View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Dad: Update

The nurse called from the nursing home last night to say Dad has worsened since he returned there on Friday. She asked about sending him back to the hospital.

I reminded her that Dad returned to the home under hospice protocols.

The protocols call for giving him what he needs to make him as comfortable as possible, but no more returns to the hospital.

That's basically what we agreed to at the hospital. He made his wishes known at that time (as best he could).

Still, I hesitated. Should I say send him back to the hospital? But what good would that do? The only other option for him at this time is to put him on tube feeding, something he does not want, something that might not work anyway. It might only delay things. He made it clear he wants to keep eating and drinking normally, even though with his aspirating that likely will lead to his death sooner.

I told her no to the hospital.

She said she would call the doctor about what medication to give.

I feel so conflicted.


Anonymous Carol said...

(((Lee))) I'm sorry. It seems to me it couldn't hurt to ask your father's mother and their Mother to hold him and intercede for his best. Meanwhile, the home can thicken his liquids to almost solids and liquify his solids to almost liquid, which means the chance of aspiration is lowered while meeting some nutritional and hydration needs.

8:10 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Thanks Carol. We tried that at the hospital. He hated it and rejected it. He indicated he wanted regular food - well, as regular as it's been for him lately: Pureed food and "Ensure."

11:01 AM  
Blogger Persis said...

My prayers are with you and your family at this time. I know first hand, both from a personal and professional side, how difficult these days are.
I am glad to hear that your Dad has made his wishes known, and that you are doing everything you can to honor those wishes. I have learned that this is one of the greatest gifts we can give to someone who is dying. It is also the most difficult thing I have ever had to do, especially as a daughter when I had to make the decisions for my own father, based on his wishes, when he could no longer.
Remember that hospice is about the "whole person- mind, body and spirit"- and just as much for the family, as it is the patient, and use the services available to you to help you get throught this time.


2:48 PM  
Blogger Bruce said...

My prayers are with you and your Father during this difficult time. May God's face shine upon you both!

6:46 PM  

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