Heather, originally uploaded by magnum_lady.

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.

12 thoughts on “Heather

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  1. Hi Val , Well you are entitled to a good auld rant, sure you wouldnt be normal if you didnt feel the way you do . I know from experance what you are going through and just how hard it is for you,nothing i can say can help things be any better, but i will say a prayer for all of you , and know you are not alone , and you will come through this dreadful time, thank you for your lovely comments about my son Andrew i was up to see him today the op is over and he is comming home tommrow please God, I will be thinking of you all best wishes Angie x

  2. omg thats not ranting val, spill… you are so generous towards others- i wish i could do more for you… thats a horrible tale & i hold you in my thoughts, may you all recieve all the comfort & care you need. please speak to somebody- these are not conditions to be ignored… your dad needs round the clock nursing care plus a good deal of medical attention, your mum probably does too- and you are needed by others so can’t afford to ignore yourself!
    i wish you every blessing xxx

  3. Val,

    So much for you and family to deal with. God bless you for taking care of all those you love. I know it must be hard and you are not ranting….
    My thoughts, prayers and hugs go out to you and your family. Email me anytime if you need an ear to listen. We are all here for you.


  4. Hi again, it all sounds so familiar. How difficult it all is. Emotions tend to run high at this time including the ill persons emotions – anger, stubborness, petulance etc. They are stages that are common and natural (albeit difficult). Acceptance comes later and I hope your dad takes the offer of the hospice place – for all your sakes. My mam was 80 and struggling to take care of Da in the same way as your mam.
    Rant all you want – it does help a little. Hugs to you all.

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