When I talked to dad on Saturday afternoon, he sounded like I just woke him up. He said he had just finished talking on the phone to my brother. Even though dad sounded groggy, he knew what was going on and told me some things happening with my brother. I asked dad if it was cold there and he said no, it was very nice. Now, in fact, it was under 20 degrees and snowing, but since dad was safe and warm inside, he really didn’t notice.
Last week, my son told me he had given dad a bottle of scotch last winter too. Thus the problem I wrote about last week was a surprise to him. He apologized for causing an issue. I told him it was OK and I thought grandpa had a right to the scotch. It is funny no one noticed it last year.
Since that “to-do” last week, no one at the ALF has mentioned dad’s scotch. But I doubt it has been forgotten yet. I am just hoping nothing happens till I get home. Things seemed to have settled down, but every time I think things are getting back to “normal”, something else happens.
Sunday morning I received a phone call from one of the aides at dad’s assisted living facility. Dad had awakened that morning with swelling on the left side of his face – mainly the cheeks and the lips. The aide had been helping dad dress and asked him if his face hurt. He said no, he had no pain.
She notified the on-call physician — the nurse practitioner who generally sees dad for his 3-month follow-up physical exams. This NP ruled out a stroke and decided he either had an allergic reaction to something or he had a tooth infection. (His teeth are in very bad shape but he refuses to see a dentist. I had decided to let him ignore his teeth four years ago since any work on them would be extensive and I doubt he would willingly wear dentures) The Nurse practitioner prescribed an antibiotic and an antihistamine and treatment with an ice pack 3 times a day for 3 days. The prescriptions had been ordered but wouldn’t arrive until later in the day.
I emailed my son and he said he would be there to visit dad in an hour. Then he sent me a text while he was visiting dad. I asked him to take a picture with his telephone camera and send it to me. I could see he looked like he had a fat lip, and his eyes looked very tired. In fact, my son said dad fell asleep after about 10 minutes of conversation.
I was glad they called me, but couldn’t decide what to do. How serious is this? I called my friend who is a nurse, and she said I should wait a day and see if he improves. I called the assisted living later that day and they said dad was improving a little. By the next day the swelling was already coming down some.
I telephoned the nurse companion who will see dad on Wednesday. I said she didn’t need to change her schedule unless I called her again. I just wanted her to know ahead of time and let me know what she thinks when she sees him on Wednesday. They were having more heavy snow when we talked. I didn’t want to ask her to go over more than necessary as the weather has been so challenging.
In the meantime, on Monday afternoon I got an email from the Monday companion telling me that they thought his swelling was down a bit and he was tired from having just taken his medications. He fell asleep while she was there.
I emailed his Tuesday companion and she will get back to me later today after she sees dad. At first I was very concerned about dad and his new symptoms. After they seemed to stabilize and begin to improve, my concern lessened. However, I still feel so very far away and wish I could know the cause of these latest symptoms. I am trying to continue taking everything one day at a time.