Medical update — 081110

It was a day for locking down Pop’s wishes. Palliative Care – a new term in my lexicon – is that part of medical practice which deals with the end of life. Pop made his wishes known when his last will was written, and today, the hospital medical team took them as their own.

At mid-morning, Pop was given morphine and Ativan to relieve the pain / discomfort of working so hard to draw each breath. They backed off on his fluid intake so his lungs wouldn’t fill. His feeding tube was removed because everything going in was being aspirated (going down the wrong pipe).

As with physics, in medicine every such action taken for positive reasons seems to carry with it an equal and opposite consequence. I’ll choose not to describe them here. Suffice to say that Pop is being made as medically comfortable as possible without extending his life.

By lunchtime, the course was set. So, I headed for Piedmont Place and a heart-to-heart chat with Mom. She is aware that things aren’t going well with Pop, so nothing I told her was a surprise. Nevertheless, this is never good news to receive. Mom claimed to be at peace, but anxiety belied that assertion later in the evening when she claimed to have had an extremely high blood pressure reading. In fact, her BP was perfectly normal. I hope Mom is able to rest through the night. Her body needs it.

We siblings and spouses teleconferenced for about an hour and planned many of the action items we know are coming. Was anybody crying? No. Was anybody laughing (even as I sat right next to our dying father in the hospital)? Yes. Are we weird or something? Maybe. Lisa says we are, anyway. When her mom died three years ago this month, everything about the experience was different. I guess everybody and every family handles these things differently. We siblings don’t mean any disrespect; we’re just coping the best we can.

The hospital is being pelted by lightning right now. I think I’ll just watch the display of Mother Nature’s might on the left as I watch the display of God’s perfect will on the right.

This message was sent from my smartphone.


About FredMarx

Old enough to have wisdom; young enough to learn.
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2 Responses to Medical update — 081110

  1. Lorri Peters says:

    Dear Fred,

    When we all were younger we heard about this time of life when we would be saying goodbye to our parents and what a strange and difficult time it would be. Now we understand!!

    All there is to say is that we have a lot to look forward to when we are all on the other side – together again!!

    Jesus is the way, the truth and the life – and you dad is about to see Him, face to face – go dad!!

    You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers – we love you!!


  2. Karen Peters says:

    I wish I could be there with you, Uncle Fred, the way you were there for all of us three years ago. But I know the Lord is with you, and He’s the true Comforter and Helper.

    And I wouldn’t say you are “weird” the way you’re handling this… When my dad’s dad passed away this January, the Peters family handled it a lot different than the Owens family did when Grandma passed away. I think you’re right…it’s just how different families do things.

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Love you!

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