Posts on Thursday mornings.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Dad Was Saying He Needed New Dentures Again

Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Matthew 19: 19

Dad said that he needed new dentures. We had gone to a dentist a year earlier when he said that and we were told that the quality of his dentures were excellent. She didn't advise getting new ones, but said that he needed them relined.

Now, Dad was saying that he needed new dentures again. Once my dad gets it in his mind, it is very difficult to explain the logic to him. I talked to one of the nurses and she said they could swab Dad's gums and that might help, but he continued to bring up the need for new dentures. I wasn't quite sure what to do. New dentures are expensive and I was told he didn't need them, but I didn't want Dad upset or uncomfortable. I prayed about it and fortunately, God had it work out perfectly!

I asked the nurse to see if Dad could be scheduled for a dentist appointment and they did. I kept thinking that Dad would go in and ask for a new pair of dentures and they might just do what he asked regardless of whether he needed them or not. Fortunately, God had the appointment on a day that my husband and I were able to go with him. The dentist was very supportive and checked Dad's gums and bite out thoroughly. She said that he didn't need new dentures and that they were very good dentures, but that he maybe needed spots ground down on them, so they didn't rub on his jaw bone. She did this several times and never complained when Dad said it was still rough in spots. God provided an honest dentist that didn't take advantage of my dad and was sensitive to his needs. We are truly blessed! Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Matthew 19: 19

Since these are examples of how I've applied these Bible verses to my experience, they may not reflect the whole meaning of the verse.

I'm including You Tube Video clips on caregiving that I found interesting, inspirational, or might be helpful to others, but am not responsible for the content in the videos. Always check first with a physician before trying any suggestions mentioned.
By: Janet Cuoghi, IsleofWightNHS, via You Tube


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Heartburn Pains That Radiated to Dad's Heart

Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3

I realize that this Bible verse is about God keeping my mouth shut, rather than saying inappropriate, rude or hurtful things. I do need that, but I also need the literal meaning of this same verse.

My dad called and was telling me that he had really bad heartburn. I talked to him about ringing the buzzer on his bed to get a nurse, so he can request something for the heartburn. He didn't want to do that. I talked to him about my calling the nurse's station to request that they bring Dad something for his heartburn, but he told me not to. I asked several more times, because he sometimes changes his mind a little later, but he always told me no. Then, he told me that the heartburn pains radiate into his heart. I told them that I wanted to call the nurse's station, so they could get a doctor to see him, but he told me no again, several times.

After that call, I was watching TV with my husband. I had what I call the munchies. At first, I was going to get the frozen pecans, but realized I could possibly down a whole bag of them which would end up being tons of fat. Instead, I decided on the low-fat, low-salt, low-calorie popcorn I have. It may have had lots less calories and fat, but I downed almost the whole bag. It felt like I couldn't stop eating it, nor did I want to. When I realized there was almost nothing left in the bag, I said a quick prayer asking God to help me and He did. Trying to be prayerful about this, I tried to figure out why I couldn't stop and why I didn't want to. It turns out that I was really stressed about the heartburn pains my dad was having that radiate to his heart and that he wouldn't let me call the nurse's station. I felt so helpless. Instead, if I weren't hiding my feelings and stress by munching on popcorn, I should have turned these feelings over to Christ, who would have calmed me and gotten me through these feelings without wreaking havoc on my body. I need to be a Turn to Christ First Christian, and let Him heal me rather than hiding behind a bag of popcorn. Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3


Since these are examples of how I've applied these Bible verses to my experience, they may not reflect the whole meaning of the verse.

I'm including You Tube Video clips on caregiving that I found interesting, inspirational, or might be helpful to others, but am not responsible for the content in the videos. Always check first with a physician before trying any suggestions mentioned.



Caregiving Video: Minds in Song- For the Joy of Singing
By: Kathy Wright, Deb and Joe, Nigel Harris, Louise, Judith, Sheila, Alzheimer Society of Ottaway and Renfrew County


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Badgered by Well-Meaning Doctors: Epilogue

The proverbs of Solomon. a wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother. Proverbs 10:1

Part IV: You would not believe how many times I've been approached by doctors when I've taken my dad to the hospital in the last two years. They see my dad, who has Parkinson's Disease and has lost lots of weight. I think they feel sorry for him in that he can't stand without help and his skin just hangs off of his body. Almost every time, the doctors ask me about whether I have a Durable Power of Attorney or a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order for my dad. One doctor became very insistent about this issue, which I discussed in some previous posts.

The part I really want to share now, is this doctor felt that the most humane thing would have been to let my Dad pass when he had that lung infection. He didn't have any idea that after that lung infection, my dad had some really quality times with his family that wouldn't have happened if the doctor had jumped the gun.

Since then, we have been with my dad and he is champing at the bit to get to Physical and Occupational Therapy. My dad has even wheeled himself down to Physical and Occupational Therapy, which is no easy fete when he couldn't get someone to take him.They have had my dad help make a decorative fireplace for the holidays, make banana cake and bread, cookies, crack pecans, and so many other things that make my dad feel needed/productive. Although he doesn't have a specific appointment for twice a day, my dad makes it to Physical and Occupational Therapy about twice a day. That says a lot for the importance of having a sense of purpose!

Also, both of his grandchildren have come to see him during this time with their children. He loves his time with his great-grandchildren and he's very attached to his grandchildren. Unfortunately, some live too far away to be able to go there. We are planning a trip to a neighboring state, because he wants to see his cousins while he still is able. If the doctor had jumped the gun, my dad would have never had the opportunity to spend all this quality time with family!

I'm sure that the Well-Meaning Doctor had my dad's medical concerns at heart when he pressured me, but ultimately, I like God being in charge. God knows when He wants my dad to come join Him. At the time that my dad no longer has a heart beat or is breathing, the DNR takes effect, but not before. I don't want someone jumping the gun and side-stepping God's timing, because He always knows the big picture. Again, I don't want to imply that I am angry with the Well-Meaning Doctors. I just want them to know that sometimes, there's a bigger picture than what they see at that moment. Sometimes, the way these things are approached can make all the difference in the world. I just want them to have a better understanding of how this feels to family members.

Video: Dementia: Rediscovering Moments of Joy through Activities
By: Teepa Snow, Pines of Sarasota Education & Training Institute 




Thursday, December 8, 2016

Badgered by Well-Meaning Doctors: Part IV

The proverbs of Solomon. a wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother. Proverbs 10:1

Part IV: You would not believe how many times I've been approached by doctors when I've taken my dad to the hospital in the last two years. They see my dad, who has Parkinson's Disease and has lost lots of weight. I think they feel sorry for him in that he can't stand without help and his skin just hangs off of his body. Almost every time, the doctors ask me about whether I have a Durable Power of Attorney or a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order for my dad.

 I know that I've sounded frustrated in some of the previous posts on this topic, probably because I have been. This post is somewhat different in nature, because it focuses more on forgiving grace. If Christ freely forgives me for all the self-serving and sinful things that I do, then I can surely forgive the Well-Meaning Doctors, some who went at this topic with a gusto and a lack of sensitivity.  After lots of prayerful consideration, Jesus has shown me that although some of the doctors have been somewhat pushy, while others have been more supportive, each of these Well-Meaning Doctors approached this topic strongly, because they didn't want my dad to have to live the remainder of his life in a near comatose situation hooked up to a life support system.

 If Christ freely forgives me for all the self-serving and sinful things that I do, then I can surely forgive my dad for thinking that I'm money grubbing and want him to die early to get his money, when I have continued to support him throughout his health issues. Also, I can forgive my dad for arguing with me every time a doctor tells me that I needed to have this conversation with him. Additionally, I have to forgive him for not making these arrangements earlier, so that I wasn't faced with filling out the DNR forms on my dad and related guilt. After lots of prayerful consideration, Jesus has shown me that my dad is confused, at times, which affects his judgment related to these topics. .

 If Christ freely forgives me for all the self-serving and sinful things that I do, then I can surely forgive myself for filling out the DNR form at the Veteran's Home, because Dad would not like to be kept alive for an extended period of time on a life support system in a near comatose state. After lots of prayerful consideration, Jesus has shown me, that forgiving myself was the most difficult of all of these, but if Jesus forgives me, then He would want me to forgive myself. Throughout all of this, I wouldn't trade any of the minutes with my dad, who has been a true blessing in my life, despite his resistance to addressing these topics.  Debbie

 Caregiving Video: Monday Mojo for Caregivers
By: Chris McClellan, Alzheimer's Care Resource Center via You Tube


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Being Badgered by Well-Meaning Doctors: Part III

The proverbs of Solomon. a wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother. Proverbs 10:1

Part III: You would not believe how many times I've been approached by doctors when I've taken my dad to the hospital in the last two years. They see my dad, who has Parkinson's Disease and has lost lots of weight. I think they feel sorry for him in that he can't stand without help and his skin just hangs off of his body. Almost every time, the doctors ask me about whether I have a Durable Power of Attorney or a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order for my dad.

 Recently, Dad had to be taken to a hospital. He had been taking antibiotics at the Veteran's Home for his pneumonia and appeared to be almost over it, but he spiked a fever and was rushed to the hospital. Dad had a lung infection that is inoperable, probably due to how frail he is and will continue to have this periodically until it gets the best of him. The doctor impressed on me how vitally important it is for me to have a Do Not Resuscitate Order and a Durable Power of Attorney. After I explained that my dad doesn't want either of those, the doctor continued to impress on me four or five times, the importance of the DNR, with increasing urgency in his voice, saying that I had to get this so my dad didn't have to experience this terrible outcome, otherwise. He told me that Dad's not able to make this decision for himself and I had to do it.

After assurances from the Veteran's Home that they would not proceed with the DNR Order on my dad unless he was no longer breathing or his heart had stopped, I eventually filled out the DNR form. They never pressured me in the least and were very supportive.  The reason I'm writing this, is that the Well-Meaning Doctors may not always realize what an detrimental effect they may have on the family members. I have had some of the worst times with my dad because he would get angry any time I tried to discuss a Durable Power of Attorney or a DNR with him no matter how calmly I approached the topic. After I filled out the form where my dad lives, my stomach was tied up in knots for a week. I have spent many sleepless nights, shed tears, have been irritable with others, and feel like my heart is being torn in two. It has been the most gut-wrenching part about caregiving for my father, but I am A Christian Caregiver, and I don't let that get the best of me. I keep trying to do everything I can to enjoy every minute of being with my dad that I can. I can't let the badgering get the best of me and have to continue to focus on how very blessed I've been to have my dad with me all this time! To be continued...

Caregiving Video: Note to Self, an Inspirational Film for Caregivers
Molly Cox Ziton, Annie Glasgow, Dr. Dale Anderson, Judy Berry, Mary Yaeger via You Tube



Bible Study: Relating the Bible to YOUR Life!