Tuesday, June 12, 2012
My Dad's Journey: Six Weeks In
The past two weeks have been fair to good in my father's world. His therapy has been going well, his appetite has been enhanced through pharmacology and his motor skills had been improving. Until tonight.
My mother visited in the afternoon and things were good. By the time I arrived to spend dinnertime with him, things had gone decidedly downhill. Asleep when I arrived, he awoke with impaired speech and very little energy. After his vitals were taken the reason for his condition became clearer. His blood pressure had dropped to 91/55. For a man who has battled hypertension the last 25 years, this change is extremely alarming.
Getting him to eat dinner was not as hard as I thought it would be, but it amazes me how his taste preferences have changed since he became a nursing home resident. Water, for example, was always drunk at room temperature. Once he became a patient, water needed to be cold...now cold drinks are on the shit list again. Ice cream however, remains a perennial favorite. We try to bring him foods we think he would enjoy, to supplement the one-step-above-crap food he is served daily. At this point anything he eats is ok with us. He once weighed around 175, yesterday his weight was 108. A UTI and thrush are the latest assaults on his tired body. Everyday, it seems there is another danger lurking.
While I haven't had another exceptional visit like the one I had when he was in the hospital, (Enjoying The Evening Light With My Dad) before being transferred to the nursing home, there have been many good visits. There have also been some very bad ones. Tonight was somewhere in the middle.
It was a rainy day today, kinda the way I felt inside.
Love you Pops.