Monday, November 26, 2007

dad's gone

The nursing home called about 45 minutes ago. My dad's gone.
I'm crying, I'm sad, but I'm glad he's at peace. The last few months were just hell on him. I spent a long time with him yesterday and I also saw him Friday.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Brookhaven Obesity Clinic

I just found out that TLC has a whole series filmed inside Brookhaven Obesity Clinic, called "Inside Brookhaven Obesity Clinic." (I'm not sure how long the link will be good.) There was a marathon on this afternoon and I watched several of them. They are worth watching if you are overweight or obese, just to serve as a warning or to scare you skinny. I took a walk tonight in the freezing cold!
The one that affected me the most was a black guy who had lymph edema (that's what I have). This guy's leg was huge, swollen in such a way that he didn't even look human on that side. It was an elephant man kind of thing. He had regular chocolate colored skin but on his leg it was black, like gangrene or something. It was split and oozing and absolutely repulsive. He had it inside a kind of net stocking, which held on various bandages that held back the oozing.
It made the problems I have with my edema seem trifling, I'll tell you. This guy could barely get into bed because he couldn't lift his leg at all. Once he was in bed, he basically laid on the leg. He went to a specialty surgeon hoping they could surgically fix it (which I've seen on other TLC obesity shows--basically they flense the leg, like a whale--repulsive to watch, creates scars and a thinner but still misshapen leg) and the surgeon told him he couldn't help his leg. (My husband was watching this section with me and he said he found that hard to believe.) The surgeon said the only possible treatment, if the man couldn't lose weight (I believe he was in the 500-600 lb range, but don't quote me), was to amputate the leg, but the surgeon said a real leg with edema was better than a fake leg. The guy did not want to lose weight and at the end he said he wanted his leg amputated. (That was the "Unsafe for Surgery" episode.)
The episode about people there who cheat really made me angry. These people are there to lose weight but they are having pizzas delivered. One girl actually ordered food for others and went to the front door to get it for those too fat to go to the front door themselves! There are only 75 beds in this place, people are calling begging to be taken and yet there are people there abusing the system. Makes no sense.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

sad for dad

This whole thing with my dad is just ripping out my soul. I go see him every day; I go watch him starve to death under hospice care. I wish I could strip off my fat and stuff it into his IV so he could live off it. I could give up a 100, 150 lbs and still be a porker. (Like the comedian Ralphie May, in his new special, when he says it's no accomplishment to lose 270 lbs, "a whole fat man" and "still be fat as hell.")
Dad's mostly unconscious, but some days he's semi conscious and knows I'm there, and those days are the worse. The starving to death is the kind way for him to die, and the knowledge of that is just awful. If I could strip off my fat and feed him with it somehow, it would only keep him alive so his underlying diseases could kill him. He's got several now, all on the edge of fatal, and it's just a question of which one will get him first, or if the starving will take care of it. They say he's not in any pain; he's on morphine and other high octane pain killers. Some days he holds my hand and other days he pushes it away and other times he doesn't seem to notice. But some times his eyes are half open and he turns his face to me like he can see me. His speech center has been destroyed by disease and he can't communicate at all so we don't know if he's blind or deaf or in pain or what. We aren't even sure if he understands what we say or if it's just a response to noise in the environment. The nurses have a cd player next to him playing soft music that if he was awake he'd probably hate.
So if you're wondering why I've been quiet, that's why. I can't find anything funny to say, or even cutting and bitchy. I've been doing no research on fat issues and even my NaNoWriMo novel is suffering.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

dad update

My father has been slowly slipping away for the last month, pretty much in a near vegetative state in a nursing home, unable to talk or focus his eyes on anything, the victim of severe brain damage. For the last week it's been getting harder and harder to get him to eat--he can't swallow and keeps choking on his food, so we made the decision to go to hospice care. Basically he's just doped up on morphine to keep him pain free and out of it while he starves to death. After several weeks with little or no food, he is skeletal--I doubt he weighs 130 lbs. I don't know how long it takes a frail, sick man to starve. Nurses guessed between 3 days and a week but up to 2 weeks is possible. Won't that be a happy Thanksgiving for my family if that's what happens.
My dad is relatively young to be on nursing home death row--he's in his mid-60's.