...On a much more serious note,
I was the main caregiver for my elderly parents during the last 2-3 years assisting them in every facet of their lives. I committed myself to making sure they could continue to live in their home of 66 years together by stepping in and handling the day-to-day activities they no longer physically or mentally were able to perform. It basically was like running a mini nursing home and then some - doctor visits, prescription runs, house cleaning, grocery shopping, meal prep, passing meds, hospital trips, laundry, lawn mowing, snow shoveling, and the list goes on and on. During some of the really serious periods of declining health I moved into their home to be there 24/7 sleeping on the living room sofa which enabled us all to be on the same floor during night time. Thankfully friends and relatives were able to step in for a few hours every few days allowing me home visitation. Then things started to get very serious. First dad went into the hospital with some health issues. Mom entered the same hospital a few days later very ill but got discharged to home before my dad. Dad was discharged to a rehab center where his improvement would go up and down. During his stay at the rehab center my mother unexpectedly developed a serious infection and had to be hospitalized again. Not having the strength to fight off this infection she passed away at 88yo on 10/19/12 in the MICU unit during the wee hours of the night with me, my children and her niece at her side. Dad was still not feeling well but two wonderful nephews of his managed to transport him to the funeral services followed by a family dinner gathering and then back to the rehab center. With failing health and age-related loss of strength, my dad suffered many set backs before he also was sent back to the hospital for better care. It was at this admittance I was introduced to the palliative care group who explained that my dad was dealing with some very serious health issues and that I should consider Hospice Care. After meeting with the Hospice group my dad agreed to be discharged to my home for comfort care. A ramp at the front door was built for his arrival, the spare bedroom was totally revised for his comfort by providing him with his lift recliner and large-screen TV from his home, guest chairs were placed around his bed to comfort his visitors and a comfortable hospital bed, commode, bedside table and all other medical necessities were provided by Hospice. I doubted that I could have given my father the complete care that he deserved and was going to need, therefore, I found it necessary to employ a health care assistant for a few hours a day to assist me with dad's morning and evening routines that included bathing, feeding, dressing, etc. My young male assistant was so much more. He was a friend to my dad and the rest of the family. He was loving and totally devoted to the care of my dad. The training and skills he brought with him to our home eased the transition of being able to give home care to my dad properly. With much excitement dad arrived via ambulance on Monday, December 3, 2012. So much happened during the next few days. Ups and downs. Daily and sometimes nightly visits with family, Hospice nurses, aides, clergy, social workers, etc. Days started running into nights. Just six days after my dad's arrival to our home and less than two months following the death of my mother my Dad, at 93yo, reunited with his beautiful wife on Saturday, December 8, 2012. His funeral services followed shortly thereafter and a double burial was held.
Additionally, although it's all a blur, sometime during the later part of November I suffered with the ill affects of the flu. It seemed natural that my husband came down with the flu also but being a diabetic it spiraled him out of control and he was hospitalized for four days. He ended up bedded down in the same hospital during the same time period as my dad. Uncontrollably out-of-control it was necessary for me to see the doctor who put me on bed rest making it impossible for me to visit my dad or my husband while they were in the hospital. Oh, yes, the furnace stopped working during my bed confinement on a night the temperature outdoors was 20 degrees leaving me no other choice but to sleep in front of a small space heater shivering with my two dogs until help arrived the afternoon of the next day. My husband was discharged from the hospital on the same day I had a meeting with the comfort care group discussing arrangements for my dad to be discharged to my home. It gets much more confusing. During my dad's short stay at my house a home health nurse was also coming to our home to oversee the progress of my husband.
It probably doesn't mean much to anyone who has never had a pet chicken, but on what would have been my dad's 93rd birthday, 1/23/13, one of my four pet chickens also passed away.