I called to check up on my Dad and I was told he is still asleep. He has not awakened since Christmas eve. He has hospice care at home.
In some ways I know that I have been perfectly lucky to have had a generous Dad for such a long period of my life.
I always thought there would be a perfect parting, one in peace. I am still being told now that he will depart by choking. He has Parkinson’s disease and that is the way, they say.
I am doing my best to get home. I don’t care if its perfect timing. It doesn’t matter if I am there for the imperfect event. I just want to spend as long as I can holding my Dad’s hand and feeding perfect thoughts to him and keeping my memories of him warm.
I also want to hug my mom, smile and be a strong force for her. She will suffer the most. She is strong. She is now in transition. She kept my Dad all these years and her house. She wanted to give my Dad his last years in his own home whenever she could. She did. She would not let me stay and help her. She pushed me out and said go out there and make a living. She’s tuff.
I hope my imperfect timing will allow me the perfect parting.
I saw my Dad last May. When I was there I hugged him as much as I could, sat with him, tried to give him everything he needed. He finally said the trouble with you is you try too hard. I laugh now, and cried then. And that was just fine, because as a little child at the dinner table I would take up for my brothers and sisters and my Dad would tell me to go to my room without supper. I would cry.
I wanted to stay longer. The agency would have none of it, they didn’t want me to go. Their client might need me. This agency takes over half of what they are paid for my services to their client and they do nothing more than issue a check, nothing more. I had a commitment to start a job with their client on May 12. I met that commitment; the other party did not. I also have anger about the shabby treatment the hospital gave my Dad, his last moments of consciousness were in great pain. I will get over the anger. I am working very hard to have peace with it. I know that life is imperfect and that everything happens for a reason; reasons we’ll never know. That I should not expect things in life and I shall be grateful for that which I receive. This attitude is different however from just standing by and letting someone run you and your loved ones over without accountability. Without accountability they will just do it over and over again. One should not allow someone to cause harm or to victimize their loved ones because they are old and will never know. Yes, I am struggling with forgiveness and I hope to achieve it before my flight takes off.
Sergey Brin, a Google founder, shares the gene for Parkinson’s with his mom and an aunt. He keeps the blog TOO in blogspot. He discovered he possesses the gene mutation for Parkinson’s disease as a customer of 23andme.com, a personal DNA genotyping service that is founded by his wife Anne Wojcicki, a Yale University trained biologist.
He says he feels confident because he found out so early that he has a wide range chance (20-80%) of developing Parkinson’s in his lifetime. Some say the revelation is a publicity stunt for his wife’s company and surely (20-80%) is a wide range. Also no followups by Mr. Brin on the revelation that has occurred. His concerns over cures is rather wimpy and really bears no reality. Marketing campaigns by others that Parkinson’s is close to a cure or just as empty. There is no cure. The UK markets promise for cure in its experiment with donor mice cloning in late 2008. That means not much. Best cure is improving the quality of life for those who suffer from the disease; to fight for better health care.
My dad was receiving physical therapy stingily doled out by medicare. A system whereby the therapist shows up or doesn’t show up, high irregularity in the system. The medicare system says oh you can only have 10 visits. I tell my mom you must ask for more. Get another doctor’s note. I will do it if you will not. If my Dad had had continuous physical therapy; if he had standard ER care (xrays for falls); he would be thriving right now. Why so stingy? He contributed to the system all his life and so have his children. I am pretty sure the hospital is liable for malpractice. It certainly would be something worth investigating. If they did this to my Dad rest assured they are doing it to so many others.
He notes that exercise has proven helpful in Parkinson’s. My Dad was a great exerciser until he could do it no more unless he chose to fall. He would take walks around the neighborhood every morning, same time each day. He kept the gardens up daily. He even drove until five years ago. I would walk with him. I wanted to do more. I could never figure out a way to come back home permanently; I tried and I tried.
Mr. Brin also states that there is research for Parkinson’s.
Yes, but at this date they know nothing. One study, still in trials, implants a sac of the drug that the brain is missing near the intestine. It allows the shaking to stop. I think it last 10 years and then what, I think its not effective again. I had tried to get my Dad into that PD trial six months ago. There were no trials in Texas. My dad underwent two brain pacemaker implants. The implants took away his ability to speak. My dad told me that if he had it to do over again he would not undergo the operations. Before the implants he was shaking to death.
What is so striking is that my dad was otherwise the picture of perfect health. He just fell and this happened. He had health care only a few months before and the health team said he was amazingly healthy and strong but for the Parkinson’s grip.
The best medicine for Parkinson’s came to my Dad naturally, a sense of humour, wit, fortitude and appreciation for imperfect timing. My Dad is a constant with an unfailing sense of integrity. He has always had a loving relationship with his family. He always credits my mom with that. They are both that way, having been babies the year of the Great Depression. My Dad has always had my baby sister and her son, my brother and two of his sons visiting regularly. He has a loving wife who has always had the purest of intentions. She kept my Dad going and he appreciated and acknowledged the fact many times over.
One always hopes for a peaceful departure. I hope that will be granted for my Dad. I know that if it is my Dad’s power he will have a peaceful departure. He now has two nurses rotating in hospice care. Kat and her family are there. Soon I will be there too. I think that is the greatest gift you can give someone, your time, your positive wishes and your hand.