Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Things That Weren’t

There were a lot of things I was going to share with you last week – when I got stuck waiting for a train to pass through town and got fascinated by the “urban art” – how beautiful some of it was and wondering how the graffiti-ists ever found all the time to do it; how every household, especially mine, needs an alpha mom more often than they think; how Spawn (hereafter to be called “Spot” – if I remember) has gone ahead with his legal name change; a sweater I’m knitting; cool stuff from my women’s group and my knitting group, but…

There’d come a call from the nursing home and then from the hospital, and everything extra had to stop. “Your Dad fell and seems fine,” “Your Dad fell and has a cut on his forehead, so we’re sending him to the hospital,” “Your Dad’s temperature is elevated and his breathing is congested and he’s groggy, so we’re sending him to the hospital.” And, “his leg is swollen, hot, and red, so we’re sending him for a Doppler.” On and on. He’s still alive, and doesn’t seem as bad as so many calls would indicate, but there are small signs.

He’s stopped being aware of where he is geographically – doesn’t realize we’re in the same city and state and keeps thanking me for making the long trip to see him. He doesn’t like his nursing home because they have too many rules and he can’t go bike-riding or out for a walk (which he hasn’t done for over 15 years anyway, since he can’t even walk); he forgets that my sister hasn’t visited for some time and talks about the last time they spoke as if it were yesterday. Time and distance and reality have collided and combined into an alternate reality for him, which is more obvious and sadly disturbing than ever. He has slipped another mile down the tunnel towards the end.

I am trying to figure out if now is the time to call my sister and tell her to come back for the last good bye before he passes. His health, fragile though it is, is comparatively stable, but his mind is leaving. I’d hate to wait until he was no longer able to recognize her and enjoy her company.

I was able, this weekend, to spend a few hours with Bunny at the mall, buying far too many good-smelling things at Bath and Body Works, and sharing a fruit smoothie with her before we assaulted Linens N Things for a turkey lifter and some bathroom refurbishments. Unfortunately, I seem to have subsequently come down with stomach flu and am taking the hint from God and Nature to lie down and rest.

So, I’m just going to have to admit to and take a hiatus for a while from blogging. If I get a chance, I’ll post the little things, and I’ll certainly keep you posted on the big things.

Wish me well.


beckyzoole said...

This is such a hard thing to go through. Take care of yourself.

A couple of people who read your RSS feed on LiveJournal wish you well, too.

Anonymous said...

I do, indeed, wish you - and your father - well. He's lucky to have you. Good wishes wending your way, Joan.

FugueStateKnits said...

Feel better!
Hope your Thanksgiving is a good one!
Joan a/k/a FSK
Ellicott City, "Merlin"

Jenn said...

"another mile down the tunnel."

It's about a week since your posting about your dad and I'm thinking about you.

My mom died three weeks ago after a stunningly fast decline (secondary breast cancer). Those steps you're going through -- he'll never drive again / never choose his own clothes / never do this or that -- are devastating. The small ones, the huge ones. Whether the steps come fast or are spaced out...

We don't know each other, but I can still care that someone is going through that pain.

FugueStateKnits said...

Hi - my thoughts are with you and your family. Your dad was there when you needed him and now you need to be there for him.
cyber hugs,

WA said...

Hope all is well. Hang in there.

Geo said...

I certainly do wish you well. And all of your family. Best of luck and blessings, figuring out how to best be there for your dad. It's tough, this caretaking at the end.

Anonymous said...

I miss your regular postings and hope that you're well and just too busy to write just now!

Judy - a concerned reader