Tuesday, April 03, 2007

This is Hell

The weekend was rough, Sunday especially. Hospice visited on Saturday and said that Dad was working too hard to breath and to up his pain meds. Here's the problem I have with that right now: Dad isn't in a lot of pain and yes, his breathing is an effort. But giving him pain meds doesn't alleviate the effort - it just gets him so stoned he's not aware of it.

I hope none of you ever have to watch your father try to feed himself and be unable to, to see him startle awake as he was dozing off and put his hands in his food. The uncontrollable twitching. It was brutal. Sunday was my Aunts birthday and she was lucky to get a cake, there were no presents or cards. I felt bad. At least my Dad did enjoy some of her birthday cake and ice cream, even if my Mom had to feed it to him and hold on to him to steady him so he could eat. I had to keep leaving the table because I couldn't hold it together. My bro & Grandmother were crying too. This feels like the fourth circle of hell.

Mom felt guilty for giving him the pain meds. I told her she shouldn't, she went on the recommendation of hospice. We both know that my Dad would hate being like this, totally gorked out. He's especially sensitive to the narcotics, I imagine being sober for so many years could have something to do with it too. Mom tried to talk to Dad to let him know how out of it he was. His comment was "Beat him over the head with a fucking bat", he was listening to COPS on TV in the background, not my Mom. Dad can still come up with some funny shit - even with everything he's going through. He's always had a great sense of humor.

I left work early yesterday and saw a huge difference in Dad. He was much brighter, able to feed himself, more coherent. He still babbles ragtime sometimes. I was able to talk to him a bit about finances. He gets frustrated very easily though because he can't remember his account #'s or passwords. He did move around more in the 3 hours I was there than the entire day Sunday. He even had enough coordination to maneuver the mouse on Moms laptop.

I'm leaving work early again today so Mom can go to the credit union and get the account #'s and passwords. The mortgage is late and Dad handled all the bills. Mom had been bugging him for a while to show her everything, but he kept hanging on to it. It's the one thing he could control and I think he felt that if he gave it up, it was one step closer to giving up. We all thought there'd be more time for this, to get things squared away. I'll have to handle everything for now, to try and take some of the load off Mom.

I'm hoping he comes around a bit more so I can at least get a handle on how he did things.

In talking with D over the weekend (she lost her Dad suddenly a couple years ago), she said they found a paper in her Dad's stuff titled Things You'll Need to Know. It had everything on it - the bank accounts, insurance policies, pensions etc. I need to write up something like that. Most of my bills are paid online automatically. My son wouldn't have a clue where to start if something happened to me. I need to have a list of all my accounts, how they're paid, when they're paid, my computer log ins and online accounts, my life insurance policy, what would need to be canceled and how...etc...etc...

You all should do it to. It might just feel like it's your job to take care of all that stuff, maybe there isn't anyone else to do it. But, if something should happen to you - would there be someone that could take over and make sure things are taken care of? If you're like me and used to taking care of things, I certainly wouldn't want to dump it all on someone else without at least some direction.


Suldog said...


That's great advice. I was lucky that my Dad kept a very simple and orderly financial house. When he died, being an only child I had to handle everything. It wasn't easy, but it could have been much, much worse if I didn't have a clear path to follow.

I'm going to take a lesson from him - and you - and make a print-out for MY WIFE tonight, just in case and heaven forbid.

My prayers, as always, every night.

Thimbelle said...

I wish that I could just take this for you. I know all too well where you are right now with this, and if I could, I would do this part for you, so that you wouldn't have to.

I hate it that you have to go through this. I hate it that your family must watch someone they love so much suffer through this. I hate it that this damn disease is still not conquered.

Our prayers are with you; stay as strong as you can, and cherish every minute together as a family.



Sharfa said...

Thank you Suldog & Thimbelle (you are truly so sweet!)

Rurality said...

"I hope none of you ever have to watch..."

Already have. Sorry you're having to also.