The other night, my 79 year old ailing father got up to go use the bathroom, and fell. He tripped over a pile of clothes and caught himself from hitting the floor by bracing with his right hand. His radius in his wrist shattered as he fell to the bedroom floor. His downstairs neighbor heard the fall and called me immediately. I tried calling him, but he did not answer the phone, so I rushed over to his condo. As I entered the bedroom, I found him on the floor; calm as could be, saying that he fell and he could not get up. He has a life alert button, but was not wearing it at the time of the incident… (Irony 101, I thought) I tried to help him up, but he said that he thought his wrist was broken. I Called 911, and they dispatched an ambulance to his condo. The EMT looked at it and checked his wrist and finger movements. Everything seemed fine, so they helped dad up, and he declined to go to the hospital.
I called him this morning from work, and he said that his arm was swollen, and was hurting much more today. I called his doctor and made arrangements to take dad in for a checkup. The doctor took one look at his wrist and knew it was broken, so she sent us to another location for x-rays. Sure enough, the wrist was broken. Being that dad is a 79 year old smoker, diabetic, overweight, and in generally poor health; losing the use of his dominant hand really adds to the problems of daily living. The nurse fashioned a splint, wrapped his arm, and sent us on our way. Last night was rough as dad tried again and again to use the bathroom while shuffling from the bed; losing control along the way. He was having great difficulty even standing up from the toilet. It has only been one day, and I am already feeling the effects of being a full time care-giver.
Dads medications consist of Avodart, Symbicort, Glimepiride, Tamsulosin, Omeprazole, Crestor, Atenolol, Furosemide, Lisinopril-HCTZ, Fluticasone Propionate, Meloxicam, Predisolone Acetate, Prolensa, Polymyxin B Sulfate, Ipratropium Bromide, Albuterol Sulfate, Levemir insulin injections, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin D3, and 81 mg aspirin. Enough to keep any pharmacy and family medical practice in business for 10,000 years! I am convinced that the only reason my dad still breathes; has blood moving through his veins, and urine traversing his bladder, is because of the modern pseudo-chemical kingdom of American medial science (and industry).
Americans are living much longer these days, but is it really any quality of life? At this point, I feel sorry for my fathers’ mere existence. For the last few years his daily routine consisted of taking handfuls of medications, and going to doctors appointments. A walking experiment for “Big-Pharma”, dad has lived through the grace of chemical engineering.
Dad is now at the point where he can no longer do much of anything on his own. A once great 30 year veteran of the Cincinnati Police Division, his has been reduced to an invalid, waiting for God’s calling. I prayed last night to Mom and God to draw close to Dad. I am deeply saddened to watch the hero of my childhood falling to the Kryptonite of old age and helplessness.
Tomorrow morning, we are going to check in at the hospital ER, to see if dad needs admittance for his worsening congestive heart failure. Perhaps this will be the end of one dark chapter, and the start of something glorious in Gods name, in Gods divine providence.
Please pray for us.