My father is 91 years old. I’ve had the privilege, particularly over the past couple of years, of spending a lot of time with him and going on adventures, as well like to call them. The biggest fear he has always had, like many of us as we age, is losing our independence and needing assistance to live.
I’ve always used the word “young” when describing my Dad instead of “old” but that changed yesterday when for the first time, I truly saw his as old. His body wearing out, his eyes a little more sunken and his body much more thin. You see four months ago, he was riding a bike, golfing (okay 9 holes instead of 18) but still. We celebrated his 91st birthday 🥳 by going out to dinner with friends. We talked, we reminisced, we laughed. We even went downtown and rode the carousel 🎠 in the town square. He was a kid again in a way and he enjoyed every minute of it.
But that all changed a few weeks ago. I was isolating at home with Covid, which in my case felt more like a really sever head cold. My throat was sore and my voice was hoarse when I spoke. I called my Dad on one of the days (he lives in a different state) to tell him I had tested positive and check in to see how he was doing. He sounds hoarse as well and was coughing. I jokingly said “you sound like me, are you sure you don’t have Covid?” He said it was just allergies and he would take some Benadryl.
A week later, he’s in the hospital with non-Covid related pneumonia. His left lung had filled with fluid and they were draining it. He was in the hospital for 3 days, then they sent him home with a strong dosage of antibiotics. He was home through the weekend but by the next Wednesday he was back in the ER, his lung filling up again and a sort of mental confusion setting in.
I came from out of state to be with him in the hospital and give some relief to my other siblings who have been with him. I have to admit, even after getting updates I was not prepared to see the man who I had ridden the carousel with a few months earlier in such a dire state of confusion. He’s lost weight in the hospital, can hardly carry on a conversation and I had to feed him dinner last night because he couldn’t remember how to eat. The doctors are still trying to pinpoint the kind of infection that grew out of the pneumonia, or vise versa I’m not sure. But it’s hard to watch.
One of the nurses is referring to his confusion as “hospital lirium”. Is that really a thing? Particularly in seniors? He’s been back in there for a week this go around.
So it now begs the question, will he take a turn for the better now being on a stronger antibiotic and having the fluid drained? Will his hospital lirium go away and his cognitive thinking return? I have glimmers of hope for that. Last night we phoned my Son and he spoke to Papa via FaceTime. All of the sudden he was “Papa” again. He carried on a conversation for a few minutes, even laughed and spoke coherently. But after we hung up, he would not speak the rest of the evening. Just kept touching his head and saying he was confused.
We will see what today and tomorrow and the next day bring. But at the end of the day, I know my father is ready to go, if that’s God’s will. He longs to take that great adventure in the sky and hold tightly to the family and loved ones waiting to embrace him on the other side. 🕊
#heaven #papa #hospitals #pnemonia #delirium #adventures #livelifetothefullest #confusion #independence