Friday, May 20, 2011
7 years ago on Jan 1, 2004 my mother left this world and I inherited my father. His health was poor as he was barely healed from a total Colectomy - removal of the entire colon - due to excessive diverticulitis and the fear was if even one bleeder was left my dad could have bled to death. He almost died twice the same month, once from a bleeding ulcer that had to be cauterized with a scope passed down through his throat - I later learned this almost never works and the surgeon has to watch as the patient bleeds to death!
I promised him then that if he wanted to live I would give him his best shot at life but if not, there was no way for me to eat and breathe for him. The choice would always be his. When I saved his life for the above cauterization, he told me he had been ready to go and I told him, "oops." This became our favorite word - every time he said he was ready I said, "oops."
June 2004 he had a stent put in and it was the first time he could remember no chest pain! August 2004 he had his first knee replacement and the 2nd in November 2004 and for the first time he could stand on his legs without pain. September 2004 I took him to Sleep Study for his Sleep Apnea and he was issued a CPAP machine but they also discovered a severe heart malfunction which led to his having a defibrillator/pacemaker installed In December 2004. 7 times he was hospitalized in 2004. He is a retired baker and I started calling him the Bionic Baker!
On his birthday, Feb 12, 2009 he took his first Dialysis treatment - again, his choice. He had told me he would not do dialysis and then told the doctor he'd try. He underwent 3 surgeries for his Fistula ( a vein & artery are joined for the dialysis ) and the first was into an occluded vein and had to be 'uninstalled' and put into the other arm - it grew back and had to be removed a 2nd time! 3 surgeries for one Fistula!
For anyone reading this and not understanding. For anyone thinking my father is giving up. I never knew my father had this in him - he is not a quitter. He has suffered more pain than I can understand because no one knows the pain of anyone else. The doctors have to be worried about addiction so my dad is in constant pain and cannot sleep at night because the medications only work for a limited time.
Hospice came today. The RN treated my dad like an intelligent human being and understood his pain! She slowly explained how Hospice will provide all his medications and will accept the medicare as full payment! They will give him as much pain relief as he needs. He will be given sleeping pills that graduate in strength so he can sleep at night. He can sleep in his own bed - he doesn't have to use a hospital bed!! They are even going to bring him a muscle relaxer to help relax the muscles around the area of his neck causing constant pain to him. Relief will be immediate because he will not have to ring for a nurse - only tell me or whoever is with him that he has pain.
We found out his defibrillator/pacemaker can be turned off!
He is visibly more relaxed after knowing he will be allowed to stop most of his medicines, only keeping those that will give him quality of life - like his Altzheimers medicine and medicines for pain relief and those for his stomach.
He has about one month left to him, with maybe 1-2 weeks being cognizant. He will get much attention this coming week while he is able to know who is with him. Then we will get the hospital bed and do whatever is necessary for the last weeks of his life here on earth.
Your prayers and well wishes are always welcome - he is ready to go home to be with my mother now and I am going make his journey as comfortable as possible.
Bless you all!