Archive for the ‘Dad’ Category

25 June

Singing a Song

Ok, so I’m not. I lied. I needed a title though, so there you are.

It’s been both busy and dead in my life, depending on how you look at things. Bran’s and my laptops have been slowly kicking the bucket for some time now. His is 8 years old (ancient in terms of computer technology) and though mine still worked the battery couldn’t be counted on for a long time if it was unplugged. So we decided to update ourselves and we each got a new desktop. We’ll keep the laptops for travelling though. Mine is an entry level gamer computer. Bran figured that would be a good choice since I’ve gotten more into photography and photo editing. His is similar but a slightly better version as they didn’t have one like mine made up already.

I was a touch disappointed in my computer when we brought it home. The first thing it did was lock up and then it took multiple hard boots (using the power button) to get it to the Windows desktop. I was less than whelmed. The last straw was when it locked up overnight (Monday to Tuesday). It went back into the shop. There I was told something that I have difficulty believing. I was told that some hardware has difficulty coping with some programs and will lock up. The two mentioned (because they were installed) were Adobe products and Sophos (my virus scan software). I’m sorry. Those programs were written specifically to work on PCs and Macs. My bullshit detector went off, big time. First, I need a virus scanner and Sophos is one I get all the bells and whistles to because I’m an alumna from the U of S. Second, what good is a computer that can’t deal with Adobe? I have need of Adobe reader and Adobe flash, and let’s not forget PhotoShop, right? I don’t want a computer that can’t handle those to programs.

Poor Bran, he was having difficulty holding his temper and looked like he was going to become one of those customers that get kicked out of the store. So I dealt with the guy handling the return. I told him that I was, despite my calm demeanour, quite unhappy about my very new computer locking up. I told him I wanted the computer fixed, if it was a hardware issue, or a new computer if they couldn’t find anything wrong. That’s where it was left. You see, when I pay nearly $1000 for anything I expect it to work and work well. The fact that we not only bought my computer but 3 24″ monitors as well as Bran’s computer (that was being built) made me more determined to get what I wanted as a good customer. On Thursday morning we got the call. According to the repair guys it was a bad ram stick. They fixed it and we went and picked up Bran’s computer that was completed. For the most part things are ok. It does appear to have an issue with my terabyte external drives. When they’re plugged in the computer doesn’t want to start up right. For now they’re unplugged while I’m not using them.

Work has been a whole lot less stupid busy. We have fewer people (due to people leaving on full parole). Crowded work is somewhat of a nightmare. Weekly reports were impossible to get done in one day without having a second staff on duty. Documentation took forever, especially with new people because they tend to be quite needy. Then there’s the added number of rooms that we have to check every few hours. Add to that drama created by having women and men in the same facility and you have a headache. Now we have two residents with health issues. The drama has increased significantly with the decreasing numbers, but the actors in that play are the same ones. Hopefully that doesn’t spread.

The weather has been up and down. Though temperatures have gone up into the mid to high 20s (70s-80s in Fahrenheit) it’s not been too horrible. Everything is green. How I missed green over the winter. There are flowers blooming all over the place. It’s rather pleasant. Yesterday was the first day we considered that the a/c would be a good thing in the window. I suspect that it was partly due to having 2 more desktops spewing hot air into the room. Fortunately it was cooler today. Right now there’s thunder thundering and lightning lightninging and rain is starting to rain.

I took pictures of the Pride parade last weekend. Bran and I went out late Saturday morning. I bought some rainbow stuff (actually it was Bran who paid for it because he was smart enough to bring cash), a couple of flags, rainbow shoe laces, etc. Today I lost the car flag because I was stupid and opened the window it was attached to and it blew away. $25 down the drain. We’ll have to go to the flag shop to get me a new one. I need to have something to separate me from all the other silver small SUV type trucks out there. Have you any idea how many there are that have similar shapes to the Ford Escape? Let’s just say a lot. Having a door flag means being able to find my auto in a parking lot filled with silver small SUV type trucks. I don’t have many photos processed yet. The ones I do have done are on my Flickr account (link in the right column).

Tomorrow is the tree planting that the funeral home does for those people who died in the previous year. I forgot to tell Boy before he made other plans to be with a friend that he isn’t often able to be with. This means it’s just Bran and I going. Since it’s at a little park near Moose Jaw (where I mostly grew up) Bran and I will be taking our cameras. We’ll probably arrive early and stay for a bit afterwards so we’ll be taking photos. I figure I’ll send these photos to the sibling, former sibling-in-law and the nieces. It will be my final farewell to Dad.

Speaking of nieces, my oldest niece is pregnant again, about to burst actually. She’s going to have another girl. She’s naming her Nadege Katherine. Poor niece is rather impatient for her pregnancy to be over. She’s been dropping vague hints like, “I can haz baby now?” and “37 weeks is full term” and the like.

One of our former residents died a couple of weeks back. It was a sudden death and we weren’t expecting it. He wasn’t someone we figured would live to a ripe old age, but no one expected it this soon. There are conflicting possibilities of the cause of death. The family says he had a stroke. The parole office manager (who has connections with the police – imagine that) heard that it was an overdose. It’s possible it was a combination of the two. Tough call with him because not long before he was suicidal. He was having enormous difficulty dealing with the death of his sister from stomach cancer. The saddest thing of all was that he had found someone to love, someone who accepted him for who he was, warts and all. He also had a job with a boss who seemed to understand his mental health issues and was quite generous in accommodating them. He was a real charmer, sweet loved children and wore his heart on his sleeve, but had the attention span of a ferret on meth. Really. His emotions could go up and down multiple times in the space of 5 minutes. I can’t count the number of times his PO would stir him up and the bosses would have to bring him down. He was finally revoked because he threatened a program worker. He was firmly convinced that she lied to him. He didn’t take dishonesty in others silently. When he was next released they sent him to Regina. All of his family is in Saskatoon and within an hour he had gone UAL (unlawfully at large). This was a huge DUH for us and for some reason, a surprise to Corrections. They found him in Saskatoon and then released him again 1 day before his WED (warrant expiry date). He finished his sentence in March this year. I’ll miss him.

I think that’s about it for monumental news from here. Oh, our landlord is selling the house. So far there have only been two potential buyers go through. I think there was another one just a few minutes ago. There was a half-ton truck that came down the street, reversed, sat there while the driver stared at the house and then slowly drove off. He had a truck like ours. I’m hoping the purchaser won’t want to live in one of the suites. Chances are they’d want ours and that would suck.

5 November

AWOL

I’ve been reading again. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been able to do much in the way of concentrated reading for pleasure. After having to read abstracts and peer reviewed articles for school and doing homework, I didn’t have much desire to read at all. In the past couple of weeks I read the entire Harry Potter series and just finished two Brian Jacques Redwall books (Euliah and Rakkety Tam.) There are three more to catch up to the latest book published this year.

Yes, they’re all “youth” books, but I’ve been reading them since Boy was 3 years old. You see, each night, from 7-8 I’d read aloud to Boy and Bran. I don’t remember which was the first I read, but I read many aloud over the years, including Harry Potter up to, but not finishing Goblet of Fire. That was when I stopped reading aloud in the evening.

Another reason I’ve not been on the computer much is that one of our residents expects me to give him movies that I play on my computer. While I can tell him no, it’s much easier to just say that I don’t have any movies with me. It’s true. I don’t. I have the dock for my mp3 player to play music and a book to read. He’s an asshole anyway.

The next books I’ll be going into are written by Sarah Cadwell Thus Was Adonis Murdered and then The Shortest Way to Hades. The paper back covers are illustrated by the same artist who did the animation for the Mystery series on PBS. Hopefully this’ll mean that the books are good. I’ll let you know.

I’ve done little on the computer until tonight. I only opened the computer long enough to check email since that’s the way my sister is doing most of the communicating about Dad’s estate and what’s happening with his stuff. It’s just easier for her to do a bulk mailing to the entire family. She sent up a package with stuff for us. I finally got Mom’s family ring. It fits nicely on my left hand ring finger. We also got one of the four rosaries. I asked Bran to hang it on the wedding picture. There was a really old dart board that I remember playing darts on at the lake when I was a kid, one of Dad’s watches for Boy, a small sand picture in a little bottle (keychain fob), a wooden sculpture that I think was bought by Mom’s sister (the nun) while she was in Africa and some other small knick knacks. There were also the photos of Boy and I. Oh, and Dad’s autograph book. I’m not sure what to do with that. I mean, it’s nice and all. It’s a bit of Dad’s history (back from when he was 15 years old) but it’s not something I know what to do with.

I should head off to bed.

20 September

Can’t Stop

I’ve been in a mood for few days now. I think it started out with me being angry last night. I managed to figure out that I was feeling jealous and angry that Bran went out. It’s not so much that he went out but he went out without me. Totally unreasonable, yes. Understandable, yes.

A heart attack is a very significant and life altering event for everyone around the person physically affected. So many people die from heart attacks that it leaves those around wondering when the other shoe is going to drop. That’s how I’ve been the past while. Then with the non-event this past week it was like someone pulled the rug out from under me again, just as I was regaining my balance a bit. Like a knife to the core of my being, it was like I was losing Bran. Not that I was, but that’s how my psyche responded. Now that he’s back my mind is clinging to him. I don’t want him out of my presence. I don’t want him wasting time with other people that he could be spending with me.

I did say it was unreasonable. Intellectually I know that he needs to spend time with other people. He needs to have his connexion with the world outside our home and family. He needs to have his needs met by going out to events he enjoys, that feed his psyche, like poetry night. But the part of me that isn’t so attached to the intellect doesn’t understand that. I’m not sure it will but I’m trying to get it there so he can do the things that feed his soul. As much as I need him to be around me all the time, I also need him to be healthy and happy. It’s a double edged sword for my mind to try and work around.

Today I can’t stop crying. I’ve tried. Since I’ve gotten up my stress levels have been peaked out and the tear ducts have been on overdrive. This has been a very hard summer. Let’s recap, shall we?

  1. Dad had a stroke and ended up in hospital.
  2. The stroke left Dad only a shadow of the man he used to be. He was paranoid, at times combative, confused and forgetful.
  3. Dad got an infection of some sort (staph, probably contracted in hospital) somewhere and went into renal failure.
  4. The renal failure further pushed the deterioration of Dad’s mind. He was unable to, for the most part, to respond to any stimulus around him.
  5. Dad’s mind further deteriorated to the point that he forgot how to speak English and reverted to his first language, French.
  6. Dad died. Oddly enough, this was the easiest thing to deal with as I’d been prepared for it and already had significant grieving done as he was already gone when I first saw him earlier in the month
  7. Then I had to spend a week with family. I like and love my sister and niece, but my older brother brother leaves me wanting to crawl out of my skin. Spending that much time with him and also with my brother-in-law was extremely stressful.
  8. Less than a month later Bran has a heart attack. I’m terrified that I’m going to lose my best friend, my rock in the world.
  9. I spend a week having to work, sleep and and make sure the few of Bran’s needs I can take care of are done.
  10. I’m unable to be there as much as I’d like to for Boy. He’s an adult in years, but he’s still my son and he carried so much of the load while Bran was in hospital. Another instance of where my inability to be nurturing leaves him in the lurch.
  11. Bran comes home and is home nearly a month when he feels pressure in his chest and some pain. Diabetics tend to have atypical symptoms for heart attacks so back he goes into ER and is admitted to hospital.
  12. I again face the distress of the possibility of losing Bran to heart disease, of being alone without my bestest friend.
  13. During all this I’m also having to do something I dislike a lot. I have to drive. It increases my stress levels to drive. It’s not that I can’t, I can and I’m a good driver. It’s that I intensely dislike doing it. Add on the fact that the car is a manual and I’m wasn’t used to driving a stick, you’ve got recipe for high stress.

So now I sit crying. Well, not so much crying as weeping. My eyes are leaking and I can’t stop them. Believe me, I’ve tried. I can’t hold myself together long enough to get my nose cleared. I’ve called into work as a mess. I’m not sick. I’m just a mess. Luckily they understand. Unluckily they don’t offer sick pay. Were I to own the business that would be one of the first things I’d do, make sure that full time staff accumulated sick pay. At least I have a day in lieu from training last month. I won’t lose a day’s pay to this.

27 July

Life On Hold Begins Again

Dad’s memorial mass was today at 11 am. It was, as masses go, a good one. I carried the cremains to the front of the church at the beginning of services. My niece, Dad’s oldest grandchild, did one of the readings. My cousin, Julie, did the other reading. Someone I don’t know, my older brother’s boss, did the intercessions. Boy was greatly distressed several times. Bran and I comforted him as best we could.

There was the usual tea after the services where I got to meet people I’d not seen in a long time (cousins I’d not seen since Mom’s funeral – I don’t remember seeing them there but they say they were and I believe them), and others I don’t remember from Adam. Of course, there were those who I’d never met before as they became part of Dad’s life after Mom died.

Other than the funeral home arrangement, there were 4 floral arrangements from family and friends. Bran too photos of them and a photo will be sent to each person along with the thank you cards.

The house was cleaned up yesterday. I vacuumed. I wish the machine was better. The suction didn’t really exist so I ended up having to go over areas I could feel stuff on, but the machine didn’t pick up the first four or five times I passed over it. I also had to pick up bits and pieces of paper (we took outdated books apart for recycling) that were in the carpet. This increase in work load wore out my back. Despite that I did get the dusting done (I don’t think the house had been dusted since before Dad went into hospital). I also cleared off the coffee and end tables of the stuff they had on them, washed up the ceramics (Mom collected Blue Mountain stuff) and put them back out.

My brother, sister and niece worked on getting the food together for the family coming by after the tea and did the other necessary cleaning. Boy and Bran did the powder room off the master bedroom. This was used as a back-up bathroom.

I’m quite looking forward to getting back home. I’m thoroughly peopled out (though my niece, Bran and Boy don’t count in that). My sister, her husband and my brother all smoke, so both my and Boy’s allergies are playing up. That doesn’t even get into the smell.

I may not like my brother-in-law much, but he has done a lot of work in a short period of time to do some of the cosmetic stuff that needs to be done to the house. He got the bathtub area done up so it doesn’t leak, he fixed the powder room toilet so it fills properly, replaced the kitchen faucet and did spot painting that needed to be done on the exterior trim (the rest of the exterior is brick and stucco). He also replaced the locks and some of the worn out light switches. All that since Friday. He’s a person who can’t just sit, so it worked out for him.

Tomorrow my niece goes back to her husband and daughter and we head back to ‘Toon Town. I have a few things that I chose to take back. One is a needle point that Mom did. It used to hang over the living room couch. I’m also taking Mom and Dad’s wedding photo, a small knick-knack stand, Mom’s family ring and a few other small bits and bobs. Boy has inherited a sweater, afghan and letter opener that was made from one of the original rail spikes used on the trans-Canada railway (at least I think that’s what it is). We’ll also be going home with a pile of food. There is a lot left over from the tea and then there was the food that was prepared here.

This isn’t home any more. It hasn’t been for a very long time. I realized it when I was laying on the back lawn with my niece and we were talking. With Dad’s death, the spirit that made this place home departed. It’s time to become someone else’s home. What we kids don’t choose to take will be sold or donated. The house will be sold and the estate distributed according to Dad’s will. The estate will probably go into probate since there is property involved. I don’t know how long that will take, but at the end of it I hope to be able to put a down payment on a house of our own.

Needless to say, going through Dad’s bedroom was like opening a time capsule. Dad moved a lot of his stuff into Mom’s old dresser, but the memorabilia she collected was still there. There were old newspaper articles about awards my siblings won, letters and cards from friends and relatives – some long dead. We found the book that Dad’s mom (Granny) used to keep track of the money that her sons sent her each month to help support her. This was before the days of government pensions for widows. We also found a couple of post cards she had written to Dad in French. Our niece translated them (the handwriting was somewhat unclear). They were both mundane and very special. My sister found a picture of Granny’s brother, Xenon. I’d never seen it before.

Bran volunteered to be family archivist. He’ll scan all the photos in the albums Dad made over the years and then he’ll can the slides. This project will consist of several years of work on his part. But for him it’s a labour of love. It also means that there will be an archive of photos available to all of us instead of only one person getting all the photos, or breaking up the collection.

It’s been a stressful time for all of us. My sister’s dog, Bailey, helped break the atmosphere. Besides grief, there’s also anger and dislike. My sister has been walking a fine line between all of us and had done it with relative grace, though she does tend to micromanage some. That’s ok. She’s executor of the estate and wants to do a good job. Dad trusted her and she wants to live up to that trust.

That’s about it. I’m going to go hunt down a sandwich (there are a gabillion of them in the fridge).

21 July

Family Plot

Dad died in the night. I’m going to finish out my shift today, there’s a staff meeting I want to attend at the end of the day. Tomorrow will be filled with the business of getting ready to go out of town and getting someone to take care of Dutchess while we’re all away. We’ll be leaving on Friday morning.

Thanks to everyone for your support the past month. It’s helped ease the load.

Naomi

18 July

Time Speeds Up

I just got a call from my sister. Dad’s blood pressure has dropped (he’s been hypertensive for many years, so this is bad news) and his kidneys are failed again. Apparently they had them up and running for a few days but that’s ended. It was suggested to her that they could increase fluids to help with the kidneys but that would affect his heart. They wanted to know how aggressive they should be. She said not aggressive.

It sounds like he’ll be gone within a day or two.

Funny how the categories “Dad” and “Death” are right next to each other in my list.

18 July

Just Some Shorts

I’ve sunk down a lot with my feelings about Dad dying. I’ve preferred quiet to talking. Boy and Bran went out to Shell Lake to be with friends today. I opted to stay at home. I didn’t feel up to being with people and welcomed the time in solitude.

I got most of my order from Panda Hall. They left out one of the spacer bead orders though. I contacted them that day, and of course, made a typo in the email. It should be straightened out soon, I hope. I didn’t pay much for them, but I’m missing out 2000 pieces of stuff I paid for.

Since the order arrival, and after I checked it, I started to experiment with what I could create. I’ve made several bracelets and some earrings. I’d make more earrings but I don’t have many earring backs (I use rubber backs) left. Getting more will have to wait for a bit. For the time being I’ve deleted my Esty inventory. I’ll let you know when I put anything up for sale there again.

One of the bracelets I made uses up some of the sandalwood beads from a necklace that Boy finally gave me. I love the scent of sandalwood and having a bracelet made of it pleases me no end. I’ll have to get a picture of it for you to see. I’ve not made another like it thus far.

The best part of the items I ordered is that they’re nickel free. Nickel is usually what people react to in metals. There’s no (or little) nickel in surgical steel and that’s what the earring hooks are made of. The eyepins, chain, bead caps and spacer beads I bought are all nickel free. That can be a selling point of my product. I haven’t found any nickel free wire though. I want some half-hard silver wire that is nickel free, but can’t find any.

Because I’m doing something with my hands, my mind needs to be occupied with other things. I’ve always found it difficult to do only one thing at a time, except for reading. I still prefer to have no noise or distraction when I’m reading. But I bead, do crosswords, crochet, knit, etc. to the television. This means that I’ve been watching movies again. Not new ones, that would be far to radical of me. I’d been watching Scooby Doo DVDs (8 of them), Scooby Doo the movie (the first one), The Avengers, Emperor’s New Groove, Kill Bill (Part 1 and Part 2), and now the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Tomorrow I’ll be watching more movies, I don’t know which ones, but I’ll be watching more.

One thing about LOTR I’ve been wondering about. The narrator says at the beginning that the elves are immortal folk. If this is the case, why is it that Arwen’s father is middle aged? Shouldn’t he appear to be in his 20s? I mean, sure, he doesn’t look like suffering from old age, but still, he has wrinkles and looks to be of about the right age to have a daughter the age Arwen is.

Dutchess hunted tonight. There was a rather large moth flying about the living room and she was in very close attendance to it. Alas, being an inside cat has caused her hunting skills to rust and she lost track of the prey as it flew toward my light. More to the point, it was my getting up to get out of the moth’s way (vicious things they are!) that caused her to lose the trail. Hopefully the moth won’t creep up and pounce on me when I’m least expecting it.

I got an email from my thesis supervisor yesterday. She wants to see what I’ve done. Of course, I’ve not done a damned thing since I saw her last. I asked her if I could take a year off the program. By the time a year is up I should be able to get back into doing stuff as I should. By that time Dad will probably have died and things will have settled out emotionally speaking. Either that or I’ll need to step away and not get my Masters degree. Regardless, I can’t do anything right now. It stretches my abilities to deal just going from one day to the next. Working is going to further stress that. It’s hard fighting the inertia I’m feeling. Adding stress to that isn’t going to help me any.

That’s about it for now.

14 July

And Home Again

We were down to see Dad on Monday and Tuesday. Things haven’t changed any since I wrote last. Dad is not eating though he did take a few spoons of porridge on Monday morning and ice cream on Monday and Tuesday evening. They are still using Seroquel to sedate him when they are able to get him to swallow anything. If they don’t sedate him then they’d have to restrain him. For most of the visit Dad was non-responsive. He was responsive for very short time periods (two to three minutes) in a day. When he became agitated he’d strip himself of bedding, bed clothes, endanger the IV by pulling it (the entire pole and mechanics) down and out of his arm.

He would point at things that weren’t there and try to talk. However, because he has been breathing through his mouth it was impossible to understand much of what he was saying. He did tell me he loved me after I said I loved him, asked me “where is she” and when I asked who the she was, he looked confused and said he didn’t know. Then after a couple of spoons of ice cream he said “that’s enough”. I know he was trying to say things, he would repeat sound patterns when I said I couldn’t understand. This was quite frustrating.

This was only for a short time last night. Monday evening he was non-responsive and unconscious. Now we just wait while his body slowly poisons itself because of his kidneys not working properly. They work some as he has some urine passing through his body (the catheter bag had urine in it), but not enough to properly detox his body. He’s also slowly starving to death since he refuses to eat except for a few spoons of food in a day.

I emailed work while I was out of town and updated them as to what was going on. This way when Dad does die, they’ll be semi-prepared. I’ll need to be gone somewhat longer because, as with the power of attorney, both my sister and I are named as executors of Dad’s estate. There will be business I’ll have to be out of town for.

The stay at home was painful and awkward. I don’t want to be around my older brother and wouldn’t be if it weren’t for Dad dying. Bran was having difficulty with this as well since what affects me, tends to affect him as well, especially with family stuff. The entire house reeked of cigarette smoke. It probably wouldn’t have repulsed me so much but for my distaste for being around that particular person.

Bran went through the house and looked at things that needed to be done in order to get it fixed up for sale. Most of the work is cosmetic (paint, new flooring, cleaning carpets) with the exception of needing to gut the main bathroom and update the master 1/2 bath.

I went through some of the stuff in the basement. You can tell that Mom and Dad were children of the 1930s and lived on a very limited budget for many years of their marriage. I found an amazing number of things that most everyone now-a-days would have thrown out. Mom saved things like aluminum take out containers and styrofoam plates from under meat (she washed them up and saved them for who knows what). There were also various plastic containers for condiments, peanut butter and other things saved. I don’t know how we’re going to work out things around the work needing to be done around the house. I know my brother can’t be there for much of it since a) it needs to have the house cleared and b) he smokes. Any renovations need to make the house smell fresh to make the house more saleable.

I’m glad to be home. II missed Boy a lot while we were gone. We left Dad’s at about 9:30 this morning and arrived home around noon. While we were gone Boy did a lot of work to have the kitchen mostly clean. When we got home he made us Lipton’s chicken noodle soup for lunch (he forgot to take bread out so couldn’t make us sandwiches) and then he washed up all the dishes he used to create and serve lunch. He’s a darling boy. I’m glad I’m home and he’s around me again.

I got home to the happy news of receiving my mail package from China. After lunch we all piled into the car (I let Boy sit in the front since Bran had also greatly missed Boy) and off we went to the Shoppers Drug Mart where the package depot is. I now have a couple of different styles and sizes of nickel free silver spacer beads (Tibetan style), a couple different styles and sizes of nickel free bead caps (Tibetan style), two different lengths (2 cm and 3 cm) eye pins, and 200 metres of nickel free jewelry chain. Yes, it was a heavy package. They didn’t send me one item that I ordered 2000 pieces of. So I sent them an email telling them.

Everything I got has been repackaged into labelled plastic containers from the zippered plastic bags except for the chain. I want to spool that onto dowels to keep it from getting all tangled. Right now that’s also in a plastic bag. I didn’t expect that. I expected it to come spooled.

Anyway, I’ll be looking at my beading stuff and seeing what needs to be redone. I want to make sure it’s all quite durable. I used super glue on some of the pieces and those ones need to be redone because of it. The super glue makes two weak spots in the wire at each side of the glue site. The closer is also a weak spot because the crimp bead might slip (for things like bracelets and necklaces). This is especially important for the bracelets since more people tend to wear bracelets more long term (days at a time) than they do necklaces.

So, guess what I’ll be doing for the next few days. Yeah, knitting. HAH!

11 July

And So We Wait

The decision of the family is unanimous. No heroic measures are going to be used to resuscitate Dad. We are also not going to have them do much in the way of other measures, including dialysis. There’s not much point to it really. The blood tests aren’t all back yet. They’re trying to find out if he has an infection that is caused his kidneys to shut down.

Dad does have basic responses, but none of them bode well. When the nurses attend to him, take his pulse/blood pressure or wash him, he fights it.This doesn’t mean that he is aware of what he’s doing. He can’t swallow and therefore hasn’t taken any meds since he was found unconscious on Friday afternoon/evening. He doesn’t respond to commands of any sort and doesn’t respond to my brother’s voice.

We’re going to let nature take its course. The nurses will keep him comfortable, that’s all.

So now we wait for the inevitable.

To help me Bran has taken me on two car rides to help settle me down. He did that when my dog died in 1985. He would’ve done it if we had a car when my Mom died in 1993. He did that tonight. We went and got snacks for all of us. Did you know that Chapman’s Ice Cream company makes a no-sugar added, lactose free ice cream? They do. Only 14 grams of carbs per 1/2 C serving. That’s better than regular ice cream.

We went through the real estate listings for town as well. It was something to occupy my mind with and do a little bit of dreaming. It was a nice distraction. While we did that Golden Eye played on the DVD player. Laundry tomorrow so that we have clean clothes to to down to see Dad on Monday with. I’ll be sorting through the stuff collected over the years of Mom and Dad’s lives together (including “treasures” given to them by us kids). I don’t know what to do with things like their letters to each other from before they were married, Mom’s nursing uniform (100% cotton that had to be ironed and starched), Mom’s wedding dress and Dad’s wedding suit, and a plethora of other bits and pieces of so much living.

Thank you all, those who commented and those who are just thinking of me and my family. Your support means more than I could possibly say.

9 July

Dad

I got a call from my sister tonight. Apparently when the nurses went in to check on Dad earlier today he was non-responsive. They did some tests and found that he is in renal failure. They called my sister to find out how heroic we wanted them to be if Dad worsens.

She didn’t want to make that decision on her own. So she called my two brothers. They weren’t home so she left a message. Then she called me.

I told her that I didn’t think that Dad would want to be the way he is, at least not the Dad I knew before all this. The Dad I knew was a vital, energetic, and intelligent man with a very wry sense of humour. I love Dad a lot, but the person I saw was a mere shell of the man he used to be. He was hesitant, confused and not really there.

I told my sister that they shouldn’t resuscitate him if the need arises. I think that palliative care is all that’s needed now. We just need to let him go.

I’ll be going up on Monday regardless of what happens over the weekend. I could go up tomorrow, but what is the point? I don’t want to be the one to comfort my brother. There’s no business that I can take care of on the weekend even if he does die.

So that’s how things are now.