Monday, September 21, 2009

Good News and Bad News

Far Away Sister went through Dad's will and legal documents with it, and found his living will. We had been so focused on protecting Dad from the individual who was stealing from him that we didn't pay much attention to all the documents he signed. It was very clear about his desires, which include no vent, no feeding tube, no resuscitation, no hospital, and hospice. She called and talked to the administrator (Ad) about advanced directives. There is a specific form that must be filled out for the paramedics, and unfortunately it requires his doctor's signature. Ad also told that Dad needed to be on hospice. She said he would end up back in the hospital, and was deteriorating. She said the other night he pushed his button 18 times in an hour. He lays down in bed, can't breathe, and gets anxious. He tells us he's sleeping fine, but obviously that isn't the case.
Far Away Sister got Brother and Sister on the phone, and laid out what Ad had told her. They agreed to talk to Dad about hospice. Sister suggested Thursday would be a good day to do it, and I pointed out by then he could be in the hospital on a vent. They met with him tonight. It was quite obvious that they weren't happy about the idea. They called Far Away Sister and me and put us on speaker phone. Dad sounded terrible-- weak, confused. But he doesn't want to go on hospice because that would be giving up. He doesn't want CPR or any heroic measures taken to save him, but he doesn't want to go on hospice because that would be giving up. We don't even want to know how they approached him. Far Away Sister had predicted this outcome.
Far Away Sister told them they'd best get him to specialists who could get some of the fluid off so he'd feel better, since he wasn't ready to give up. She hopes one of them will tell him (and whoever takes him) that it is time for hospice, and that hospice isn't giving up. Far Away Sister called me back a little later to point out that if Dad dies in the next day or so, it will be our fault, because Dr. predicted that mentioning hospice to Dad would kill him, and we'll have killed him. Why is it that everyone can see that Dad is dying except Sister and Brother?
All I want is for him to get the care he needs to be comfortable. That's all I want.

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