/ Father left this world #21
So sorry to hear of the loss of your father. I lost my wife of 62 years around 7 am on the morning of May 25th, 2022 ten days after her birthday. She won a battle with Breast Cancer in the 90's but the diagnosis of Dementia in 2014 was terrible news. To monthly, or daily watch the progression of this insidious disease knowing my wife although fighting a courageous battle was fighting a battle she could not win was saddening and depressing.Past Sunday morning wife and I taking one car to the mechanic. Wife is also planning a two week trip to Charleston SC with her mom that day.
Go downstairs around 0745 to check on dad. He's up going to bathroom, tell him we're leaving, be back in a couple of hours (wife and I going out for breakfast as well). He asks me to make him a cup of tea and asks me to put in the bedroom. Do that, head out with my wife around 0800.
Come back with my wife around 10AM, wife getting ready to leave, I go downstairs to check on dad.
He's on the living room laying on the carpet. He he informs me he fell (he was using the walker). Try to help him up, not working. Asks me to drag him to the couch to get up, that's not working. Ok, ambulance comes and takes him to the emergency room.
Met him at the ER around 1130.
Needless to say, he's in pain, they take him for x-rays. Turns out it's a broken pelvis (apparently the back portion which a RN explains would cause the least issues). Due to his age (90) operating is out of the question. Going to look at rehab.
Spend most of the day Sunday with him, come back Monday.
Monday morning, they look at his swallowing due to his weight (he only weighs 80lbs, but he's always been a small guy as his service weight for 20 plus years was around 120lbs). Turns out he has a issue swallowing and the majority of his food doesn't get to his stomach (interesting watching the video's they took with barium they took to watch the process). Not happy with the VA over this, long story, but moot at this point.
Had to leave for a couple of hours to do a job-site visit. Come back for another couple hours, then have to take care of the dogs as the one boy is working that day. Come back to the hospital, ask my son to take off an hour early to come in to see "Gramps".
The 3 times I was there Monday, my dad didn't seem to be doing well. Then he started seeing things in the room from time to time (using a room in the Emergency room as they couldn't find a room for him upstairs yet).
Leave the hospital around 2300 to get my paco pad from the house as I decide to sleep there on the floor (room really not designed for "guest stays" as it was in the emergency room). Doctor calls me on shift as I'm driving home. I explain that I'll be back, and asked him if my line of thinking was off that my dad doesn't look so well, and given his age, weight and he his overall disposition since being there, if coming in to spend the night was wrong. He told me my line of thinking was right. I also asked if my line of thinking of hospice instead of rehab was in line, again, he said I was seeing things the way he was seeing them.
Get back to the hospital around 2400, they now have dad on a full face mask for oxygen (when I left, they were giving him oxygen as it seemed like his oxygen level was low).
Doctor who called me comes in when I'm in the room. They ended up giving him morphine at 0100, and at 0130 we took off the oxygen mask (he was trying to rip it off before but I stopped him a couple of times because I was the only one in the room). Hold his hand for 2 hours from a chair, and I ask the one RN if I can try to lay next to him as I don't want to fall asleep away from him. Long story short, ended up on the floor after a couple of hours after trying to lay with him in a cramped up bed. Fell asleep for about an hour, woke up at 0530, and my father was gone.
What I find amazing is that Sunday late morning, my dad was alert (in pain though) and seemed fine, and in a little over 30 hours or so, he died.
Point for this long story is I never realized that falls could be deadly for the elderly.
After my dad was kind of "forced" to live with us when he fractured his back, the last year (out of the 4 he lived with us) his life was kind of sucking. He couldn't do the stairs anymore, he used a walker, and for trips to the VA and "going out", we bought a wheel chair. On more than a couple of occasions my father told me he was ready to check out. My dad will be the first to admit that mom was the brains of the outfit, and when mom died in 2002, no one in our family (including me) to have dad live another year without my mom being around. For another 15 years, he actually did great, fly fishing in Alaska and Montana on a regular basis, as well as golfing in SC with his golfing buddies (still remember when he was in his early 80's complaining that he'll never golf another 36 holes in one day LOL).
I told him Tuesday morning that mom was waiting for him and it was time for him to leave this world and I that I loved him and thanked him for being such a great father to me. I was a ******* as teen, and we hated each back then. Wasn't until my mid 20's that I realized how right he was.
All things considered, his quick death was a blessing. Caring for him was getting progressively harder, and we were discussing in home health care options as we didn't even want to think about assisted living, as my wife was certain that would kill him.
Thing is, going downstairs to the basement now feels totally strange knowing he's not there.
He had a great life. Retired from the air force in his 40's (traveled the world and took us with him sometimes), retired after another 15 year gig in commercial insurance, then worked for the state for another 10 years, then in his 70's work at a fly fishing shop so he could get trip deals and fishing gear LOL Married for 40 years, loved his wife until she left this world, and was a better man than I could ever hope to be.
Only thing I need to do now is get his ashes up to Indian Town Gap so he can be laid with mom.
Also need to make up to my wife. She was upset that I forced her to leave with her mom on Sunday. This trip had been long planned though, and she needed some time with her mom IMO. We talked, she understands why I made her leave, but I also now understand that she has always loved my dad like he was hers. She'll be coming home a week early, and hopefully her aunt will go to where they're staying so her mom can stay the full 2 weeks.
One morning the later part of March she got up off a portable commode and fell while I was in the bathroom. As a result of the fall she broke her right leg just above the knee. She was taken to the Hospital by Ambulance and a steel rod and pins were put in her leg and sent back home four days later in an Ambulance. The Doctor advised therapy in his opinion was not a treatment she could do, tolerate or understand and she would be better off at home continuing to receive treatment from me and the Hospice Care Givers.
The Hospice Care people and myself kept her alive until the morning of May 25th when she passed.