Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Walking in those shoes

I got a all at the end of the workday yesterday that my dad was having some sort of mini-stroke at his nursing home. I had them call the ambulance, and then called the hospital to give them my contact info, and set up some local people to come to the hospital and be with him.

He did indeed have a TIA  and is still pretty confused, and getting a bit agitated. For those that know his history, he already has brain damage from an aneurism, and has age-brain-damage-related dementia, and lives in a nursing home.

I talked to his doctor this morning who was encouraging, but I didn't see the improvement I was led to believe I would from talking to the doctor. Things are better, incrementally, than last night, but certainly not back to baseline.

As a chaplaincy intern, I did request a chaplain visit, something I've never done before. A volunteer chaplain came to visit and I learned a whole lot about what not to do ever again (if I ever did any of these things):

1. Do ask if you can stay and visit - don't just come in, get the name wrong, and then attempt to flee
2. Do ask about religious preference, don't tell me about yours, unless I ask
3. Do ask if the patient would like another visit
4. Do ask if the patient/family would like to pray (I fail to do this all the time, but sure would have been comforted by the offer this morning, even as a non-Christian).
5. Don't be intimidated by patients who are confused. They still like visitors and like to talk, even if they don't make sense to you.
6. Oh, and introduce yourself FIRST thing - don't make me guess who you are and what you want.

All that said, I'm glad she came, and hope she sends the full time chaplain up, as she promised. I'd really like someone to be able to sit with my dad, even for 10 minutes, after I can't be here.

The doctor said that if things stay stable, it would be fair for me to head home and monitor events from there. As I said, I'm not entirely encouraged by 'progress' from last night, but the next 5 hours should show a lot - 24 hours is supposed to show how things are going. I'm still waiting on results from his carotid artery ultrasound, and he'll have another CT scan tomorrow.

Thanks for all the prayers and good wishes on facebook. They mean everything. I miss my family like crazy, and owe a huge thank you to my daughter Emma, who packed my overnight bag and put everything I needed in it. She really is a mini-clone of me sometimes :). Love you girl.

2 comments: said...

I'm keeping your dad and you in my prayers, Kelly.


ms. kitty said...

You're both in my prayers, Kelly.