Like in the James Bond Movie, “Never Say Never Again”, when the aging Bond was brought back for another assignment, our 007 is slowly getting himself back, and teaching us all to “Never Say Never Again”.

Yesterday, as he was continuing his daily battle against the evil forces keeping him in the disguised bond mobile that looks like a plain wheelchair for the untrained eye, he surprised all of us at the time when we thought it would not be the day we would win the battle.

All day long, he had been training hard for his next assignment, and when his entire team of Super Secret CareAgents were ready to give up on him, he said in true James Bond fashion “I am ready now”, and started to get up. He did not quite make it all the way, and while it was a small step for man – it was a giant leap for our 007.

Our 007 has a long history of teaching us to “Never Say Never Again”.  For circumstances beyond his control, our 007 had to restart his life from ground zero 3 times and in different countries, and each time – when most of his secret agent family team were ready to give up, he showed us that each day brought new opportunities.

From the day he fled his home country and landed in Spain during a very cold snowy winter night without a cent to his name and no winter coat himself or his family, he kept moving forward past all the evil agents standing in his way and brought joy and hope to his secret agent family team with the world’s finest chocolates and winter coats that zero money could buy.

To this day, we have no clue how he was able to get those chocolates and coats on that cold winter night, but if anybody could – that would be our 007 Father.

007 Dad - No Standing Anytime

 

Bambi

Her name was Candace, but he kept calling her Bambi, and like the bodyguard in one of 007’s movies, she was fighting hard, but our 007 would not give up.

He was weak from having jumped from his bed (well, it was more like he was sticking his legs out of bed telling us he had to head out before the bad guys would find him), and since that 5 am jump attempt,  he had been talking nonstop about how to escape from the evil forces that were coming.

Like other agents, he knew he could only give minimal information if caught by the other side, so he memorized his key information to give out in those horrible interrogations – his address and birthday, and whenever he became agitated, we would ask him for his basic information and like clockwork he would start with the address, and get a bit confused when he got to his birthday, but would usually make it.

His Bambi was really giving him a workout, and his arms were up and down, and legs were up and down, and he was pushing back, and he lost his balance a few times – but finally exhausted he stopped and in true 007 fashion asked Bambi: “How much do you want to stop and join us?

Bambi laughed, stopped, and told him: Until Thursday, but you will need to practice all those physical therapy techniques prior to then. Bambi, or Candace, was our 007’s strict Physical Therapist and she was working on getting him ready for his next assignment: Back to Walking.

Diamonds are Forever

Our 007 on First Beach Assignment that turned out to be a 58+ Years Love affair  Mission
Our 007 on First Beach Assignment that turned out to be a 58+ Years Love affair Mission

Today would have been our 007’s 60th wedding anniversary, and last night when we were putting his “Astronaut Pants” (adult diapers) on – We almost dropped him when we heard a CBS Evening news story about a couple celebrating their 60th Wedding anniversary in the same hotel and in the same room. (http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/couple-celebrates-60th-anniversary-at-the-waldorf-astoria/)

We were surprised by the news report because if Mom would have lived until now, we had been talking about having them celebrate their 60th Wedding Anniversary with a trip to where their 007 Movie Adventure started, Cuba and to the same hotel and same beach. They always dreamed of going back and getting into one of Havana’s perfectly preserved 1950s car and touring all of Cuba’s beautiful beaches with the friends and family they had not seen for over 50 years.

They missed it by 2 years, but the news report actually made us smile because we saw mom and dad’s 60th wedding anniversary dream become a reality thru the Couple in the news report.

Today, we asked our 007 what he was getting for Mom for their 60th Wedding Anniversary, and without missing a beat, he said “Diamonds, of course”, and then I remembered that one of their favorite 007 movies was “Diamonds are Forever”.

Now, we need to get our 007 into his super secret spy car disguised as a plain wheelchair to avoid detection.

 

007 Caregiver

Our 007's True Diamon
Our 007’s True Diamon

Tomorrow is a tough day today.

Mom died 2 years ago unexpectedly and dad went into shock. He went from being in perfect health to PTSD and that accelerated the onset of dementia. He has been on a steep decline since her death.

Tomorrow would have been their 60th wedding anniversary.

Tomorrow we would have been having our annual family celebration, but tomorrow we will be getting a home nurse visit to check on how dad is doing after his second recent visit to the ICU.

Tomorrow we won’t have the usual annual celebration but Tomorrow is a new celebration of just being able to be with dad this Labor Day. There won’t be bbqs, but we will do what dad loves to do – we will go to the baseball game tomorrow.

We will watch whatever baseball game is on cable and tomorrow we will be at the baseball game with dad. After asking for the hot dogs, he will, as he has done every day since her death, ask when is mom (his wife) is coming?

After the game ends, we will move on to watch his favorite 007 Movie, and tomorrow we will celebrate with dad, baseball, hot dogs, and 007.

If Option A is DIGNIFIED, then what is Option B?

Today, dad woke up with lots of energy, and we won the first “Post ICU II” Battle – We were able to get him to sit in bed and we got him to the wheelchair and then to the Den.  He sipped his coffee (not aware that it is decaf coffee), and looked out to the waves the wind was making in the pool. Today was a good dad day, and quite a contrast to a week ago when were in our local hospital’s ER waiting for an ICU room from 9am to 7pm.

During the Emergency Room(ER) wait, a Medications Doctor came into examine dad and ask us a few questions about 6 hours after we had entered ER.  She was a bit too formal for my taste, but after 6 hours in ER, I was just happy that dad was seeing a doctor. However, my excitement over finally seeing a doctor was soon over when she explained the “Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)” form.

007 Mendicoa with Scotland Yard Killer Guard Dog
007 Mendicoa with Scotland Yard Killer Guard Dog

She said to us,

“You have two options to choose from:

Option A:

Thru a DNR you can let him have a DIGNIFIED end of life…We would not do anything to resuscitate”, OR

Option B:

We would employ AGGRESSIVE procedures to resuscitate, but sometimes these procedures result in BROKEN ribs and other INJURIES

I was tired, but not tired enough to be dumbfounded a the way these 2 options were being presented to us by a highly educated medical professional.

If Option A was the DIGNIFIED option, then Option B would be the NON-Dignified option – so if we choose to let him die, we would be doing the right thing, and if we would want him to be helped and saved – then we would not be very dignified?

I am a believer that terminally ill patients and their families should have the choice to end their life, but I am very upset at the use of the term DIGNIFIED being used in the presentation of one option (let them die) and not the other (help them live).

The term DIGNIFIED is not a medical term, and should never be used in presenting the DNR Choices.

Let the patients and their families choose what they see as the right choice for them and their loved ones without judgement, and the use of the word DIGNIFIED is offering a judgement that we did not invite nor needed after being in the ER with our 85 year old father 6 hours.

Old Tree Art