Friday, September 2, 2011

Some of this post may be TMI for those who are squeamish about elder/invalid care. We get everything set up and get him home. This starts 2 weeks of my life that I'm really not sure how to describe. When you take a patient home on hospice, you have CNA's and Nurses that check in periodically but the family is in charge of most of the care. The point of hospice is not to keep someone alive but to make them as comfortable as possible as they die. My brother and sister weren't comfortable with a lot of the care that had to be done and both had other commitments as well. Daron and I found we work great as a team so we took on the majority of the care. Changing the sheets, changing his shirt, changing his diaper(yes he needed an adult diaper as he still had no use of his left side). He did get to where he was fairly good at letting us know he had to pee and we could help him use the portable jug urinal.

We had countless people in and out of the house most days. As I stated in an earlier post my parents house is in a rural area. There is a 1/4 mile gravel driveway to get to the house and we were getting a lot of rain at this time. We actually had to barricade part of the driveway off and have people drive up the ditch so they wouldn't get stuck. Everyone was bringing food, coming to visit and say their goodbyes. He did get to a point where he was eating a little bit. He constantly wanted beer or tequila for some odd reason(he wasn't a big drinker). And he wanted chinese food. Of course any liquid had to be thickened(so he wouldn't choke) and any food had to be blended. We weren't getting much sleep a couple hours a night maybe. On the bright side my Dad kept us laughing, he had gained some speech back and was able to communicate fairly well.

Several times he tried to steal a cell phone from someone and call someone who cared. Even though he admitted we were trying and doing our best, and he knew how much we love him. He was also on morphine so thought he was in Colorado much of the time, and one time when I went to take a shower told me to watch out for the snakes(apparently we were in Louisiana when i asked him). We had my mom sleeping on the rollaway bed next to the hospital bed my dad was in. He would constantly pull himself to the edge of the bed so he could see her. They also have a little parrot that he constantly wanted to watch.

A few days before he passed we knew it was getting close and we asked to have our privacy from visitors. My Dad knew my mom would be taken care of, knew my brother would be OK, and knew that Daron and I would be OK, he was only still worried about my sister. Before she left one morning she came over to where I was laying on the floor and told me she was really happy and had told Dad the same thing. That morning after I switched to the couch my mom and I both finally fell asleep and Daron was asleep on the other couch. We fell asleep about 5 or 5 30 and my phone was set for my Dad's next morphine dose at 6. Between the time we all fell asleep and the time my alarm went off he passed peacefully in his sleep on March 16th of 2010.

Those 2 weeks were some of the hardest 2 weeks I have ever spent but they have been a big part of the person I have become today. Again I know this is a TTC blog but something like this changes a person so much it cannot help but be covered.


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