Last time I wrote, I was waiting for results of dad’s blood tests and the visit to a specialist. He has been dizzy regularly and was severely anemic on the blood test of a week before.
Today I have more encouraging news. The updated blood test was done on Tuesday and I got the results yesterday. In addition, he went to the specialist yesterday.
I reviewed the blood test results myself but haven’t discussed them with his primary care physician. Still, even I could see that his anemia had improved markedly and there was no chance his doctor would ask him to go in for transfusions. I made a copy to take along when we went to the specialist.
I picked dad up in the early afternoon – earlier than I needed to. I was afraid he might be dizzy or difficult to dress so I left him a lot of time. That morning one of the aides had called to tell me he was refusing to shower or shave. He refuses a lot and I said maybe he wasn’t feeling well. I said it was OK and not to worry about it.
When I arrived dad was almost ready to go. I told him we were going to see his specialist and he should use the rest room before going to the car. He asked why we were going and I told him about the symptoms he had before and that the doctor just wanted to check him. It shouldn’t take long, I said.
Well, though we arrived 15 minutes early, we ended up waiting an hour because the doctor was running behind schedule. I don’t know why I always worry about being on time when doctors always seem to be running late!
Anyway, I really like this specialist as he explains everything that he is doing and why. Of course, dad kept forgetting what he was waiting for so we had to repeat it to him frequently. He had to wait even while in the procedure room because they gave him an anesthetic and had to wait for it to take effect.
Dad kept complaining that he was cold and uncomfortable. I gave him my sweatshirt which he put over his legs. Finally the doctor went in the procedure room (and I went out). It took literally less than 5 minutes after all that waiting.
The doctor said dad had scar tissue that was causing the bleeding and he removed it. He didn’t see any other growths or signs of anything like cancer or anything else. Basically, he just needs to remove the scar tissue that keeps coming back. I should make an appointment for the same time next year and with that he was done.
Dad still didn’t understand why we were there, so I just told him everything was good and we were done. By this time it was late afternoon. I asked dad if he was hungry. Yes, he sure was. OK, I said, “Let’s stop nearby for dinner!”
If he remembered anything from our outing, I wanted him to remember the great dinner and not the long wait and the procedure at the doctor’s office. We went to a restaurant we had not visited before. The menu was extensive and the food was very good.
I stayed with dad only a short time after I brought him home. He had gotten food on his jacket, so I made him give it to me and put on a different heavy shirt (as he was still cold). I brought home his jacket and washed it last night.
Today I visited dad again and brought him his now-clean jacket. I don’t think he remembered very much of yesterday which was good.
Now I am quite relieved about dad’s health as it appears that nothing serious is imminent. I asked his specialist about the blood tests as his kidney function was even worse than the last time. This doctor said the same as the other one – he is dehydrated and that makes the kidney function look worse. He needs to drink more fluids, especially after losing so much blood. But it is hard to convince dad to drink since he is never thirsty!
I did leave dad more orange juice and other drinks in his refrigerator. He seems to be drinking more soda than juice, but anything should help.
I haven’t called dad’s regular doctor yet and she hasn’t contacted me. Since things look better, she may not contact me. However, I still want to talk to her about planning to work with the palliative care people. The problem is that they require a referral from his doctor and at the moment he has nothing acute. I don’t know if I can get him in with just his chronic issues and his advanced age or not. But if I don’t, then the next time something happens we will be right back to the point where she wants me to take him to the ER for immediate treatment.
I suppose I should just take things one day at a time. But after my last conversation with palliative care earlier in the week they are expecting to get his records faxed over in advance of giving me an appointment. With the holiday weekend coming up, I will probably do nothing until next week!
I am a bit late in posting this as I wrote it a few days ago. Sorry. To all those that served our country — Thank You. And to all families getting together for the holiday — may you celebrate with family and friends in sunshine.