OK, maybe a little Lucas North fantasy for the frustrated

Richard Armitage as Lucas North in Spooks 9.1.

So today I went to the audiologist with dad because at first dad had said the hearing aids were working, and then not, and then for about ten days he didn’t have enough motor control in his right hand to get the right one in, and I really don’t know how they work. And I learned (a) you need to wear them about ten hours a day for them to really help that much, i.e., don’t only put them in if you have plans to talk to someone; and (b) they needed to be cleaned / brushed after every wearing, i.e., not only for the first time when they are not working; and (c) the risk for elderly people with uncorrected hearing to develop dementia or Alzheimers is about 30 percent higher, i.e., you shouldn’t let yourself get closed off from the world by using your hearing aids only when it suits you.

So dad’s basically been using this extremely expensive tool incorrectly for five years.

And after that I took him to the eye doctor, who established that his new prescription is correcting his double vision but that he needs to wear it all the time, not just when he is driving, for the full benefit to take place. (He’d told me that since he wasn’t driving now he didn’t need to wear them anymore. So maybe he’s been seeing double for three weeks. FFS)

And then there was the whole thing with his blood draw — his INR is wrong, wrong, wrong even though I have followed his instructions and not fed him any green vegetables in a month.

Tomorrow we have PT, in which it will be established that he still won’t, or can’t, use the walker correctly, and then OT, in which it will be established that he cheats on the exercises at every opportunity.

On the plus side: tomorrow our analog sound meter arrives so perhaps that tool (in conjunction with hearing aids that are now working correctly, or so I am told) will assist him in the effective completion of a therapy that he doesn’t believe he needs.

Also a memory game (no one I know had one around) and a cribbage board, also at the prescription of the speech therapist.

The sun isn’t even down, but I feel like I need a brain reset, so I’m going to bed. Lucas North, you don’t need to rescue me from human traffickers but a little rescue from a certain stubborn, elderly man would do me some good.

I’m thinking tomorrow night is the last “cheap day” showing of Ocean’s 8 in our local theaters (Mamma Mia starts on Thursday night), so I’m hoping I can make it there again. It’s not like Claude Becker does anything to make feel comforted, but maybe it’s all those hypercompetent women, whose plans always work correctly, who fascinate so much.

~ by Servetus on July 10, 2018.

31 Responses to “OK, maybe a little Lucas North fantasy for the frustrated”

  1. Why no green vegetables?

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    • He takes a blood thinner and Vitamin K is a coagulator.

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    • After a stroke doctors prescribe a medicine used to thin blood,to prevent further clotting.: anticoagulants anti vitamin K. So not to antagonize the drug, the patient must avoid food with vitamine K in it.
      Mainly brought by the leaves of green vegetables and certain oils:
      +++ Cabbages (sauerkraut), spinach, watercress, dandelion, some salads (arugula, escarole, romaine lettuce …). Some spices and herbs (parsley, chives, coriander …).
      +++ Colza, cotton and soybean oils (the olive is less risky) used inside margarines, vinaigrettes, various sauces and industrial products …
      ++ Leeks, asparagus, endive, green beans, soybeans, beans, peas …
      + Root vegetables (turnips, onions, carrots, potatoes …) are much less rich, the vitamin remaining in their leaves.

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      • But sometime ther is a great amound of tomatoe in ketchup, sauces…

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        • Sorry: But sometimes there is a great amount of tomato in ketchup, sauces…

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          • Interesting, I did not know about all of that

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            • No problem, I like shared, popularize my knowledge.
              When the stroke is due to a blood clot, causing thrombosis, obstructing the cerebral vessels or embolism (not for stroke due to cerebral hemorrhage), on discharge from the hospital, the initial treatments are usually with anticoagulants antivitamine K. But new drugs are released less demanding for the diet and INR biological analyzes. In the past and even now when there is stabilization of the patients, to prevent relapses, a lighter treatment based on aspirin (or other antiplatelet agents) may be used during several years.
              With all my HEART and what remains of my aging BRAIN!

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              • My understanding is there are no long term studies on the anti-coagulants that affect fewer clotting factors than warfarin (anyway, warfarin is still standard of care for atrial fibrillation, which is why he was taking it even before the stroke). They didn’t change it at any rate.

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  2. I know the hearing aid issue’s, my dad could not stop playing with them. My poor mom tried then after she died I tried but by the time he was in the nursing home we gave up. My dad would never get glasses didn’t think he needed them, I would guess never would have wore them anyways. Good luck with PT and OT appiontment’s. You should take some time to yourself and go see Ocean’s 8 again. Being a caregiver is very hard work but you do need some time for you.

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    • Dad’s worn glasses since he was ten, so I am not sure what the deal is all of a sudden. Since his cataract surgery one of his eyes is much better but the other is not. (There are also other complicating issues with retinas and lenses for which he has surgeries.) He just saw an eye specialist about a month before the stroke who prescribed these glasses. It’s so hard because he says one thing is happening and the eye doctor says a different thing is happening.

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  3. The hearing aids which the NHS provide in the UK are hideous it was like trying to squash a jellyfish in your ear, my father in law never got the hang of them.

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    • I don’t know about the NHS ones, but these are state of the art (and extremely, bone-breakingly expensive — I know because he lost them last year and they had to be replaced at full cost as the health insurance wouldn’t cover the second pair). They are pretty unobtrusive — a small plastic part that hangs over the ear, then a little wire with a tiny receiver that has to be placed into the ear canal at the entrance. It’s the second part that he couldn’t do — but he is regaining right hand motor control now.

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  4. Men. (Much tedious grumbling underscored with the odd F-word)

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  5. Oh gosh, I really feel your frustration. It’s really difficult handling the role reversal, I think – you being the adult, in effect – but especially so if your father doesn’t feel like cooperating. You can’t make him, even though it’s all for his own good 😖 Take time out whenever you can. Deep breaths. Recharge. Know that you are doing the right thing. At the distance of some years now, I feel guilty that I didn’t do enough for my father (for a number of reasons it wasn’t possible for him to come live with us in his later years, but I regret it). You are a complete star.

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    • He has two big motivators, one would think — the first is hopefully getting his driver’s license back (not sure how I feel about this) and he second is going on his annual fall fishing trip with my brother in September. But when I say, you need to exercise your right foot so you can slam on the break, he looks at me like I am nuts. Part of it is that there’s still a huge piece of him that’s in denial about the stroke even happening, and if so, what it caused.

      We want him at home until it’s 100 percent clear that it would be better for him not to be here. But part of it is that I don’t have kids and it’s not a problem for me to continue living here. If I had my own nuclear family it would be a much bigger problem.

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      • I found that the strokes interfered with my fathers ‘logic circuits’, as I called them. It wasn’t always apparent, and it could be quite subtle. Sometimes less so, in that he could read a letter he received but couldn’t figure out what it meant and if he had to do anything about it. It’s possible there’s a bit of that going on with your father re his driving etc. – a missing link in his capacity to relate one thing now to a later consequence. Or he could just be being awkward!

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        • Yeah — it’s really true. (And I think in my case dad knows because he tries to hide his confusion over stuff.) We’re actually sorting out stuff now that preceded the stroke, though.

          That said — he’s spent a lot of time in denial about the consequences of certain behaviors, so I doubt that will change now.

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  6. Mmmm, Lucas. Good choice. 😊
    Many coping vibes heading your way. I fully understand. What Helen said is so very true, handling the role reversal is difficult – mentally, physically and, most especially, emotionally. (Been there, done that, the embers from the burned t-shirt are still hot.) Try to find the humor in the little things that happen and make you want to yell/kick/run blindly into the night. (It doesn’t work all the time, but it can take the edge off a situation.). A small example, as her dementia increased, Mom would counter anything she didn’t agree with by using the phrase “If you say so.” She would use it at the most infuriating times, and always with a condescending tone (not really her, but the dementia talking). “Mom, you need to take your medicine.” IYSS “Mom, it’s time for dinner,” IYSS And so on … at first, it really got to me, alternately making me angry and then sad enough to cry. Then one day, hubby said it so off-the-cuff in a situation not associated with Mom, that it caught me off-guard. And we both laughed. From that moment, each time Mom would say that phrase (and in her last two years, it was quite often), I had a humorous reference that I could fall back on and carry on with a smile. Mom used it often enough that the phrase is part of our family’s fall-back vernacular (read: routine smart-@$$ reply 😉). Please remember to take time for yourself to recharge. It is one of the most important parts of being a caregiver that is most often overlooked. Much love from this quadrant. ❤️

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    • LOL, dad has a version of that (although he hasn’t been diagnosed with dementia): “I can see why you think that.” It’s like everything I say that he doesn’t agree with is fake news or something. I imagine that humorous points will probably be easier to find as time passes.

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      • Omg this made me laugh. I’m using that line with my kids in the future it’s brilliant. As others have said take moments for yourself moments to laugh and see the humor. I think maybe you need to see oceans 8 an even 16 times does that make any sense? I sooo get watching capable women do amazing things (one reason why I come to your blog after all love your writing) 😊

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  7. Vous pouvez passer votre diplôme d’infirmière… Just kidding!
    Sérieusement, je trouve cette situation, votre responsabilité hors norme. J’ espère que cela va s’arranger et que vous puissiez_vous reposer sur un entourage et des professionnels plus présents.

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    • I did have a phase of wanting to be a nurse when I was about twelve, but nursing degrees in the US are really demanding these days. Lots of math, chemistry, biology, etc. All to the good, but the math would have been challenging for me. I got through the first semester of university calculus — only just.

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  8. My dad’s hearing has been iffy for a while all of the phones at my parents’ house have to volume turned up. When I call my dad on the phone he tends to shout in to it and I have to tell him I can hear him. Then there is the selective hearing. I think that is something that most men have. hehe He hasn’t gotten a hearing aid yet but he really does want one. Not sure why he hasn’t done so. We like to tease him when he doesn’t hear what we say even when standing close. So we go ‘Ehhhh?’ Huh? What did you say? Sorry dear what did you say? He finds it funny. Well most of the time. I hope that Lucas can give you some comfort. Hugs

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    • Selective hearing — SO TRUE. It’s really disturbing, though, that they can’t or won’t listen.

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  9. Nurse Servetus to the rescue! This is a lot to deal with… Necessary to know all this so you can help your dad but yeah, tough to be in the role of care-giver now. Hang in there, hope things will get a little easier.

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  10. Go watch Ocean’s 8 again and have some fantasies involving Nurse Servetus and Lucas North……perhaps on a ship….. I can see why you are exhausted. I felt exhausted just reading about your day! Hang in there!

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    • I have a lot of fantasies where I take care of various Armitage characters but it usually doesn’t involve me doing physical therapy with them or dispensing medicine. Hmmm.

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