Is there anything I can do?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2003
Is there anything I can do?
5
Sun, 04-13-2003 - 3:50pm
Hi I'm new here and I have a question about my father.

He is 65 and has had many TIA's over the years and was told many times after seeing dr's and getting CT scans that he has clogged arteries in his neck and heart.

He also has had severe nosebleeds which led to hospitalization to stop the bleeding which required surgery. I beleive this was due to his high blood pressure and almost like a stroke? only the vessels that burst were in his nasal passages.

The trouble at the moment is that he is an alcoholic and when he drinks his right leg swells up 3 or 4 times normal at the ankle and foot and it gets so bad it breaks the skin and bleeds. When he sobered up a few times he's gone to the doctor who ordered all kinds of tests, he did get the CT scan, they found two black spots on his lungs and the clogged artiers. The Cardiologist referred him to get blood work done, which since October he refuses to do.

One day he was totally passed out and his leg was so awfully swollen I called the paramedics, but he refused treatment.

They say he can do that although advised him to seek medical care immediately.

My question is. Is there anything I can do to IMPLORE him to get the tests done. I've told him over and over and he simply refuses. He says he'd rather die from whatever it is then let a Dr cut him open (no one ever said that was the case I told him that it may just be a matter of taking a pill to lower his blood pressure) He just won't listen and I'm at my wits end.

Besides the question of Making him see a dr, I'm wondering what on earth it IS that causes the leg swelling and all and also what to expect.

I'm very worried and sorry for the lenght of this post, but I needed to ask and also to vent I guess.

Thanks in advance for any help or advice.

Hope

Avatar for cl_themummy2001
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 04-14-2003 - 8:16am
Hi, Hope.....and welcome to the board!

Your Dad certainly DOES have a lot of medical problems.....all of which are exacerbated by his alcoholism. And, unfortunately, there is little you can do to MAKE him seek medical care. I'm assuming your Dad still has his mental faculties and is able to make decisions on his own that ARE appropriate, right? If so, there's not much you can do. I'm so sorry, Hon! The EMT's were correct in saying that he can refuse medical treatment.....it's the old "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink" story. If he refuses medical treatment of any kind, there's just no way (short of having him declared legally incompetent) that you can make him do anything. You Dad is on a very self-destructive course, but if he IS mentally competent there's not much you can do except what you ARE doing (asking him to consdier medical care for his many problems). You can't MAKE him listen, Hon....all you can do is hope he WILL listen at some point!

Good luck, Hon...this has got to be so hard on you.....seeing a person you love on such a self-destructive course.....but you're doing your best to help him and that's all you CAN do! Post often and update us on how your Dad is doing, okay?

Love and welcoming (((hugs))),

Linda.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 04-14-2003 - 2:29pm
Would he be more cooperative if you told him that he could always refuse surgery, or any procedure or treatment that he doesn't want?

It's possible that some of his problems could be managed medically...even if only to alleviate some symptoms and make him more comfortable. The CL who replied is totally right - he can refuse treatment so long as he is legally responsible for himself. If you want to push, you might try asking the docs that have treated him in the past. Sometimes they can refer medical social workers who can evaluate the situation, talk to him, and make suggestions on the best course of action - and (maybe more importantly), they can help you deal with this as well. It sounds like you have a lot on your shoulders with him...ask around, maybe you won't have to handle it alone.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2003
Mon, 04-14-2003 - 8:23pm
Thank you both very much for your welcome and advice.

I ALMOST got an answer today and some Medical care for my father

he had fallen and hit his head hard on the floor, as he was drinking so my mother (who is disabled from a brain tumor) called me and 911 - well he went to the ER and they ONLY addressed the issue of his concussion and bleeding.

Not the standing order for blood work from his doctor after the CT scan, not the fact that he had TIA's in the past or bleeding out from the nasal arteries.. NOT The fact that his leg was swollen so much ..

They didn't even do bloodwork, No alcohol level, no rehydration, nothing.

Now I recently moved south from the north and I'm not so sure about the health care system here - I feel like i'm on another planet really.

this is NOT the first time i've experienced this with the hospitals here, well they did a ct of his head, found there was a concussion but no fracture and sent him home.

Now that would have been the perfect time to AT LEAST get the blood work HIS doctor ordered who WAS on call.. they would NOT call the doctor I tried and he was discharged before I even got a chance.

So he's so out of it (intoxicated) that he's thinking , oh good I'm fine, the ER doc said so.

Well that's not true. I'm angry and I think it's because his insurance is an HMO medicare supplement which that hospital doesn't like to accept.

I'm sorry, I'm venting again. I'm just so concerned and upset with this and I really feel like something is very wrong and no one cares.

I THANK You Both, Linda and Marrymeflyfree for your help and advice and for LISTENING to me ..

I hope everyone here is doing as well as possible!

Hugs!

Hope

Avatar for cl_themummy2001
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 04-15-2003 - 9:26am
Hi, Hope!

Please update us on how your Dad is doing today! The combination of alcoholism and ANY cardiovascular (or other medical) problem can be devastating.....and I think you should perhaps try to gain some control over this situation by speaking to someone in either elder affairs or a councellor.....you need to know what rights you have (as the daughter) to protect your Dad from further injuring himself or others! Please let us know what's going on, okay?

Love and (((hugs))),

Linda.

Avatar for mkstroup
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 04-18-2003 - 7:53am
May I make a suggestion? My husband's family has had to deal with alcoholics and my sil told me that Alnon is the AA group for relatives to understand and learn to help alcoholics is very helpful. She married an alcoholic after living with parents with the same problem. Possibly you could get some insight as to your father's behavior. It seems to me he has a death wish and is trying to drink his problems away. Perhaps your mother's condition has an affect on him, too. Please get some help for yourself to understand or you will worry yourself to death about him. An alcoholic cannot be helped until he accepts that help. My late fil was sober and going to AA meetings for five years. On the 5th anniversary he took a drink and never stopped, he was dead in less than a year. There was nothing anyone could do. He was in the hospital in intensive care at least twice in that time period, but came right out of the hospital and started drinking immediately. That was years ago, but I still feel sad about it. Hugs, MK