Wednesday, March 04, 2009

My Dad is Dying

I'm in Florida...again, sitting by my dad's bedside in a hospice house, waiting for him to die.

On February 14, I arrived to visit my dad and have fun in the sun with the kids during their February vacation. It was a good visit. I was surprised by how skinny Dad was and how much his wife drank, but it was a good visit. We talked a lot and "Grampy Baker" chauffered the kids and me to the beach every day. When I returned to Boston on 2/20, my dad had a cold but was still very much awake and alive. We discussed Obama's stimulus package and the sour grape Republicans who semed to be obstructing change just because they didn't win in November.

A couple days later, I got a call from my sister saying that my dad's cold got worse and he had been hospitalized with double pneumonia. Apparently, he was conscious then and reluctantly told his primary care doctor that he would be willing to be intubated if need be. And, of course, that's the way it went. The oxygen mask wasn't doing it, he kept trying to rip it off and, when Linda went to the bathroom, she came back and he had been intubated.

I was shocked to learn that, although he had been diagnosed with emphysema/COPD several years earlier, he did not have an advanced directive, a living will, or had not even dicussed his wishes with Linda, his wife.

Much to everyone's surprise, the ICU was able to excubate Dad and put him back on just the oxygen tubes in his nose. But he never fully regained consciousness. They don't know if he had brain damage as the result of lack of oxygen to the brain or if he suffered a stroke. Either way, his eyes were open on and off and he was moaning but he was no longer able to focus on anyone, communicate, or even respond.

We switched him to hospice status on Wednesday but we chose to do it at the still in the hospital. Discovered today that the nurses weren't automatically giving his morphine. He's being moved to a Hospice House outside the hospital now. May he rest in peace soon. I told him he didn't start out that way but he is a very good dad and I love him very much. I've told him everything. Now we wait...


  1. Julie,
    You are in my thoughts and prayers during this "holding pattern" time.


  2. We're thinking about you and your family and praying for peace to you all very soon. Much love.

  3. I am glad you told your dad what you needed to. May you and your family find peace.

  4. You're very brave to post. I'm praying things happen peacefully for you and your dad.

  5. I Feel for you during this time, My Dad is OK now but he has been close to passing before.

  6. Our thought and prayers are with you and your family. Remember we are all here if you need us. That's what MS bloggers do for each other. Support each other.