Monday, May 09, 2005

Slipping away

So my darling sister came to see us today in professional nursing mode. No emotion, shooting straight from the hip. Dads been pink slipped. That means theres a pink sheet in his notes to say no rescucitation if he has another attack. He's had an ECG, his heart is damaged beyond repair and the doctors are amazed it's working at all. But working in the smallest sense. It isn't pumping hard enough to even register a blood pressure on their normal meters. It's just a matter of time before it packs in altogether. He wants to go home. When he's awake he's quite lucid and together but that's getting less often as he's sleeping most of the time now. The thing is if he's sent home that's it. He comes off dialysis and it's a matter of days before he dies. Maximum 15 days. But in his condition more like five. When sis told me this I had a cold shiver straight down my spine. He will go home to die. No ifs buts or maybes. He will die. I want there to be hope. But there is none. He has told the doctors himself that he can't live with this quality of life. He wants to die now.
It tears me apart. Am I being selfish that I want my dad to live for just one more day? Am I being cruel to wish he stays alive despite the fact he can't do anything for himself? He hasn't the strength to sit up by himself anymore. We have to lean forward to hear what he says. His voice is so quiet. But he's still there telling me his words of wisdom. His mind is still there but the body is failing.

Tonight I told my children that their Grandad was dieing. Before I'd just told them he was ill. Gemma at university and Jamie at home. Gemma told me she didn't know what to say. I said "I don't know what to say either so it's OK."
"Jamie wanted to know if he should go and see his Grandad before he died."
Shit! That's a difficult question. I could tell he was scared of the prospect. So I said he should remember his Grandad as he was, not as he is now and not go and see him. I don't know if I said the right thing. Really I don't.
I am getting to the point where it's difficult for me to go and see him. It's too traumatic. I am not very good at this. I have had no practice. There are no lessons to tell you what to do or how to feel. So I play my guitar very loud and very hard. I sing my songs to dull the pain and tears run down my cheeks as I sing. You know my Dad has never heard me play. He has never been to a gig. He often asks me how the music is going, but has never asked me to play for him. He asks about Del and what we're doing now. The other day he told me he wished he'd paid for guitar lessons for me like my little brother had. I'm totally self taught.

I'm on the verge of tears most of the time now. But I have to keep going. I have a business to run. People who rely on me. I've got to keep it together.
Del came to see me tonight. We played pool. He has this ability to keep things normal at the same time as giving the right amount of sympathy and advice. We were laughing and joking and making up lyrics to imaginary songs. "Marshmallow in a penny slot" That was one of the crazy ideas we had. Then we were singing along to the TV video channel changing the words to things about Kebabs. He went home. My instinct was to go home with him and get absolutely paraletic. But that's not a good thing in real terms. I feel safe with Del. Of course he's a fat bastard. But then he's my best friend. So I don't care. To paraphrase the man himself I get twice as much friend for my money. He is in the process of writing a new unit for the course he is teaching. How to let children express their anger. Pretty soon I am going to be an expert in child welfare. He's going to give me the lecture. I know it's preparation for the real lecture, but it's interesting and that's another unit under my belt. I could end up with a degree in child welfare just by getting pissed with Del.

I've got to go to bed now. Morphius beckons me.

Rock on dudes

You may have noticed that there is no "iPod now playing" anymore. I haven't the heart. I can't do it right now. There is no music. It will return.


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