Monday, April 6, 2009

The patient

Posted by Terry McNichols

My father successfully made it through his aneurysm stent graph repair. He has not, however, followed the path that the YouTube videos of similar operations predict. "The patient will eat lunch, go home, and be up and about by the next day," or some such wording. Unfortunately, my 86-year-old father has not only not gotten up, but has not been eating, is depressed, and has taken a fall. Fortunately, he wasn't hurt in the fall, and was willing to borrow a neighbor's walker and begin taking walks around his condo area. That resolve lasted for one lap, and except for one other short outing, I don't think he's been out of his chair/bed for more than a few minutes.

The line between nagging and encouraging is very fine. I am very discouraged when I call daily and he still hasn't gotten up, still isn't eating, and is sleeping most of the day. It makes sense that his weak legs won't hold him, after 2 or 3 weeks of disuse. I've even resorted to trying to guilt him into realizing how much money the insurance company was willing to pay to get him a few more months or years of quality life. We are unsure whether there is something else going on or whether he is being stubborn, refusing to take the steps that would help him to feel better, choosing instead to sink further into inactivity and despair.

So there you have it. I don't have much energy for blogging at this point, so must blog about the issue most closely on my heart.

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