Grieving — My Father Passed

Grief is the price we pay for love. —Queen Elizabeth II. Meme by KittO’Malley.com

My father passed away. His illness and death took us by surprise. We had no idea that he had lung cancer, nor that his infection was severe, until last week.

Thank you for your love, support, and prayers.

Hospice — Prayers for Peace and Comfort

Prayers for Peace & Freedom from Pain
My father is in hospice now. Prayers welcome.

When I was a little girl, at bedtime I sent my prayers to the dead. One at a time, I sent them my love, hugs, and kisses. Eventually, I tired, sent a big hug to everyone else, and fell asleep. Some people count sheep. I prayed to and for everyone who had ever lived.

Now, I pray for peace. I pray for freedom from pain. I pray for my father.

Tuesday night I brought my father to the emergency room due to shortness of breath. When I helped him out of my car, I touched his leg and was shocked at how swollen it was.

He’d been battling cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection. I had no idea how bad his infection had become and was furious that the medical treatment he had received hadn’t killed the bacteria.

Turns out his infection and labored breathing were signs of something far more sinister.

The hospital scanned his leg and his chest. Although my father quit smoking over thirty years ago, decades of smoking since he was thirteen led to lung cancer.

My sister flew down the next day to help. I spent Tuesday night with him in his hospital room. She spent the next night. Neither of us, nor our father, got any sleep.

Due to dementia, my father didn’t understand what was going on and removed the IV that delivered antibiotics and pain medication. The hospital staff removed his IV and gave him medication orally.

My sister and I repeatedly argued with hospital staff over pain medication. Nurses hesitated to give him prescribed doses of opiates on a regular schedule. My sister and I even yelled at a doctor who wanted him off opiates and on high dose acetaminophen. Our concern was our father’s comfort, not the hospital’s liability.

Our father is stoic and macho. He told female nurses that he was fine. He had no such reservations when a male patient technician helped him onto his commode or when his male nurse asked him if he was in pain.

You want to know how much pain a patient is in? Ask those who do the dirty work, those who lift and move the patient. Ask the patient technician, the caregivers, especially when the patient has dementia or doesn’t show his vulnerability to women aside from his wife and daughters. We knew that he was in pain.

Now he is back living with our mother in memory care, receiving hospice services. Pain management and his comfort are paramount.

Please pray for peace, comfort, and freedom from pain. Thank you.

Happy 80th Birthday, Mom!

Happy 80th Birthday, Mom!

Just about to hop in the shower and pick up my sister from the airport to celebrate our mother’s 80th birthday! It’s a miracle she’s with us. She’s a survivor of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, stroke and vascular dementia. She’s a fighter. Proud of her.

Saudi Arabia
Thanks for moving me to Saudi Arabia and teaching us respect for other cultures.
Best Sister Ever
Thanks for giving me the best sister ever!
Acropolis 1970
Thank you for traveling the world with us. Acropolis, 1970.
Cashel Ireland 1970
Best 7th birthday present ever. Cashel Ireland, 1970. So green after five years in the desert.
MA
Next two years in Cambridge, MA. Gorgeous fall colors. Snow! Free Boston Pops on the Common. Thanks for taking us to the ballet and art museums.
Palance of Fine Arts SF
Pretty sure you made those dresses! Here we visit the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, the city where you and dad met and made me.

I, Too, Have Lost My Voice

In a seemingly ironic twist of fate, not only is my mother without words, without speech due to her stroke, but now I have fallen prey to an upper respiratory infection (cold or what have you) and cannot speak – well at least doing so hurts my throat.

So, I lay in bed bored wishing I felt well enough to do Christmas shopping which I have put off. I’m a terrible holiday shopper. I started to shop online. While that works for much stuff, I know that I can find cheaper clothes for my son and other family members at the local Target, Walmart or TJ Maxx. So, I hope that I feel better in the next day or two to do my shopping before Christmas sneaks up on us.

Meanwhile, I feel guilty that my mother is psychiatrically hospitalized. I have not visited, for two reasons. The last time I visited her at stroke rehab she became quite agitated and refused to get out of my car. Even if seeing me didn’t upset her, I am sick and her immune system has been compromised not just by age but by three decades of fighting lymphoma. An upper respiratory infection could literally kill her.

I should nap, but find it difficult to do so. Worry that I won’t be able to fall asleep at night if I nap. But I am sick (and tired), so I should rest.