Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday Lent 13: Not What I Thought It Would Be

I entered this Lent thinking I would be doing one particular spiritual practice.

Turns out I am engaged in another one entirely.

Asking your prayers for my dad.  He has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson's. Actually, he was diagnosed over a year ago; but he didn't understand the diagnosis at that time. His hearing is extremely poor. Also, there is a dementia/ confusion component to Parkinson's that is kicking in. So... it's not clear what he knew and when he knew it. I only know that when I spoke to him about it this weekend, he seemed utterly stunned, not knowing at all what I was talking about.

I will be traveling to be with him every two to three weeks. My church is wonderfully supportive of this-- I mean, really exceptionally compassionate and helpful. It makes me teary to think of it. Dad needs help with his mail, paying his bills, and with things like having repair people come into the house. He shouldn't be driving, and the more I'm there, the more he can schedule things like doctor's appointments when I can be there.

The next time I go he will be having an echo-cardiogram, because he has an extremely slow heart rate (49) which so far has no medical explanation. They're wondering about congestive heart failure.

Dad is 89. He is feeling at sea, depressed, especially because I am urging him to make some changes, none of which he wants to make. He feels that I have turned on him. This is pretty heartbreaking. I want him to be safe, that's all. If he has a medical emergency I want him to have a system in place that will get him help fast.

My nightmare is that he has a fall or some other episode, and no one knows for days.

So. Asking for prayers, on this blog I said wouldn't have private issues on it. But there is is. Sometimes it's not so easy to separate out the public from the private. Thanks friends.


Robin said...

Prayers with you.

I wish I could find a tactful way to show this post to my own dad. He's ten years younger than yours and thinking, but only vaguely, about moving to some kind of independent living in a place that would offer all care options. Of course, he doesn't want to get serious about it, and his partner (former wife; long story) is seven years younger, so she probably feels no personal urgency. But what you are describing is the future I foresee, sooner rather than later. I would so like him to be settled and have community before the sooner comes.

Such a hard road for both of you. I hope that you will walk it knowing that you have company in prayer and hope for many more good days than bad.

Barbara said...

Prayers for you and your Dad. This is a rought time for both of you. We are who we are, a mix of private and public and we need that to be known. Thank you for sharing this. I will pray.

Rev. Dr. Laura Marie Grimes said...

Oh, sweetie. Prayers for sure.

Unknown said...

I add my prayers.

Suzer said...

Prayers for you and your dad. It is so terribly difficult trying to be there for and help aging parents. All the while trying to remain respectful of their dignity. I'm beginning to go through some of the same with my folks.

Pete Grassow said...

prayers with you my dear sister.