Dad’s Time Coming to an End…
The hospice nurse told my mom today that my Dad has days, at best a couple of weeks left. He ran a fever of 102 last night (this morning) and they had to call a nurse out at 4 a.m. (Thank goodness my mom has the 24/7 caregiver there.) She was able to get the temperature down, but he was twitching violently (he has Parkinson’s-like twitching all the time, but this was much worse and much more violent I guess). So, they upped his pain medication, gave him something to get the fever down, which I guess worked and he was resting comfortably (seemingly) today. The nurse who followed up with him this afternoon said his swallowing is very poor and his blood pressure is very low. So, those are both signs that there isn’t much time left.
This is bittersweet for me. I was sad hearing the news, but also relieved. The last few times I have been to visit, my dad is simply a shell, laying on a hospital bed. Very rarely can he seemingly recognize anyone or make eye contact or react at all. It is hard to visit, as you feel so helpless. So, because of that, I am glad that his passing will not be drawn out like this for months on end. I know it is hard on my mom who wants so badly to talk to him, to hear his voice, to see some recognition in his eyes. But, there is none. I am sad that he will be gone, but he has been gone for a while now. And I think his being gone will make things easier on my mom.
But, now there is this limbo. I offered to go down and stay with my mom so she would not be alone. She said she was not alone because the caregiver was there and that she would need me more later – either when things got worse or when he has passed. She also does not want my daughter to have to be around during this time. She doesn’t understand much, but she knows that Grandpa can’t talk or recognize her anymore. She deals with it fine. But, my mom worries and I can understand her not wanting her around if things get worse. So, we sit… and wait.
I guess there isn’t much else to do. We were planning on going down to visit my in-laws on Sunday. I guess that may change or it may not change. At least my husband will be back home tomorrow from his seven weeks of working away from home. So, if I do have to go to my mom’s I can do that without my four year old in tow. Today I just feel tired. Really, really worn down. I am tired of the feeling that everyone in my life has health issues. I am tired of feeling like I don’t know what to do next or what I CAN do period. I am tired of feeling overwhelmed and stressed out and trying to figure out how to make everything work when nothing seems to be working. I am tired of feeling tired. I am tired of medical professionals and hospital beds and chemo treatments and blood tests and daily medicines and check ups and worry and worry and worry.
It is funny, because last week I was beginning to feel like things were getting better. I wasn’t as stressed. I seemed to be relatively on top of things. Things seemed to be evening out for the time being. Then this weekend, it all came crashing down again it seems like.
I am being overly negative and overly dramatic. My daughter is healthy. My dad’s health is not a surprise. I am seemingly healthy. My mom seems to be doing okay (despite her depression and constant negativity). My sister is doing okay. We have what we need at this point in time. We can eat, we have shelter, we have transportation, and we have great support from friends and family. I may not be the best financial manager or time management expert or housekeeper, but I’ve made it work as a mother to a chronically ill child and a daughter to two pretty ill parents. So, I guess at this point, I will take what I can get and look forward to more tomorrows when I will feel like a better financial manager, time manager, housekeeper, etc.