This is just a quick Thank you note, and to update our customers.
As you probably know, our office has been closed for several weeks. We are finally reopened as of Monday April 10th. I know there is a ton of work to be done, a zillion phone calls and emails to be answered. I am going to endeavor to do those things as quickly as humanly possible.
First off, THANK YOU for your patience with us. Our employees are ready to come back to work, and mentally, so am I. What you probably don’t know, is that we nearly lost our Dad in January, and Judy and I have almost been living with Mom & Dad in the process. Dad is 86, and Mom is 82.
This is something I’d like to share with each of you, for multiple reasons, first to explain WHY we’ve been absent as of late, but just as importantly, I know that many of you have aging parents yourselves, and we have learned SO much in the past few months.
First off, please PAY ATTENTION to the “normal” of your parents lives, and if you notice the “norm” becoming something else, try to get involved. Dad had been “slipping” for a bit. He’d forget where he left his keys, etc. Well, neither of us thought too much about that, I’m 62 and I forget where I left my keys.
What we thought was just old age, was becoming Alzheimer’s, and it manifested itself in weird ways. Nobody was paying attention to his Meds, and he decided, to stop taking them. We noticed his getting more tired, and sitting in the chair more. Again we thought, Old age.
He had stopped taking a drug that was keeping his prostate at bay, and it blew up, as in huge. This then pressed on and shut down the bladder sensations and he stopped going to the bathroom. As the urine built up in his body, so too, did the Toxins that go with it. The tiredness, lack of ambition, etc., was really TOXINS killing him.
Fortunately, we were able to get him to an ER before he passed away. It was so touch and go that we thought he was a goner. The VA couldn’t handle the severity of what was going on, and we transferred him to St. Vincent’s where we spent a week. St Vincent’s would not let him come home because none of us could provide the 24/7 care (we thought) so they transferred him to a home where we spent a weekend only to come to terms with the horrible nature of THAT place, so we brought him home. COMPLETE, UTTER CHAOS. The dementia, already rolling, was made worse by the sickness and he became so unmanageable that we admitted him to the hospital. From there to the County Nursing home, where he improved over the time he was there, but so wanted to be home, and we wanted him there. They put a Foley Cath in, and then started the Urinary Tract Infections that tend to follow. The dementia made him reject the catheter, pulling, tugging, breaking bags, just crazy things that you’d NEVER in your lifetime think about, until there you are, faced with it. There were, 9 trips to the Hospital ER. Consider yourself lucky, if your ER visit is anywhere less than 6 hours. Just plan on that.
It was at that point, that there was a decision to be made. Save the business, or save Dad. There weren’t enough of us to go around. It was Judy and I, and then, sadly, Judy got sick. 11 Days of flu, then she lost her voice.
So it was me. I was the only one left standing. I slept on the floor by his bed so that I could protect him from pulling his catheter, getting out of bed and doing God only knows what, etc.
Along the way, we were able to get a Home Health Nurse, a morning nurse to bathe and keep him clean, and finally Judy got well enough to spend time with him in the afternoons so that Granny could take a nap, etc.
This week, he has finally accepted the catheter (sort of), and we’ve moved to a different phase of the journey. Tuesday was my last night sleeping beside him, and Granny took over. Our long term prayer is that He continues to improve, that we can get rid of the catheter, and get back to some sense of normal.
Sadly, in pulling and tugging on him, I suffered a muscle pull and a hernia evolved. Next Wednesday I have a pre-op appointment, and we’ll get his fixed up. I’m healthy, and clearly stronger than I thought, and we’ll get through this.
For the most part, we simply HAD to close the office. The expense, with no offsetting income, just could not be borne. I know it hurt customers, and I know it hurt employees. It is not what we would like to have done, but sometimes you face a decision in life, and that decision is about what really IS important. Is it the people you love, or the business you’ve built and carried on your back for 25 plus years.
In the end, to me at least, there wasn’t any doubt about any of it. I’ve done what I believed to be the right thing, and I’ll simply have to stand by that going forward.
Many of you have cared. Some of you have not. I understand both sides, and I can appreciate where you are. It is NOT that I don’t care, it has NOTHING to do with that, it simply means that I believe, with all of my heart, that if it ever came to a point where you had to make a decision to take care of your loved ones, or worry about me, I’d pray that you too, made the right decision.
God Bless each of you. I look forward to getting back to work.
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