Watching and Waiting

My dad was transferred to the ICU today after a sudden event this morning.

He has been in the hospital for the last 4 days with “bronchitis” which we found out today was actually double pneumonia.  Why they did not see fit to tell us that he had pneumonia and the chest x-ray was worse yesterday is still beyond me.  Trying to get information out of the staff has been difficult.  Of course, I should have known.  His last pneumonia was not this bad, and I have been a bit confused why bronchitis was making him so ill.

I sat for hours watching him struggle against the bi-pap mask to breathe. I know how that whooshing of  forced air feels to someone not used to it.  It feels like you are suffocating in a tornado.  He is semi-conscious and agitated when he does rouse.  He cant talk due to the mask, but he tries and it is so pitiful to watch his bloody lips try and made sounds.  He is a mass of black bruises and skin tears.  I watched my mom cry off and on all day, not sure how she would cope without him.  I’m not sure how I will cope without him.  He is my “go to” person for advice and has done a little of almost everything.

Selfish of me to think of myself, I know.  But kids are like that, no matter the age.

Mom and I talked about our wishes for him.  No compressions, but if they think they can get him better and the bi-pap fails, we will go for the ventilator.  Although with his severe lung disease I just don’t know if he would get off of it.

We talked of our hopes.  I don’t know the state of my dad’s heart, and I don’t have a comfort level for where he is with his walk with God.  Something vitally important to my mom and I.  All  I can do is pray for healing of his body and a sense of peace from God that we will see him again.

I stood at his side, trying to keep him in bed.  He was insistent that the mask come off and he get up.  I had to hold him down while the nurse got orders for restraints.  He is so weak that it didn’t take much to keep him in bed.  A good thing too, as I injured my elbow last month and it wont tolerate much stress.  I never thought I would have to restrain my own parent.

I watched him go downhill over the hours until there was nothing else they could do other than send him to ICU.  He needed to go hours sooner as he was not safe and needed constant watching.  Any time the mask slipped his oxygen levels plummeted into the 60’s and his color turned gray.

He is so swollen his rings are stuck on his fingers.  We spent all day trying to get them off after they gave him medicine to get rid of the extra water in his body.

I took my children to see him, not knowing what tonight will bring for him.  They sat quietly, overwhelmed by the tubes and the noise.  My mom was so glad to see them, even if dad didn’t know they were there.

I am stressed trying to balance my son, my job, my life and now my dad.  There is only so much of me to go around.

I need to train new staff this week and I just don’t know if I can concentrate enough.  Guilt is eating at me knowing that I wont be able to help my mom.

On top of all this my heater went out and my beloved vacuum cleaner is on the blink.  My hands don’t handle cold and I HATE dirty rugs. Little things, but with all my son’s medical bills coming in and taxes and Christmas and donations I am just strapped.

I am obviously whiny today.  But my resilience is low and I just need to vent a little.

I need a window in my misery where I can look for a rainbow.  I believe that God closes doors to open windows so we will look up and marvel over rainbows.  MY rainbow is out there somewhere.

Thanks so much for reading.


19 comments on “Watching and Waiting

  1. Hang in there my friend. Tough times in your life and an ill parent is a difficult one to handle. Believe me you will find a way to juggle all that is in your life at the present. We are resilient beings in the face of family crisis. Your faith may well be your saving grace.

  2. My thoughts are with you Lori and my fingers are crossed that your Dad makes a recovery. It’s only natural you should think in terms of yourself, it’s what we all do in a crisis- wonder how the outcome will affect us. Please, please look after yourself and let the hospital look after your Dad. I know your Mom is going to need some of your strength as is your son but you can do it.
    xxx I send you Hugs Galore xxx

    • Thank you David, my poor mom is a mess and really needs support from me, her only relative in the area. So I have to sort out how to work, live and be there. I am hoping to work shortened hours for a few days if I can. Bad timing as it always is. It doesn’t seem real to me. I mean, I see him there and I help and I talk to him but I feel like I am in a crazy dream. I guess it is how I am protecting myself right now. Hugs and thank you as always-Lori

  3. Sending you big hugs and positive vibes

  4. It is so hard to watch your parents become weak. I’ve been there with my mom and now I’m watching my dad get more frail by the day. My heart breaks (I’m a daddy’s girl) every time I see him because I can’t help him like he has helped me so many times. I will pray for peace for all of you.

    • I totally understand what you mean. He is so frail in the bed with so many tubes poking out of him, just lifeless. My dad who terrifies people with a look is now just a shell. I have always leaned on him so and not having him there to give me advice or guide me is so tough.

  5. Oh, Lori, I’m so sorry your dad is so gravely ill. I’m praying for all of you. You have it coming at you from all directions. I wish I could give you a big long hug, fix your vacuum and your heater, take your son to Bermuda so that you could just concentrate on your Dad. And of course it HAS to be holiday season, doesn’t it, so that you can have MAXIMUM stress? Please remember to eat, take your medicines, breathe….care for yourself so that you can get through this part. Sending love and blessings for healing….

  6. I am so very sorry to hear about your Dad. I hope he makes a recovery and at the very least becomes more comfortable and less agitated. It is so very difficult for you to watch. Your mom and Dad are your priority in the short term, I hope you can manage the balance.
    Be good to yourself if you get a chance.
    wishing you strength

    • Than you Tric, you always have such kind wisdom. Yes the balance is hard with work and my son’s continuing issues. I don’t even feel like it is a holiday season, just a blur right now.

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