05 May 2023

Some Days are Overwhelming

What a hectic day yesterday and today has turned out to be, Thursday and Friday are normally my days off to catch up with myself and household chores

Late yesterday afternoon I received a phone call from my dad that his leg was sore and he'd shown it to his friend who said he needed to go to hospital

I thought that sounded a bit of an exaggeration because everything is an emergency to dad since his cancer diagnosis, so I asked my son who was at dad's house to send me a photo of dad's leg and sure enough it looked swollen and a bit red, so I  immediately phoned the Doctors for an appointment for him hoping  to get him an appointment for yesterday or at the very least for today as it's another long weekend with the Kings Coronation tomorrow

Eko the Golden Cocker Spaniel and Boris the Black Cocker Spaniel sitting side by side in front of an ivy covered fence, both are wearing Union Jack bandannas
Photo Description - Eko the Golden Cocker Spaniel and Boris the Black Cocker Spaniel sitting side by side in front of an ivy covered fence, both are wearing Union Jack bandannas 
The receptionist who's the gatekeeper of all the appointments and defends them with her life decreed that I would have to phone the next day (today) at 0830 for an on the day appointment as they were fully booked and all the pre-bookable appointments had already been taken

It's the most irritating system, it really is!

It's a mad rush to get on the phone at 0830 to get into the call queue with everyone else wanting an appointment for that day.

If you're late and don't phone until 0845 the queue is so long that by the time it's your turn all the appointments are booked up and nothing it available, you either have to hope there's a pre-bookable at some point in the future or try again on the next working day, in this case with the long weekend it won't be until Tuesday

Amazingly I was only 8th in the queue and proceeded to feed the dogs and get dressed whilst enduring the most awful tinny music that really affects my tinnitus

I was 5th in the queue when suddenly I was caught unawares and the phone was answered, I rushed into the bedroom, nearly going A over T to answer before they thought I wasn't there and went on to the next in the queue

Sadly all face to face appointments had already been taken for the day and they could only offer a phone consultation, providing that is I filled out the information in a link they sent me with a photo attached

Luckily I still had a photo of dad's leg that my son sent me yesterday so I duly filled it out and stated there wasn't much point ringing me before 0930 to speak to dad as I had to drive to his house first

Long story short it's easier for my parents appointments to come direct to my phone and not my parents house, although they're still fairly independent they both have varying degrees of dementia and either don't pass messages on, or book appointments at such inconvenient times with no information like who it's for or where it is

But I digress

Photo Description - An elderly gentleman sitting on a park bench between Boris the Black Cocker Spaniel and Eko the Golden Cocker Spaniel as they all look towards the camera
Photo Description - An elderly gentleman sitting on a park bench between Boris the Black Cocker Spaniel and Eko the Golden Cocker Spaniel as they all look towards the camera

I'm about halfway to dad's house and the phone goes, I swear as I can see that it's from the health centre, but instead of an appointment it's one of the nurses inviting dad there for a face to face appointment to have a closer look at his leg, although we'd have to wait as he was being squeezed in

I thanked her profusely and said not a problem we'll be there in 20 minutes

When I saw dad's leg it was so much worse than the photo had led me to believe, it was extremely swollen, very red and very warm

It turns out that dad has now developed a bad case of cellulitis in the leg he had his knee replacement surgery on, when I asked him why he didn't mention to me it had been painful for the past  week which he told the nurse, he replied that it wasn't painful just a bit sore

His leg was then dressed and he's now been started on a course of antibiotics. Tomorrow we go back for a dressing change and hopefully the antibiotics will have kicked in to ease the pain

Speaking to a friend of mine this afternoon (who works with dementia patients) about dad not telling me he was in pain she said that with some patients they just don't connect the two words that can mean the same thing

I had no idea about this and I honestly can't remember if dad told me his leg was sore, but from now on will be much more aware of what dad is saying, he's never been one to complain about his pain as like myself he has chronic arthritis, so you just learn to live with the pain as part of your normal, or you'd be complaining all day every day otherwise

On days like today I seriously wonder how I'm ever going to cope as mum and dad's dementia progresses to the point they can't live independently any more
I feel like I've let dad down badly this week as I've been so wrapped up in dealing with finding out that mum needs heart surgery for a faulty valve that I hadn't realised that dad was in so much pain


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  1. You are doing wonderfully, you've just got tons on your plate. I pray you have a calm and uneventful weekend. Hugs from all of us.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Brian, things do get a tad hectic here, thankfully we made it to Monday without any more dramas xxx

  2. That doesn't seem like anyway to run a rodeo. I hope things work out. Have fun watching the coronation.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, compared to other countries we're so lucky to have the NHS where everything is paid for by our taxes, it's not free as a lot of people seem to think. I've never had any issues myself in the past, but since becoming a caregiver to my parents it all seems so difficult to get any appointments at the practice they're registered with. Usually because dad waits until the very last minute at the end of the week to tell me if he needs to see the Doctor 🤦‍♀️ Unfortunately I missed watching the coronation live as I was driving dad to the hospital for a dressing change on his leg, but my partner recorded it for me xxxx

  3. Gentle hugs, it is not an easy road to care for aging parents, especially when mental health is poor (not to mention physical health). I have traveled that road, do understand. Hopefully in time you can arrange for new "living arrangements", as it appears independent living no longer works for them ... and your burden might be lessened a bit ... be good to yourself, the caregiver must always Take Care, too!

    1. Thank you so much, yes I really do try to take time for myself but it's not always easy as I'm sure you can appreciate, but we muddle through as best we can, somebody from the Alzheimer's society came around the other day to assess our situation and gave some really helpful advice too about protocols to put in place, hope you're well yourself xxx


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