Monday, February 4, 2008

Friday, November 9, 2007

Really, Really Hard

My family has been, is going, through the hardest times of our lives. In September, my father got very sick, at 89 a little sick is bad, very sick is terrifying. He developed an infection which became systemic and triggered a heart attack. That was just the beginning of the journey for all of us. 2 days in the ER, 4 days on a ward and 7 weeks in rehab in a hospital where the staff has us all riding a roller coaster of good news, bad news, oops we screwed up and when are you taking your father out of here.
Good news, infection is gone, bad news, incontinence is bad, good news, more alert, bad news episodes of dementia, good news strength is improving, bad news incontinence is not improving, good news we are ready to let your father leave, bad news he can't go home, he needs full time care. Bad news, physiotherapist has seen no improvement in a week, Good news physiotherapist is a maladjusted bitch who doesn't like my father. Bad news occupational therapist is on vacation and nobody is covering for her.
On October 22nd, the hospital had us all meet to discuss my dad's release date of October 26th. The five of us met with 2 social workers, the physiotherapist (MB) and one of dad's nurses. At this point we had assumed that he was coming home and we would be discussing home care and assistive devices we would need. We were blindsided with the news that dad would need 24 hour care and almost certainly couldn't come home. Oh and we have 4 days to arrange this.
And apparently, if we had not been prepared to kick and scream (figuratively) this is exactly what would have happened, dad would be in a long term care facility somewhere and mom would be a suicidal mess.
What happens when you kick and scream... you get the attention and care you should have got without it. The occupational therapist, now back from her vacation starts working with dad again, the doctor is advised about the dementia and he prescribes medication which resolves the issue. Tests are run to determine the cause of the incontinence and a fixable problem is discovered and the release date is taken off the table until they get their jobs right.
This is what these people do for a living... really, really badly.
Now we are waiting, for the hospital to provide the paper work to the CCAC and the new retirement living place so that we can get dad the care he will need (not 24/7) and to prove he and mom are eligible for the place we have found for them...
Yesterday, the social worker from the hospital asked my sister what the status was with the apartment because physio and occupational therapy are wondering when dad is leaving????
OMG. How do these people get out of bed in the morning?
Wish us luck.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Sometimes Hype is a Good Thing

I like hype sometimes. I loved the Harry Potter hype. I worked in a bookstore selling kid's books so I got involved in the hype. It was fun, big time. I did it for Order of the Phoenix, not spectacular but a learning experience, the event, not the book, the book I loved even if she did kill Sirius (and I have noticed, that it doesn't matter how many times I read it, he still dies) (dies in the movie too). Half Blood Prince was bigger, better, I think I had fun but frankly, I was too freaked and too busy, to actually remember much until after midnight. I left the bookstore after Christmas last year, but there was no way that I was missing the last book, so Deathly Hallows became my final (sniff) duty for the store. It was fantastic. I didn't have to be freaked, I got to spend time with my niece and my nephew, who absolutely rock.
My favourite parts of the night:
1. Getting my 3 Weasleys and Lucius Malfoy dressed for the night. Red spray on hair colour, dark marks, death eater masks, last minute shopping trips to Value Village.
2. I should probably set this up...I came as Molly Weasley, with knitting and a wrapped Christmas present. The plan was to give the Christmas present to the first other Weasley that came to the sorting hat and that's what I did. A very cute little boy, dressed as Ron arrived, and got sorted into Gryffindor and I stopped him and told him I had his Christmas present. He took the package and unwrapped it. It was of course a Weasley Sweater, red with a big W glued to it. He went off to join the activities. A little while later his mother came and tapped me on the shoulder, I turned around and there he was wearing the sweater, grinning from ear to ear and having his picture taken. His mother said "He's having the time of his life".
3. My nephew (who rocks) came as Lucius Malfoy and he basically ran the sorting hat. He has an unerring knack for reading how far or not far he can go with kids and parents. He never scared anyone off or disappointed anyone who wanted the whole loud, treatment. At about 9 he discovered that the sorting hat was a puppet and he started bellowing like the movie version of the hat every time he sorted someone. People were coming back to the sorting hat just to watch him go. It was great!
Now I am trying to decide how to fill my "free" time... I need something to hype. Any ideas?