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Thursday, June 2nd

Can the days be any worse than today?   I hope not.

First, my father is definitely becoming more confused.  He spoke today of getting out of the hospital, fixing something that he “fixed by accident”, having somewhere to go, and asked questions like where he was, how he got there, what a piece of toast was, etc.  He was also restless and hostile today.  I hope that is not the direction things are going.  Confused is one thing, but he seemed genuninely uncomfortable and was angry.

He asked the doctor if he was really sick, and he asked her to give him a date for his dying.  She told him only the Man upstairs knows the date, and he reacted very frustrated to that.  He yelled at Ann every time she tried to do something to help him.  Agitated I think is the word I need.  He kept claiming to be choking, but he was talking, breathing, and complaining just fine. 

There is some potentially bad news.  The social worker introduced herself to Ann and mentioned needing to talk to her again on Monday if my father is still stable.  She said that they might have to discharge him if he is still holding his own on Monday because she doesn’t think Medicare will pay for inpatient hospice if my dad is stable.  I’m not sure how they can call this stable.  He is deteriorating before our eyes.  His skin feels like a rubber duck – kind of damp, clammy, with tight, sort of hard skin.  There is no way that Ann can take care of him at home.  He is getting heavier from the build up of fluid and there is no way she can lift him.  They will send hospice workers to the house, but they will not provide him round the clock care like the nursing staff at the inpatient hospice.  Ann says if they are sending him home, much sicker than he was when he went in on Friday, she wants him back on dialysis.  There is no way he can be taken care of at home.

I don’t know what’s worse.  Bean’s death was a shock and it hurts now to know that there were no goodbyes, no final conversations, etc.  But watching my dad get sicker over the years only to get to this point where he’s stuck is excruciating.  Perhaps it’s a way for God to prepare those of us who are not ready to lose him for his eventual passing.  If we see how absolutely awful his last days are, we will be grateful to see him go.