Thursday, October 11, 2007

141 this may be it

I went to the hospital emergency room to see my dad. I dosed myself heavily with Dayquil first. He didn't even know I was there.
He was on a backboard. They had to put stitches in his head. His mouth was filled with blood where he had bitten his tongue and the insides of his cheeks. The blood was all over his teeth. Stupid, but that upset me to see. While I was in there he went into another seizure. I have parrots who have seizures and I can recognize them. His eyes went crazy, his jaw set, he started making awful noises. I said, "Is having a seizure?" and the nurse said "No, he's in terrible pain" (like that's better?) but then his legs came up and his back arched and I knew it was really a seizure.
I had to leave the cubicle to give them room to work. They suctioned out his mouth--so much blood, they left the tube full of gore hanging there--and then started talking about his oxygen level and looking for an oxygen bottle for him-the bed didn't have one and they had to run and find one, then his blood pressure went through the roof. They were supposed to do an xray but instead did a cat scan (or some other brain scan). Came back with really bad news. He's got a major bleed really deep in his head. They offered to call a neurosurgeon but said even if he didn't have AD it's a really bad place, not easy to get to. It might stop on its own...but he's on blood thinners. I asked, not facetiously, if they have a blood thickener. The nurse said there is no agent that can cancel out the Plavix. (However you spell it.) My mom asked right out "is this going to kill him" and the nurse said "probably." We agreed on DNR, no feeding tube, none of that nonsense. If it doesn't kill him he will be a vegetable so of course we want it to kill him but it's still my dad, you know? It's my Daddy! I'm not even 40. [edit: I said "nurse" here because I thought at the time that's what she was, but she was a doctor. It's so hard to tell when everyone wears the same scrubs and no name tags.]
I called my best friend, not like she can help, and she just felt awful. Her dog is really sick and she's probably going to have to put him down, and I was crying over her dog and she was crying over my dad and telling me not to worry about her stupid dog. But I have room in my heart to mourn for a dog she loves just like she can mourn for my dad that she hardly knows.


Anonymous said...


I'm so sorry to read this. I know firsthand how painful this is for you and your family.


Sangeeta said...

i'm just a stranger erading your blog. but i'm really sorry to read it, and i'm just wishing your father feels your love for him, wherever he is rigt now in his head.

Patty McNally Doherty said...

Dear Bert,

Your father is heading to a place far better than the one he's leaving behind. There is no Alzheimer's or pain or suffering. I pray that he'll be shown mercy, the exact same thing I asked for my own father.

We, too, said no to feeding tubes, or any kind of life-prolonging procedures. Death is not the enemy to be fought in cases like these. For me, it was his hope.

Consider our arms wrapped around you and your father, swaddled in the warm blanket of all the comforts love makes possible. What we go through, from life to death is a hard gift. I loved my father but would gladly relinquish his care to a loving god, knowing there was nothing left on earth to keep him here.

With all love,

Marilyn said...

My thoughts are with you and your family at this terribly sad time!

Gail Rae said...

Thank you for letting me know about this latest devolvement, Bert. In your e you said, "If you want to send healing energy, love, light, whatever, please send it for his pain-free and speedy passage to the other side."
Please know I am doing this.