I went to see my father a week ago. Flew back home on Friday night. How do I describe it? He was lying in a hospital bed. There is not much left of him. His face is sunken in; his arms and legs look like twigs, his ribs and vertebrae protrude through his skin. He had pneumonia, a kidney infection, and a systemic infection. Two different antibiotics were being given to him intravenously. He had not been conscious for months. Nutrition was being administered intravenously. After several unsuccessful (and bloody) attempts, a naso-gastric tube was finally inserted, making it possible for him to receive nutrients through the digestive tract. He has received two blood and one platelet transfusion.
The naso-gastric tube makes it possible for him to receive antibiotics through the digestive tract. This makes him a viable candidate for hospice care, meaning he may not die in the hospital. Every day, they tell us he may be discharged from the hospital and into hospice. Every day, something goes wrong, and he is not stable enough for discharge into hospice. I finally had to come back home on Friday. I have to finish putting together the paperwork on our taxes this week, so that we can meet with our accountant by the end of the month.
I have come to terms with the fact that my father may very well die in the hospital. It is not what I want for him. Then again, none of this is what he wanted: this long, relentless, meaningless process of death with absolutely no quality of life. Sigh.
Yes, I gained all the weight back. I ate what I could, when I could. And I was too concerned about other things to do much about it. It was all about hospital cafeteria food, the ensaimadas (look those up) my mother brought over, fresh from the bakery, for breakfast a couple of mornings, and endless amounts of Diet Coke and water.
So it is back to Jenny now. But I have to say, much as I am enjoying the food and the routine of it all, as I look in my closet to set aside the black suits and make sure the outfits are clean for my father's funeral, I feel all kinds of numb. Losing weight seems so much less important now . . .