19 November 2008

It'll be a quiet morning...

...here at "the halls".

This morning we've got another another little side trip in our ongoing medical odyssey with Neophyte's stubborn ol' G-Dad.

This'll be our third trip out to faraway doctor-land in three days... but I think he's finally decided to stop fighting and just go with the flow. I figured it was gonna get ugly when I told him he was stuck out at our place at least into December... but things are starting to settle down.

It started out last Sunday when we got G-Dad to agree to come out here (we're a couple of hours down the road) and see the E.R. doc. Unfortunately, by the next morning, he had changed his octogenarian mind and requested that we just take him home. After frantically rooting around, we found someone with a glucometer... and he finally agreed to just do that.

The glucometer test was a tipping point... turns out the drug company blood sugar charts only go as high as 23... and "Mr I'm Just Fine"... was cresting 32. The fact that he's also skinny enough to blend in with all those pictures of starving African refugees and weak as a kitten was the icing on the cake. He can't even comfortably sit on an unpadded chair any more... it was that bad.

The cold, hard truth is, if we hadn't gone into Toronto this past weekend to check on him, he likely wouldn't have made it through the week. Thank goodness for Mrs N's intuition.

The sunny side, if there is such a thing here, about things being so far gone... was that the horrified look on the technician's face after taking the glucometer reading and his unequivocal recommendation of immediate medical intervention... was enough to break the logjam.

Of course, all that didn't stop G-Dad from grousing about the stupid hospital gown and fantasizing about fleeing the examining room when we were waiting for the tests to come back... but hell, I'm a "hate hospitals" kinda guy myself. Regardless... I stuck my sympathy in my back pocket... and told him Mrs N had his personal power of attorney and, like it or not, we were pulling rank on this one.

From that point on, we've had a much smoother ride... from the gratis glucometer session to the E.R. doc who got us in to see an internal medicine specialist on 18 hours notice. The specialist was just great (he was obviously booking us in on his lunch hour)... and we're back in the first week of December to discuss test results and progress.

So we're off early today for supplementary tests... meanwhile G-Dad's already on blood sugar meds and an iron supplement. Mrs N's also working on a proper diet. We've picked up our own glucometer and we'll start tracking the readings to make sure the meds are working.

Maybe we're gonna get a happy ending outta this after all.



jckirlan said...

I'll say a pray for you and G Dad.

RightGirl said...

Sick parents of adult children are a nice handful, aren't they? I've done it 3 times now - Mom, Dad and my rent-a-mom. That last one was a tough bird who did not believe in doctors or hospitals. But then again, when you only weight 75 lbs, you're darn easy to kidnap and force into a car.

Good luck with G-Dad, and take the grousing as the fact that he's still strong.


Neo Conservative said...

thx for the thoughts folks... we're back from our outing and g-dad is fed and watered and resting on the couch.

the girl (hey femi-nazis, don't be hissin' & spittin' at me... compared to us SHE WAS a girl) running the ultra sound rig was a real pro AND a real sweetheart.

she treated g-dad like he was her own grandfather... and that makes all the difference.

he's also starting to look like he's ready to start fighting this thing... i told him yesterday we weren't ready to let him slip away... that'd he'd better buck up and "die like an aviator"... (he was training to be a pilot out west when ww2 suddenly ended).

got our fingers crossed here that it's just diabetes.


sor said...

Welcome to the world of aging. A year ago my mother underwent quintuple by pass surgery. Never had any history of chest pain until then.

She was a vibrant 83 year old in relatively good health. That is why they did the surgery. She came through it wonderfully but what an undertaking.

She was forced to live at my place post op and was not a happy camper.

She is back in her own place now but has continued to deteriorate as her age is catching up to her.

She has become a full time job and we have had many disagreements. She doesn't want to be a burden.

I finally explained to her in unadulterated language (shouted) that by throwing up roadblocks she was making herself a burden.

That helped to stop the boat and we are both now rowing in the same direction.

Anonymous said...

It's always hard to be bossed around by someone whose diapers you once changed.

Neo Conservative said...

undoubtedly, the hardest thing for g-dad is that he is currently so dependant on us. this is a guy who, up until a couple of years ago, drove downtown every day to his office. his wife died almost twenty years ago... so rather than retire alone, he just kept on truckin'.

the truth is, he would almost sooner die than accept our help... especially when it involves his dignity... ie. assistance in the bathroom.

in actual fact... we're the ones who are not ready to let him go... and that's really what's driving this whole deal. he was almost in tears the other day when i pretty much bullied him into going back home with us. i even played the "you can't do this to your grandson" card... yeah, yeah, i know.

the good news is, according to the glucometer, he is still producing his own insulin... the meds we are giving him apparently enhance the ability of his pancreas to cope with the sugar.

there may be a chance here we can avoid having him on the spike... which means there's a small possibility he can live in his own house, with increased supervision... at least part time.

if he's on insulin... oral or iv... we simply wouldn't be able to trust him to remember to inject... or more likely double dose himself.

he's still got all his marbles but has lost the ability to multitask... there can only be one thing going on at one time.

now, with the diabetes and the severe weight loss... he also currently has the short-term memory of a jack russell terrier.

what we do know for sure is... a nursing home would kill him as surely as a bullet.

we'll see what happens... but i'm guessing he's here for keeps.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure you'll make the most of it. You have all the right stuff, love, caring, and a bit stronger than his stubbornness!
Can't blame him for hating the hospital.I work in one.
Don't be afraid of 'assisted living' if it gets tough. The 'nursing home ' label gives a bad impression. There are many places that don't resemble the nursing homes of the past.They have really changed.
God bless you for being there!

Neo Conservative said...

"anon says... The 'nursing home ' label gives a bad impression."

i hear you... but, in this case, i just can't see it... at least not at this point.

maybe that's just transferance... i hate hospitals and i imagine i would like nursing homes even less... but we're gonna keep on truckin'.

he's such a good guy and he seems to be responding to the medication. hopefully the tests don't reveal a more serious underlying problem.