Saturday, May 19, 2007

What next?

Hello again siblings,
About a week ago, after he had fallen just outside the back steps when he went to fill the bird feeder, I had asked Dad not to go out of the house without help, to which he had replied "I don't want to be imprisoned". I responded with "I don't want to be imprisoned by your getting injured and confined even further" or words to that effect. Then, the night before last, he fell while getting out of the tub (again) but didn't call me. At least he told me about it the next day, although it may only have been because he had pulled the shower curtain rod loose and it needed repair (thankfully it could be repaired fairly easily). Obviously his balance and control is getting worse, although I'm grateful that he wasn't badly hurt in any of those tumbles.
We had held off on moving Dad into the RV at our place because we were working on plans for him to go to Carol's, because he wants to be independent, and because I had thought he'd be alright if he didn't try to do too much. Maybe I should have moved him up here sooner . . .

In anticipation of Dad's going to Carol and Barb's this next week and to Bert's for about a month after Memorial Day, I had gone to the pharmacy and gotten enough of Dad's prescriptions to last until the end of June. Then, yesterday, I took him to see a psychiatrist for the first time, and Dr. Neerukonda wants to change Dad's prescriptions, so just as I had gotten Dad to take Aricept (a drug intended to help with dementia and memory loss), he's not going to take it anymore. He also will not be taking Paxil to help with depression anymore (can any of you use about a month's worth?). Dr. Neerukonda also wants to have Dad stop taking Toprol, which is a beta-blocker intended to help with heart function, but we're waiting to hear back from Dr. Coch's office about whether he'll go along with that change. Dr. Neerukonda didn't want to prescribe that change without his approval. He recommends all of these changes because he thinks all of those drugs may actually be contributing to his increasing confusion, and has prescribed another drug (Lexapro) instead. I'll have to be sure I get enough of that to go until he returns to Alfred, and will write up his medication regimen for Carol and Bert.
But now I am thinking perhaps Dad should stay home (and maybe in the RV, up here on the hill) another week so I can observe what changes are exhibited with the changes in medication. Compounding that, Dr. Neerukonda wants to see Dad again in the middle of June, but I think if Dad is doing well, I'll postpone that appointment. I'll call and talk with you about this, Carol.

Meanwhile, on another front, I have stopped aggressively looking for employment, but I have been working with the administration of Alfred University and of Alfred State College, on creating a job for myself, as sustainability coordinator for both campuses. I had written to A.U. President Charley Edmondson, and have now contacted A.S.C.'s Provost's office and suggested that they each create a half-time position of sustainability coordinator. I've also talked with a village trustee about them adding the same function to a part-time clerk position they're considering creating. Then, yesterday, I got a call from the former wife of a past A.U. provost, who runs a used book shop in Wellsville. I had stopped in there almost 15 years ago when she was thinking about selling the shop and moving to Florida, and told her I might be interested in taking over the shop. But then she changed her mind and decided to stay put. Anyway, she called yesterday and told me she's retiring and would sell me the business any time over the next year, but if I'm not interested she'll just sell off the inventory and close up shop. She has a regular clientele and a lease that runs until 2010, with rent of $400.00 a month, and brings in about $17,000.00 per year while operating 5 days a week for 6 hours per day (all but Sunday and Tuesday). I don't know if it would make sense for me to try to do it or not, but I feel I ought to consider it.
Anyway, I'll be in touch with Carol and Barb sometime today (since they were coming to get Dad tomorrow), and will see most of the rest of you in a week.

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