Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Getting Ready for the Move

I suppose I should say right off the bat that my Mom is 80 years old and my Dad is 85. Mom has been diagnosed with MCI- Mild Cognitive Impairment. She also has COPD, Chronic bronchitis, arthritis, lichen planus of the mouth,  bad knees and severe, profound hearing loss. Mom is not doing well and this is a difficult time.

Dad has had a stroke followed with carotid artery surgery. He's also had a heart attack followed by quadruple by-pass surgery, valve replacement and valve repair. He has had both knees replaced and surgery on his shoulders. I know he has had more surgeries than that- but those are the major. But for a guy of his age- he's actually in pretty good health.

After doing a lot of searching for an assisted living situation for my parents, we came to the conclusion that for their situation it would be best for them to move in with my husband and me. They live about 30 miles away and while that is not very far, it sure isn't easy to drop everything and head over there to find out if a problem is serious or not. At this time, I am a pastor serving a church that provides us with a handicapped accessible home that has plenty of room for my parents, ourselves and my college-age son.

Over the past few months, I have tried to go over to my parents home two or three times a month in order to go through their "stuff" and to weed out the things they won't need when they move. That hasn't been extremely successful, but some progress was made.

This week I am on vacation and I am spending all day each day with them trying to pack.

Yesterday was awful.

Dad has been sick since last week with a bad cough, cold and spitting up blood when he coughs. I took him to the doctor on Friday. He could have had an appointment in the morning, but he wouldn't go then because Mom has a hair appointment every Friday at noon so he wanted to wait. The next available appointment was at 4:30 in the afternoon. I was very upset with his stubbornness- but I believe he just didn't want to hear Mom complain about missing her hair appointment... To make a long story shorter- they decided Dad must have bronchitis and gave him an antibiotic and an albuterol inhaler.

Yesterday Dad wasn't feeling much better. When I got to their house, Mom started to complain that her stomach was hurting. And that her tongue felt "funny." She said she wanted to go to the doctor because she had an upset stomach. Then, she would tell me she needed to find out whether she needed to see a dentist or a doctor about her mouth and tongue. I couldn't pinpoint exactly what she wanted to do and I'm not sure she knew.

I ended up calling her primary doctor's office (she sees a gerontologist) and they suggested I bring her in to see them.

The doctor(Dr. P) thinks the switch from Namenda to Aricept is the cause of her stomach problems and that she is suffering from some anxiety due to the impending move.

Mom had switched from Aricept to Namenda last year because it caused stomach problems, but wanted to change back at the end of the year when her prescription insurance went into the Medicare Donut Hole and she had to pay full price for the Namenda.

So now Dr. P has suggested using  Omeprazole (Prilosec) in the morning. If that doesn't help the stomach then she'll need to switch back to the Namenda. Dr. P wants Mom to see the dermatologist about the lichen planus, so Wednesday morning its off to see "Dr. N." Mom thinks that Dr. N doesn't want to treat her for her lichen planus and doesn't remember he has treated her for it before. Dr. P is also going to check her Vitamin D levels.


Cher said...

It's amazing that you have been able to keep all that striaght! I forgot about the mouth thing. Your in my prayers and thoughts going through this mom.

Vitamin D issues can really mess with you, I know that one for sure. :)

Joan said...

Welcome to Blogging. I have been blogging for awhile. A differant type of Blog but perhaps we can keep up with one another this way. Praying for you and your parents as you enter a new stage of life.
Check out my blog when you have the time