Thursday, May 31, 2012

Oh dad.

It's been a relatively drama-less week, as far as dad's health is concerned. We've established a bit of a routine, and while he's not happy to be there, he doesn't look so afraid anymore. Just sad.

I decided not to visit him today because:
1. My hair was finally going to get did. (Which is a long-ish process. I don't go out (in public where someone might see me) before it's done, because why? Why spent time doing my hair only to have it re-did?  So I worked on my mega-list in the morning with bed-head and no make-up, then got my hair cut and highlighted, and came home in the afternoon with a soaking wet scalp and a naked face that needed attention. Seriously. All this self-care is a burden.)
2. I was going to attend the 47th Annual Strawberry Tea at South Delta Baptist in the evening. I drove the three of us, all living in different communities. Which meant leaving my house at 5. Picking up one, then the other, then driving across the universe to the Tea, arriving exactly at 7. (The evening was incredible. These things usually are.) I was home by 11:30 pm.

(Have you kept track of my very exciting day? Got my hair cut and colored and went to a Tea. This took 10 hours of my time total. It is a full time job just being me.)

ANYways, I didn't visit my dad.
Jule did though.
She got there at 10:30 am and found him face down on the floor, unconscious, between his wheel chair and his bed. Jule was sure he was dead, (she couldn't wake him) and went screaming into the hallway, looking for a nurse to help.

Eventually he came around. But once again, he hadn't used his hands to protect his head when he went down ... his arms were at his sides.

That head? Has gotten mighty banged up lately. The brain inside that noggin? Has taken some colossal hits.
This? IS NOT THE WAY YOU WANT TO FIND YOUR DAD when you pop in for a visit. This is the third time in 5 weeks that Jule has found him on the floor, beat up from a fall. Every single time she is sure he has died. Every single time she has to deal with the rush of emotions that surge when finding her crumpled dad on the floor.

Every single time (whether in the hospital or in the care home) she is assured that it's not a nurses fault. That he was buckled into his wheelchair. That he had been checked on. That yes, his chair had been leaned back into the reclined position.

All we know for sure? Is that if he had been buckled in (and they click it in the back of the chair where it's impossible to reach) and if they had reclined his chair (as directed by the chair's manufacturer, and requested by us) then it would have been impossible for him to fall. IMPOSSIBLE.

It's all so upsetting.
Is this the best care for him?
Do we need to be there MORE OFTEN? Do we need to hire full time private help to sit with him while he's in a full-time care facility? Is there really no one who gives a shit? Is one nurse and two care aids per 22 patients a good enough ratio?

Because my dad is wheelchair bound (as are at least half of the other residents) it takes TWO workers to attend to him. Two to use the lift. Two to help him to the bathroom. Two to dress him. Two to bathe him. Two to pick him up when he's fallen. In the three weeks he's been there, whenever (EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.) I ask for help (usually because he has to go pee), I'm told that someone "is on their break, we need two people. We'll help you in half an hour." Every. Single. Time. I told my dad we have to change up his routine ... we need to figure out which hours during the day/evening no one is having their breaks, and train his bladder to go then.

This is my dad.
He has loved me from the moment he first saw me.
He has stood by my side; supported, encouraged, cared for and believed in me my whole life.
He's a good man.
He deserves better than this. And I don't know how to make this 'better'.

Did God make a mistake when He placed him at this lodge?
Is God saying, "Ooops. I thought it would be better than this..."?
Or is this part of something bigger than we understand?

Is He being glorified in this?
Are His purposes being accomplished?
Is He watching over these circumstances and saying, "It is good?"
I don't know. I just don't know. NOTHING prepares you for this crap.

What? What are we supposed to do? 

Dear God,

What now? What do You want us to do? Speak clearly because we need to hear from You. We have released dad into Your arms right from the beginning. He is Your son, and You love him. And Your hand is on him. So what? What next? Are You working behind the scenes and we just need to be patient? Or are You wanting us to move to action? 

We are tired and unsure. We are feeling burnt out and discouraged. Again, we ask You to intervene. May Your will be done. 


Three things I'm thankful for:

1. The Strawberry Tea. Thank you SDB for faithfully investing time and energy into this event. Tonight 49 women came to know Christ through the speaker and her story. And I was inspired to paint the rooms in my new house Olive Branch by Benjamin Moore.

2. Tomorrow is Drew and Danica's grad prom. I get to take pics of them and their friends. I can hardly wait. And I am particularly thankful that the weather forecast has been changed from rain to sun.

3.  I am thankful for the pennies that keep coming. Please let me know if you want me to pick yours up. Or if you're in my neighbourhood, just drop them off. I've set up a bench with jug on the right side of my garage.
(Proceeds are going towards the Last Door's family program.)

4. I got a card with a letter and pics from a Bible School friend that I hadn't heard from in 10 years. So awesome, this business of reconnecting.

5. I got an email from a friend that made me smile: "You and I, we know how to find happy even when there's not much." 


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