Saturday, October 27, 2007
My Dad, My Hero
After being in the hospital six weeks my dad passed away early one morning after he started bleeding internally and receiving and losing blood as fast as they could give it to him. He finally stopped bleeding, but his heart rate and blood pressure went down to something like 20/30 and his heart finally stopped. We had made the decision that they were to do everything to save him except if his heart stopped, they were not to resusitate. You should have seen the condition he was in, he had a surgery that wouldn't heal. He was cut open from his sternum down to his belly button. He had to have part of his stomach removed to stop the bleeding that an ulcer was causing. He'd had these ulcers for years. He had been being treated for a malignant melanoma on his arm before he ever went to the emergency room with his bleeding ulcers. He couldn't keep anything down in his stomach. He was losing weight. His wife (my step-mom) had passed away less than a year ago. He had so many machines and tubes hooked up to him. I left the hospital once to go get something to eat and came back and they said, "where were you? We were looking for you. We had to put your dad on a ventilator." At least I wasn't there to make that decision, it was made for me. They started asking several times after this, "How much farther do you want to go?" They had to put my dad into a drug induced coma because he was in such pain. I wondered as he lay there just how bad it was for him to be absolutely out of control. I wondered if he was still in pain, if he was crying out to be released, to be taken home. I wondered if he could hear us as we were talking in his room, joining hands around him and praying for him. I wondered if he wanted us to continue or let him go. I told him it was alright if he went. The last thing he said to me before he went into his coma was, "You know that I love you." And I said, "Yes, Daddy, I know that you love me and I love you." At the end when they took him off his pain medications to see if he could wake up and function again because this was an up and down process where they thought one day he was 10% chance of survival to maybe he's gonna make it, don't give up! We lived 5 hours away from him so I couldn't be there all the time, but I came every week for a few days and nights. But at the last one nurse told me that he was getting a response out of him, he would open his mouth to let him swab it out. I wanted to be there to see this and I got to. The nurse said, "Claude, open your mouth so I can clean it." He opened his mouth. Now the most excellent thing about this is that means that he could hear everything that was being said.