Hospice — Prayers for Peace and Comfort

Prayers for Peace & Freedom from Pain
My father is in hospice now. Prayers welcome.

When I was a little girl, at bedtime I sent my prayers to the dead. One at a time, I sent them my love, hugs, and kisses. Eventually, I tired, sent a big hug to everyone else, and fell asleep. Some people count sheep. I prayed to and for everyone who had ever lived.

Now, I pray for peace. I pray for freedom from pain. I pray for my father.

Tuesday night I brought my father to the emergency room due to shortness of breath. When I helped him out of my car, I touched his leg and was shocked at how swollen it was.

He’d been battling cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection. I had no idea how bad his infection had become and was furious that the medical treatment he had received hadn’t killed the bacteria.

Turns out his infection and labored breathing were signs of something far more sinister.

The hospital scanned his leg and his chest. Although my father quit smoking over thirty years ago, decades of smoking since he was thirteen led to lung cancer.

My sister flew down the next day to help. I spent Tuesday night with him in his hospital room. She spent the next night. Neither of us, nor our father, got any sleep.

Due to dementia, my father didn’t understand what was going on and removed the IV that delivered antibiotics and pain medication. The hospital staff removed his IV and gave him medication orally.

My sister and I repeatedly argued with hospital staff over pain medication. Nurses hesitated to give him prescribed doses of opiates on a regular schedule. My sister and I even yelled at a doctor who wanted him off opiates and on high dose acetaminophen. Our concern was our father’s comfort, not the hospital’s liability.

Our father is stoic and macho. He told female nurses that he was fine. He had no such reservations when a male patient technician helped him onto his commode or when his male nurse asked him if he was in pain.

You want to know how much pain a patient is in? Ask those who do the dirty work, those who lift and move the patient. Ask the patient technician, the caregivers, especially when the patient has dementia or doesn’t show his vulnerability to women aside from his wife and daughters. We knew that he was in pain.

Now he is back living with our mother in memory care, receiving hospice services. Pain management and his comfort are paramount.

Please pray for peace, comfort, and freedom from pain. Thank you.

Finished Scrivener Tutorial!

Just finished Scrivener tutorial. Considering massaging blog posts into book(s).

October 2015, I last modified the import of my blog into Scrivener thinking I’d massage my writing into a book. The next month, my mother had a stroke. Never got back to the book or to figuring out Scrivener. Just finished the tutorial.

Enrolled in National Association of Memoir Writers‘ online memoir writing course and will be attending the Southern California Writers’ Conference later this month. The conference features memoir writing this year!

My first Scrivener project contains my outdated blog dump. Sometimes I edit old posts and pages, so I need to figure out how to import my current version of this site. Haven’t had luck so far today. I did create a blank new project into which I plan to organize my writing under four categories:

  • Kate — fictionalized autobiography, starting at the beginning…
  • Bipolar — mental health focus
  • Parenting My Son — my son has struggled with migraines since he was two
  • Parents with Dementia — both my parents have dementia and live in memory care

Wish me luck. I may go nowhere with putting together and publishing my writing. I may not. At least I’m writing here. Actually, I’m pretty happy with blog writing.

My Dad and Dementia

Dementia on cloudy background

My dad has dementia – not Alzheimer’s, the most common type of dementia – but dementia nonetheless. His dementia has slowly progressed over many years and is greatly exacerbated by his heavy drinking. I am genetic heir to alcoholism, fear it, and drink minimally because of it.

Because I am feeling pain and anxiety over my father’s health, yesterday I spent an inordinate amount of time formatting and reformatting a cut and paste of content from the Alzheimer’s Association on how to cope over the holidays. Rather than write from my heart and deal with my angst, I spent hours tweaking HTML code until my post visually pleased me. In that small way, I exercised control, for I am not in control of my father’s brain health. I cannot make him stop drinking. I cannot stop his brain deteriorate, and it devastates me, for I love him dearly.

Yesterday’s post perhaps offered you both too much information and too little information.  Too much information on coping over the holidays should you have a family member with dementia, for you could have simply clicked on the link to the Alzheimer’s Association article at the top of the post and received the very same content verbatim. Too little, for I did not speak at all. I was silent, hiding with my heart heavy, wondering what could be done to help my mother and father face this beast.

I’m Not Gonna Miss You

This post by Lynne of curvyroads.info hits close to home, as my father, like her mother, has dementia. For more information about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, visit the Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org.

The SisterWives

She’s probably going to forget my name even though she gave it to me. She will one day not recognize my daughter, her only granddaughter, even though she looks just like her. One day, I am going to sit in front of her and weep because the woman I call “Mom” no longer exists. I can prepare myself as much as I want, but I will never be ready for that day. My mother has Dementia and will one day probably develop Alzheimer’s. As it stands, we have good weeks and bad weeks. One day the bad weeks will outweigh the good weeks, so what do we do in the meantime?

We cherish the time that we have and appreciate the moments when she is herself and the moments when she isn’t. I will miss her, but in this beautiful post by Lynne, she puts things into perspective from my…

View original post 796 more words