Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's Happening

Oy vey.

The moments of relative normal have passed and we are knee deep in the real deal now.  I first heard the time "actively dying" when I started working at the nursing home and now I get to experience it in real life.  Dad is now "actively dying".

He is now completely bed bound and hasn't had solid food since Friday.  He is barely taking in any fluids; almost none yesterday but he did drink a little about 4:00 this morning.  Luckily he doesn't seem to be in too much pain.  He is mostly resting comfortably with occasional weird sounds and grimaces.  He was able to swallow some pain pills this morning but couldn't respond or swallow last night so I got to administer his pain meds rectally.  Between that and changing his clothes and cleaning him up on Father's Day I have now done things I am pretty sure neither of us ever thought we would do or would ever want to do.  I don't recommend it.  Apparently all meds that aren't in capsule or liquid form can be administered rectally in case you ever need to know that or in case you are into that sort of thing.

At this point we are just keeping him comfortable and keeping him, and my Mom, company while this progresses.  Luckily my brother is taking the night shift tonight so I can go home and get some sleep.  He is more restless at night and I was up quite a bit taking care of him.  During the day he is mostly unresponsive but seems calmer and more at peace.  I just hope for his sake, and let's be honest, for ours too that this doesn't drag on and on.  I hope he is ready to let go.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Down the Bunny Trail

Woo-hoo!  Eleven s-l-o-w miles yesterday but I did them without needing or wanting to stop.  The best part of the run was that I had a BPM of just a hare under 2.  For the uninitiated, BPM is "Bunnies Per Mile" and I counted 21 darling little brown bunnies on my run yesterday.  Counting your BPM is much more fun than counting your SPM (slugs per mile) which would have been a truly astounding number.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Not Ready to Rock 'N Roll

On a cheerier note, I have this half-marathon that I am supposed to be running in just over a week.  My original plan was to build on Eugene and have an even stronger race at Rock 'N Roll.  However, I ended up taking a longer post race break than I wanted to, then I had the pesky pubis issue, then I trained a little and then the poo started to fly around these parts.  It boils down to :  I am not properly trained and I don't care. 

This race isn't a big goal race.  I am not upset that I am not going to do well.  I am looking at it as a 13 mile fun run.  I am going to soak in the atmosphere of my first really huge race and do what I can do.  It is actually kind of refreshing going into a race with no expectations.  It is also nice to go into a race this distance and not be afraid of the distance.  I respect it but I don't fear it anymore.

As soon as next Saturday is done I am going to start focusing on building up for faster shorter distances and try to PR at the other two distance I run:  the 8K and the 10K.

News From the Home Front

Well things have been interesting around these parts.  Within about two hours of last week's post I ceased to feel even the smallest pang of resentment when I realized how much I needed to be here at home.   The shit hit the fan last weekend.

Dad had to stay longer in the home because Mom's health just wasn't strong enough for him to be home.  Even with my brother or I staying with them I think the stress of having him around would not have been conducive to her recovery.  He is significantly better than he was when he went into the home but significantly better still isn't very good.  He is very weak and sleeps most of the time now.  His brain is foggy and his memory is shot.  He came home today and I am staying down here tonight to help take care of him and give him his meds in the morning.  Some morning home health aides are going to start coming soon for the rest of the week.

Mom is still not 100% but is definitely improving.  She ended up staying in the hospital last Thursday and then was released on Friday.  Friday night I had to call 911 and we ended up staying there until the wee hours of the morning.  Did you know it is completely light out at 5:30?  Neither did I until last weekend. 

Put those things together with a meeting with the hospice nurse and social worker where they were pushing hard for 24 hr care (meaning nursing home or adult family home) and a screaming, swearing melt down on my part because of someone's stubbornness, irrationality and a refusal to take care of herself and it was, as my brother so eloquently put it, "31 kinds of suck". 

So things have settled down but I know this is just sort of the lull before things start to get really bad. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Where I Am Not

These ten days should be filled with a lovely trip to Baltimore and Washington D.C.  I should be screaming on terrifying rollercoasters at Hershey Park, watching the worst team in baseball at Camden Yards, attending a ballet at The Kennedy Center, seeing Poe's grave, going for an 11-miler on the banks of the Potomac, doing a dream run on the National Mall, visiting Kermit and The Smithsonian, meeting and visiting with Kevin's family and friends for a whopping second time in our three and a half year relationship and relaxing in a beautiful hotel (for free!) while Kevin attends a conference there next week.  But no.  Instead I cancelled my plans and ate my non-refundable plane ticket and am staying home because there have been some family health issues.

Dad has taken a turn for the worse and thing are kind of up in the air for his ability to come home.  He is currently in a nursing home for a five-day respite stay so my mother can get some rest but honestly he needs a few days of professional nursing care too.  We should have a better sense of how things are going by the end of this week.  However, Mom has been down sick for going on three weeks now so she isn't in great shape either.  I stayed down at their house last night and will be taking her to her doctor's appointment today.

While I am upset at missing my vacation I know staying home was the right thing to do.  They are my parents and they need me and it wouldn't have been fair to go traipsing around the country knowing what is and might be going on back home.  I would have felt guilty and worried the whole time I was away.  I know it is what you are supposed to do as a daughter and concerned family member but, ugly shameful confession time, I do grow weary of all of the medical drama and am slightly resentful right now.  And then I feel guilty for feeling that way.