Family Magazine

Five Months and Counting

By Twotimesthefun @slcs48n1
When Dad went into hospice back in March, the doctor said, "No more than six months.  He's just not strong enough to make it more than that."  The hospice team took Dad off most of his medications and he seemed to rally.  He was more mobile, more alert, more like his old self -- a sicker, frailer version, but still his sense of humor and memory returned.  For a while we thought the doctor was wrong.  A six month deadline just wasn't going to happen.
During the past week, we've come to the realization that my Dad is nearing his end.  He has been struggling to move around.  He has been having a harder time breathing.  He is a funny color.  He is not hungry.  He's tired all the time.
Today really put it all in perspective.  Mom called to say that she didn't think it was a good idea for us to bring the girls over.  She said, "They shouldn't see Grampa like that."  What she meant was my Dad slept the day away and wouldn't wake up for more than a minute or two when she tried to talk to him.  He didn't want to eat.  He didn't take his medicine.  He just wanted to sleep.
By the time I arrived, his hospice nurse was there.  After examining Dad, she said he was as good as he could be.  She gave us new instructions about not taking him out of the house.  She discussed his swollen arms and legs.  She talked about the progression of the disease.  She said nothing was "imminent," but she didn't give false hope.  Dad will have better days ahead, but they will be far and few between from now on.  He's failing in front of our eyes. 
The six month deadline is coming up and it looks real now.  No matter how much we hoped he was wrong, the doctor seems to be on track.

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