Thursday, June 25, 2009

Life with Dad

Sorry, nothing about cycling today. This is just a way for me to vent today. And I need to vent. Not that I am angry or mad. Maybe frustrated, but that is about it. I Planned on riding this morning, but life intervened, which is understandable and OK.

Today is my Dad's first full day at home. Well, at my Mom's home. My parents divorced 3 or 4 years ago. My mom kept the family home that we grew up in, and my dad moved elsewhere. He can't live where he had been at for reason I won't get into here. It came down to either him staying in a nursing facility of some sort or him coming back to Mom's house where we could help care for him.

My Dad is difficult. He wants things done a certain way and if you don't do them that way, even at this stage of his cancer where he is bedridden, he lectures you on why what you have done is inappropriate or just wrong. That even goes for pain medication. He won't take them unless it is absolutely necessary. Which means it is uncomfortable most of the time. Which then means that all of us are similarly uncomfortable because we can't really relax much.

He can't get up to use the restroom so we will have to help him use a bedpan. He complains about suffering indignity because of the way that he has to live currently. He goes through periods of time where he just wants to die with dignity and he wants us to help him do that--how that is to be accomplished is not always clear. Other times he wants to do alternative medicine so that he can beat the cancer. I feel like he is fooling himself. But who am I to take his hope away. He feels it is his duty to do everything he can to get better. But it means that there is a difference between his goals and our goals. He wants to get better, and we just want him to be comfortable. We have given up hope of him getting better. I wonder if that is bad. Is that a lack of faith? I don't have an answer.

He is a diabetic, which means that his diet has to be watched and blood sugar checked frequently. More work and I am not familiar with what his specific diet needs are yet. Foods have to be either pudding-like or soup-like. Nutritional shakes are OK

We currently have help from 4pm at night until 8am in the morning. Then for 8 hours we are on our own. With all four of us siblings here the workload is spread out pretty well. But that will change. Patrick is only here for a week, he lives in Michigan. Sunny will be here off and on for the next couple of weeks, she lives in Arizona. Stephanie lives here with my Mom and cannot get away. I will be here only for a few weeks, unless my family comes out and then I will be here longer if necessary.

Here is the bad part. I really hope my Dad goes fast. It sort of hurts to say that and write that, but it is true. The longer he hangs on in the condition he is in right now the worse it is on us for sure, but I think him as well. He is frustrated. We are frustrated. We feel unsure of what to do and where to put boundaries with regard to what he wants from us and what we can give.

Some of us want to pay for nursing care around the clock to help. I am not willing to do that yet. This is mainly because I don't have a grasp on the extent of his financial position yet. And, I just don't know what will come up in the future so I am reluctant to spend money on things that aren't critical. Not that I am a miser, I just hate to spend money now and not have it for later when things get worse. And I suspect that they will and we will really need help later.

Personally, I am on edge. I am the oldest and my Dad has chosen me to be his agent in financial matters, the decision maker with regard to medical matters that he can't make, and the executor of his estate when he passes on. I feel the burden. I don't really like it. I feel the need to do what he wants and to lighten the load on my siblings, especially Stephanie. But, I often don't really know what the hell to do. Which adds to my edginess on occasion. Perhaps it is better that my family is not here to many respects because I am able to focus on what is going on here instead of what my boys are doing. Which sucks because I would really like to have them around. But even when my niece and nephew are around, the sound of them running around and yelling sets me on edge too. Not that they are being bad. They are just being kids. If I could have it, the place would be as quite as my law school library. I found comfort in the quite back then. I could focus. I feel like I need that now.

No comments: