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My father is in the hospital (trig illness, grieving)

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Posted June 17th 2018 at 06:54 AM by Spoons

To preface this, my father has had trouble breathing for the past few weeks but was too stubborn to go to the hospital. We thought maybe it was his COPD or the fact he's under a lot of stress at work and eventually made a doctor's appointment for him.

However, he ended up at the hospital Saturday morning unable to breathe. I woke up to a missed text from my mother saying she was taking him in. So I call her and she casually says that he's in congestive heart failure, "but that's what Aunt L has and she got a pacemaker and was fine." Does she not realize how serious HEART FAILURE is? Like FAILURE of the HEART?! He also has pneumonia on his right lung, the lung he is missing a piece of due to the cancer he had.

So my sister takes me to the ER to see him and the doctor comes in. Apparently, he also has A-fib, a heart rhythm disorder. The A-fib could be causing the fluid around his heart and not heart failure, OR it could be both. We just don't know yet.

My mom is so in denial. She looked stunned when the doctor mentioned that A-fib can cause a person to throw clots which can lead to other issues like a stroke. Yeah, this stuff isn't something to mess around with. And also it's not that she's stupid, but there are just some things she didn't understand that my sister or I had to explain. I understand most of it.

The doctor he got was very blunt though and reminded my dad that a lot of this was due to the bad choices he's made and lack of caring for himself. He lied about quitting smoking, which I already knew. His diet isn't that great (but I mean neither is mine). He's had cancer in the past. He has COPD. He doesn't tell people when things are going on and refuses to go to the doctor. The doctor was very honest, but we liked that.

So they gave him medication to bring down his heart rate and blood pressure but he is very sensitive to it. He felt really hot and like he was about to pass out. He was rude and angry with the food services worker who was trying to see what he wanted for meals. When he felt sick, that same lady was the one who I asked for those emesis bags because she was the first person I saw. She's very sweet, so I do feel sorry that my dad was rude. When I say it TANKED his blood pressure and heart rate, it TANKED. My aunt said with how low his blood pressure was, he could have died. I guess now that they know this, he can NEVER have this type of medication. The problem is, he likely would need a medication like it, so they'd have to find one that works for him or none at all. They're considering going in surgically and shocking his heart to see if it'll go into the normal rhythm. One of my aunts has a pacemaker, so maybe he'll need that too. And blood thinners and aspirin for the rest of his life.

He was joking around in the ER but by the time he got admitted and had this reaction, he honestly looked so bad and like he was about to die. I thought I was going to lose my dad. We thought it would be okay if my sister and I went to my cousin's birthday party because he was doing okay but all hell broke loose and we hadn't been gone for more than two minutes before our mom called us back. He was all gray and clammy and just not good. The doctors eventually said he was doing a bit better as the medication started wearing off. So two of my aunts and one of my uncles came in to visit. My family sat and talked in the lobby for a little bit. When we left tonight to let him get some rest I was so scared. He was breathing so bad and didn't sound good and I'm just scared.

I don't like the hospital he's at. It's the closest one to us so my mom took him there to get him stable. But it's not a good hospital really and I'm scared something will happen. I want him transferred to Hartford Hospital but my mom doesn't want him there. Yale's hospital would also be a good option though, so I hope she tries tomorrow. But I don't know since she's being so casual.

She said she has no sympathy for him and isn't going to baby him when he gets home because he did it to himself. Which, yes, I agree, he did. But does she not realize her husband can die?

My eldest aunt is being frustrating too. I called her with an update and literally around an hour later she's calling the nurse's station asking for updates. Does she not trust me? My mom honestly doesn't fully understand what's going on sometimes so if anyone should explain it to her, it'd be me or my sister. The nurses said they'll just tell her to call my mom and my youngest aunt said she'll be giving my eldest aunt a lecture.

I'm angry at him for lying about quitting smoking. I'm angry at him for not going to regular physicals. I'm angry at him for not getting it checked when it first started, because maybe then it wouldn't have gotten to this point.

I'm angry at my mom for enabling these lies. She's lied about smoking too like they both think we're stupid. I know she can't force him to do anything, but she's kept it in the dark and only NOW does she decide that me and my two sisters are going to make all the medical decisions for him. She said he no longer has any say and my brother in law said he'll literally pick him up and carry him to things if he has to.

I'm scared because I don't think he'll be able to work again if things don't improve. What if we lose the house because we can no longer afford the mortgage? What if we can't get food? Unless my mom can get this other insurance plan we'll lose our medical insurance when he stops working. Both of them will have Medicare but that doesn't cover much according to my mom and I'll have nothing. What if I can't go to school for my Master's in August because we can't afford it? Better yet, with his health this bad, SHOULD I go back to school?

To get to our house you have to go up stairs. What if he can no longer do that? What if he's unwilling to make the lifestyle changes he needs to? To be honest, he probably won't. He just doesn't comply with these things.

But really, what I'm most scared of is what if he dies soon? I can't lose my father, not yet. He'll be 68 at the end of August so he's not SUPER old yet. I'm only 22. I'm not ready for him to potentially die soon. I need him. My mom needs him. My sister needs him. My niece needs him. She doesn't understand why she can't see him or what's going on and it's upsetting her. I can't lose him. He can't die, not yet, and not like this. I don't want my last memories of him to be him being sick. We've had disagreements or arguments over things lately, nothing huge and nothing that I think he'd think I'm permanently upset with him for, but what if those are the last things we have?

I'm not prepared for this.
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Total Comments 5


  1. Old Comment
    eaty's Avatar
    Hey Dez, I'm so sorry you are going through this. Its hard seeing family members in the hospital, and its hard when you aren't sure what is going to happen. I so understand.

    Something I thought I would mention that would hopefully calm you a bit, something my mom told me recently from a training she went to. A lot of doctors in my area aren't calling it congestive heart failure anymore, because it isn't truly failure. Its been a wrong name for a long time, and a lot of times its other things wrong in the body that are causing strain on the heart but isn't exactly causing it to fail. So while they may be calling it that, it isn't as scary as it sounds. And there is a lot doctors can do for it.

    I have a lot more I could say, but mainly I really just wanted to reach out and let you know that I'm here if you need anything. Feel free to text me, or message me. I'm here.
    Posted June 17th 2018 at 07:29 AM by eaty eaty is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Golfing girl's Avatar
    Sending you Hugs.
    Posted June 17th 2018 at 12:26 PM by Golfing girl Golfing girl is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Celyn's Avatar
    Thinking of you <3
    Posted June 17th 2018 at 12:30 PM by Celyn Celyn is offline
  4. Old Comment
    .:Bibliophile:.'s Avatar
    I am sorry you are struggling with all of this. I will be thinking about you and I hope you will keep us updated.

    I wish I had some solid advice to give. I think it's going to be hard but try not to think about the what if's. When my dad got sick January of this year my anxiety got really bad and I thought about the what if's but that just ended up making my fear and grief worse. I know it's not easy but try and redirect when you have the what if moments because I don't want to see you getting any more overwhelmed than you already are. Those what if's are so annoying and sooo overwhelming.

    Also, it's okay to be angry at your dad. I can understand that because he wasn't taking care of himself like the doctors wanted. It's also okay that you two have had disagreements and arguments. I am sure your dad knows that you still care about him despite all that. We fight with the people we love but most the time they still know we love them.

    I really hope things start to improve and if you need anything please feel free to message me.
    Posted June 17th 2018 at 04:38 PM by .:Bibliophile:. .:Bibliophile:. is offline
  5. Old Comment
    DemonQueen's Avatar
    You're in my prayers. My dad just recently had a quadruple bypass last month, so I understand what you're going through. It's scary, terrifying really, and super stressful. If you ever need someone to talk to you know where to find me.
    Posted June 18th 2018 at 01:21 AM by DemonQueen DemonQueen is offline

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