Sunday, May 14, 2017

Limbo

Hello everyone!

I've had some people ask me in the past few days about this blog and why I haven't been updating much recently... or at all.

This is going to be one of those posts that isn't about SL, but about RL, and it most certainly isn't about sexy-time... lol!
I'm going to try to keep this all from sounding terribly over-dramatic because it isn't. At least, right now it isn't. The past month or so? Yeah...

I've spoken before about my dad. Long time readers may remember a couple of years ago when he took an overdose and tried to kill himself. I found him in time and all ended up being fine, but he's been pretty finished with life ever since then, though he's done a damn good job of hiding it.

He's 88. That's quite a long time. He's outlived my mom and two of my brothers. He raised a family, had a lot of adventures and is one of the most genuine, kind, loving people on this planet.

Oh, he's not dead. At least, not yet. But he will be soon.
When he attempted to kill himself, it was for a variety of reasons. His health started declining after being crazy-healthy all his life. He ended up on oxygen full time and had to give up his companion, his sweet dog. He suddenly found himself unable to do the things he'd taken for granted, and didn't have his buddy by his side any longer. He missed my mom terribly... theirs was one of those great love stories for the ages. The day she died they were as much in love as ever. There was no moving past that for him. I'm not religious in the slightest, and Mom was the biggest atheist around, but Dad is very spiritual and believes that when he dies, they'll be together again.

Who am I to dispute that? I hope they are.

Also, the world has changed. I know that statistics show it's not more violent or war-torn or ugly than it's ever been, but because of the 24 hour news cycles, it's certainly in our faces more than ever. Dad was tired of seeing atrocities every time he turned on the television, and at his age, with his declining health, that's pretty much all he was able to do.

So, yeah, Dad's been ready to go for a few years now. Trust me when I say I harbor a lot of mixed feelings about finding him when he tried to kill himself. There is a big part of me that wishes I hadn't found him in time. He'd be at peace now.

His damn body just hasn't cooperated with his wishes. Heart beating strong and though he's become more forgetful, his mind is still strong, too.
But in the past few months, things have really started going downhill. More falls, more trips to the hospital, more doctors... and he's hated every bit of it. His most recent fall was about a month ago and it was a pretty bad one... had some cracked ribs and lots of pain. 

He's in an assisted living facility and the administrator had a little chat with me. She thought that perhaps it was time to call in hospice. The doctors and nurses were starting to see the signs of a body shutting down. 

I, of course, lost my shit. It's easy to say you're ready for a parent's death, but the reality is very much different. I'm the baby of the family... I've been the one to take care of him, and before that, Mom, for years. It's been my purpose... and I know that sounds selfish but I was suddenly confronted with the prospect of life without being needed to take care of someone. 

But, in the end, it isn't about me, is it? It's about Dad and what he wants. So we talked to him and he agreed and hospice has been called in. 

He's not, as they say, actively dying. What this means is that he won't have any more doctor's appointments, no more hospital trips. He's being kept comfortable and... now it's just a waiting game. It could be weeks, months, or in his stubborn body's case, years. We just don't know. But he's confined to his bed or a chair now. He can't walk anymore. He's got a catheter and bedpan. He barely eats at all. And he gets a nice big dose of morphine whenever he wants it, which is taking him away from us even before he passes. He has good days, then bad days. Sometimes he's completely lucid, others... he hallucinates or just sleeps. 

It's hard. We don't want him to be alone so my sister and I are taking turns spending a few hours a day with him while my brothers hide away and pretend nothing is going on. I've filed the paperwork for FMLA, which is the family leave act here in the states so that I can take the time I need to be with him without worrying about losing my job. 

Things have sort of settled into a routine now. As I said, he's not actively dying yet. So it's a lot of time just sitting there with him, and that's hard. Of course, I want to spend as much time as I can with him, but then when I'm there, I want nothing more than to run far away because that's not how I want to remember him when he's gone. 

So I'm working, spending time with Dad... and when I'm not, honestly, I'm losing myself in SL to give myself a sanity break. 

Anyway, that's what's going on with me right now. 

Limbo. I'm in limbo. 

And it's hard.

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