Last night, I had a REALLY painful revelation. My Dad is a LOT sicker than I thought he was. I knew Dad had trouble breathing and that he got certain things crossed up, but this move to the new facility has revealed SOOO much about his needs... needs that I must have ignored.
After hospice relayed that Dad wasn't bathing (and me marking the soap bottle to see that it hadn't moved in a week), I knew I would have to endure World War III and get Dad in the shower. After an hour of back and forth, I finally convinced him to just go in the shower and I would wait outside until he was done.
That's when I heard the wheezing and walked in to find Dad slumped over and gasping for air. He screamed at me to "Get Out" because he didn't want me to see him naked, but my heart broke. I had to catch him as he started sliding to the floor. Despite his protests, I helped him stand and took him to the shower myself and bathed him. Thankfully, Dad's sight is bad because he surely would have seen the tears coursing down my cheeks. Every few moments I could feel him shaking from being completely worn out. I tried to encourage him to sit on the bench, but he refused.
I kept thinking, "OMG! How long have I been letting Dad do this alone?" He seriously could have slipped and hurt himself long before now. Have I been ignoring him that much or have I just been in denial... and he's SOOOOOO thin! SOOOO frail!
We fought the whole time...
Me: Dad, do you want to sit down and put on your pants
Dad: I don't need to sit down (as he gasps for air while trying to balance on one foot to put on his pants)
It was truly humbling... and scary. I've REALLY got some decisions to make.
BUT.... I can always count on Dad to say something totally hilarious in spite of our differences.
Dad: STOP LOOKING AT MY JOHNSON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
...That dried up the tears.