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    RAYLINSTEPHENS   178,116
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Hospice came today... a little long but now you can understand.

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!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JGAL8123 5/20/2011 5:46PM

    You are a wonderful daughter for all that you are doing for your father. You'll be in my prayers.
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HILARY-TEE 5/20/2011 5:42PM

    Dear RaylinS,
Our Father's blessing on you both ... your Dad and yourself. I can only understand
how things are, from 'walking' with my husband , as far as I was permitted to go,on his journey and can certainly understand how everything has been for you as your Dad's
Caregiver. Very few know that as the time drew closer I too was faced with having to be the 'decision maker'. Believe me when I tell you my thoughts are very much with you in so many ways. Take care Raylin of you, and be assured the hospice will give all
gentle loving care and dignity to your Dad. emoticon emoticon

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MOMMYKAY038 5/20/2011 5:40PM

    You are an amazing person. Please don't let this hurt you but consider getting with a greif group now. You know from losing your mom that all types of emotions creep up. You have done such a wonderful job with your dad... You both deserve peace and I really hope all the right support is in place for you!

HUGS

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MRS.DOYLE 5/20/2011 5:36PM

    We fought to get my father into a hospice and he finally made it there 6 days before he died. But they were a most relaxing peaceful 6 days for all of us. Hospices are wonderful, special places. Be strong.

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LAROSEBAUGH 5/20/2011 5:35PM

    You are so strong, and your dad is lucky to have you. I admire your bravery and love for him. Take care of yourself too, and I hope this process is healing for you all!

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HEALTHY4ME 5/20/2011 4:36PM

    YOu my dear are a strong lady, I know it is what we do when we have to but you are doing it well. I wish so bad that I had done more for mum, but hsopice here is very limited and I didn't know alot about it, I did what I could up to selling our house and moving back ti the city. So I do understand it all. HUGS and lots of strength but please do remember take care of the caregiver !!!!

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HARLOW10 5/20/2011 4:31PM

    My family dealt with hospice when my mom passes away from cancer, and they really are amazing. Bless you for being the caregiver your dad needed during his journey. emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/20/2011 4:28PM

    As so many have said, bless you for your support of your father, and bless him in his end of life choices. emoticon

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CREATINGAMANDA 5/20/2011 4:20PM

    My prayers are definitely with you. I am going through a similar situation with my mom right now and it is heartbreaking. I wish you both peace ... you are amazing and strong and I'm sure your dad is proud of you.

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LMMIMI 5/20/2011 4:01PM

    Bless you for the caregiver you have been. It is difficult to let go, but what a comfort to know the kind, compassionate care your Dad will be receiving and yourself as well. Prayers are with you and your family. emoticon

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TREASURINGLIFE 5/20/2011 3:57PM

    (((HUGS))). Hospice is the most amazingly blessed thing ever! I have no doubts they will do all they can to make him as comfortable as possible during his remaining days...and you as well.

Take care,
Michelle

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MARTY19 5/20/2011 3:52PM

    Bless you Linda for being such a wonderful daughter. Yu have always given your Pop love and support. I know this has to be the most difficult decision you have ever made, but you didn't think of yourself - you only think about Pop. I'll be your shoulder any time you need to vent.

Love you,
Marty

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NEW-CAZ 5/20/2011 3:51PM

    I am pleased to hear your father if receiving palliative hospice care and that you are there with him.
They will ensure his comfort and that he is as pain free as possible Linda. Hospice staff are so caring you can rest that he will be relaxed and looked after with dignity.
Hugs and prayers being sent hun and if ever you need a friendly ear, I'm here.
Take care emoticon emoticon

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HUNGRYWOMAN2 5/20/2011 3:47PM

    You are a strong and amazing woman! Very fortunate to spend some last quality time with your father. Having worked as an in-home caretaker to some wonderful individuals it has always struck me how peaceful they are. I have been blessed to be a part of their final days. I have also worked with hospice, and I cannot say enough about the wonderful care, and services provided. Pallative care is in no way giving up. It provides the dignity and comfort we all fear to lose at the end. I am so glad you have the support, and continuing support of hospice. Your acceptance and wisdom in knowing when it is time to let go will provide your father peace. You and your family will be in my prayers.
Blessings! emoticon emoticon

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ANNIEJEFFRIES 5/20/2011 3:45PM

    God bless you both. Remember to take good care of yourself as well as your father. And lean on the hospice people when you need to. That is why they are there. For both of you.


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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 5/20/2011 3:41PM

    Gosh, I just get all teared up... my heart goes out to you, and I am sending love and prayers. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EMSJOURNEY 5/20/2011 3:37PM

    emoticon

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 5/20/2011 3:33PM

    i emoticon hospice. Best thing ever for my own dad...

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MRE1956 5/20/2011 3:30PM

    Bless you and your dad!

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LORISEVERANCE 5/20/2011 3:29PM

    Take good care during this difficult time.

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