Saturday, January 10, 2009

Caregiving when you are tired

It's 1:47 am on Sunday morning. Dad is having a rough night. He has an appointment with his oncologist on Tuesday 13 January.

Dad is okay going to the orthopedic surgeon and physical therapy. He was even okay with Infectious Disease because he feels confident that the orthopedic surgeon is "in charge."

But the oncologist. That's a different story. I do not expect that there will be any plan for chemotherapy while dad is still fighting the infection in his foot. But, as cancer patients, we all have to stay in contact and tolerate appointments.

It's crazy. I make sure that my dad gets to every appointment. But, when it comes to my health . . .

I planned to return home to my home in Naperville, Illinois, weeks ago. In fact, I have a mammogram scheduled for this Monday. Umm. I am not going to make that appointment. I am over a year late for a mammogram. But dad comes first.

My plan to be home by now would also mean that I could touch base with my gynecologist in Chicago. He is an incredible person and doctor. He is a bit concerned that I "shrunk" 1.5 inches in less than a year. The gynecologist ordered a bone scan. It was very painful and I do not think bone scans are supposed to be painful.

I wish that the Duke orthopedic surgeon that is treating my dad would fix my left knee and ankle. But, Duke Medical has tired of me. Duke Medical will not continue the orthopedic care of me. (Thanks again, Dr. Alison Toth. You are a real compassionate human being - LOL.) Bummer.

My Chicago gynecologist told me last Fall 2008 that he could give me some names of good orthopedic surgeons in the Chicago area. Since Duke Medical won't help me, I need to get those names.

But, of course, dad is still in the midst of serious orthopedic treatment. He has one more very serious surgery that will involve an external fixator.

My pain is tremendous. The pain worsens when I am tired (like right now) and I have to physically help him. But, of course, dad comes first. So I will just suck it up.

By the way, thanks again Dr. Chris Dangles and Carle Clinic Association in Urbana, Illinois for screwing up my legs back in 2000 and 2001. I think of your "work" every time I care for my wheelchair bound dad . . . and I lose balance from pain, fall down and my ankle and knees swell.

Dad has been asleep for a few hours now. Great sign. Maybe I can try some sleep. I need a good day tomorrow so that I can work on my book.

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