Tag Archives: Stroke

Why can’t people mind their own damn business??


As those following me know that my dad had a stroke on July 19th of this year. At first it didn’t seem so bad. There was hope that all the rehab (3 facility changes) would help and maybe he could go home. MAYBE!

It was still iffy, but then the decline started.  Brain cells were still dying and confusion was setting in. Now we are seeing signs of Dementia.  My mom and her mom had it for years. An episode is scary and draining. Then they come out of it for a while and you begin to hope again.

We have had to face reality. He will need 24/7 care and he can’t afford it and that is just one person and there are times during his confusion that he needs 2 or more people. We can’t predict when that will happen either. He is facing heart attack possibilities and another stroke is more than likely. My sister and I have done a lot of talking and crying, but finally had to make the decision that he will be going to long term care (another name for nursing home) when they deem him no longer progressing or Medicare runs out, one or the other. He will stay in this facility just move to the long term unit as soon as a bed opens up.

At times he forgets this is going to happen and thinks he is going home and we have another heart-breaking conversation about it the fact that he isn’t going home and he won’t be driving again either. He has left side neglect. His world is very small and causes alot of fear on his part as he thinks everything is gone and he is going to be put out in only the clothes (usually wet) on his back. He called my sister in the middle of the night scared and saying they took everything away. She was up all night in fear and crying and didn’t know whether trying to go to the center would help or not. No number for the nurses station either. This is all heartbreaking. Obviously the man can’t go home. He can’t be alone. He has been trying to practice walking so he can go home and he is falling.

So here come the busy-bodies who have to upset us more as they heap the guilt on us. How terrible we are to do this to him. It is up to us to keep him safe and this is the only way it can be done. He doesn’t have the money to hire all these people. We are struggling trying to figure out his financial standing and how much we have to pay for this place in cash and hope that medicaid kicks in in time to start paying for it before he runs out of money. We have to liquidate everything he owns. He had a list of who he wanted to have of his belongings. That is null and void. Everything must go and they will go over the last 5 years of his finances. He doesn’t have much.

Back to the busy-bodies. They thought he was well off and that we are just trying to take his money. He had a reverse mortgage on his home, well he still does as we haven’t gotten to that part yet and a small nest egg that allowed him a frugal living, but he was happy. He was very frugal, but there were times he spent a bit of money on something he wanted or for my mom before she passed 5 years ago today. Damn just remembered the date. Here come the tears again.

I am tired of telling people to mind their own damn business.

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

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The Family Of Stroke Victims Seen From The Inside


My dad is literally disappearing before our eyes. They don’t tell us much and until today I refrained from looking up symptoms, info and support groups. I need them. I am constantly bothering my therapist who is willing to help me out, but I need to understand more about what is going to possibly happen and be prepared.

My sister is strong. She doesn’t let her emotions ride on her sleeve. Is she scared? Of course she is. She just holds it better. She makes all decisions only when the two of us have talked over what is best for dad and agree to it.

He is losing his memories as his brain continues to die. He doesn’t want to live anymore and wants to be with mom. I understand this and he is letting things go we think. We don’t blame him. He wants to go and as much as that hurts it is something he has a right to want. He has an advanced directive and it states what he wants or doesn’t want. Currently his heart is strong. Heart attack is not likely right now. He talks suicide, but that shouldn’t be easy for him to do. We figure the most he can do is to stop eating and drinking and he has a directive that says no feeding tube or fluids except pain medicine. He hasn’t given up yet, still eating and drinking so he isn’t seriously thinking suicide yet.

The poor man is proud and now he has to have help using the bathroom and is incontinent so wears diapers. He whispers how embarrassed he is. I don’t blame him and right now if I pass over I would rather go in my sleep. We saved him and he doesn’t remember life and how you do things or anything new. Long term memory is going slower. Short term faster.

I am off to look up strokes and find a support group.

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

Strokes, Fibromyalgia, Spinal Degeneration and BusyBodies


Due to my physical and mental issues I have to cut my visiting the rehab center down to maybe once a week. At the blink of an eye I am crying. I am tired of people seeing me crying and having loss of my emotions so that I have to constantly contact my therapist to calm me down. My dad is fading away. He doesn’t want to live. He is done with this life and ready to go to heaven to be with his beloved wife. How do you have a conversation with someone who can’t remember his life or much of yours? My dad was a football (USA) freak and if his favorite team wasn’t playing he would watch another game with just as much enthusiasm. Now he refers to the Philadelphia Eagles as those green guys throwing a ball around and why were people clapping? His joy of football is gone. He was avid with politics and they were always on and he was up on everything, Now he isn’t even sure what country he is in and spends a lot of time in WW2 or his childhood.

Now we come to the busybodies. My sister and I are having to make emotional decisions as to our dad’s care. If you ever had to make those decisions for a loved one you know it is not easy and it hurts to have to decide where your loved one will live. Is he going to be safe? Well taken care of? And the ton of paperwork and the government comes in and in one fell swoop everything he worked for all his life is gone. We are not rich. He can’t afford home care for 24/7. So we must liquidate the man’s belongings and apply to the government (Medicaid in the USA) to pay for his upkeep and care. He kept my mom at home and was her sole caregiver. It was hard on him, but he didn’t complain, but we don’t have the same option now. She had Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia and by the time she needed full time care he had retired early and was there. He didn’t want our help, it was his wife and his responsibility according to his wedding vows. My sister did try to get them to go to assisted living where he could go with her, but they would take care of her. They refused. My mom wanted to go to a nursing home now called Long Term Care, but when we explained it she chose to stay home with dad. This is not the same situation. He can’t be left alone. He knows he is not supposed to get out of the chair or the bed, but tries often. He needs constant care which we can’t give him. We are doing the best that we can. When he’s lucid he understands and is fine with long term care and then he’ll flip the other way and it’s all about when he’s going home. Neither conversation is pleasant.

Those of you who have never been through something like this keep your comments to yourself. We feel guilty enough even though we are doing every thing we can for the man who raised us.

The pain and popping in my spine is getting worse. I can barely move and I have to wait until October 2 before I get the 6 facet joint injections in my spine and due to new laws my weight won’t allow me to have sedation. I had just one in my knee and screamed bloody murder so can only imagine 6 of them at once. All I can have is local anesthesia. It doesn’t do much. And the stress is allowing my Fibromyalgia to flare up as well and for 5 days before the injections I can’t have my NSAID arthritis medicine so don’t know how this is going to work. I am terrified of just going off my arthritis medicine. I can still take the percosets which help, but not much. I need the combination, but NSAIDS are blood thinners and not allowed 5 days before.

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

More downsides to strokes.


Just when we think he is settled, has accepted the current and future situation, he throws a monkey wrench into the works. Now he has informed us that they are teaching him to drive so he can drive when he goes home. He had agreed with us that he wasn’t going home and even if somehow that happens, he will NOT be driving. It is just not happening.

I can’t take all this constant changing and upset. I had no idea at what was in store for us from a stroke. I don’t know where he got the idea he will be driving let alone going home. Wishful thinking I gather.

Not sure what tomorrow will bring.

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

Food banks here in NJ – Rehab Facility


Today I went to the food bank. I feel weird going and getting free food, but my low income makes me eligible and at least we have a communal table that everyone puts the food they don’t eat on and that way there is no waste.

Just realized no pasta this month and not much spaghetti sauce. We did go later though. I got fish this time instead of another whole chicken. I need to start eating at home, but with all this running around to the rehab facility where my dad is makes me eat on the run. I got to stop this.

There is someone there preying on the seniors especially. Talked my dad into wanting this hair dyed black again and a haircut. She is not from the facility and she tells them it is free while hoping they will tip her most of what they would have paid the facility. We had to make him understand what was going on and I talked to the social worker there and she gave us the sheet to prepay for a real haircut and we talked him out of thinking that he needed his hair dyed. His grey hair is distinguishing and black hair would look a little silly on an 86 year old man. We filled out the sheet for him and prepaid it.

He doesn’t know any better and my sister had told him to do what he is told, but this we didn’t see coming. We meant cooperate with the nurses and aides. He was giving them a hard time right after the stroke. He is trying so hard to do what makes them happy.

The other day he called me mommy. He was joking, but it was kind of sad that I had to be in the role of parent to my parent.

And then we have those that are trying to make us feel guilty because we had to make the decision to move him into long term care/nursing home after rehab is done. He will need 24/7 care and that is not an option. I wish people would mind their own business. That decision wasn’t easy for us and we shed many a tear over it and still are on occasion.

I am becoming closer to my sister. Shame it had to be our dad’s stroke that brought us together.

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

Mad, Mad Day


As most of you know my world is crazy right now. My dad has been in 4 Facilities since his stroke. Today we got a call for the 5th and hopefully last one, but it was a matter of less than 2 hours to get him there. If we hesitated we would lose it. This is hopefully where he will finish his subacute rehab and then move into long term care. As much as we hate to do it he can’t go home without 24/7 care. That just isn’t an option.

Sometimes he is relieved he won’t be alone and then he wants to go home. We had to make the choice that is best for him.He seemed to like the place today.

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

We all have our crosses to bear. (not religious)


This saying came to mind when I was feeling sorry for myself. I was talking to my sister and after we bared our souls I mentioned that we all have our own crosses to bear. What seems so terrible to me may mean something else to someone else. To me my life sucks and yet when I think about it I know there are others much more worse off. Truthfully that doesn’t make me feel better.

I am in constant pain (chronic for most of my life, even as a child), I have mental issues and though I sort of have my Bipolar under control there is still depression hanging around. Anxiety is raising its ugly head. Stress is also a tremendous pressure and I am in constant worry about my dad and his stroke. Not only do we have to keep him in good spirits, work with his fading memory, and deal with the constant paperwork as we move along this journey.

We just found out that the facility we moved him to for subacute rehab doesn’t have room for him for the 100 days Medicare will pay for. We misunderstood. So if he is improving and needs more subacute rehab care we will have to look for a new facility that will have enough time for whatever amount of time he has left with Medicare and also long term care as well. We can’t afford to have someone come in 24/7, but depending on the amount of care he will need we might be able to keep him in his home with some help. I don’t work, but can’t physically do a lot of lifting and stuff like that. Making sure he eats, trying to keep the house somewhat clean are a possibility if that is all he needs. We could see about meals on wheels or whatever that program is called here. That would be one meal dealt with.

Right now everything is up in the air. We can’t plan anything yet until they assess where he is medically. We were told to apply to Medicaid so it is in place if he has to go to a nursing home. Everything will be sold and then Medicaid would kick in, Where he is at now is $10,000 a month. He is not eligible for assisted living. They require 2 full years of the monthly payment in advance and that amount depends on the level of necessary care. Not an option.

I figured out how to hook up this special antennae to my tv that will pick up the free channels within a 40 mile radius. No cable shows, but I can watch tv now. I even found a game show station. I was happy to see that “So You Think You Can Dance” is one of the channels. There is also an old show channel. Still exploring.

Tessa – advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com