Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dad Passed Away 1-6-2012 2:44 AM

Dad was obviously admitted to the hospital. (click on hospital for part 1) It was about 9:30 PM before he finally got a room assigned to him.  Due to the DNR they were not able to intabate him.  But, they did put a CPAP on him.  It is basically like being intabated but with out the actual tube down your throat.  Had we been thinking we would have explained that to dad he most likely would have refused the CPAP as well. 

By Sunday the mask was hurting him so bad and his status were up enough were they took take it off of him and would give him a break off and on through out the day.  By Monday he was refusing to wear the CPAP.  He was infatic saying don't ask me again. When he gets to that point buddy you better believe he means what he says and there is no changing his mind. Dad had been in a great mood all day and was more alert and talking all day.  He was wiped out by the end of the day so we ended up leaving when visiting hours were actually over instead of staying late like we had been doing.

Tuesday morning we were up at the hospital be for 8AM so we would be sure to be there when the Dr. came to visit dad. When we walked in the room the CPAP was back on.  He had a horrible night and finally gave in and said he would wear the CPAP just so he could get some relief  and rest.  He couldn't fight anymore.  When they told us that I lost it. I had to leave the room. I was having a panick attack. I went to the waiting area and tried to calm down.  Once I gathered my composure I tried to go back in his room and just couldn't stay in there. I knew that was it.  He wasn't coming home with me again.
The Dr. finally came and it was exactly like we thought.  He had no fight left in his tired body. We talked to the Dr. and told him we couldn't tell him so the Dr. said he would talk to dad and give dad the choice. To keep going with the treatment and hope it got better or to stop all measures and keep him comfortable.  After we speak with the Dr. my sister Shannon is standing on one side of dad and I am sitting on the bed on the other side of dad.  I was holding dad's hand.  I don't recall if Shannon was.  I think so though.  The Dr. told him that his stats weren't getting any better that his kidneys were not getting better and that he would be dependent on the CPAP for what little time he had left.  He could chose to keep trying to fight or he could turn the CPAP off and start taking morphine to keep him comfortable. He could pass with in a few minutes or a few days. Dad chose to pass naturally and comfortably. The Dr. left and we sat and held hands and we all cried together knowing this is almost at an end. I called Michael and Blake and let them know.  Then we spoke to my dad's brother Leon.  Uncle Leon and his family came up to the hospital and brought Granny as well.  We were not sure if they would bring her because she is not doing well at all.  I wish you could have seen his eyes light up when his mama was wheeled into the room.  She slowly stood up and gave her baby boy one last hug goodbye and they each cried.  Of course that made the rest of us cry as well.  She had to bury my dad's twin brother when Donnie was just 6 months old.  Granny and the rest of dads side of the family left.  Granny was exhausted and when she gets like that her dementia is very bad.

Once Dad made the decision to pass we were turned over to hospice. We asked to be moved to a larger room due to all of the visitors.  We have a huge family on my mom's side and our Aunt Linda stayed with my sister and I the entire time. What a blessing she was throughout this whole ordeal.  We finally got moved to a larger room. They gave us a bed to sleep on. Not the most comfortable but, when you are worn out you don't care. We dozed on and off from Tuesday through Thursday.  Sometime around 2 AM on Thursday morning I woke with a start and knew dad would be passing within 24 hours. Dad had a beard and didn't look like the daddy I grew up with.  So I gently shaved his face. I wasn't able to get his upper lip.  But he looked like the daddy we knew and loved all of our lives.

That last night we started out singing a song he wrote called Red Rover.  I will post that tomorrow in dedication to him.  We each sang that because he never really got anyone to put music to it.  Poor guy.  I just know we each butchered his song.  But, it was done in love and I know he enjoyed it. That was his testimony.  I can't tell you the number of copies my sister and I had to make for him to hand out. Then we moved on to other gospel songs that he loved.   My aunt and sister were standing on his right side and I was hold his left hand.  We played I surrender all.  Just before the end of the song I felt a gentle squeeze in my hand from my dad.  I bowed my head to pray and as the last notes played my sister and aunt said he took his last breath.  We looked up at the clock and it was 2:44 AM.  That was incredibly hard.  But, if you have ever been fortunate enough to stand by the side of a loved one as they pass it truly is a blessing. As we cried I called the nurse and let her know he had passed.  She came in a confirmed that he had indeed passed.  We had to wait for a hospice nurse to come in a confirm he had as well.  A minister from Scott and White came up and spoke with us.  We gave her a copy of dad's song and she cried reading it.  We said a prayer around him. And waited for the funeral home to come and pick him up.  Honestly it's all a blur after that.

I just know had it not been for wonderful family and friends we would not have gotten through. So with grattitude and love THANK YOU all for the love and support you gave to our family. It meant more then any of you could possibly know.

Jackie

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