Handle With Care

It hasn’t been easy putting my thoughts on paper.  I thought I was better able to handle  end of life care, palliative care, DNR and stuff like that.  But when doctors ask me (and my siblings) at the hospital “Does your dad understand what Do Not Resuscitate mean?  Have you looked into palliative care? Does your dad prefer to die at home or at a hospice?”

I thought with my dad at home, we could manage the visits from the various people (everyone from nurse to social worker).   But they just tell my sister they are coming over.  The house is just an extension of the hospital.  I guess surprise visits are part of the routine.  It doesn’t matter that my sister has to stop work for an hour or two to deal with them.  So she now bears the brunt of the questions.   They insist on asking my dad questions about end of life care.  I wish they would just f*ck off.  While dad knows he doesn’t have years left, I don’t want him to think he only has days to live.  In his current mental state, I don’t know how he’ll react.

Recently we got word that my favorite aunt passed away.  My siblings and I have different views on whether or not dad needs to know and what to tell him.  It hasn’t created a rift or anything like that.  I told them if he ask, I’ll tell him that she passed away.  I was the one that told him at the hospital about signing consent forms for applying to a hospice / palliative care centre and that the entire program of living at home is part of the hospital’s palliative care.  He paused and listened attentively.  I tried to keep it as simple as possible.  It seemed to work. He asked a few questions and was fine with it.  I think he was just glad to be going home.

I’m going to miss my aunt.  I spoke to her before she started her chemo.  Then everything fell apart.  She never made it back home.  I’m just glad she’s no longer in pain.

If you read this far down, you must be made of stern stuff.  I know a lot of my  recent entries have not been easy to read or even comment.  A blogger who I respect wrote that he was at a lost for words and felt helpless reading my recent entries.  But he wanted me to know he still read them even though he didn’t leave any comments.  I thanked him, not just for his honesty but for making the journey in life a bit more bearable.

I don’t know how to close this messy entry.  I know I’ll be fine and make it through this.  I’ve been down this road before.