It seems so unreal. My father is dead. There’ll be no more Dad, ever. Ever.
On our first day back East, we went to the funeral home to make arrangements. The funeral was the next day but apparently you can wait until the last minute to go over the details. So we did. One of our tasks was to get Dad clothes to wear in the casket. After our meeting, we headed straight to his house to pick up a suit.
We had two keys. They were marked “Upper front door,” and “Lower front door” in masking tape. I watched the kids in the driveway. My husband tried “Upper front door.” Jiggled it. No luck. He tried “Lower front door.” Jiggled it. No luck. read more
The last we heard from my dad, he was in rehab for his leg, trying desperately to escape. The nurse called me three days after he’d checked in to tell me that he fell, sort of. She said he didn’t exactly fall, but he ended up on his knees next to his bed. “He’s been trying to escape since he got here,” she said. She explained that he’d tried to fly the coop so much that they’d put two tracking devices on him. One device went off if he got out of bed by himself and the other sounded an alarm if he got close to an exit. So basically my 84-year-old dad was on house arrest in this nursing home, making several attempts a day to escape.
He’d checked himself out of his last rehab before he could walk. I asked the nurse if he could sign out in his current partially demented state and she assured me that he couldn’t, so basically they had the right to restrain him. Good. It didn’t matter to him that the last time he’d escaped, he was crawling around his house, hardly eating or drinking, probably because he couldn’t reach much from the floor. (See “Dad’s latest accident — Fourth in a series: “There’s no place like home:) It didn’t matter that his visiting nurse had called an ambulance when she found him like that. He’d refused to go to the hospital. Once he’d gotten his full-time aide and recovered a little, he told me, “I may have messed myself up checking out before I could walk.” No duh?? read more
Last week I wondered how my dad would surprise me next. He did. Here’s how.
Dad went to the doctor appointment that I’d made for him last Tuesday. I woke up to a message from the doctor, “Your father was nonresponsive, his blood pressure was low and he was very cold, so I sent him to the hospital.” He sounded pretty bad off, but he’d just gotten OUT of the hospital, five days before, so what was going on?
The hospital had left a message too, so I called the doctor there. “He’s nonresponsive, and he’s ice cold,” the doctor said. “Does he have a ‘Do not rescusitate” order?” read more
I got a call last week, the day my dad went home from the hospital. It went something like this:
“Hello, Maria, it’s Michael (my dad’s aide). Your father, he pulled a gun on me. The police came and now we’re at the hospital.” read more
We continue the saga of Dad’s latest accident. Let’s tune in.
Friday was the third day I spent at Dad’s and it brought a huge snowstorm, well, huge for someone used to Seattle, but the 24-hour aide took a cab to Dad’s house in the morning, thank God. He asked what my dad needed and I told him about Dad’s state of health – couldn’t walk, coughing and in and out of reality — and that Dad was nocturnal. The night before, Dad woke at 11 p.m. and wanted me to take him to another room. I said no, because I was exhausted, had to go to bed and couldn’t help him back and forth for two hours. I couldn’t lift him by myself, either. He’s skinny, but he’s solid. I told him to call me if he needed me. read more