Wednesday, May 04, 2005

My father slipped into a coma yesterday, or it could have actually happened the night before. At first, they thought he was just sleeping a lot, but then it was realized to be a coma. Elderly patients who go into coma after stroke are not given a very good prognosis for survival. I have had my hard moments dealing with this, but because my father is 80, I have spent some time over the last two years or so thinking about the possibility of losing my parents. So I haven't been in denial.

I have always been pretty close to my Dad. We share a lot of personality traits, we understand each other. I know he wouldn't go on like this, and I know my Mom has made the right decision in letting nature take its course. When the Terri Schiavo case was in the news, Dad was vocal about his wishes if he were in that situation. He said he wouldn't want to go on that way. So the decision has been made by my mother to have the hospital keep him comfortable and care for him however they can, but to not take any measures to artificially sustain his life.

I have three brothers and three sisters. Because the coma situation could conceivably go on for weeks, what we are going to do is space out our visits, so we can give our mom the most help and support - not leaving her alone, but not overwhelming and stressing her out with too many visitors at once. Because I don't want my kids to miss a lot of school, I am waiting and we will probably go down to Savannah sometime this month. I try to call every day and get an update.

I have had my moments of breaking down, once even while typing this...but I have also told myself what my Dad would tell me - because I am pregnant, he wouldn't want me to get all devastated, but deal with it positively so I can have a healthy pregnancy and outcome. He'd also say that I need to hold myself together to take care of my family. I can hear his voice telling me that. One time when I was crying, I realized I was crying not just for him, but for myself...I have that little girl voice crying "I want my Daddy!" but I am 39 years old and my Dad taught me to stand on my own two feet, and I will. I have been blessed to have had my father long enough that he could impart his wisdom to me, and that I have been able to be old enough myself to listen.


Cindy said...

I hope you hear some good news about your father. You never know what might happen with a coma.


Darla, Pencil Portrait Artist said...

Thanks Cindy, I hope and pray for a good outcome - because often the coma is the body's way of protecting itself, but because of the pneumonia and my father has been a smoker for many years, I have kind of resigned myself to losing him. I really appreciate the hugs and the note


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