Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Hospice Visit

Well, if you read my Saturday post then you are aware that at 1:00 central time today my family met with Hospice concerning my father. The pain he has been experiencing in his back...is the cancer rearing its ugly head. The two ladies showed up a little after 1:00. I need to tell you...that I have a gift...for years it frightened me until the day I realized that it always came at a time when I needed reassurance...or guidance...and today was no different. I see aura's in some people. It is not something I can make myself do...it is just something that happens from time to time and it always leaves me feeling zapped when it happens. When Ginger and Anna walked in...their auras were shining so bright...it was as if some celestrial being had entered the room...and no...I am not nuts. I immediately felt a peace like I had never known come over me. The six of us sat down and they began to ask questions of my dad, my mom, Frank and I. It was a team effort. My mom, of course, was oblivious to the word Hospice...she thinks they are from Home Health...and I let her run with that...whatever it takes to cope is my motto these days. They explained that they were there to help...and my mom was excited that they were going to make my dad well again. Anna got busy taking my dad's vitals and checking his physical being out. I was impressed with her thoroughness. She looked at his feet(noticed his gross nails)...asked if he was diabetic, looked at his hands (the right one is discolored and they have a blue tint to them), and asked if he was cold...turned out his oxygen level was only 74%. That was not good. I had to get a glove to warm his hand up enough for her to get a reading. She checked his back, asked questions about his cancer, his eating habits, his mobility...and we responded honestly...sometimes changing the responses my mom gave. They explained all they would be doing for us. A chaplain would be visiting, volunteers were available to sit with my dad if my mom needed to go somewhere....or would run errands for her, they would be delivering oxygen (which will improve his memory), a walker (to help with mobility and stability), and a raised bathroom seat (to give him some dignity). They were also going to deliver Ensure (for when he does not want to eat), pads, and pull ups. They asked if there was a DNR (do not resusitate), a living will, or any other documents that they needed to be aware of. My mom said they changed their will...hummmm...wonder what that means? When they got ready to leave Frank and I went outside with them briefly...explained my mom to them, changed some of her answers to reality ones...and the ladies told us that if the time comes when we have to rule my mom incompetent...they would even help us with that. Relief was immediate. Then they explained to me once more...that their job was not to make my dad better....I did realize that didn't I....their job was to make my dad comfortable and give him quality of life....not quantity. I explained that I knew their purpose...but that she did not! They gave me their number to call....24/7. So, now we begin the process of watching a life end. Dying is a sad state for those that are left behind...and today I crossed that threshold to begin that journey with my parents. I think the thing that makes me the saddest is that I realize that when my dad dies, and my aunt dies,....my mom will die shortly thereafter. Her sole reason for existing is to take care of my dad and aunt Shirley. So it is a really sad thing for me, an only child, to accept the fact that I could possibly lose both parents in a short period of time. I am glad I have this blog. I see my road ahead as a stormy one and I am glad I have somewhere to vent all I am feeling...and who knows...maybe my walk....will help someone else when they have to take this same walk with their parent(s). I hope so. God Bless You all...and if you still have parents...call them tonight and tell them you love them. Make each day with them count.

11 comments:

babyrocasmama said...

Karen,

I have been there, right where you are right now. I watched my big strong Daddy, my hero, my rock, wither and die in front of me from bone cancer. It was horrible. It was heart breaking and it shattered my world. I was 21 years old.

If you ever need to talk, email me. I have walk a thousand teary miles in your shoes.

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Ys! Yes! hard - so very hard -- loving thoughts your way -- for you and your family.

Jacki said...

Karen,
I also have a pair of trae soaked shoes from walking your path. I lost my mother 10 years ago, my dad 4 years agao and my btother 2 months ago!
I'm here for you! GOD is too!
Hospice is awesome!

Jacki said...

oops...my shoes are tear soaked

Vicki said...

Karen -
I am praying for you! I have been there with my grandfather a few years ago. He ended up spending his last days at my mom's house. Hospice was a lifesaver for her!
Vicki

Mary said...

In my very short time as I nurse, I have had the opportunity to be there for families as they grieve the impending loss of a loved one. I have cried, they have cried, and lots of hugs have been shared.

I have so much respect for Hospice, and the quality and dignity they provide during such a trying time. I am so grateful that these sweet spirits have entered your life to aid you family when you need it most!

Sending a big hug your way!!!

Beachbumaw said...

I cannot imagine what you are going through but you will be in my thoughts and prayers everyday!

Kelly said...

Wish there was something I could do for you. It's hard to be strong when you feel so weak. I have experience with hospice also. They are a blessing indeed and hopefully, the rest of your dad's days will be spent without pain and with the dignity he deserves. I'm keeping you in my prayers, from one daddy's girl to another.

Xazmin said...

Oh Karen,

My heart hurts for you.

I have lost several people I love these past couple of years to cancer, but never someone so close as a parent.

I am here for you. I am thinking of you and praying for you.

Xazmin

Ms. Marty said...

I am glad your visit from the Hospice ladies went well. I pray the days that are left are peaceful, especially for your dad. Keep your chin up and just remember Who holds your hand.

Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

Karen,
God bless you. I can so relate, as we are still in that transition with Peg, my husbands grandma who has alheimeirs and cancer. Hospice is helping us and doing a wondeful job. I empathize in some way with you, though it is not my parent. You have my prayers and friendship.