Monday, April 29, 2013

Dispatches from the hospital

keeping up the family sense of humor
 Dad is not doing well.
I went by to see him yesterday before my Spa Day appointment (which, while I desperately needed it, was not as relaxing as it wanted to be), and he looked much worse. He was having a hard time breathing, and was feeling dizzy. They had him on oxygen (still do), and his blood pressure was up from earlier that day, but still pretty low.
After Spa Day, I went to dinner with my friends. I was about half-way done when my phone rang. It was Dad saying that things had taken a turn, and since I was still in Seattle, it would be great if I could come back to the hospital. I packed up, paid and hugged a few people before all-but running to my car and heading back down; calling the Emperor on the way.
As you can see above, my sibs were already here. We tried to lighten the mood, but it was pretty heavy. Turns out he had a blood clot in his lung. The doctors and nurses got him on a few meds to get it broken up, knocked him out and we three went into the fishbowl on the end of the floor and talked a little... making plans for the end.
Because, it looks like we're coming to that. My dad is dying. My sibs stayed as late as they could before heading home to try to sleep before sitting in uncomfortable anguish in their classes today. I don't envy them the inability to focus on school, but at the same time having a distraction is a pleasant luxury at this time in a person's life.
By the time the Emperor arrived, I was thoroughly exhausted, and had made plans to stay at Captain Jack's since he lives less than 10 minutes from the hospital and had decided it was better if I stayed close. The Emperor had to go home to take care of our royal dog and try to get some sleep so he could work today. Jack and I talked a while, had snacks (I had tea, he had wine). When I was asked by my metamoure how I'm doing, I said "I'm a case of baskets."
My phone rang at 1:40 in the morning. The call nurse needed consent to give Dad some blood, but he was so out of it they had to get it from me. Of course I said yes. They apologized for waking me, but I hadn't been asleep. Both Jack and I were poised to throw on pants and come back down, but we ended up not needing to, which was good.
After that everything was quiet, and I slept. My dreams were weird, but I did dream which is what's most important; although I did get up 4-5 times during the night. I'm back at the hospital for the day. The Emperor brought me clean clothes, makeup, shoes, chargers for my devices... apparently the only thing I'm missing is headphones, which isn't entirely bad.
Dad ate breakfast this morning. His blood count is back up, so is his BP, but it's become clear that we're coming to the end. My dad is dying. The doctors and nurses are going to get him to a point where he's comfortable, then transfer him home for hospice care. The family will come together, take turns being there with him, and I guess when it's time we'll still be able to let him go together.
To an extent I have already let go. The experience of the last couple of weeks has been too taxing for him. All he wants is to go home... and then go Home. His faith is strong, and apart from being trapped in body that is coming to the end of its usefulness, I think he's really only worried about us. I know this is not what he had planned... none of us planned it this way, but I guess his work is done, and what's compelling him forward is stronger than what would hold him here.
He's sleeping now. Having weird dreams. I hope he's also getting some rest... or maybe there isn't rest to be had at this stage. Maybe he's on a Vision Quest to help as many other people as he can for a few minutes at a time; trading emotions with them so that they feel all the love that he is getting from us.
Or just weird dreams.

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