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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hunkered Down

Well, hello there. Happy New Year. I hope everyone's holidays were merry and bright. Ours were convoluted and emotional -- it turns out that switching around your holiday traditions to catch your dying father's best time of the day in order to make memories watching old family movies and opening gifts together doesn't really work, because he no longer has a best time of day. I probably would have held it together better if my brother's girlfriend had held it together better, but them's the breaks.

We soldiered on with our annual holiday open house (and it was truly wonderful and diverting to see so many friends), the Christmas eve dinner, the Christmas day brunch, etc., and managed pretty well, all things considering. Then Dad fell four times in three days (none serious, thank goodness) and starting waking up in the middle of the night thinking it was breakfast time.

There is now a baby gate across my parents' staircase (score one for the pack rat daughter whose children have not required baby gates for 10 years or so) to prevent any midnight tumbles.

Dad's highest priority at this point (were he of sound enough mind to express it) is staying out of the hospital. He was of sound enough mind about two weeks ago to reject the idea of running in to HUP for some outpatient tests that may or may not reveal a possible lurking infection.

Which we all interpret as, he's done. No more interventions and treatments, aside from his anti-rejection meds and what he needs to stay comfortable. No more medical speculation. His liver is failing, and he is going to die soon. But he is going to die comfortably, at home. Hospice care started last week and, as long as he doesn't break a hip, we'll be able to keep him where he wants to be, for as long as it takes.

This shit is hard, but we're doing our best.

8 comments:

MemeGRL said...

Been there. Hang in there. Please please please let me know if I can do anything for you. If someone needs to run to CVS for supplies at 10pm, I'm your girl. If you remember the dog needs a walk, I'm here. I did this in 1992 and remember it plain as day. It's hard as hell and you'll get through it. I'm thinking of you so so much. Please do NOT hesitate to call.

Lauren D. McKinney said...

Ruth, thinking of you . . . .

Emily said...

I'm so very sorry, Ruth. What a wonderful daughter you have been. Sending my best thoughts your way.

Twining Vine Designs said...

Ruth, you and your family are in my thoughts. This is hard, there's no two ways about it.

Leigh

HG said...

Sending lots and lots of love your way.

Magpie said...

It's good that he's home. I'm thinking of you.

Christine said...

Thinking of you and your family.

Sue said...

Oh Ruth - I have been thinking about you and yours - in between stuff with my Mom - we aren't where you are- yet - but I feel for you hun - major hugs to you, your Mom, Michael, - everyone. If there is anything at all i can do for you, PLEASE let me know.