Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Smacked in the Face

I noticed today that almost every entry I have written has been done while I am in Bowling Green.  At home I have distractions that I don't have when I am here.  I have my loving husband, my wonderful friends, my pets, my household responsibilities, my life's home base, so to speak.  When I am here in BG, and believe me I want to be here, there are no distractions from the reality that my dad is dying from a horrible disease.  Today was one of the toughest days yet. 

I'm emotional to a fault.  I have been my entire life.  My mom used to tease me that I would cry at a K-Mart grand opening.  The stage of life that I am in now when my body is going through hormonal changes has ramped the emotions up to 11 (Spinal Tap reference).  I often tell people that it is really a handicap.  I have no control over it.  I have a pretty high level job in a large company that sells DVDs.  Nothing is quite as embarassing as sitting in a meeting full of peers while a studio is showing trailers from their upcoming slate of releases and tearing up during a preview.  I can't tell you how many times I have struggled to pull it together before the lights come back on.  It is terrible.  Since daddy has been sick, there have been days where I have literally cried the whole day.  Seriously, the salty discharge will not stop.  Today was one of those days.  Daddy just didn't want to get up today.  It freaks me out a bit when these days roll around because I know we are entering a new stage in his decline.  He did finally decide he wanted to get up and move to his chair in the den around 1:30 this afternoon.  I know that the day is coming where he just doesn't get out of the bed anymore.  His body is actually lumpy through his back and abdomen from the tumors that are growing.  He hurts.  He is weak.  Yesterday afternoon he had an episode where he got very flushed and sweaty, shaky, dizzy and nauseous.  I knew it was a sugar drop (he is diabetic) and tried to get him to drink some juice.  He got a few swallows down and began to feel better.  Jan told me this morning that last night when they went to bed, he told her he thought he was dying during that spell and that he was so disappointed when he didn't.  That breaks my heart. 

Where I am overly emotional, Jan holds tight to her emotions.  Today we were eating breakfast and chatting and the next thing I know she has her head on the table and sobs are wracking her body from the soleslof her feet to the top of her head.  I'm glad that she spilled some emotion.  I think that is healthy, but it was so sad to see.  I admittingly feel very sorry for myself that my dad is dying, but she is losing her life partner.  Today was full of conversations about his future care.  We both agree that giving him his maintenance drugs seems a bit ridiculous, but as long as he still wants to take them, we do.  His potassium levels are elevated and we are supposed to give him this liquid that will flush the extra postassium from his system.  Side effects are acute diarhea.  Hell, the man can hardly get stand, let alone get to the toilet.  We have both felt guilty that we have not given him that medicine, but why bother, really.  Why put him through the misery and maybe the loss of dignity that the side effects may cause?  His level will be out of whack again soon, his kidneys are failing.  These decisions are logical, but making them is very tough.  The hospice nurse helped us both feel a bit better about not treating him.  She was very matter of fact about the weeks to come and how much more difficult things will get.  I appreciate her frankness.  I want to know what to expect. 

A little while ago I helped put my dad to bed, told him I loved him and wished him a peaceful night.  I washed my face, brushed my teeth and climbed into the guest bed like I have done many nights over the past several weeks.  I try to read, try to meditate, am successful sometimes and calming my mind, but more often than not, in this quiet time, the reality of it all just smacks me in the face.

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