Dad is in the hospital in Ottawa and has been for more than two weeks. He went in with diarrhea (oy), a fever, and weakness. Turns out is is pneumonia and E-Coli, amongst other things. Dad is almost 81 (or 83, depending on who knows what but we have never understood it) and since Oct. 2014 has lived in a beautiful assisted living home in Ottawa near my sister unit, her husband, and their daughter. Five minutes away by car type thing.
We never thought that dad would leave Winnipeg and the home he and my mom had lived in since 1967. In the last few years of mom’s life when she was sick and isolated and scared she would have preferred to move to a retirement community, but he would not. That sucked and he was quite selfish on that point but I shall move along here. After mom passed at the end of 2013, dad quickly went downhill (er). And so my sibling and her hubby amazingly got him out to Ottawa.
An adjustment period followed and at some points I think it seemed that my sister and hubby lived at the home themselves so often were they there.
Dad has his little place at a table for meals and apparently one of his table mates, a senior woman, has been missing him. Sniffle.
I seem to be aware that often times seniors in hospital have a hard time, well, ‘bouncing back.’ And fair enough. Seems dad is very weak (they took him off of a blood pressure medication which caused him to bottom out a bit. He is now back on it) and not at all motivated to try to get back to the home. His home now. He is on a ‘rehab’ unit where they try to get him up and about a bit in an effort go get him back home.
My sister says he prefers the hospital food to the Manor’s which I can’t imagine – the Manor’s are homecooked and hospital food I think is pretty much the same Canada-wide.
My sister and her hubby do all of the leg work in our situation here with dad. I blog and get vaguely hysterical at times – gah! Too soon since mom died!
Dad and I aren’t bosom buddies – he was a difficult man to grow up with that is for sure. I know that he has regrets about what happened – he has told my sister as much.
And now he is a helpless old man and that tears me the heck up. He is still difficult as heck in a new way now but . . .
I haven’t seen him since mom’s funeral when he wasn’t nearly as down-hilly. He could still walk then (albeit he fell an awful lot) and was basically him, emotionally broken, but him. To see him now so many steps down the rung will be a shock no doubt.
In the end, he is one of my few remaining connections to the broken family from whence I came.
His own only sibling died about 13 years ago. Of course he hadn’t seen his sibling in years as his entire family disowned him when he married my mom in 1960. Messy messy cruelties. He had never met his three nephews and their families – I met two of the wives once (they were visiting Vancouver) and I saw photos – bizarre to see features of my dad (and me) in their faces. But they don’t care – have no desire for a relationship with he or me. Fuckers. Ooops, sorry about that. But seriously people.
So there he is, hospitalized, weak, and unmotivated.
There is an expensive! private care home right near the beach near me. I often see workers wheeling these folks to the beach in the spring/summer (not winter, that would be cruel!). That always makes me sniffle.
Old age. Oy.
So perhaps a prayer for the old man, who to this day would call himself a Jewish atheist socialist. Always seemed entertaining to me that Jesus himself was two of those three things.