Jul
2020

A trying week for Dad…

We got to meet our Cheer Team this weekend! I am excited to get started with them this week!

He said

Thursday morning at work the family got a text from my brother Matthew and his husband Shawn who were headed to Mom & Dad’s at 11am. Seems they had made a happenstance call to check in on them and found out that Dad had a fall and wasn’t able to get up. Thankfully they were both able to head over immediately able to help out. When they got there, they found out that this was the second fall of the day—the first having happened closer to 6am and the ambulance had come and gone to help with that. This, the second fall of the day, lead eventually to another ambulance call after Matthew and Shawn were unable to get Dad up off the floor. This time they took him to the hospital for further diagnosis.

What it turned out to be was another step in the ongoing battle with Dad’s Lasix pill levels. The pill is meant to help Dad with his sodium and water retention and the last year and a half has been a battle between having him on too high of a level or too low of a level. The side effects are always drastic and cause him a lot of problems. In either case he ends up being super exhausted, dehydrated and zapped of any energy and – even worse – more unable to do things on his own. After he was in the hospital for most of the day, when Mom checked in on him in the evening, he was ready to come home as they had things back in sorts.

When I arrived to pick him up from the hospital, within a few minutes I very quickly got a sense of the challenges he’s been facing. While he had been challenged getting around lately and in & out of vehicles, it was evident in five minutes that just he and I weren’t going to be able to get him in the truck. Thirty minutes later I had to ask a Mom and her daughter leaving the hospital to get the porters to help us out as Dad was stuck mid entry to the truck and he was so exhausted. Four hospital support workers later and a very exhausted (and sore) Dad, we decided on a cab to get him home. We messaged Matthew, Shawn and Danielle and had them meet us at the house to help get him to the house.

After a lot of work, we finally got him into his bed at home. Dad was exhausted. We were exhausted. And we were all a lot worried. But at least we had him somewhere comfortable and he was able to finally get some rest. Friday morning Danielle went to check up with him. After the regular Paramed nurse that visits him to check up on him, she uncovered that his oxygen levels were again really low. It was back off to the hospital in an ambulance. But, this time thankfully, they recognized they needed to keep him. They were going to finally work on getting the Lasix level sorted out and – more importantly – get him hydrated and fed as apparently he hadn’t eaten in two days.

Once we knew he was taken care of it made getting away to the cottage (trailer) okay. Danielle & Emelia headed up to the trailer on Friday afternoon and I followed up Saturday after I was done work. But, the best part of it was our friend Dawn was going to meeting us at the trailer to spend some much-overdue time together. She was going to be able to see what we love about our camping solution this summer, and we were going to be able to see… well… her! And we got to introduce her to our extended camp family, The Sherwood’s!

So, here we are Sunday night at the trailer closing a week that had a lot of challenging moments. Happily, we were able to end it out by getting away to our place of solace this summer with friends (that feel like family) – the sort of laughs & moments that solve for all the other uneasiness we’re feeling in the world in the land of COVID-19 lockdown. The weekend was the perfect remedy for a week that felt like it could go to other much more scarier places. To know that Dad is okay now, that Mom has help, and that we have it covered is the best kind of solace. But, to have this place to escape to, to recharge has been the best sort of solace.

She said

This week has been emotionally draining. John has shared the scary week of worries with Doug and all the fear of the worse case scenario. It was terrifying to see him in the state he was in, worrying we would get a dreaded call with the worst possible news. Doug’s health has been only part of the stress of the week. We have shared some of what is going on with Emelia but feel that it’s time to share a bit more.

Emelia by nature has been an emotionally charged child. Has been since she was a baby. But this most recent challenge we are helping her with started over two years ago this past May Emelia had a horrible virus that according to the specialists changed her gut health. So she gets very frequent stomach aches. We have been to a number of specialists and a number of tests and medications to solve this stomach problem. All the testing for the most part had come back clean and clear. Over a year ago we landed with a new doctor—a well respected paediatrician. He instantly wanted her off all the meds and we started doing what he referred to ‘pealing the onion’ to get to the root of the problem. After again more tests and trial & error, we ruled out just about everything and the discussion started shifting to Emelia’s mental health.

This moved us to getting support for Emelia with a child psychologist. Emelia has been seeing Jared for over a year and he has helped her a lot and she was able to open up more about her worries and concerns. About 6 months ago ahead of the pandemic Emelia started talking to me about her stress in school and her inability to focus on tasks and other stresses she had. She wanted to talk to Jared about her feeling that she might have ADD. She fit the symptoms, her existing learning disability it all made sense, add in her anxiety it was a recipe for disaster in school and her frustrations.

Now add in a pandemic, school being cancelled, moved to online learning and a spike in her anxiety about 2 weeks ago I messaged her therapist and said we need to move an assessment up and now, we needed to explore the potential option of anti-anxiety meds. We moved her appointment to in-person and added in her paediatrician as well. By the end of the appointment it was decided that we needed to try not anti-anxiety meds but rather move her to ADHD meds. We were given a lot of literature and told to discuss it as a family. We did and Emelia asked to have us contact the doctors to have her start as soon as possible and not wait until our next appointment but start as soon as we could.

This week we started her on the new meds, we were told that these meds would be almost instant. We would know instantly if it was the right meds and we would know instantly if it was the wrong meds. Thankfully she has had little side effects and we are already seeing positive results. And more importantly she is feeling a lot better. We go back in this week to have another therapist appointment and share how well things are going for her. It is so amazing to finally feel we are getting some real support for her. The panic attacks of a few weeks ago are not as much of a worry now that she feels more grounded and her brain isn’t firing at a million miles an hour.

Add in this week that I am working hard on trying to apply for more work and hoping that I have some leads build for some jobs in the fall. It has been great being home to support Emelia and John’s parents during the pandemic but I do really need to find work again in the middle of the pandemic.

This week was stressful for sure, the weekend with friends was exactly what we both needed. Thankful every time we come to the trailer we have this place during such stressful times.

2 thoughts on “A trying week for Dad…

  1. Wow! You both have been through alot lately. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. Give your momma a hug for me John, I always loved that woman, give your dad one too! I understand your worries and frustrations as I too have dealt with the failing health of my parents (and passing of my father) over the years and my daughter sounds very much like your Emelia, she is 24 now and doing so much better than past years. Hang in there! If you need anything give a holler I am only in Chatham and would happily help in anyway that I can.

    • Thanks so much Karla! Yes, life throws curveballs and challenges along the way and sometimes there’s more than you want, but the people around you in those moments are the most important thing.

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