Written January 28, 2008:
My dad is 89 and his 90th birthday is in eight days [Feb 5th]. He may never see that birthday…Yes, he has lived a long, healthy, happy life with many blessings. That is not the point. I know he will die, we have talked about it too. But this is MY dad and I have known him all of my life, which is a long time. It hurts no matter how old someone is. To me, it is almost more painful because I have known him longer than most people I know.
Yesterday, my dad went out in six inches of snow and shoveled it. He fell on the pavement and CRAWLED in that snow a distance of about thirty or forty feet or so, and up a hill to get to the house where my 82 year old mom finally found him. His shoulder had taken the fall pretty hard. Usually he walks with a cane because his spine is half gone and he is very hunch-backed now in his elderly years.
In addition, my daddy (what I have always called him) had woke my mom up at three a.m. because he had a severe nosebleed. He has a very rare blood disease, and his blood platelets drop and stay very low off and on. This disease makes him a bleeder, so any nosebleed could be fatal. By five a.m., they finally got it stopped, thank God. Then only a few hours later he went outside to shovel snow! Yes, he has always been addicted to work and only recently quit doing lots of stuff only because he has been forced to stop.
Another issue is that my dad has Alzheimer’s Disease. He still knows people, but that is fading lately. He kept asking me who my daughter was (three times) at Christmas when she was in from the south. It is a sad disease, stealing who he used to be and replacing it with a person I do not know. Poor mama, having to watch her husband of sixty-three years get old and deteriorate, and try also to take care of him. It broke her heart to see the handsome young man that she married turning into someone who would come to not even know who she is.
Anyhow, my dad suffered a broken shoulder from that fall in the snow. That area swelled the size of two shoulders and when he went to the emergency room, they admitted him and told him that he needed immediate surgery. Well, he cannot have any surgeries due to the low platelets and the bleeding disease, so they are pumping him with blood transfusions now to build up the blood platelets for him to have the surgery. My family does not think he would pull through any surgery, even with the new blood. So the risk is very high that he will die on the table. So today, I am praying and hoping that he will not suffer.That is all I can do.
Update:February 2, 2008:
Well, no surgery for dad. He just cannot have surgery because of the blood disease and his age. So they will bind him up so that the bones will try to grow together again. He is in pain too and this makes me upset. He has to endure this pain now along with other problems that cause discomfort.
Currently: March 3, 2009
I had a very small part of this for a blog on one of the many sites I belong to, so I thought I would update it and make it an article. So here is what is going on with my daddy now. He is 91 years old, and he still has some pain and weakness in his shoulder from when he fell in the snow last year.
Unfortunately, my mother passed on into eternity on January 11th, only weeks ago now . She died of heart failure at 82. Well, that left my dad all alone and he cannot be left alone because he is in the mid stage of Alzheimer’s Disease now. All he did was sit and do nothing all by himself at home. He could not use the stairs, play his guitar, use a microwave, or do other every day simple tasks that we all take for granted. Sadly, it is a terminal disease, and it probably will take him out of this world. It all ready has to some extent because he is not who or what he once was.
At any rate, my daddy is so much worse than last year when I started this writing. He repeats looking at many items. For example, a birthday card that I got him, he looked at it at least 20 times within an hour or so! Never once recalling that he had picked it up and looked at it. He has tried to act like nothing has been wrong, but I know that his condition is to the point of his needing a facility where he can be cared for properly and be around people.
Consequently, my dad had to be moved into an assisted living facility to live from now on. It happened so fast, mom was not even gone a month, and the four of us children knew that he could not stay at home and us try to care for him properly. So off he went to this really modern place where he can meet people, walk without stairs, have his meals prepared and served, have his medication given at the proper times, and he can lay on his bed and sleep whenever he wants to.
It certainly is not home but we cannot change the fact that he is old and has a serious disease that will continue to beat him down until finally he will find his eternity beside my mom and beside my dead brother.
In short, I love my daddy and always will. He is so precious and helpless in his old age. He said he does not like it where he is, and he has cried about mom almost every time we have been together, but my dad is making the best of it and moving on alone. It hurts so bad and feels as if he died too. Their house is empty and I got quite upset going there with my sister. It is my birthplace and mom’s death place now, and no one knows what to do just yet about it.