Monday, July 25, 2011
Better left unsaid?
Over the past week, I've written 4 posts that I just can't bear to publish. Suffice it to say, with as hard a time as my father in law has given us over the past 25 years, I still wouldn't wish what he's going through on my worst enemy.
He's lost his dignity and apparently sometime today, he's entered into a delirious state, and now he's lost his mind, too. I've mentioned it to anyone who will listen, but apparently nobody cares. He's so clearly demonstrating what I know as a hypoactive delirium--just lying quietly in bed going silently mad--and because he's not ripping out lines, not a soul cares. He thinks he's at the "Clover Complex" and that my son has been taking him out in his wheelchair to see "the beautiful grounds on this estate." Neither is true. What is true is he's tucked away in a corner, pissing on himself and suffering pain. Today they took away the one vicodin a day the less than generous staff was allowing him to have for pain that's still present. They say his sodium is low--129--and while they're replacing this, they haven't removed the several glasses of water they stick under his nose to drink everyday. For my nursing friend's who'll get the significance of this, I can only say, WTH? No pain pills because it might make him more somnolent, but here, let us help you drown your sodium levels in water because there's no way in hell that will make him somnolent or confused, right?
Head, meet wall.
Progress is not being made and his physicians refuse to throw in the towel. In 16 days, he's been either without food, or on some variation of a liquid diet. Preoperatively, he was malnourished from the tumor. When he gets solids, he has abdominal problems. Friday they mentioned a feeding tube. The moment I said, "absolutely not," I became the enemy. But friends, these aren't my wishes, they're his. Shockingly, he has an advance directive and it states clearly, no artificial feeding. I'm stalwartly trying to abide by his wishes.
In the middle of all of this, I fear I've lost my objectivity. I'm not cut out to be a designated advocate. I'm really not. To me, I see a dying man and want desperately for him to have comfort and solace at the end of his life...just like it says in his directive.
Also in the middle of all of this, I've finished the shawl. I'm hoping it brings me pleasure some day, because right now, even this brings no satisfaction whatsoever.
Send vodka...I'm running low.
A note on the photo and the shawl: it's in an unfinished state in as much as it's not yet blocked. The photo is from my laptop's photobooth. I used the Nikon, but couldn't find transfer cords. Better photos are coming. I promise.