Making a Tough Decision - Five For Friday

Happy Friday!  It's time to link up with Doodle Bugs for::

Here's the background information:

*Last March, on Good Friday - after multiple visits and discharges from the hospital emergency room - my father was diagnosed with State IV lung cancer.  Since then, he's been feeling pretty well and living on his own.  He's had some setbacks but managed to rebound.  Here's how he looked on Christmas:

*Fast forward one week:  the calls to 911 and the trips to the Emergency Room began right after the New Year.  My father insisted on going home, and he would end up right back in the hospital.  The last time he went home, he lasted for 4 hours before calling 911.

Here's something I learned about these unsuccessful tries to live independently.  In the medical world, they say you "failed."  One social worker told me that if he "fails" enough times, he'll realize something has to change.

To avoid embarrassment on his last trip to the ER, my father "forgot" to tell anyone he was going to the hospital, and my phone lit up.  Eventually, I ended up calling his neighbor - the one who knows everything about everyone (these neighbors do come in handy sometimes).  He laughed and told me, "Oh, he forgot to tell you where he was going again." 

When I arrived, I told him that I was taking over, and he was going on hospice.

Two days later my father had a hospice consultation/referral.  When I left school that day, I thought my father might be going straight to the Hospice House because he was so weak from lying in the bed all day.  The nurse evaluated him and determined he was ambulatory so the Hospice House wasn't possible.  At that moment, I decided that he was going to come live with me, and I was going to take a Family Medical Leave.  I made this decision on Thursday, and I brought him home to my house the following Friday.

Last week was my first full week as a caretaker.  It was SO MUCH WORK!  On top of all the health and every day jobs, my father needed to go to his apartment in Winthrop because he needed "some things."  The next day he needed a chest ray, followed the next day by a thoracentisis (this is when the doctor extracts fluids from the lungs).  My brother came on Friday so I could go to school, but I felt so overwhelmed and out of sorts.  I am still hoping to go this Friday, but I'm still on the fence.

Now my house is full of an array of supplies:  hospital bed; oxygen and supplies; nebulizer; bath seat;...Of course, my father isn't thrilled or thankful about my decision, but I made this choice, and I'm going to see it through.

I now have a deeper appreciation for this quote:

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