It's been a long time since my last post. I didn't really feel much like writing in my Blog for a period of time, but now I'm ready.
I'm not sure where to start, so I'll just start with the most recent happenings. My dad's ability to swallow has declined considerably, and he is now on a thick-liquid-only diet. He aspirates fluid on a regular basis now, and it goes into his lungs. Sometimes I find him not doing well, and can hear a gurgle when he tries to talk. Other times, I find him doing better, like the last visit on Friday morning when he was talking clearly, breathing fine, and VERY feisty. He was "running" all over the place in his wheelchair, going into other residents' rooms, on a mission of some sort.
A feeding tube was recommended for my dad, but in his Will, way back before he was even diagnosed with Alzheimer's, he specified that if his health ever declined to the point where a permanent feeding tube would be required, that he did not want one.
His doctor recommended that Hospice be brought in. They do that when they believe their patient is declining to the point that they feel they have less than a year to go. I was the one who had to meet with Hospice to discuss it, and thankfully my husband was there with me. It was harder than I thought it would be, but I got through it. The reason I was the one who had to do it versus my step mom is because something has happened to her as well, and she is now in a Rehab Center.
Let me explain. A few weeks ago, my healthy, very active step mom was meeting with some of the staff at my dad's nursing home to talk about my dad, and had a brain hemorrhage. Thankfully, there were nurses present. She said she was dizzy, then became weak and closed her eyes, and began vomiting. I was also in the nursing home that day, with my daughter, in visiting with my dad, with no clue whatsoever that my step mom was meeting with the staff in another part of the nursing home. They had tried to call me when it happened, but when my phone rang, I didn't recognize the number (that nursing home had never called me prior to that), so I let it go to voice mail. Something was telling me to answer it, but I didn't want to interrupt the time with my dad. I figured I would check the voice mail later.
Then as I was leaving the nursing home with my daughter, we walked out the front door and saw the emergency vehicles parked at the entrance to the nursing home, idling, lights flashing, but no one inside the vehicles, so I figured they must already be inside. Something "checked" in my spirit and it made me pause, and I wondered who they were there for, and prayed that God would be with them and help them. Little did I know at the time that I was praying for my step mom.
When I got home, I still had not checked the voice mail. It wasn't until about an hour later that I remembered to check it. I could not believe what I was hearing. I called them back immediately and spoke with one of the nurses to get more details, then asked what time it had happened. It was then that I realized I was THERE when it was happening and was kicking myself swiftly in the rear.
I found out what hospital they had taken her to and since my husband was about to get home, I waited for him and we all went to the emergency room. They didn't know yet what was wrong with her and were running tests. After finding out it was a brain hemorrhage and that it could go either way--get much worse, or stop bleeding--we prayed hard that it would stop, and were so thankful and relieved when the second CAT scan showed that the hemorrhage had stayed the same size and had not grown.
She was transferred to another hospital, where she stayed for several days, and was then moved to a Rehab Center. Her recovery has been painstakingly slow... she is still having double vision and feels dizzy if she tries to sit up for too long... but we are continuing to pray and hoping for the best.