I, as a dutiful child, visited my father in hospital today after work. He’s still in the ER and still being rather cheeky with the nurses.
When I showed up there was a PSW (Personal Support Worker) keep an eye on my father, in essence babysitting him. Turns out early in the morning he decided he needed to pee so he tried to get himself out of bed without ringing for the nurse with the buzzer hooked to his hospital gown. He fell, and fell hard. He fell onto his nose and there was a bit of a concern that he may have broken his nose — but the nose is okay, just bruised. From the moment that the nurse found him on the floor he’s had a PSW watching him.
My father is very conscious of his mortality, and he kept saying that the stretcher will be his last bed … that he will die in it, and that he’d rather go home and die at home. I told him he’s not going anywhere, he’s to stay in hospital and obey the nurses (within reason) and not to try and walk out .. he couldn’t anyways, he’d fall over.
While visiting with him he was sharing what his final wishes are — that the cottage not be sold until a year after his death, as the real estate value may increase with an improving economy, that the condo is my mother’s (which I agree with as it is the marital home of my parents), and that I need to work out how to best put together the financial resources so that my mom has a comfortable life until she dies.
He also asked that no heroic efforts be taken – i.e., no resuscitation, no ventilators, no machines. He also doesn’t want my mum slipping any rosary beads into his hands.
He honestly believes that he’s dying. While there with him this evening he kept telling the PSW that he’s dying, that he feels it in his bones. He also thinks he’s been in hospital for 4 days, when it’s only been a little over 24hrs. When I tried to correct him he didn’t believe me.
He’s quite frail. I had to get him to the toilet so that he could have a bowel movement. He was shuffling at a pace that a snail could beat. But he was still alert to all that was around him and took an interest in the other patients in the ER. Got him back to his isolation cubicle and helped him get his pants back on and changed his hospital gown for him.
He is showing some fight still. He’s kicking his legs about, almost as an act of defiance against death … that there’s still some fight in him. He’s very cheeky with the nurses and with his PSWs and he did manage to drink a cup of milk today and some of his Ensure.
I’m quite worried about him, and also the toll this is taking on my mother. I believe I very much agree with my father when he says he wishes my mom would move to Vilnius Manor (it’s a retirement residence Lithuanian OAPs) where she’d be closer to amenities, her church, her cousin, and friends. And she’d have community and healthcare providers onsite.