Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Firstly, sorry about my complete disappearance from Spark People for a few days, but Dad needed me by his side constantly, and I also had to finish the floor to ceiling clean of the old house, which I fitted in when Dad was a little better and was sleeping while one of the wonderful nursing staff sat with him. Deal was that if he woke, they would call immediately and I'd drop what I was doing and return. As for sleep, I've managed to get a few hours each day, so doing ok.
As things stand, he is still hanging in there, his breathing is a little easier, the oxygen is now only being used when he is having difficulties, and the constant fluid build up in his system is being taken care of with increased diuretics. As for his heart, it's just a matter of time, he knows what's happening, wants me to be with him all the time. He panics when he wakes and I'm not there holding his hand, but staff cal me immediately and I go back, spend time with him till its safe to disappear for an hour or two.
I called my sister, left a message on her machine explaining what the situation was with Dad, but it produced no result. She has totally ignored the fact that Dad wanted to see her, didn't even call the nursing home to check on him, won't return my calls, so I have given up. My eldest daughter's reaction was also disappointing, just said to let her know what happened, say hi to him, she had to go do the housework, cut the call.
Positives? Yes, there are some, definitely.
Dad knows he is not long for this world, has told me he is looking forward to being with Mum again, to seeing her free of pain. Says its been tearing him apart since she passed away to think of her and have the mind picture of her as she was in her final hours. He wants to be with her again and see her free of pain, and with that smile on her face she constantly used to have. He is actually looking forward to the end.
But... I called Julie, who was set to jump on the next plane, was going to do whatever it took to get her to be with her Pop, till I persuaded her to wait, to see what happens. Dad doesn't want her to come down, says he would just be causing her added stress, so please wait till he's better, if that happens, then come to see him under better circumstances, or to come say bye to him at the funeral. She will do as he asked. I told her its her decision, but no, she will do as her Pop asks, same as always.
Fiona, although she was meant to be spending at least another few days in bed, got in the car and drove straight up to be with her Pop and I, only stopping to print up some photos of the wedding and put them in an album for Dad to see, to honour her promise to him that she would do so next time she saw him. The look on his face when he saw her walking down the corridor towards his room was one of absolute happiness. He was so vague, so confused, but he grinned and said 'Fiona's come!'. I left them together for a while, they both had things they needed and wanted to say to each other, and when I returned they were both smiling and holding hands.
After Dad being given a mild sedative,, fell asleep for a while, and Fiona and I went over to the house, worked like crazy for 3 hours, then moved the last of the stuff over here. She was determined she was going to help me with it, no way would she take no for an answer. We had a really good talk about Dad, about his wishes, about what we would both like to include in his final farewell. Fiona left late that afternoon, refused the offer of a friend of mine driving her home, as independent as her grandfather, lol. She is coping with the effects of the stress of Dad's illness on her fibromyalgia and emotions by making up a video of Dad's favourite music, photos and wording, from as far back as we have the photos till the current time. This will be a part of his funeral service. He loved the one she did for Mum and Dad's 59th wedding anniversary, said then he'd love one for his funeral... she is making sure she does all she can to grant his wish.
My friends and neighbours have been a tower of strength, have fed and walked the dogs, fussed over the cats, helped me with the house, mown my lawns, etc. One friend has helped me each time I went to clean the house, and brought freshly cooked meals with her. Definitely not meals which will help my weight remain at goal, but at this point in time, I don't really care. The love that has gone into each and every meal has been far more important.
To the teams I haven't had time to post to, sorry, hopefully I will be back in the next day or so. Dad is ok at the moment, but I will stay beside him as long as he feels the need to have me by his side. He worries about me getting 'the call', wants me to be there with him so I know he is at peace, rather than feeling guilty because I wasn't beside him. He has to be my first priority, just as I have been his during most of my life as a single parent.
Please understand that I am with you all in spirit, even though not on the team message boards, not posting. I am, however, sending love and support to each and every one of you, and a promise I will be back to normal just as soon as I can be. Sorry I have just had to abandon the teams temporarily. I'll be back to normal within the next few days, as Dad comes to terms with the fact that there is every chance he will be here for a while yet. It's just the uncertainty and disbelief of that fact that means he needs me so much just now.