Hi, everyone! I wanted to give you an update on my dad’s condition.
As I announced yesterday, Rebecca and I flew out to Vancouver in a hurry on the weekend because my father, who has advanced Alzheimer’s, had contracted pneumonia.
Yesterday his wife and my half-brother made the (correct) decision to stop the treatment that wasn’t really working and move towards comfort care, just trying to keep him peaceful and comfortable since nothing more can really be done.
So they’ve got him in a private room.
I downloaded a bunch of the songs you all recommended in the comments section yesterday (thank you!) as well as some Carpenters and Abba and Dionne Warwick and Linda Ronstadt (he really liked female singers of the 70s) and I’ll start playing that today.
He really can’t communicate, and hasn’t been able to for some time. And he’s still a relatively young man. Alzheimer’s is cruel.
He hasn’t really sung hymns or appreciated hymns for several decades, but I know he did when he was in his 20s, and I know that Alzheimer’s patients often can remember things from back then easier than things from today, so I thought the hymns may trigger something. Pray for that, if you will.
Being in the hospital for two days now, I’m left with several thoughts. First, most patients get far too few visitors. And that’s hard when you’ve got dementia. And the nurses can’t respond to every call. The IV machines have an alarm that goes off every time something is empty or wrong, but they don’t come for at least 15 minutes after it starts going off. That alarm is really aggravating, and it’s right by the patients’ heads.
And many of the patients on this floor just wander (because of the dementia), so they have them in chairs up by the desk, many strapped in. Others are allowed to just wander. And some who wander aren’t safe. There’s one who is screaming obscenities and who has a security guard attached to him. And the things he’s screaming are TERRIBLE. He’s insulting that poor security guard something awful (she’s a young woman), and detailing very specific things he wants to do to her. I seriously don’t think she deserves that. I think the hospital should protect its employees better. Put him in a psychiatric ward or something where people are trained and prepared for this. But nobody deserves to be spoken to like that. Nobody.
Anyway, it’s just not a nice place. And it doesn’t have wifi. I don’t know if hospitals are different outside Canada, but I’ve always said that if you’re going to be in hospital, you need someone else with you 24/7 if you expect to get proper care and make it bearable.
I’ll likely have some posts up later this week; there are some older ones I really like that I’ve been wanting to repost, since people have been asking me some questions I actually answered several years ago. So there will be things here.
But in the meantime, I’m in a hospital room, listening to Dionne Warwick and Linda Ronstadt and Carrie Underwood sing How Great Thou Art, and I’m praying that he’s peaceful.