Thursday, April 5, 2012

a HANDful

Poor Dad can never seem to catch a break... and neither can I!  He has proven to be a HANDful this week.

I got a call on Monday from his care-givers who were concerned about a possible bug bite on Dad's wrist that had caused his whole hand to swell up.  Since it's impossible to get an appointment at the Veteran's Assoc on the day of, or even the week of, we had to settle for the VA ER.  Ick.

Of course, I have a newborn who should not be going into any sick environment, so luckily Grandma was able to drive up from San Diego that afternoon to watch little Emry. 

When I saw his hand, I was glad that we were taking him to see the Doctor though.  The proof is in the pictures... this was from Monday...

His hand was extremely swollen, red, and almost hot to the touch.  He was obviously also in some pain. 

The whole stint took about 4 1/2 hours out of my day, but Dad was very patient... more patient than myself who just wanted to go back home.  (I'm a nursing mother, and I was starting to get uncomfortable!... it really was the last thing I wanted to do that day!)  The nurse took a look at Dad's wrist and was glad we came in because since the abscess (as they were now calling it) was near a joint, it needed to be watched carefully so that it wouldn't spread and cause some real damage.   They sent us to the pharmacy to collect Penicillin and a drug that treats Staff infections and gave instructions for his home to apply hot compresses 3 times a day to the wound.

Fast forward to two days later at his follow up appointment.  (And, yes, every time I have to take him to an appointment, I am trying to figure out what to do with Emry.  I'm starting realize that with a newborn, it's basically impossible for me to do it all alone.)  We had a VERY early appointment so that my husband could stay home to watch Emry and just go late to work.

The Nurse Practitioner that we saw was still very concerned about Dad's wound.  Basically it could be a contagious Staff infection called MRSA.  It was still hard as a rock and hadn't started to drain, although the swelling had gone done a bit.  She warned me to wash my hands very thoroughly since I have a baby at home and also told me that the minute it finally starts to drain, that we will need to go back to the ER so they can cut it open and drain it!  Oh GEEZ.  And that the most important thing was for the hot compresses to be applied throughout the day.  I'm not sure how successful his care givers were in actually getting Dad to agree to hot compresses...  This next picture is at his follow up appointment.  Still looking very red and angry...

So, I'm just waiting for the phone to ring again for when we have to take him back to the ER.  Poor guy.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Success Indeed!!!

We would like to share the good news!!!  Dad was accepted into the West Los Angeles VA Memory Care facility!  Three business days after his assessment, we received the letter in the mail!  I couldn't believe it!  It just seemed so simple and matter-of-fact.  After this entire process, we're so happy to have some stability for Dad's future.

Now if only they would announce the opening date of the facility.