The Long Goodbye is Coming to a Close.

Tonight I’m sitting in the hospital with my father, who is very ill, rather suddenly. Just a week ago or so we were remarking that despite his dementia and previous ills (he did have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart medications, but he has been off all medications for quite some time now), he seems remarkably healthy. He has lost a great deal of weight in the last year, but it’s not that unexpected in an 81 year old who has had previous illness. He’s unrecognizable if you didn’t see him during this last couple of years. But overall, we thought he was probably good to last quite awhile.

However, last night he was taken in an ambulance to the hospital after a fall. They say he has a number of ills, including severe sepsis, and congestive heart failure, all the arteries to his heart are clogged, he has a severe bladder infection, bacteria in his blood, etc., and they aren’t seeing his numbers improve despite lots of fluids and medication. He was also very agitated and trying to remove his tubes and catheter, etc. They suggested we should consider palliative care. We, as a family, agreed to take him off life lengthening medications and just keep him as comfortable as possible. Now he’s resting fairly comfortably, but they have said they think we are looking at hours to days.

He might surprise us all and pull through, but I don’t really think it’s likely. I’m as ready to say goodbye as I can be, I think, but I don’t think it will be easy. I just want him to be at peace. I think we all want that, most of all.


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