I took a few weeks off my blog and actually traveled to see family members in other cities. I had a good time away and got to spend some quality time with many of my grandchildren. It is hard to get myself to leave dad for awhile but I knew he was safe in his assisted living facility.
For most of the time I was to be gone, both my son and daughter would be nearby if there were any emergencies with dad. In addition, one of his companions planned to visit him.
I visited dad the day after I returned from my trip. We talked awhile and then he said he had something he was going to ask me but couldn’t remember what. We talked about some other things and then he said he had some problems with dizziness while I was gone and thought he had “hallucinations” where he felt like he “wasn’t really there”.
I tried to get him to give me more details about these spells as I wasn’t sure he understood what hallucinations were. He has had problems with dizziness in the past due to his high blood pressure. I asked if he told anyone like the women in the wellness center or the nurse, but he said no, he hadn’t.
Before I left, I spoke with the nurse at his ALF and told her what he had told me. She said she knew he had dizzy spells but didn’t know about anything else. I asked when his physician would be in again but she said the doctor isn’t scheduled for awhile and the NP is scheduled for mid September. She said she would phone his physician about an appointment and I said I would drive him to it rather than rely on the ALF transportation.
After I got home, I decided to phone the nurse and say I would make the appointment myself so I could be sure it fit my schedule. The woman from the wellness center said she had just called dad’s physician’s office and they said the doctor is out of the country for 3 weeks and the NP won’t be in for a month. I said I would think about that over the weekend and get back to them.
But after a few minutes, I decided to phone the physician’s office myself and ask if they thought it was reasonable to wait a month considering dad’s age and symptoms. I spoke with the same nurse that his ALF had spoken to, and she said they had miss-interpreted what she had said.
She suggested that she might email his doctor to get a referral to a home health agency. The home health nurse practitioner could go see dad in his ALF and determine what kind of follow up might be needed. That is what she did and the home health nurse is scheduled to see dad tomorrow. One thing she will do is to take his blood pressure sitting, standing and laying down to see if it drops when he stands up.
I feel much better knowing I have followed up on this and that dad will be checked out. I don’t want to ask for extensive testing at dad’s age as I don’t want to medicalize the rest of his life. But I do want to make sure that simple changes like blood pressure medication adjustments, etc. are done to keep dad from falling and help maintain his quality of life.
I went to visit dad today and he was not in the lounge nor at the current activity. I went to his room and the door was locked. I hesitated to knock again for fear his lady friend was with him. But I had promised to take him to lunch today so I did. Dad came to the door somewhat groggy as if he had just been napping. He said he had spoken earlier with my brother so I don’t think he had slept long.
I asked him if he wanted to go out to lunch and he did. On Sunday he had asked me to take him out for fish this week so that was what we did. The restaurant we have been going to lately is very handy and has a nice varied menu. I don’t mind if we eat there frequently as they have many choices, though dad always orders the same thing – shrimp with French Fries and applesauce.
It was good to be back to a normal schedule with dad, though I sure did have a nice time away with my family.