Saturday, October 3, 2015

Ready or Not...

My dad went into hospice on Friday. My dad is 83 years old and one of the funniest and most entertaining men I have yet known.

I thought I had made my peace with his passing, he's old, been infirm for awhile, but I found out different when I was heading to see him. Memories flooded from all directions, almost as if my life flashed before my eyes.  I thought I was so ready, I didn't know if I was even going to cry.  I cried all the way to the hospice center.  

But he's not going to die today. They're going to let him go home Monday.  He doesn't meet the criteria yet.  He'll be released to hospice for at-home care, until he doesn't meet the criteria for that anymore and they release him from hospice, again.  

This latest episode confirms what I've suspected for awhile.  He says his doctor gets mad if he doesn't take all his pills.  He nods off, is lethargic, and talks nonsense. He ends up in the hospital a lot and now, hospice.  My mother doesn't understand, even though I've said, "Yea, Mom.  Three oxycodone a day will do that to a body."  Just when I think she's got it, she says that she doesn't understand why this is happening.  She even throws in some island superstition and says that he's "not in his body," so she has to yell at him to bring him back.  She yells at him all the time, every time he nods off.  Sometimes, I swear he goes to the hospital, and now this hospice visit, just to get some relief.
   
Nobody questions old people when they take too much medication.  Sometimes I think it would be great to get old, but then again, I'm sober 21 years, so I don't really have the luxury of abusing medication, unless I don't want to be...sober I mean.  And I think overmedication of the elderly is an epidemic that has been occurring for quite some time. 

When I saw my father on Friday night, I did not know he was going to be alright, so I started apologizing to him for being so hard on him.  It's so hard to put up with old people. I don't have the patience.  The things they accept, the lies they believe.  I didn't realized that I was afraid of old people until I realized that I've never really known any.  These old people (yeah, I said it) are the only old people I've ever really known.  I'm not physically afraid of them, because I think I can beat an old person's ass, but their whole selves, the smell, the frailty, the slowness of mind and body, how different they were from me, their neediness.  Maybe that's why they like taking a lot of pain medication. 

 Like everything else, I can empathize if I too, have experienced something.  Now I'm experiencing growing old and if you grow old, you usually know old people. 

I'm all over the place with this little thing I'm writing.

When I saw my father Friday night, I told him the reason I wasn't married is because I have never found a man as funny and entertaining as him that is not a psychopath.  It was nice to see him smile.


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