**After my last post and with all the good intentions, of course something had to go wrong. This website was down for more than a week. Apologies**
On Saturday, 18 February 2012, my dad passed away. It has taken a really long time for me to have the courage to post it here. In fact I don’t even have the right words to express it all. Willie has said it best and if you want to read his version then please pop over there.
Most of the time it all feels so unreal. At certain times of the day I still expect his phone call. Every time something happens, my first thought is that I should phone my dad.
When I picked my dad up to take him to the hospital the first time (25 Jan) I was so shocked to see how much weight he had lost. I hadn’t seen him for about 10 days and the weight loss was quite significant. He was admitted and when I came home I told Willie that I am really worried about my dad this time. He looked weak and frail and adding the weight loss made me a bit scared. He has been very sick many times before and ended in hospital but I have never had that feeling. That night when I went back to visit I was able to speak to his doctor. He told me that he was very concerned, mostly by the lack of oxygen. His hands, feet, fingers, lips were all blue from lack of oxygen. When I asked him how concerned I should be and if I should let the family know he told me he was very concerned. I went home and phoned the family. This was Wednesday night. I was blown away when I got there on Saturday morning to find that they had discharged my dad.
Over the next few weeks things just got worse. It was a huge struggle to get him to eat. We were lucky if he had three or four spoons of yoghurt in the morning and another four or five spoons of food during the day. Luckily he was drinking quite a bit so it was a relief of some kind. He lost so much weight. His bones were poking out, his whole appearance changed. It was so hard to imagine that just over 2 months before he was a healthy, fit man chopping down trees in our back yard. One of the things that happen from lack of oxygen is that it affects the brain. My dad seemed to be confused and unsure most of the time. After while I could also hear that his breathing was changing. It seemed more labored, like he was taking quick, short breaths. After a day of this he also stopped drinking completely.
When Willie came home from work I told him that I was very worried. I went to chat to my dad he kept telling me he had pain. Willie went to our GP to see if there was an after hours number. He managed to find one at the pharmacy and when he phoned the GP he sounded concerned as well. He suggested we get him to the hospital as by then he should be dehydrated. I rushed him to hospital. Once they saw my dad in the car they whipped him out and rushed him through to the back while I did the paperwork. When I eventually got to him I got such a fright. He was on oxygen, he had drips in both arms, someone taking blood, chest x-rays being done. They were heating him because he was feeling so cold. It didn’t take long for them to decide that he needed to be in ICU. I felt so bad for him. He was so dehydrated that when they tried to put a needle in his arm his skin was almost tearing. His skin was like paper. He kept saying to me that they were hurting him and asking me where he was. It was heartbreaking!!!
My dad spent 8 days in ICU. I watched him get progressively weaker. Some days it seemed like he didn’t know who I was or where he was. He wasn’t getting up anymore. He got physio daily and had a special mattress to help with circulation. At this point he was not eating at all and was drinking at most between 300 and 500 ml of liquid a day. Hid doctor told me that if he does not start to eat soon they are going to have to put him on a feeding tube. On Saturday when we went to visit him, the nurse told me that after visiting hours they will be giving him a feeding tube. The time had come and they couldn’t put it off anymore. During the visit he seemed very tired and sleepy. He wasn’t talking but he was responding with noises and he did squeeze my hand.
We went home after visiting hours. My aunt was getting ready to make the trip back home when the hospital phoned. it was his nurse and she said dad wasn’t doing so well and that we should really get back there asap so that we can say good bye. We got there at 17h49 and my dad passed at 17h45. 4 minutes late…….
I couldn’t believe it, I can’t believe it. Even though I knew he was really sick and logically I knew it was bound to happen. It seemed unbelievable. I remember staring at him and I couldn’t believe it was my dad. MY dad.
I struggle with my feelings. Still. I feel so bad for him, that he had to suffer. That he ended up losing himself. I am eternally grateful that I told him every single day that I loved him and until the very very end he always said it back. He knew how much he was loved and I am grateful that I had the time to make sure he knew. I didn’t have that with my mom. I miss him so much. So much has happened since that should’ve been with him. I miss my mom more than ever. I am so happy they are together.
I am not good with words, not being able to express my feelings around this. It’s hard. It feels unfair. Both my parents died very young. Both my parents……
RIP Dad, fly with the angels.
When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. ~Author Unknown
Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow,
May looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.
While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil. ~John Taylor