I've been down in the dumps the last few days... I wasn't really sure why. Maybe it's because my shin splints won't go away... (My leg has hypothermia now from the ice I constantly have on it). People at work are starting to label me a hypochondriac... Maybe it's because work has been "unpleasant" lately. Then I figured it out. It's Papaw. I've tried to be strong through all this, but now, I've started to realize the finality of the situation and it's begun to take a toll. We moved him into a real "nursing home" yesterday. I think we (the family) have been trying to avoid doing this because we all know the outcome of this. Aldersgate and Silverleaf are just "assisted living" homes. But Aldersgate called a few weeks ago and said that they aren't able to care for him and suggested a few places. (Aldersgate requires their residents to be able to use the bathroom on their own.) He went to Newton Regional Hospital for their Geriatric evaluation unit to see if there were any other medication changes they could make to help him get stronger and to evaluate him to see if he really can do things or is he just giving up. He really wanted to go into a nursing home and had been wanting to for a while. I think we (Mom, Ken, etc) still thought he was able to do the things he needed to do to stay in Aldersgate. I think we didn't want to take the nursing home route because maybe we were afraid of reliving emotions from when Mamaw was sick. Well, that's happening now.
I went to see him today before I went to work. I wish now that I would have gotten there sooner and spent more time with him. I think I was just avoiding the emotion of it all. He's at Poplar Springs Nursing Home. It used to be called King's Daughters, where Mamaw was the first three months of her nursing home years. This is the place where Mom and Ken took her, the hardest day of their lives, they say. Mom says that day they were both distraught and went to Northcrest and sat with Bro. Malcolm for hours, crying and praying.
Yesterday, I was there when they brought him and it was obviously easier than with Mamaw. Papaw was content with being there. We moved some things from Aldersgate to the storage unit and to his room. He was sitting in the wheelchair, looking out the window and talking to the nurse helping him get settled in. Today, he was slouching in his recliner, barely able to lift the remote and didn't look up at me hardly at all (I was sitting eye level right in front of him). He mumbled and slurred his words, talking about places he'd been while in the Navy, but like he was just there. It was odd. He has had these spells where he thinks he's somewhere else and sees things that aren't there. But it didn't seem like that. I called Mom (as I often do after I visit him) and told her. She started crying on the phone. Then she hung up. That scared me. I drove to the hospital instead of going straight to work to check on her. I texted her saying I was outside the surgery door, but she was in a surgery and couldn't come out. She said she was okay. I knew she broke down and cried at work sometimes (sometimes her job is "unpleasant" too), but this time, I wanted to check on her. None of us want to admit the inevitable is upon us. But now we have all realized that we must accept it.
Please keep us in your prayers.