Femoral Shemoral… What’s in an artery?
by Bella Rum
Dad’s caregiver called yesterday afternoon with concerns about swelling in his thigh and groin area. There were also lumps appearing and some bruising. His doctor’s office was closed, but the nurse said we should call 911 because it could be a blood clot, and all the action was taking place in the neighborhood of the femoral artery. I live over an hour away. So I asked the caregiver to call 911 from Dad’s house. She did. Then I called my brother.
Meanwhile, the caregiver calls again and tells me that Dad is being “stubborn” and refusing to go to the hospital. I knew this was going to happen. He’s done this before. He is loath to leave his house for “no good reason.” I talked to him.
Me ~ Dad, you have to go to the hospital.
Dad ~ I don’t need a damn doctor, and I see no reason to go see one if I don’t need to.
Me ~ Dad, Dr. C says you need to go to the hospital and get checked out. You could have a blood clot.
Dad ~ I’m not in pain and I don’t need a doctor.
Me ~ Dad, it could be the beginning of a very bad thing.
Dad ~ What?
Me ~ It could be serious.
Dad ~ What? I can’t hear you.
Me ~ You can hear me, Dad.
Dad ~ Nope. Nope. I can’t.
Holy cow. It’s a circus all the time. He makes me mad and then he makes me laugh. He’s going to be himself until the very last minute. We are all players in his world. You have to admire that. Or you could let it drive you nuts. Either way.
The EMTs arrived and Dad refused to go. They asked him a series of questions: his birth date, age, etc. Firing on all cylinders, he rattled off his SS#. They said he was mentally sound, and they couldn’t force him to do anything he didn’t want to do. My brother said he was full of himself. That means no one was going to tell him what to do.
So, he’s at home and I’ll probably go down today and try to get him to go to his doctor. He likes his doctor so maybe he’ll agree. Who knows? I wouldn’t bet my favorite comfy socks on it.