Appearances


The thing about dying is that it’s a matter of health.

My dad arrived at our home following a hospital stay during the peak of COVID regulations.  We could not see him during the stay, and we were harassed by the nursing staff for calling daily.  We did not find out until after he arrived and we reviewed the discharge papers that he nearly died there.   It’s a long story involving his care and I’m saving it for a very well put letter to the hospital authorities once I’m no longer seething over it.

He arrived with the appearance of death hanging over him.  I summoned the siblings and let them know we were on short time.  Then my husband and I set about the act of nursing him and caretaking his property.  That was 7 weeks ago.

He had pre-qualified for hospice before the hospital, but had refused to accept a terminal diagnosis, so had settled for home health.  We didn’t know this until we asked about getting some medical equipment.

Now he is in hospice, safely ensconced in a hospital bed in his new ‘bedroom’ which was once our living room.  We’ve changed up our furnishings and set up his desk and PC in the spare bedroom and handed off our main bathroom for his needs.

He’s gone from near death to being nutritionally balanced and hydrated.  Before the hospital visit, he had lost track of doing the basics – proper food and fluid intake, taking his meds timely – and was not in a healthy environment as he had fired the housekeepers that I hired to take care of his house.

He can’t fire me, he’s stuck.  Hubby and I have become the groundskeepers, nursing aides, financial advisors, chefs and housekeepers, with other duties as assigned.  We do have some family assistance as well.

Death is still looming, but it has been delayed.  There will be quality first, health.  The mental health has vastly improved with the improved physical nutrients.  Now it’s up to the disease.  Poor health conditions are no longer driving this bus.

It appears that we will have a resident here for a while.

 

2 thoughts on “Appearances”

  1. I feel ya, or at least how you felt when you wrote this. Here’s why
    Just in the last few weeks we got confirmation from a neurologist that Mom has Alzheimer’s. Even before that she had been seeing two ophthalmologists on a regular basis to monitor both her macular degeneration and glaucoma and after her last visit with them we all agreed that she could no longer see well enough to drive. So I’m grateful that I am able to be with Mom at this time in the house where I grew up. The irony is that, at the same time, caring for Mom here has also provided me a place and a purpose to live after leaving my alcoholic husband of 30 years. I can also thank Covid for putting the final touches on this message from God/Karma/the universe.

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    1. It seems that so many pieces of our lives have been changed this year. Life, with the overlay of COVID. Caring for parents is no easy task, but certainly one that gives us opportunity to learn more about our past, and to better understand who they are. But alzheimers is a different beast altogether. I cannot imagine. But leaving a marriage of 30 years – I could imagine this – alcohol is such a devastating mistress. Hubby and I have been married for 30 years and we have had dealings with alcoholism. We have found a balance and I hope to keep it – it’s up to him. Does it feel good to be in your childhood home? I would not have liked to live in the last home of my childhood. I can imagine though that your mom feels very secure with you there. That’s the feeling that I get from my dad – he feels secure.

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