Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Home again

In a whirlwind of travel, intensive CPE, and family illness, I have been to PA and back to NY in 24 hours, while spending just as much, and possibly more  time in a hospital room then I would have in NY.

My father is medically stable. They are continuing to do tests. He had an EKG today, and will have a follow up CT scan tomorrow. He is terribly confused and has no recognition of anyone but me (and he doesn't remember my name), or even his distant past and childhood, which worries me.

I hated to leave, I hated to stay. I feel torn in two between my two homes. I was horribly homesick for both places in transit, both ways. I can't wait to go back, I dread going back.

The full-time chaplain, an Episcopalian priest, came and met with my dad and I, and I am much reassured. She promised me she would see him every day while he's there, and understood dementia and confusion and was patient and loving with him. He even oriented enough to ask her a Bible joke! (What 3 nuns are mentioned in the Bible?)

It was so hard to say goodbye to my dad. I told him how much I love him, and that he is a great dad. He got all teared up, which I have never seen him do. I didn't quite know what to make of it, but it was very moving.

He became agitated this afternoon and required a lot of redirection and supervision as he refused to wear his oxygen and kept trying to leave to "go home." They assigned him a 1:1 aide today but now he's sleeping and they just have the bed alarm on. Hopefully the Seroquel will keep him out for the night.

I now know what all that free floating anxiety I was feeling on Tuesday (yesterday?!) was about. My family has a history of being slightly psychic with each other (weird, and unbelievable and magical I know). But there you have it.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring? I know one thing is a run in the morning, a chance to see patients, and juggling phone calls with the hospital in PA. Being in the sandwich generation is no picnic (pun intended).


Anonymous said...

Kelly, my thoughts are with you in this struggle.

ms. kitty said...

It's interesting, isn't it, what CPE experience can do to change our understanding of what happens in a hospital? I find that I am much more aware of the routines and language and processes because of that 10 week unit, even as long ago as it was.

Hang in there, Kelly. You are both daughter and chaplain in this role.

plaidshoes said...

Sending prayers your and your father's way. So hard to be away from loved ones who are ill.