Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Overdue update

Ron is adjusting to life at the nursing home, although he has his moments where he believes that he doesn't need to be there. That is very hard because when he's being honest, he knows that he's much safer there. The staff at the nursing home is very good, and they take great care of him. All he has to do is push his call button, and then within minutes someone is there to help him if he needs it. If he was still at home he would have to call 911 or try to call me and it would take me 30 minutes to get to him.

He gets exercise three times a week, which is something he was not getting at home. He goes from his room to the cafeteria for all of his meals. That gives him an opportunity to interact with other adults. He has a private room so he can watch television as long as he wants to at night. He still doesn't sleep very well so his TV is on a lot.

All in all, it has been a very good move for him. His main problem is that he doesn't really want to be there. He's younger than many of the other residents and even though some are in better health than him he looks at them and he sees that he's going to stay there until he dies. I can't really do anything about that. His health is bad and there's nothing I can do to change that, either.

In fact, he was recently diagnosed with A-fib and put on a beta blocker and a blood thinner. Beta blockers affect his kidney function so he has to be closely monitored to make sure he doesn't go into kidney failure. His Parkinson's disease is getting worse and he was put on stronger medication for that as well. I would have missed the A-fib completely, which can cause a stroke. I would not be able to take him to have blood drawn every two weeks to check his kidney function. He has a ruptured disc in his upper back and goes to therapy twice a week; I wouldn't have been able to do that, either.

This all comes with a high price tag for us, though. It's 100% of his income and then a little bit of mine. In addition, I pay for his Internet, his cable, his phone, and any other personal expenses like haircuts, outside entertainment, or clothing. This makes it tough for me to pay all of the other expenses. I've had to adjust my cable to a lower package, slow my Internet speed down, lower our cell phone data package, turn my thermostat down a few degrees, not eat out, watch what I buy at the grocery store, etc. It's a good thing I don't have a lot of consumer debt. I have a car payment, student loans and very little other debt (working on taking care of getting that paid off). My rent is pretty low for the area and my utilities are as low as I can get them.

Christmas is very low-keyed. No gifts for the older grandchildren or for the adults. I had to replace Ron's iPod because his disappeared from his room (don't know if it was stolen or if he knocked it into his trash) but I found a used one for $110. So, that is his gift. I'm not getting anything, which is fine by me. Anything he bought me, I'd have to pay for anyway and I don't have any extra money to indulge in Christmas presents for myself. And, I'm really fine with that. We will be able to spend the day together with family and that is all that matters.

I had shoulder surgery two weeks ago and am recuperating at Amy's and Rex's house. I didn't have to have rotator cuff repair, but I had a sub-acromial decompression (removed the bursa), had the distal end of my clavicle removed, had the long head tendon of my biceps released (called a biceps tenotomy and leaves only one tendon attached to the bone), had frayed strands of the rotator cuff removed, and my SLAP lesion should be "fixed" by the release of the biceps tendon (I had a pretty significant tear and separation). I'm currently doing physical therapy and have very limited range of motion. I can't lift anything or otherwise put any stress on my shoulder joint. I can't do too much for myself so Amy wants me to stay here until I feel like actually cooking real food for myself. LOL, she said I couldn't live on cereal and I said I also had protein shakes. I guess they don't count as real food, either. :)

If Ron was still home, I would not have been able to take the time needed to have surgery. His being taken care of in the nursing facility has given me peace of mind and let me take a much-needed break to take care of my own health.

That's about it for the update. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and holiday season. My goal is to get back into writing more often and reading my blog roll. I've missed being able to follow my online friends. Take care...