I wasn’t sure if I should write about this. My head has been all over the place these last 2 days and I’ve been an emotional wreck at times and then I’m okay. I’ve rolled my eyes at the idea of posting this type of thing on Facebook or Twitter because it would just fall in line with people’s updates/tweets about whatever stupid thing they’ve eaten or drank, whatever silly thing they want to complain about and it just diminishes everything about this situation.
My dad died yesterday.
While I’ve been saying for quite some time that I thought the end was near (my dad wasn’t eating much and his health has been steadily declining) – I just wasn’t prepared for this. This came out of left field. I spoke to him on Father’s Day and said, “Dad – are you giving up on me?” (meaning – is his eating a sign that he’s quitting on life?) And he said, “Not hardly. I’ll go out kicking and screaming.”
Forgive this post – I’m finding it helpful for me to write this out. I feel like the more I write or say what happened, the less I’ll sob about it. So this post is more for me than informing my 4 readers about the situation. You can stop reading now if you wish.
It started Friday morning. I woke up and saw that I had missed a ton of calls from my mother. I knew something was wrong. I called her and she said my dad was in the hospital. She said he had fallen and broken his ribs but that they rushed him to a hospital downtown. That didn’t make sense to me (since broken ribs don’t usually require a hospital transport). Instead of extreme worry – I was overcome with extreme anger.
He’s in the hospital again?! God! Why don’t they take care of themselves?! I have to drive my mom to the hospital for what? He’s just going to be released in a few days.
I was such an asshole about it that I didn’t even drive her to the hospital. I was so angry that Jeremy ended up going. I found out that my dad had taken a nasty fall (he had been falling quite a bit lately) but this one resulted in fractured ribs that led to a collapsed lung. Still – they rushed him to shock trauma? That doesn’t sound right.
Jeremy called me and said that I needed to get to the hospital.
My dad was heavily sedated and I was told that they discovered that a stent in my dad’s heart was leaking. Was this a result of the fall? Nobody knows. But the leaking blood was putting pressure on an aneurism in his aorta (the reason he had the stent in the first place). Now the question was how to proceed. The aneurism was a “ticking timebomb” but my dad was in no condition of major surgery.
The hospital chose to monitor him.
I didn’t even go to see him on Saturday. I dropped my mom off at the hospital and went to the pool. And this is something I’ll have a really hard time forgiving myself for.
I went on Sunday. At this point, they had to intubate him because the pressure building up in his aorta was cutting off his air supply. So now he couldn’t talk at all. He was even more sedated but would have moments where he was responsive. He try to mouth some words (but with a tube hanging out, it was difficult to determine what he was saying) and he’d nod his head.
I spoke with a vascular technician and a cardiac surgeon. They both presented similar scenarios and concern. Both needed to come together with a plan of action.
My father, heavily sedated, was in and out of sleep so we left. My mom said her sweet goodbyes and I kissed my dad on the forehead.
After I dropped my mom off at home, I received a call from the hospital.
Hi – um… about 10 minutes after you left, your father started bleeding really badly. We did everything we could… and I’m sorry to say that he passed away.
I didn’t hear anything else. I just started sobbing. I handed the phone to Jeremy. Apparently the aneurism in his aorta had erupted.
I broke the news to my mom and that was the hardest thing ever. She sobbed uncontrollably for several hours.
We went back to the hospital to see my dad. My mom spent and hour and half on top of my dad sobbing. She yelled, “wake up!” a few times and then ap0logized profusely for leaving him.
So – that’s where I’m at. I really thought I would be emotionally prepared for this but I’m not. Are you ever?