Rhonda's A 'Muse'-ing Rambles

Life and Times of a Busy Woman

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My dad, my hero

Posted by Range Officer Rhonda on August 18, 2008

For the first time in over two months, I got to speak to my dad on the phone yesterday. It was bitter sweet, but very monumental. The last time I spoke with him, he was in a mental hospital and very much out of it as he had been overdosed with tranquilizers and had stopped breathing. He survived, but like I said, last time I talked with him, he was out of it. I told my brothers back in early June that I would be out of town for a couple weeks in July, but they could always call my house or cell phone and leave a message. Since I got back from that trip nearly two weeks ago, I have been calling and emailing my brothers to find out where and how my dad was doing. No replies. Finally, FINALLY, by some fluke, I got an email from one of my cousins asking why I hadn’t told them that my dad was up near them – they saw him in this rehab center and went to visit. Then they emailed me about the visit, telling me all about the place – but not the NAME of it. I found out the next morning when I wrote and told them I didn’t know where dad was and they responded, so I promptly called the Rehab center and spoke to my dad’s nurse.

The care he is getting now seems to be great compared to the last couple of months and dad has made some real progress. The doctors got his medication fixed and even though he was an oversedated, wheel chair bound, violent person when he entered the home, he has turned into an ideal patient and the nurses love him. He walks now again, takes regular meals in the dining room and isn’t confined to his bed or room. He can and does receive visitors and remembers people and has made new friends. With a little time and help, he could, for a short time, even go back to living in the real world as long as he has 24 hour care and is never left alone.

And the most beautiful thing – when I talked to the nurse, she asked if I was the person my dad has been calling for and mistaking others for the past month. He had been missing me and calling for me! Then, after I confirmed my name, the nurse saw dad coming down the hall and brought him to the phone. We spent about 20 minutes, very coherant, on the phone discussing where he was now and his new friends and the home and the nurses. He was all there and for the time being, knew who I was and what is going on with him. Bless the staff in the wing called “The Village” – they have given back some of my dad’s dignity and hope. I know it can’t last, but for now, he’s more at peace within himself than he has been in months – not lost in a drug induced haze and shadowed by demons of dementia. He still, for his own good I hope, is like an animal locked in a cage, but they allow him his pacing and let him control the TV and make choices. And he can see his friends and family whenever they like to visit, not a choice he had earlier in the year.

Now I can rest more easily knowing that there is adequate care for my father and they know how to get in touch with me when he is distressed and wants to see his daughter. Two months – I lost him for TWO MONTHS! Now I can talk to him again once a week as in the past and send mail and visit when I am able to make the 800 mile trip and send his friends to visit. What the Heck is wrong with my brothers that they would cut him off like that? Hope, love and friendship can go a long way to healing a heart and settling a confused mind on an easier path.

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