My dad is in the hospital. He went in last Sunday with heavy sweating, shortness of breath and PVCs (one kind of arrythmia). They kept him until Wednesday, trying to figure out what was causing the problems, but they didn’t find anything. They just increased his insulin, since his blood sugar level is apparently not under control. He stayed home Thursday by himself and by noon had called the ambulance because he was having pressure in his chest, heavy sweating and he felt like he was about to pass out. He said that he knew that if he had waited for my mom to come home from work he wouldn’t be here. He was scared out of his mind and so am I.
I’m out of being strong energy. I am very scared. They still haven’t figured out what is going on with him. He was wearing a heart monitor when he had the last episode, but it showed nothing. That’s strange to me since the EMT said he was in atrial fibrillation when they got to him. They are doing a catheterization Monday to see if the stints they put in 2 years ago are still in place or if something else is wrong. He has not had a heart attack. But these close calls are so scary. I love my dad. He’s only 61. I’m not ready to start thinking about life without him. I walked out of the ER to make a phone call on Thursday and when I came back in I heard a woman wailing, “Oh, no!!” I thought for sure it was my mom. I don’t ever want to feel that feeling that went through me in that instant ever again.
My dad is in the same hospital where his sister died 2 years ago. He’s on the same floor. We went walking yesterday, so he could get out of the bed, and when we got to “the room” he goes, “Yep, that’s the one. That’s where Sharon died.” I knew then that he’s been thinking about it from the second he got there. The smell of the floor is the smell of her death in my mind. It triggers my sense memory of those horrible last couple of times I saw her. I don’t want my daddy to die ever, but I know that’s unrealistic. I’m not ready to think about all of this, but the truth is that he and my mom both have health problems. I am angry with them often, because I don’t think they take their health as seriously as I want them to. The docs prescribe meds and they take them. More and more meds every year. I’m not against medicine, but they don’t change how they live, how they eat. That’s so frustrating to me.
Yesterday I was talking to my dad and he was joking with a nurse in his room about sneaking out of there to get a steak and cheese. I said, “If you ever eat another steak and cheese I’ll hit you.” I know that was mean and it sounded like I was blaming him for being in this situation, but it was the most honest thing I could have said to him at that moment. I am not willing to cook for them every night, so in that sense, I don’t have much to say about it. I just wish they would do better. I wish they would exercise. I wish they would stop eating junk.
Then there’s my mom. I don’t really talk about her much here because she is so sensitive (fragile) that I can’t really risk anything I say here getting back to her. Suffice it to say that she will not do very well if something else happens to my dad. Especially if he dies. I don’t think that what’s going on right now makes that imminent, but I wasn’t so sure earlier this week. When he had the stints put in 2 years ago, he got really sick – an infection that wouldn’t clear – that he was out of work past the 12 weeks FMLA allows and they fired him. This was not the first time my dad has been out of work. He was burned when I was 8 and out of work for 8 years. He went back to work for 10 years or so and was laid off when there was a change in leadership at his job. He was out of work for 5 years I think and when he got the new job, they fired him after he got sick. I know that is on my mom’s mind now. They have used up all of their retirement trying to keep things going during my dad’s non-working periods and hers. She was laid off after 30 years at the same job. It took her 2 years or so to find work again. This all worries me.
It worries me that I’m not really in much of a position financially to do much about whatever goes down, and it worries me that I don’t know what their state of affairs is. I know that they have contingencies if someone dies, but I don’t know what happens if one of them is sick and unable to work for a long period of time. My dad seems to get sicker and sicker every year. I really don’t know how much longer he’s going to be able to work full time. He makes a lot of money, and their livelihood depends on his salary.
This is all very frustrating and emotionally exhausting for me.