Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thanks everyone for all your thoughts and prayers. It is certainly not easy to see someone you love slowly wasting away.

Last night I was with mom in the hospital and we spoke to the senior consultant treating dad. Dr C was very frank and while he remained optimistic, I think we know just how risky everything is at this point. Everything that can be done medically, is already being done. Right now, dad is being sustained just by drugs alone. But come a day when the drugs no longer work, and according to the doctor, that day is not long in coming, then surgery will have to be considered.

Surgery is the last resort and Dr C was honest in telling us that surgery is "very very hard". The risks for complications and mortality would be very very high then. He is in fact, trying to hold off surgery for as long as he can. Given dad's age, failing condition of his organs etc, it would not be easy to get past.

Dr has said that they will try their best to resolve the ascites in the abdomen but if they can't, then surgery looks increasingly likely. Also, the water in the lungs may require a tube in there to drain.

I said it is hard watching dad be like this. It is ten thousand times harder for mom than it is for me. All this time, I have not really written about how I feel, just logged about his condition and progress. I try to keep things matter-of-fact. But so many weeks on, I think I just need to say a bit about how I feel now. And if this is how I feel, I dare not imagine what mum is going through.

Watching all this happen, I can understand why some people go for euthanasia. I don't condone this but I can understand. If ever I am in such a condition, please, just shoot me already. Just bring me out to an empty field and shoot me in the head. I would hate to go through what dad has gone through. I think he has been incredibly brave to go through all this and part of me feels so bad to let him go through all this. It has crossed my mind, controversially, would it be better to let him go gently or do so many interventions? To what end all these when the situation looks so damn grim? I know that to say this makes me look like a heartless b*tch who would rather stand by and watch her father die. But this is how I feel sometimes. Then, when he has better days, I chastise myself and think oh well, he is not going that soon so why am I being so pessimistic?

When I am with dad alone, sometimes his breathing is so shallow that I have to strain to listen to it. At times, I would actually stop, go near and check if he was still breathing. And terribly so, I pray, please God, if you have to take him, let it not be on my watch. I would not know what to do. But when I talked to mom about it, she said, it is a blessing to be the one to watch the ships sail out. At least he would not go alone.

When I try to talk about all this, sometimes people tell me I am being premature, or I am chastised for not being hopeful or positive. It is not something we like to talk about. So the only way I can get this off my chest is to spill my guts here. It is just the way I feel - sad, angry, frustrated, conflicted, anguished.

Everybody is praying for us to be strong, or praying for dad to pull through. I just want him and us to be at peace again. I just want it all to go away - my bit of denial perhaps. I just wish it all did not happen. That today, dad would pick up Caitlin from home and send her to gym as usual, then head off to Whampoa for his chess games, that we are carrying on with life and looking forward to Japan and so on. Pity that denial does not become fact. Life does not work that way.

What a big cross dad is carrying now. So is mum. They are - we all are - suffering in our own private ways. The path is ever twisting and dimly lit and there are shadows at every turn. I know where this is all going to end. But nevertheless, we just have to walk it together. This is the part of life's journey. Painful and scary though it is, we just have to walk it to the very end.


Anonymous said...

Hi Pat,
I truly understand your feelings on seeing your loved one wasting away. Last year mid Nov, my mil passed away. Half a year ago, she could still walk and talk though we knew she was already in the terminal stage.
During her last few days, she was reduced to skeletons. I cleansed her buttocks but found no flesh except the big flat bones. Her legs were virtually 2 thin sticks.
How not to pray hard to God to take her away quickly from these sufferings?
On her day of cremation, her coffin was wheeled alone into the furnance.
I concluded that life is a lonely journey.


Rita said...


Santhi said...

I appreciate you sharing this very difficult and personal time. And I empathise with you when u say you'd want to end it for yourself. It has also made me think how I have taken health (mine and family;s) very much for granted. I just hope that 'spilling your guts' helps u in some small way. And for your mother... she sounds like a very strong person though I doubt she feels so at this point of time.

makeupmag said...

A prayer and a hug, Pat.