Elephant Butte Lake

Elephant Butte Lake
Elephant Butte Lake

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Indiana family time, RV Dreams Rally and Dad

While out in South Dakota I got a call from my brother that my Dad had a groin pain and he took him to the ER to be checked out. X-rays for a hip fracture were negative and additional tests for burns on his buttocks(from a heating pad), he was sent home. Dad had a walker and started to use that but the pain was still quite intense so he didn't move around too much. Once we got home I went to see him and attended a MD apt with him. The MD and I thought he just had a muscle strain, again because the x-rays at the ER were negative so we decided it was ok to continue with our plans to attend the RV Dreams rally in Goshen, IN at the Elkhart Fairgrounds. We got to Indiana about a week early to visit our daughter and the grandkids. We stayed at the Granger/South Bend KOA. A typical KOA but away from the Interstate and mostly away from trains. We had a good visit and enjoyed attending the grandkids activities. Brooklyne and Ryleigh are both doing cheerleading so we went to see them do their cheering on the sidelines.

 
 
I will post a photo of Brooklyne soon(Couldn't find the right one). My photos are still all jumbled up. We helped our daughter paint two bedrooms and do some organizing in Brooklyne, Ryleigh and Caden's rooms. Then Glenda tackled the basement. The whole event took over 3-4 days to complete but it got done and our daughter and the grandkids were very grateful. We'll see how long this lasts though. :-)  Then it was time to move to the Elkhart Fairgrounds for the rally. While we were in Indiana and in the RV capital, we wanted to get some warranty work done but couldn't get an appointment until after the rally. In addition, when I called the dealership that sold us our rig earlier this year, I found out that they went out of business. Fortunately, Heartland RV company told me that any dealership that can do the work is ok with them. So we contacted Charger Enterprises in Elkhart, IN. We made an appointment for after the rally. We made the move to the fairgrounds and Debbie and Steve McCormack of  Down the Road had saved us a site next to them. We're so glad we have had an opportunity to get to know them better and share this experience since we both started this full time adventure about the same time.
 
Steve and Debbie at the rally
 
Shortly after getting to the rally, I got a call from my brother back in Normal, IL and he said that Dad's groin pain had worsened and he was back in the ER and going to be admitted. After performing a CT of his pelvis and hips, it was determined that he had a hip fracture at the neck of the femur(upper leg bone). They planned to do surgery in a few days after he was off some blood thinner meds he was on. I continued to keep in contact with my brother. Surgery was scheduled for Friday Sept 19. My brother called me later in the morning and informed me that while Dad was being put under for the surgery his heart began to beat erratically and they had to bring him back out.
 
The Dr's told us late that day that surgery was now NOT an option and Dad would have to live the rest of his life in a hospital bed, in pain. His heart was not strong enough to go through any type of surgery. So I drove home on Saturday to determine with my Dad and brother what options he would have. Unfortunately his only option was a nursing home with 24 hour care. No rehab, no surgery just live with pain and never walk again. So in the span of about 2 weeks my Dad went from a self sufficient man to a nursing home. Still reeling from the thought and seeing him there. My brother made the arrangements to move him and I drove  back to Indiana to try and finish the rally on Sunday, have our rig weighed and get our service work done so we could travel back to Normal to be with Dad.
 
The rally was overall a big success but hard to concentrate with Dad's health issues. Since the rally had started on Tues I had the opportunity to attend most of the seminars and meet some great RV'ers. Really looking forward to meeting them again down the road. We also had an opportunity to tour the Heartland plant that built our rig. The process is very interesting and complicated. Looks like they are coming out with some new innovations and changes in floorplans. Howard and Linda Payne of RV Dreams puts on a great rally with an incredible amount of information. Thank you to them for helping wanna be's and full-timers.
 

They had their inflatable kayak there and showed us all how easy it was to inflate and deflate. It has sleek look and seemed very durable. This is something we are looking at for the future.


Glenda was also able to attend the last evening party/dance on Saturday with Steve and Debbie McCormack with a glow in the dark theme. I made it back to get this photo of them.

On Sunday Howard and Linda have a nice farewell breakfast and some parting words for everyone and then they played a song that represents their feelings about the RV lifestyle and their wish for all of us. The song is called "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts.

 
Please click the link and listen to the lyrics. After what we are going through with my Dad the lyrics really hit home. This is my wish also for all my RV friends and non RV friends. Make everyday count and know that you are loved by so many. I'm so glad that I have such a great family and have so many great memories of my Dad and Mom. Mom passed away in 2009 and it looks like I will be losing my Dad in the near future.
 
We contacted hospice and they are giving him pain medications to make him comfortable. The only problem with that is he sleeps a lot and has very little appetite. Would it be better to watch him linger in pain knowing that he will never walk again and every time he moves there is unbearable pain or help him be comfortable ? We have asked him over and over what his wishes were and he has stated that he did not want to live in pain, in a nursing home, in a bed under these circumstances. So we are honoring his wishes and making him comfortable until his body can no longer endure. I highly recommend everyone listen to a podcast on NPR On Point called End of Life needs an Overhaul. We're taking it one day at a time. Not sure when we will be heading south. We need to be here for Dad for as long as we can. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.



 
 
 

4 comments:

  1. So sorry to hear about your father's change of health. I agree that the way we are allowed to care for our loved ones in the final stages of their lives needs to be re-examined.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Rick and Kathy, I knew you would be the first to reply. You're sentiments are greatly appreciated. My dad's health issues are what they are. Fortunately, he and my mom had a full life. Will continue to update in the future. Curt

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  2. So sorry to hear about your dad, after watching Dave's mom suffer from inoperable brain cancer (2nd time around) we understand what you are going through. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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  3. Such a difficult time. Sorry to hear. How difficult to go from being on your own, surgery and then hospice. How nice that you can be there for him during this time and to comfort each other. I can't imagine loosing a parent. I'm sorry. I hope if he has pain, it will be manageable. Our thoughts continue to be with you both.

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