Friday, January 29, 2010

On the ground after the flight

We made it, and we are all fine, thank Gd. The flight was really fine, just a normal international flight with 4 small kids. :-) At least everyone's stomach contents stayed where they were supposed to this time. Thank goodness for the little things.

Well, we went straight to the nursing home when we came in to Chapel Hill (North Carolina). We rented a van, loaded it up with suitcases and tired children, and went straight to the nursing home.

My father-in-law was overjoyed to see us. So was Robert's brother, who was grateful to have the "rescue cavalry" come finally. It is a hard job taking care of an ailing elderly parent. Physically (frequent night wakings), and emotionally (it's DAD). My FIL smiled. His smile is one of a man without his dentures, and who has been through hell and not quite back again. You know what? Nobody- none of us reading here- wants to end up this way. Isn't it true that we all say to our spouses "when we get old, please don't let me be in a nursing home sick, on a feeding tube, not able to take care of my own needs, atrophied". Please don't let it be that way.
But we don't always get to make decisions for things, do we.

I saw my FIL, but I had a sleeping 4 year old in my arms. I put Azriel down to continue to sleep on the fold-out couch (where my BIL slept), and then I went to him. The Ailing Patriarch.
I hugged him, took his hand, kissed his papery thin face, and told him he looks great to me. He said to me in his voice, assissted by a little box in his tracheostomy, that he waited so long. Then he repeated it- "I waited so long". I said "we are here, and we love you so much".

Then he started to deteriorate right there in front of our eyes. Over the next few hours his breathing became more and more labored, and his desires were going between wanting to talk with us, and wanting more air to breathe.

After a few hours of this, Dolph (my FIL) decided he would do a procedure in the hospital which would drain his lungs of the fluid build up that was causing his breathing problems.

OK, so an ambulance came to transfer him to get this procedure, and I went home with the children. Once at the hospital, things got more complicated.
Don't things always get more complicated in the hospital?

Long story short, he didn't have the procedure. He is now out of the nursing home and in hospice. Two of Robert's other brothers will spend Shabbat with him there at hospice.

Robert is profoundly tired and worried... stressed... TIRED.
I am.... OK. Fine. Living the definition of taking it one day--hour--minute at a time.


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