Well what a day it’s been today. As you know Dad isn’t well….I’d better tell you the full story.
In 2002 mum found out she had bowel cancer, so she spent the summer in St. Luke’s hospital in Dublin having chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a treatment called brachytherapy. She was really quite bad after the treatment, she came home at the end of August.
In September 2002 dad went to the doctor’s because he had high blood pressure and was breathless. The hospital advised him to have a stent as he had a blocked artery….I told him if I were him I wouldn’t do it as I felt it was a major thing especially with mum not being well. Dad said it would give him a ‘whole new lease of life’. Although to be quite honest there was nothing wrong with the life he had. Anyway dad being dad (stubborn) went ahead with the operation and something went wrong, something to do with the dye that was used; it caused his kidneys to fail.
So since that time he has been on dialysis three times a week…..but it hasn’t been straightforward.
Dad got some fluid on his lungs and while they were trying to clear the fluid his spleen got ruptured…so we got a call in the middle of the night to say he was bleeding internally and wouldn’t make it through the night. We had to drive up to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, when we got there dad was in surgery having his spleen removed. He pulled through and was in Beaumont for quite sometime.
In the meantime mum was still in agony after the brachytherapy which had caused ulcers so she had to have her bowel removed and now has a colostomy bag. She was really, really ill for ages but she had to pull herself around to help dad.
There was one stage where mum was in Sligo general and dad was in Dublin….and I was between the two of them!
To cut a long story short, Dad broke his hip twice. The first time he was complaining of a pain in his leg, the hospital told him it was a pulled muscle, they did xray him (but didn’t look at the xray). He came home from dialysis and the next day he fell and broke his wrist. When he ended up in A&E they realised his hip had been broken for ten days and that had been what caused him to fall and break his wrist. So he ended up having two operations and was in a rehab place for weeks afterwards.
Then last year he fell off the bed in the dialysis unit and broke the same hip again.
So now we are more or less up to date. He’s been getting worse and worse. Since before Christmas he hasn’t been able to walk, wash himself and is in nappies. In these last few weeks he can no longer feed himself. So he has been expecting mum to wash, dress and do everything for him. She is 73 and really cannot cope anymore….but we heard today that he wants to come home and has refused oxygen and the place in the hospice that he agreed to last week.
So what can we do? Mum is in tears, she has done so much for him and he has never once even said thanks.
I do what I can, but can’t be there 24 hours a day. I have to think about my family too and Jono has Asperger’s syndrome (a form of autism) so needs to have a routine.
I know I’m just ranting. I hope everything gets sorted out soon.