A few weeks ago, things were looking up for my dad. He was out of the hospital, seemed in good spirits, and he was ready to take on his cancer.
Then another fall occurred.
On May 18, he was visiting with some friends and went to sit down for a meal, and from what the staff at his retirement community, his feet got somehow entangled in the chair, and he fell forward, doing a face plant into the floor, breaking his nose, badly cutting his lip, and may have been knocked out for a few seconds. EMT's were called, and he was transported back to the hospital. In the ER, his heart was not beating properly, so they had to give him a shock to get it back into proper order.
He ended up staying overnight, but clearly he had changed when he got back. He was supposed to go to a Dr appt last Thursday, but he cancelled it, when I talked to him the day after he got back, he said he was "bummed", and I can't ever recall him using that word! The final bit of evidence occurred yesterday when I got a call from the nursing staff that was supposed to be helping him with speech therapy. They told me he refused to let them come over and do what had been ordered for him.
In spite of having a good idea of how the conversation was going to end, I called my dad to have a frank discussion. He was very clear that he did not want any speech therapy, and that he did not want to pursue radiation therapy for his cancer. So I was very to the point with him --Me: "Dad, by declining this, you are very likely hastening your end of life. Do you understand that?" Dad: "Yes, I understand".
As my wife and I were talking last evening, she relayed conversations that she has had with her friends about when a parent falls and how that can change their view on life. It is sad, buut at the same time, he knows what he is saying, and honestly, I just think he wants to be back with my mom, who passed away 3.5 years ago.
So I need to call the retirement village later today and make them aware of what he wants. Not sure if this will mean an increase in care provided, but I'm betting this is not the first time they've run into this! Also going to call the oncologist to get a realistic time frame for how much longer he will live.
More to follow I am sure...