Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Update on Dad..

Dad is still in the nursing home and seems to slowly show signs of improvement... very slowly... I try to go see him at least 3 times a week, usually after work. I had to, for the first time, get an EZ tag on our vehicles. I have to (gulp) go through 3 tolls there and back to go and see him after work. It takes me 45 minutes to get there, but if I did not use the toll roads, it would take me no less than 90 minutes.

Anyway, once I am there, we catch up on all the family news and make some small talk. It could get a bit quiet some times and then I remembered something. My Father used to read to me when I was in the hospital; both when I was only 9 and had a terrible case of pneumonia that left me confined in a private room for 2 weeks and even when I had a ovarian cyst and we were just hanging out in the ER.

So, I know that he loves non-fiction and adventure. After all, in his life, he has sailed, scuba dived, climbed mountains and even done some repelling on cliffs! I remembered reading a small expert on this book, 66 Days Adrift.

I purchased it through e-bay and started reading it just last week. I read 1 or 2 chapters every time I visit..and WOW.. this is an amazing book. Two people, one being a very skilled sailor, decided to sail around the world at their leisure, extending the trip into a 4 year journey.

On the longest stretch, they met extremely unusual circumstances in which they lost their boat and were, in every sense of the word; castaways...for 66 days!

This is the raft they escaped to.

I not only wanted to recommend this book to you, but also ask your advice about a new book, (like this one) that we may read next. We have already read Alive, the true story of the soccer team that crashed in the Andes Mountains. Any suggestions???


Vintage Linen Treasures said...

What a very blessed man your dad is to have a daughter like you.
I do a lot of reading, but mostly fiction so I can't think of anything you might both enjoy. (But I'll be back if I hear of anything good).

nancygrayce said...

I can't think of a book, but wanted you to know that I do a similar thing with my mama. She lives in a retirement home and she's not nearly as far as your dad, but lots of times, she doesn't want to talk and she can't get up anymore. So I read to her. Lately I've been reading her journals to her :) She kept journals for years. Sometimes she'll act like she's not listening....then she'll say...that's enough! It has also given me so much more appreciation for her!

Patrina's Pencil said...

Julie, I've read up on a few back posts about your dad and don.You certainly have your hands full.

I feel for you. Praying for extra strength for you. God's strength is perfected in our weakness. I couldn't do what I do without His strength in me. I really really would strongly advise that you keep Dad where he is. We call it Long Term Care where I'm from. I would caution you to not bring him home to his house unless you hire outside help as needed. Family should not be the caregiver. I've come to this conclusion the hard way - but I've heard it over and over from others that have done what I have done.

I also worked 7 years in assisted living - in the administration part - prior to caring for dad. I saw what caring for a loved one at home did to most family caregivers.

I wish I had listened more personally to what I heard them share. I thot that because my relationship with dad was great, that I could do it. I thot my previous work had prepared me... WRONG! WRONG!

It can very well destroy the relationship between parent and child. My relationship with dad is nothing like I expected it to be. It has changed completely. He is not the dad that I've known all my life. Caregiving an elderly parent can destroy families too.

There's no up from here with my dad. I won't be able to continue doing what I'm doing for much longer - I done it for 18 months. It is emotionally, and physically debilitating.

Its a hard one to face for any of us with aging parents. I have given it my all - literally. The truth is - they get better care in LTC than at home with family - they are isolated at home and family can't love them as they need and deserve to be loved. Caregivers - especially 24/7 experience burnout soon and it becomes a tangled web.

You didn't ask for all of this - I just wanted to encourage you as you face the future with your dad - this is a new season. Not many people are talking about this season of life. But it's going to happen to all of us at some point.

I just want you to think long and hard before you or your other sibling(s)decide to be his caregiver. They are always 100% better with the LTC personnel. Always. I've seen it with hundreds of families. Don't feel like your a bad person for caring for him yourself.

Other bloggers have called me a vessel of honor - for caring for dad - I'm far from that. I don't want any praise. I volunteered to care for dad out of love for him. Caregiving has changed the face of that love, and I loved my daddy as much as any one could love their daddy. I can't explain it - it's just not the same.

I am praying for you - you need a rest :)

blessings and hugs
patrina <")>><
warrior bride in boots

Ginger said...

I want to read that book too.
There is a good book called "Holding Fast"...true story about mountain climbers that got stranded on Mt.Hood. The wife of one of the men who died, wrote it.

gowestferalwoman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gowestferalwoman said...

How about "Endurance; Shackletons incredible voyage" the true story of an amazing captain and his leadership that takes place in 1914, in the Antartic. It was a fantastic read, and everyone survives the worst odds :)

Also a good read for the winter ~ the words are vivid and your dad wont miss being outside that much after reading how cold and miserable it was for them lol it made me unvoluntarily shiver numerous times...