Sunday, March 05, 2017

The adventure begins.

Well ... it is a long time since l posted on here, there are SO many reasons. The main one is the sudden requirement to go and care for both my elderly parents. For a long time l have been worried about the health, physical and mental of my dad. My mum is 87 and virtually an invalid and my dad is 86 and is officially her carer! Anyway a few weeks ago it suddenly got serious and with the local doctors help, we eventually got him admitted to hospital. To cut a long story short, he has Pancreatic Cancer which has now spread to the Liver, for which he is too fail to sustain any treatment. Dad is also VERY confused and has also developed Pneumonia ! So the end is near l fear. The biggest problem is he is not making ANY sounds at all, so communication for everyone is difficult. l understand a lot of his body language but as he has a different nurse looking after him for each shift, when are they going to get to know him?
Anyway, in the mean time, l have managed to get my mum into a RAF Benevolent Home for 9 days rest bite care. The staff all know her in there, so she is well look after and feels safe. My dad has done everything for her and l mean everything. So the thought of her being on her after 65 years is terrifying for her, as you can image. It would be bad enough for an able bodied person !
The reason for this piece today, is the way it has made me feel. I have always been a daddies girl but as l grew up and lived most of my life away from them .... l have been surprised by my feelings. I feel sad , of course but l also feel angry that his life is ending like this. Dad was always such a strong, energetic and proud man. I suddenly want to protect this frail man that is not eating, not drinking and not speaking. I have managed to just spend time sitting by his bed and just being there for him. When he appears to be in pain, tell the nurse and he will get another injection. I just feel if l am not there ... nothing seems to happen. The nursing staff are great but very busy. I am also getting different versions of what and when he gets pain relief ...all very confusing and upsetting.
So l have made a promise to myself that from today, l am going to do a drawing everyday. I know there are loads of people doing this sort of thing out there but does that really matter if l have decide to do it too? I don't think so. I want to somehow celebrate my dad's life by drawing, as he was also an artist. One of things Dad told me in later life, was "You can do anything but l never knew this about you before now". Interesting statement . It has taken me sometime to figure it out. Dad was a strict but loving dad but he could also be quite controlling. Over the last few weeks l have managed to do things, for example ...  get help and support from social services, that my parents have been trying to do for the last 2 years at least.  I suppose l have always being trying to get my parents support and to make them proud of me. I think that by saying that sentence to me,  that is what my father has just given me!
So the journey begins. I have found a pad of paper, here at my parents house and am turning into a sketch book. The first drawing will be at the Worthing Hospital tonight. So till then ..... Keep drawing. :)

BACK NOW.... here is the drawing of my Dad, that l drew today. Not a happy one! :(

The drawing below, is one l found among some of my father's " filing" system! I did it 50 years ago ... does it remind you are any one?

1 comment:

Cath Stonard said...

So sorry to hear about your Dad Lynda, it is a very difficult time when you have to watch those you love suffer. I think your drawing every day is a great thing to do though, it will help to keep you calm and focussed. I remember when my Mum was in hospital, and was dying, I always had my sketchbook with me, and would draw all sorts, including a drawing of her lying there, just like the one you have done of your Dad. I lost my husband last year too, and he was in hospital for nearly 3 months. Guess what I did each day while sitting next to his bed! Yes, it was one of the best ways to keep me sane, and when I look back at those drawings, it brings back poignant memories of our last days together. You are doing something amazing for your Dad, and taking care of yourself at the same time, I wish you all well.