Moving Dad into the Hospice Facility

stretcherThe first evening after the Hospice Doctor warns us that a fall could put Dad on a very bad path, my Dad falls in the middle of the night. I get the call at 4:30 a.m. Thankfully, my sister and brother are both in town now and meet him at the hospital. He was not injured.

We immediately decide we need to move him into the in-patient facility. I know the move will be very hard on my Dad cognitively. I ache to think of him waking up in a strange place to recognize no one or have any idea how he got there.

He is moved and my brother and sister spend the morning and early afternoon with him. He is so medicated, no one can really communicate with him. He is alert, but agitated. For the past few days, he has been sleeping most of the day so something is off.

My siblings leave to get my other brother who has just flown into town and visit my Mom. By the time I see my Dad, he’s doing better and recognizes me, but he is agitated.

I talk with the nurse and she gives my Dad some morphine. I then get instructions on how to wet my Dad’s lips and mouth and he greedily starts to bite on the sponge to get water on his tongue and to his throat.  The nurse shows me how to ask him to squeeze my hand if he is in pain so I can be his voice and get him more medicine.

For hours my Dad floats in and out of sleep. When he is alert he is looking around the room, reaching out and even saluting to people I can’t see.  The Chaplain visits and I ask that she prays with me and my Dad so he knows that it’s time for him to pass into heaven.

After we knew we could not treat my Dad, I ha’ve prayed that God would make his suffering here short.

I feel very alone and very sad that my Dad does not seem to be comfortable. Frightened.  

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