I have discovered that my 69 year old father has been lying about his health because he doesn't want to worry or burden our family. He's told told two people that he'd rather die than to have the amputation and insists that his alternative medicine practitioners will be able to save the leg.
He's staying with someone who offered him a guest room a couple nights a week so he doesn't have to drive from this clinic to his home every day, about 40 minutes. The clinic performed surgery on him over the weekend but today his blood sugars went so low he went into diabetic shock and an ambulance took him to the hospital.
To make matters worse he's leaned so heavily on his roommate that he'd effectively moved out over the weekend over the row. From what I understand his roommate was screaming at him when he showed up.
I'm not in a financial place to pay for caregiving for him and I doubt seriously that his sister is much better off than myself. I have these people who allowed him to sleep in their guest room asking me what I'm going to do for him. It doesn't sound like he can go home. He can't stay with these people. I live far away from his desired treatment facility.
If he had his own place I could try to stay with him but I can't do that long term without losing my job. If I could bring him back to my home it'd probably destroy my relationship in addition to him going septic or having to have the amputation.
I'm not prepared for this. The people who've let him into their home are suggesting the best thing is that the hospital admits him and provides him the care he needs for a couple days so that he regains some strength and continues on his treatment to recover.
Obviously that'd be wonderful except I know I need to put something into place in the event that's not what happens. Usually I'd have guidance from a medical worker as to what my options are but he's shunned his doctors to the point that they've dismissed him as a patient.
I'm going this pretty much alone, except for his sister but we both live several hours from him. I may be in worse financial situation than she is, I don't know. I'm going to be emailing my bankruptcy lawyer to see if this is a situation the court recognizes and may approve a new budget. I'm turning to this forum for guidance and advice.
I recognize my father is an adult man and is definitely of sound mind, even if I absolutely disagree with how he's managing his health, and therefore I feel like I can't force him to comply with the doctors. Further I don't even know if the doctors may be wrong or if he's let this go so long there's no options at this point.
Thank anyone for their time to suggest what I could do.
My father was scheduled, shockingly to me, very quickly for heart surgery. I was also surprised that my father's sister had the money to come from the east coast to be with him for the surgery on such short notice. We visited him frequently but we also went to his house to assess and begin packing. I was really glad to have had direct and present family support for this.
Originally they were concerned that he was entering into the heart transplant level of heart failure, this is hear say from me but it sounded like that was at 25% heart function and he was getting down to 28% heart function. The edema medication they placed him on rouse his heart output to 38% so; they wanted to do triple bypass surgery on him but they determined that he most likely had a heparin allergy, medication I've never really knew about before! This medication allowed for the total chemical reversal of thinning of the blood after they're done with the surgery. Instead they postponed the surgery which, fortunately for me and my aunt, was the next day and not the day before she had to fly back out. Instead of open heart surgery they decided to go with stents, which they said was inappropriate for the level of blockage he had as well as him being a diabetic. The surgery went, as I put it, perfectly. They were able to do it all in one session; six stents, three on each side of his heart and two being fashioned into a single Y. He's feeling a lot better and sadly I had to leave an hour before they moved him into a rehabilitation center but my aunt got to spend another day with him.
This weekend my significant other and I went down to move all his stuff out of the house he was renting with his roommate. This lady was packing all of his things for him, even though my father suspects and has an ongoing police investigation where he's cited her as the suspect in the thief the the family heirlooms. We're there to move all his belongings but this lady has to go over everything about every box and tell me what the box is about all while the weekend is ticking away and the move out date is there. My s/o was losing his patience with her for wasting out time and finally told her that we may not be able to come back again next week to finish up. This set her off and they argued, I believe she legitimately thinks that I'm obligated to destroy my life because this is my father. She and him got into a fight where she kicked him out and then had the audacity to tell me how much "negative energy" he has just because he was speaking the logical truth about the situation. If it wasn't for him talking me down I would have just left back to our home fortunately he said he wasn't here to waste our time, lol... Anyway, we moved pretty much everything except his furniture and a box or two of his supplements and misc items, into his new 10x10 storage.
The plan now is that we will hire movers to move the furniture and whatever boxes are left into another storage unit for a month or two before he and his business partner ultimately move the contents of the storage further south to where his support group is. I'm really hoping I've managed to save him hundreds of dollars by not having to hire people to pack and move all of his things on an hour rate.
And finally the bonus personal share. Every day I've been down there I felt I've needed a stiff drink to unwind at the end of the day. That luxury wasn't provided to me on any of the days on my second visit but this time my s/o and I were able to goto the Ballast Point Brewery for a much needed break and it was spectacular. The following night we went to another place that had the best margaritas I think I ever had.
Thank you all for listening, advising and commenting. This has been really helpful for me ♥!
A diabetic with a bone infection in a foot is just waiting to die unless the amputation is performed and even then may not survive if septicemia sets in.
It sounds as though your father has now gone into serious heart failure which makes an operation impossible at this point and may kill him anyway.
Giving honey to a diabetic is putting a nail in their coffin.
Make sure his business associates know how seriously ill your father is so they don't ask him to make decisions at this time.
If you have been on your antidepressant medications for a while do not stop them at this point, they will not cloud your judgement as you are used to them. Eat light easy to digest meals and drink plenty of fluids bt go light on the caffeine if you can..
Hard as this may be do not take responsibility for your father's care either by providing a place for him to live or helping financially
He has made decisions that are not in his best interests but never the less he was and is entitled to make. There is nothing you or anyone else can do to change that.
I do think you should let your aunt alert the family so they can visit if they so desire.
Also have your aunt round up oter family members to clear out Dad's apartment. That's something you don't need to be worrying about.
If you think this would be appropriate arrange to have a minister visit your father if he agrees. Most hospitals have a chaplain on staff.
Remember this is not your problem. You did not create it so don't take on responsibilities that other people get paid for doing. Blessings
I would add one possible additional resource... if he is admitted to a hospital that has a palliative care team, ask for a consult. Palliative care, which is NOT the same thing as hospice, can help you and your dad and his care team, establish a plan of care that honors his values and takes into account his social situation and relationships, including you and your relationships. They can help you get the help needed to find out what options you have/he has for treatment and for care, regardless of what treatment he agrees to or not. They are very good at helping people get clear about what they really want, rather than making reactive decisions. For some people, "dying rather that amputation" ends up being the most respectful route; for others, it may be based on reaction to having doctors that have not understood how to help them understand their situation. They are also expert at helping the medical team assess decision-making capacity, and supporting you, or whoever his surrogate decision-maker is, to help make decisions if he becomes unable.
You may have some very tough realities to face in the coming days/weeks/months; they can support and slow things down for you and your dad to come closer to the "same page". I wish all the best, Zeta, for you and your dad.
Sounds good to me.
"Obviously that'd be wonderful except I know I need to put something into place in the event that's not what happens."
You need to? Why? I mean, why you? Isn't that your father's business?
I think you should give your father's generous and kind housemates your blessing. Your father is fortunate that these people continue to serve his best interests even if he's apparently lost sight of them.
You'd better discuss with them, while you're at it, what they ought to do if your father refuses this plan then goes on to develop sepsis and fall unconscious. I recommend they do not ask for prior instructions from him so that they will remain free to respond appropriately to the emergency.
I am sorry, I know I am being harsh. But truly what makes me angry is not that your father is making these choices, I agree that he is entitled. It's that his choices are hurting *you*. His friends seem to have their heads screwed on and I'm less concerned for them, but I'm sure they are extremely anxious to get him out of their house.
The key is, DO NOT indicate that you can IN ANY WAY physically take care of him. They will try to discharge him to your care and then you'll lose your job, your relationship, and your own health. Stand strong. Even if you did take care of him, sacrificing everything, he'd eventually need to be in a SNF. If he has the amputation, sales through rehab and is independent, great! He'll take care of himself.
Try to get him admitted to a hospital near you. Bring him for a visit and then take him to the local ER. Ignore his objections and drama. How will you take off over and over again to visit him at a distant hospital and SNF?? You can't.
If he is competent then there's nothing that you can do - be prepared that if gangrene sets in & he doesn't want the amputation then it will take a week or so & he'll be pretty drugged up plus there is a terrible odour - it is time for you to realize that not everyone wants to continue life unless it's on their terms & you may have to just be prepared to let him go the way he wants
It is between a rock & a hard place now but until he is declared incompetent then you can't do anything - does he have a P.O.A. in place? - if it's you then you need to think out what to do - most likely once he is so far gone that you become in charge then it will be too late to get the amputation done anyway
FYI ... my mom had her leg amputated in early July but the other foot became an issue in Sept. - she was not a candidate for a second operation as she never was able to eat well after the first one - she died 8 Oct. - I know it is hard but you will have realize that doing anything is just delaying the inevitable & sometimes that isn't enough as much as you want it
With my father being ill and no one knowing how long ago the heirloom went missing or if there could be the possibility it was at the storage facility he apparently is renting they wouldn't open a case.
Then I found out that he was telling my family and others that the roommate had locked me out and that I caught her with that cabinet opened. This all is causing me to think he may not actually be of sound mind. My father also stopped breathing several times Saturday night / Sunday morning and the doctors and nursing staff were very concerned and gave him some medication to... freeze...? his airway? I didn't understand that part. He sounded awful; the first day I felt he didn't get better.
He's being sent to another facility today for an angiogram and probably an angioplasty at the same time.
Anyway :( an update for me is that I got home Saturday morning only to take my significant other to the ER all day due to some yet diagnosed back pain that causes them to get violently ill :(. Sunday our friends had a wedding and I'm so glad we got to make it for that. They started a famiy 10 years ago but we're finally tying the knot :).
I'm still stressing out over having to move his stuff out of that house within this 30 day notice thing. My aunt is trying to see if her niece's, my cousin's, husband and son would be able to help me pack and move his things to storage.
Again, thank you all for your support, advice and just letting me chronical this somewhere! I hope if someone else who might go through this might later benefit from just reading my story.
I pray that everything will work out for all of you.
There is a wonderful and extremely helpful American diabetic forum, if you'd like to get guidance for your dad. www.diabetesforum.com. The community is amazing and offer great advice as well as a good food plan with recipes too.
If he's leg is 'fixable' , let the medics do that, but he would have to go on the correct diet to keep his diabetes under control.
The highlight of my night was breaking down in his room, holding my grandfather's bible and crying for what seemed like 30 minutes before the police arrived :'(. His roommate lent her shoulder to me for the end part of that.
Finally when the police officer had left her and father and I prayed for the situation before I left for home.
But I must tell you DON'T give your dad any food or medications even if is supplements unless his Dr okays it. The Dr has to know what is going into your dad and what is going out of your dad. You don't want any bad reaction with food or drugs.
If your dad has a good amount of urine coming out that is a good thing!
Keep your head up. As soon as the Dr gets your dad's health under control it will be easier for you and family to know what to do with his living situation.
Take care of yourself.
God bless you!
1. Talk to the SW about a place to shower and a comfortable chair to nap in.
2. Eat real food. Ask if you can order at least one meal a from the patient menu.
3. dad is there to heal, not work. Say no to requests that have you running around. If necessary, say it's doc orders, or that you don't have the car ( have your family come get the car!)
4. Check out Caring Bridge. Or send one person an email with an update ONCE a day. Ask them to forward it.
5. Ditch the healer folks. Isn't that how dad ended up in this shape?
Take care of yourself! (((((Hugs)))))))
You do not need to be his girl Friday if it puts your livelihood in peril.
Don't let everyone run you ragged, if they want to know, come to the hospital and talk to him, like you don't have enough on your plate, sheesh.
Uuntreated or mistreated diabetes can contribute to all of the medical issues he is now faced with. My dad did the same thing to himself, until he almost died, he did what ever he wanted. Ugh!
I am sorry that your home is struggling with out you, shows how vital you are to your home and loved ones.
Ask the hospital to let you shower, they have facilities in place for that. You will feel better able to face the trials.
Most important, get some other folks on board so you can go home for a bit. Tough if he doesn't like it, you need to deal with your responsibilities and he can understand or not, doesn't change anything.
Thank you for updating us and take care of you!
I'm upset that he is conducting his business today and had me drive for an hour to get his computer. I don't think it's a good decision for him and made sure he understood I'd only help him if he felt capable. Fortunately it's just computer work and not a physical burdern so I understand it may be good mental excercise for him. Also I guess it speaks words to his health. I just hope it's real improvement and not rallying, which was mentioned.
I haven't showered since the day I left to the hospital and I'm feeling so horrible. I left my significant other without transportation and they're not doing well spiritually, which feels like that came out of the blue. I feel like I need to get back home for those reasons and work.
Im so worried about where he intends to go after this. The social worker said she'd help us figure out those next steps so I know I shouldn't worry but how can I not when it feels like he doesn't have anything in place?
I managed to take my important pills yesterday but apparently I passed out before taking my medication for controlling post cholestectomy side effects. At least I took those today.
"I want to shut them down / out and allow one proverbial chef in the kitchen." Sounds good to me.
I'm so glad you are getting some helpful assistance and guidance from the social worker. Yay!
I guess there's blood tests that can show markers for heart attack which is positively tested for. He has pulmonary edema, congestive heart failure, water on the lungs and decreased kidney output.
His doctor has come back again after giving me that news earlier and said that he's looking a lot better, which I can't tell but maybe because it's slow progress. He's being given a dieuretic which has increased his output, which is apparently good, but the concern now is not over taxing his kidneys.
I now have a new problem. I hadn't mentioned, I don't think, that my father is heavily into alternative medicine, being a practitioner himself. His associates want to come by and perform ultrasonic something or other on his foot, a dietian colleague wants me to go-to the health food store to get him food without surgar or wheat and his doctor who has been overseeing his care is asking for all sorts of information from his EKG and wants to guide the doctor here... Through me... Ugh... I don't want to be micromanaged.
I want to shut them down / out and allow one proverbial chef in the kitchen. I also unintionally missed my meds, so I'm going to follow everyone's advice and continue them after I find food :).
She did say Kaiser, his insurance, will cover rehab for a short period of time but we need to show the long term plan before he qualifies for benefits.
Stay strong! It sounds like you are handling things very well. :)
Having everyone there will let him know he has support and love.
Don't listen to the nurse, most have hard hearts and do not give good advice. I get it, if they didn't harden up they would burn out in no time, but this is not there decision. People also can rally right before they pass.
Get his support group in place quickly, he will also get better care, proven fact that individuals who have involved loved ones receive better care.
Do not stop taking your meds, you do not want the full anxiety of dealing with this. Trust me, it took 10 years off my life.
May God grant you peace and comfort and lay His healing hand on your dad.
My aunt is asking me if I should call in the family and the nurses are saying his doing better than yesterday. I'm hoping I'm making the right decision to tell her not at the moment.
This may seem like a strange request for advice but should I stop taking my antidepressant during this situation so that my attention is fully here and my anxity isn't muted?
He was admitted overnight and they said they said he'd likely be staying there for at least another night. His friends administered honey to him this morning, and you'll have to forgive me but, his blood sugar was in the low 30s this morning and is presently above 300 now or something like that. It's just hearsay from his friends until the medical staff will speak to me.