The end is near

This morning the doctor called to let us know my dad was failing fast. He said he probably wouldn’t survive through the weekend.

Dad began showing signs of dementia in about 2007 during a Christmas dinner at our house. He said something and then 10 seconds later repeated the exact same comment. My husband and I looked at each other and knew something wasn’t right. My mom was already suffering from dementia for a few years at that point. Over the next few years, mom got a lot worse and dad got gradually worse.

On Dec 31 2010, dad suffered a massive heart attack while at the grocery store. Lucky (?) for him a nurse was shopping and performed CPR on him till the ambulance arrived. For the next 40 minutes they tried to contact me and then my brother to see if they should continue CPR. According to dad’s directive, they shouldn’t but they didn’t know that. When they finally reached my brother, he tried to conference me into the call (as I had the personal directive information). The call was dropped and within those minutes, they got dad back enough to take him to ICU. If they had reached me, I would’ve had to tell them to stop CPR and let dad pass. Instead he was placed into a coma and on life support for the next several days.

When dad was conscious again, his dementia was extremely progressed and we placed him on a list for assisted living. It took a couple months but we were able to place him in a home. As luck would have it, it was the same home my mom lived in. For the next 4 years, my dad spent his days going down one floor to mom’s room and sit with her every day as they both deteriorated.

On October 24, 2014, mom passed away from her dementia. She basically wouldn’t eat, so slowly starved. It was horrible. Dad didn’t understand, of course, and we were unable to take him to the funeral not knowing how he’d react.

For the next 3 years dad slowly got worse. He still liked to smile and joke but would repeat things/questions over and over. Near the end he didn’t recognize family members. He started falling early this year, a sign things were not going well. Then he began losing weight. They did blood work and suspected he had cancer but there were no plans to further investigate and treat.

So today we went to see dad and spend time with him. He was asleep as he had fallen this morning again. They were also giving him morphine for his pain. We sat with him for a couple hours. He would move occasionally and did seem in pain at one point. He was struggling to breathe and was on oxygen. The chaplain came and spoke with us, offered her prayers and gave us a list of funeral homes so we could begin planning for the inevitable. I kissed dad on his cheek and said our goodbyes. I’m hoping to see him again on Sunday (depending on my health).

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