tHe haPPy grOUch

tHe haPPy grOUch

Friday, June 7, 2013

Update on my father...

It's been two days since I've written, and it appears that dad may be getting a tiny bit better. Except, there's not really much better about the entire thing.
No matter how little his levels improve, it's still end stage liver and kidney disease.
If/when he gets out, he needs a COMPLETE lifestyle change to get a few more years out of his body. And not just the liver/kidneys and alcohol... His heart, his physical impairments... Not to mention the failing cognitive functioning...
Last night he asked me why there was a school bus out in the nurses station, and if it had been in a wreck. Yesterday he said there were icicles caught on his glasses, and when trying to knock them off, he "accidentally" pulled out (all three feet of) his feeding tube (this was the third time he'd pulled it out). The day before that, he told us the doctor had come in and said he has evidence of a head injury in the CT scan (which there isn't). The other day he told Mom's pastor a story about how he'd given a kid a bass guitar 20 years ago, under the understanding that he must learn to play and keep up with it, and that just this week the kid had given it back to him.
He tells these silly stories daily. A few times a day. Just goes all weird. He is symptomatic of a dementia patient (from the alcohol induced encephalopathy).. speaking inappropriately, hallucinating, difficulty maintaining a conversation, shortened attention span, memory issues, anxiety, a sad overall difference in his personality...
I don't know which is more difficult to comprehend, his failed physical health, or his failed mental health.

Assuming he gets all the way through this hospital stay, he'll need extensive physical therapy to become functioning again. It is still too early to tell whether or not he will have to go into a nursing home after this, or be able to have some semblance of living on his own. Or who will care for him. Or where he will go.

Speaking of which... Aside from my heart break for the loss of the man I once knew, I am discovering how the technicalities of these critical times; the stress, the grief, or a POA and Guardianship, for example, can open old wounds, loosen family ties, create rifts that possibly can't be undone.

I am spending less and less time at the hospital now. I'm not needed there. Nor can I stand it most of the time anyway. I'm probably experiencing one of the many stages of grief; anger. And it's more than just anger. I'm furious. It's like a poison.

I'll update with anything new as the days pass.
Keep us all in your thoughts and prayers. Or whatever.