Friday, October 16, 2009

Hospital Breakdown

I'm exhausted. Mentally, emotionally and even physically. My body is stiff and all my muscles are sore from sitting on my ass for a week. Mentally, I'm shot. I'm trying to figure out "what next?" and nobody in the hospital thinks past the end of the day. One day, they are going to release my father and expect someone to take care of the details. It is not out of the range of possibilities that they would send him home, expecting his family to provide 24 hour care. I can't provide 24 hour care for my dying father. I work. I have a home. I have a life. I'm not giving them up to care for a dying man for an unspecified period of time.

Its all resting on me. My father is too sick to make any real decisions or phone calls. I've been hounding the hospital social workers. I've been talking to the doctors. I've been helping him brush his teeth and even occasionally helping him eat. I've seen my dad's raw nakedness as he is lifted on and off bed pans and uses urinals.

I feel very, very alone right now. My brother has not been helpful. While he's stopped by to say hi a couple times over the last week, he's not doing anything productive. He's not taking off work. He's not paying the bills at dad's house. He's not investigating end of life decisions and how long it takes to die if you stop dialysis. Guess who is doing those things? Yeah. Me.

And no, asking the brother to help is not really an option. He's not mature enough, he doesn't care enough. Hospitals make him uncomfortable. "I don't like hospitals, I can't go there everyday." Yeah, cuz I just love hospitals and dying people.

I just want it to be over. Like now. And its become very clear that its not going to end as quickly as I had hoped.


Miss OverThinker said...

no one should have to go thru what you are going thru alone.. it's not fair that your brother is not doing his part and taking some of the responsibility off your shoulders.. I don't know what to say to you - what you are going through is pretty rough - hang in there..

erin said...

I'm so sorry you are going through all of this. I wish I lived near you, I would help in any way I could. Is your brother trustworthy enough to take on the "dad's house" tasks? If you make him? Because you should not have everything fall on you. Or (and you can tell me to shut it if you like) maybe the Prof would be willing to do that for you? So that you can focus solely on the hospital and where your dad goes next, knowing that someone is taking care of the other house-bill-paying stuff.

Sorry, I'm a fixer, I want to fix this for you and I know I can't. Sending hugs and healing energy to you.

FridgeGal said...

Do you think your brother knows the gravity of the situation? As a youngest child I know that I really had a hard time grasping things unless they were spelled out for me, usually because they were things that had always been taken care of. Maybe letting him know how you are feeling and extremely bluntly how super serious the whole thing is will get him to pitch in more.

And you are not alone in the world at least. My father is something of a vegetable right now and is never getting better. It's SO hard. And as someone that is not looked to as the primary care take it can be hard to know what to do. I hope my comment helps. I relate to so many of your posts.

Ms Behaviour said...

Yeah, I'm a fixer too and would have said what Erin said about the Prof. Hugs.

Susan said...

Thanks for all your kind thoughts and suggestions. I'm doing the best I can and think that Brother is starting to get it a bit. I took Saturday off from elder care entirely and made him check in on Dad at the hospital. Having a day away helped tremendously.