Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June 1

Today the day came that I have dreaded for a long time. I was in yoga class and thought I heard my phone ring. I don't answer during class, but afterwards, I picked it up when it rang, and found it was the social worker from hospice, and that there were other calls there as well. My dad was dying, the social worker said... not my mom, as I expected. After I left yesterday, he fell asleep, in some pain because of the bladder infection, and apparently, his Congestive Heart Failure just flared up, filling his chest with liquid. By the time I arrived, at about 11:15, his mouth was open; he was unconscious, and raspy, rattly breathing was coming from his throat, very laboriously. He was somewhat cold to the touch, and very pale. I watched him for hours, occasionally holding his hand and speaking to him, but mostly just sitting there.
My mother was very anxious, throwing her legs around, and said my dad was calling to her. But today she was more alert than usual, and ate more, even some potato salad I left the day before by mistake, so I will leave it there, hoping she will eat it. There is chicken salad too, and maybe she will eat it.
The doctor refused to sign the papers for hospice, despite the fact that she is the one who told me to take mom out of the nursing home and put her on hospice because she wasn't eating. The caregiver called her up and yelled at her, and finally she gave in. The nurses came in the afternoon, and gave my mother morphine because they said she was uncomfortable.
I spent all afternoon going to the Omega Society arranging burials and learning more about that whole process. What a horrible business!
If dad dies tonight, I must get up and go there to give them a check because they wouldn't take it today, before the fact.
Kurt called from school, and said I could take two more days off. I hope it is all over by then. I have my doubts.


Rebel Girl said...

Oh Robbi. You're doing everything you must do and it is all so hard but you are doing it and doing it well. Try to take care of yourself too.

It's hard.

Lou said...

I hope his suffering now is brief, Robbi. You can say goodbye knowing that you have brought him much joy in these last years.

Robin said...


Manny and I will be there for anything you need, and of course, we will be at the funeral, too. I am so, so sorry. I will be praying for you, for your father, and for your mother.

Please don't worry too much about everything happening in two days. Kurt, and the other professors at IVC are caring, wonderful people, and I am sure that if you ask for more time, they will give you the time you need, however long this takes.

Robbi said...

Thanks my friends. I hope you will all come to the funeral. It will make me feel better to have you. I will have a spread at the board and care, if they agree to host it. Otherwise, I guess we're stuck at my house. At least I cleaned up those books and papers on the floor--most of them--although there is nowhere to sit and the place is very small.

liz said...

I am so sorry. As I read along you have become a role model
for facing the most trying times
with courage. I too hope his suffering is brief. You soldier on as a wonderful daughter (and person:)

Robbi said...

Thank you Liz.

marly said...

I am glad that he had that new home and those times in the garden...

Robbi said...

Absolutely. I don't know how to thank the caregivers, or if I should pay them an extra bonus... not that I really have that extra money.