Deal the Cards

My dad is still in the hospital.  He is out of imminent danger thanks to a transfusion and a lot of medication.  But this experience is taking a toll on him physically and mentally. He gets confused very easily in this different environment.  He still can’t walk yet and it’ll be awhile before he can even go home.  The memory losses he goes through scares me.  He also gets depressed at the physical state he is in and being so helpless.  He depends on everyone for his well being.  If he needs to be changed, he has to wait until a nurse or attendant is available.  They moved him yesterday to another wing.  There are more people here that are “confused” and bed ridden.  It is a depressing place and I pull the curtains around dad’s bed so he doesn’t see everyone in his ward.

When I go home after spending a day at the hospital, I shower immediately. While the hot, soapy water washes away any germs, it doesn’t wash away my guilt, insecurity and fear.  At the hospital, I am the patient and filial son.  We hold his hands and assure him when he cries.  He has these huge fears of abandonment.  He worries incessantly about the financial burden and the toll it has taken on us.  We tell him we will still be there.  We also tell him that we’re trying to get personal care attendants too.  But I’m also the angry son who snaps back at my dad when he doesn’t eat.  I have become cold and emotionless.  It’s what I have to do to survive another day. 

I’ll soon leave for the hospital for my shift.  My siblings and I still provide round the clock coverage.  I caught myself thinking that I’ll get some sleep when this is over.  But that triggered another wave of guilt and sadness.

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9 thoughts on “Deal the Cards

  1. Those are all very natural feelings to have and there is no reason to feel guilty for having them. The burden of this situation weighs on all of you, your father included.

  2. i agree with the above comment. i hope that your dad gets out of the hospital soon matt. having experienced a hospital situation similar I can tell you that it begins to be mental grind of sorts. this whole aging thing and having our bodies become frailer and frailer sucks. i know if your father could, he’d do everything in his power to mitigate the stress you and your siblings must be feeling just as you all would do anything to ease his fears and stress. as always, you and your family are in my thoughts.

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