I’m sorry that I have been absent for so long. I have not given up writing nor have I dropped of the face of the planet. I have been helping care for my father in the last few months of his life. It has been a bitter-sweet experience that I will always cherish.
We have done a lot of grieving over this last year as we have watched my daddy fight to be here for his children and grandchildren. He came back from the brink of death on many occasions simply because someone in his family said, “I need you.” In the end it became too much for him and we all gave him permission to leave us. We could no longer watch him struggle needlessly against forces that were stronger than he was.
A Medical Adventure
It all started last March when a pressure sore was found on his foot. It was a constant battle with infection from then on. My Daddy made the choice to do what was necessary to fight the infection and get back on his feet. Massive doses of antibiotics led to severe Candidiasis in his mouth and intestinal tract. The Candidiasis was countered with massive amounts of probiotic. Even with these challenges he remained positive and hopeful.
The doctor’s in the hospital were ready to amputate my father’s foot under the assumption that it would promote the necessary healing. My father’s foot doctor disagreed and went to work to save my father’s foot. Infected bone was removed. My father underwent several weeks of hyperbaric oxygen therapy to increase his ability to fight the infection. The foot was saved and so was my Daddy. As a bonus he received a diving certificate.
Weight loss began to be a serious issue. After living with Chron’s disease for about 50 years my Daddy’s intestines were compromised and the absorption of nutrients was a problem. It became necessary to put in a gastro-tube and pump in the dense nutrient formula slowly over 12-18 hours per day. It only worked for so long.
Time With Dad
While going through all these challenges my Dad remained positive most of the time. The whole family spent time with him both in and out of the hospital. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren drew pictures and talked about what they were doing. Grandpa’s favorite treats were made, bought and brought. Life lessons and futures were discussed. It was time that was filled with love, laughter and tender moments.
Time To Say Good-Bye
On January 20, 2016 around mid-morning my father quietly slipped from this world. He had reached a point where we could no longer give him the care that was needed. Instead of putting him in a care facility my mother, my sister, the nurse and I were talking about hospice. As we discussed hospital beds, necessary changes and needed services my Daddy took two deep breaths and quietly left us. Apparently he did not want anything to do with hospice. Not unusual for my father. He never did like a fuss.