AM
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Sorry about your Dad, but thank God it was just dawn and he is OK..The day that opened our eyes to my Mom was when my daughter went by to give her the meds and Mom had mixed a concoction of bug poison, oatmeal, dawn, shampoo and flower fertilizer together and had it in 4 bowls at the table for the imaginary kids she was feeding and the box of cupcakes she was rocking..Up to this point, she was doing pretty good but it spiraled down fast..She is now in a home for dementia and being really cared for after living with me for 4 months..I couldnt do it 24 hrs. by myself and am now very happy with my decision..Good luck with yours.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 7:29AM
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I know you are totally upset by your father's decline. I think you can look for his condition to worsen rapidly, whether or not he is in the Alzhemers Unit or not. It sounds as if he needs more supervision than mere assisted living. Even if his room is clear and safe, that doesn't prevent him from going into someone else's room and getting into something even more troublesome. It's amazing what the dementia patient can come up with to endanger themselves and others.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 8:52AM
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Part of the problem is that my father is still fighting being in assisted living and not living in his house by himself. Moving into the secured dementia ward, where he canÂt go for walks outside when he feels like it or even leave the ward without a caregiver, is going to be tremendously hard for him. I do realize that this is the beginning of a downward spiral, and that he probably needs more supervision than assisted living provides. The dementia ward where is he now is primarily occupied by people in the end stages of AlzheimerÂs who are mostly non-responsive. I suspect that DaddyÂs going to be mad as a hornet when we move him up there. My brother and I are meeting with the staff tomorrow.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 10:49AM
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How did the meeting go? I've been thinking about you, hoping that you'll find a good answer.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 6:50PM
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I'm not entirely sure there will be a meeting tomorrow. My father started bleeding rectally this afternoon, and my brother is still at the ER with him waiting for test results. As if that wasn't enough, the woman that we're supposed to meet with tomorrow morning came into the ER with a family member. So she may be occupied with her own family crisis tomorrow. I'll call before I drive out there in the morning.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 10:10PM
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Oh, wow! That's rough. I hope that your father is ok, and that you get together with the person for a meeting. Tomorrow is another day....


    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 11:52PM
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My father was released from the hospital yesterday afternoon. After running all kinds of tests, the doctors could find no obvious cause for the bleeding. They think that drinking the dishwashing detergent irritated something enough to make it bleed for a while. The bleeding has stopped, and he seems none the worse for the wear.

He was doing somewhat better mentally yesterday than the day before. Tuesday, my brother was helping him in the bathroom, and handed our father some toilet paper. Daddy just started at it, so my brother told him to wipe. Daddy wiped his chest. After my brother got him to use the TP correctly, Daddy couldnÂt figure out what to do with it even after my brother told him and showed him where to put it. He was doing a bit better yesterday, but still not functioning as well as he has been. He didnÂt seem to know why he was in the hospital.

We met with the director of the assisted living facility yesterday morning. They feel that itÂs time to move Daddy to the dementia ward, but want to see how heÂs doing after heÂs been back from the hospital for a few days. ThereÂs also not going to be an opening in the dementia ward for a few weeks, but weÂll probably move him when thereÂs a room available. For now, he'll receive a higher level of care where he is.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 10:32AM
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Bless you Scotland and your dad and family. It's just heartbreaking watching our parents mentally decline. I find myself wondering at times what is the purpose of living to an old age only to end up being so unaware. Maybe my faith just isn't strong enough, I don't know.
I wish you the strength to endure the next few weeks and I pray that your dad will adjust fairly easily. All we can do is pray and hope,

    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 11:03AM
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How is your Dad doing now? This is a bad time of year for unhappy things, isn't it!
Take care of yourself

    Bookmark   December 24, 2005 at 6:02PM
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Daddy seemed almost back to normal on Christmas, but still doesnÂt seem to know why he was in the hospital. He seemed to know who I was, and the kids. Two days ago, I think that he knew that he knew me, but didnÂt know I was his daughter. Dementia is quite an adventure. For the moment, all is well and weÂre very thankful.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 12:21PM
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