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my father

Posts: 29
Joined: Dec 2006

I realize this is stressful for everyone involved. But feel I must explain my use of words in my last post as not to look like a male pig.

My sibling is my fathers primary care giver. Shes a nurse and actually works in the hospital where my father is now. Well I could go into a long 3 page explination as to what lead to the posting but lets just say things are a lot different then they should be.

I havent posted since I last spoke with the sergon. His exact words were "we dont know what to do" Since my father has had avasin they cant operate. Of course my sister the "primary" asks..."do you think we should take him somewhere else?" and of course the doctor said "NO"....Laughing she says "OK".
So there my father lays in a hospital bed being douced with antibiotics. They are going to wait and see if it heals itself, with the help of the antibiotics.
HE spiked a temp again yesterday 100.4. They did cultures and found his port is infected. So they changed his antibiotic schedual.
My sibling called yesterday about 5 times. I was out of range with my cellphone. So I wasnt getting the messages. My sibling said while my dad was laying there. "With your father in the hospital it seems like you would check your messages more often". ITs that kind of crap that brought out my last comments. Shes done other things that have been worse just to make things look like I dont care.
The reason for her comments were she had to take her son to a baseball game.

Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi there,
Maybe everyone needs to step back and take deep breaths. The last thing your father wants is for his illness to cause a division among his children. Both of you are stressed out. Maybe you should try to have a "meeting" where each of you explains how he/she is doing with what's going on; no accusations, no anger. I think you will find that you both have similar stress about your father while trying to carry on with your lives, as well. Don't let stress win! Talk to your sister.

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

Oh Douggie,

To quote Dr Phil, it is time for you to MAN UP!

Get a spine without emotions so you can talk reasonably to your sister. My older sister is my 83 year old Dad's POA (power of attorney and has all the say in EVERYTHING) but after a rocky start, we have settled into looking out for my Dad's best interest. It took many long phone calls with minimal emotions and realistic solutions. We both had to stop bitching and start recommending and discussing solutions and once we did that, everything has gone just fine. We laugh about it now and my Dad is so much better too. My oldest brother is an Ear, Nose, and Throat surgeon who of course knows it all or thought he did. He does not act that way anymore and is now very humbled with what we have done with Dad and rarely disagrees with our direction. When he does we just talk it out. You can do that too, but you have to rachet down your emotions. It should not be a me versus her situation. Only the 2 of you can change that and someone has to make the first step. Your Dad will be proud and appreciate it in the long run. And you will sleep much better.

Lisa P.

Posts: 22
Joined: Jun 2007

Hi Douggie,
I am only a little over a month into this with my mother and I can tell you that our emotions run high in the family at times. There is so much that each of you is going through-
for my sister, my dad and I, we are are going through feelings of loss of control, fear... and at the same time, trying to still function as human beings.
I was just in the grocery store yesterday and I saw everyone just shopping and 'living' and I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs... "MY MOM HAS CANCER AND I'M SO SCARED".
My opinion is to try to take all of your reactions, your family's reactions and likewise all actions with a grain of salt.
Just a week ago, when my mom's colostomy 'fell apart' and she was in ER with my dad literally holding her intestines which were protruding and filling her bag, I thought that I was in a movie. My dad wanted coffee. I wanted to tell him that coffee was not a priority. But instead, I got him coffee. I watched him sip it and it broke my heart. He just needed something to do with his hands.
Hang in there. Please know that you're not alone in this challenge.

Posts: 29
Joined: Dec 2006

Surprisingly my sister is a drama queen. Before even seening an oncologist she called and wanted to start handing out my fathers personal property, this after being told by a general practice DR he had cancer. She had my father pretty upset. I told my father not to listen to the bullshit wait and see what happend with the oncologist.

Well with the sergons comments about them not knowing what to do I told my sister I have been talking with another oncologist. She got all defensive (remeber she works at the hospital where he is now) I mentioned that he would be willing to look at his history and let us know if he can do anything more for him. All I need is a copy of his medical records. She said well go get them...with a snooty tone like a 5 year old would. I said where is medical records? She said 2nd floor. Then turn arround and walked away.

He is staying with my sibling. I mentioned for her to make sure he drinks enough water and for him to get up every once in a while even if its just to look out the window. They got real defensive. Almost yelling they said "we cant make him drink. When was the last time you lifted weights?" So I mentioned what someone from this site recommended. Give him a bottle of water and have him drink it before noon then another one at noon. She laughed.

Well he went back into the hospital. So, I went to his nurse. I mentioned that the only time he would drink water was when he took his medication. I would like for him to ask the doctor to write up (almost as if it were a prescription) a schedual for my father to drink water. Well my sister found out about it and told him not to talk to the doctor about it. She didnt want him to get CHF. OMG....
What was I thinking?...this is the same oncologist that said I not a nutritionist when I asked what vitamine regiment my father should be on. No referral....no Ill try to find out....just Im not a nutritionist.

well theres a ton more.......
Well I guess the main point Im getting at is she pretty much wrote him off. I think there is still hope. Shes making sure hes comfortable for his death. Im saying the man is still able to get up and walk on his own....have an intelegent conversation.....lets find a place that wont give us this crap....we dont know what to do.

Which brings to mind a very angry question. With all the money they spend on research before a drug is released for usage, how the hell can they make a comment like that? Is it lazyness? Not wanting to do some research?

usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

Hey Douggie,

I've followed your story, but have never replied. After this and your last post I can no longer restrain my fingers.

Remember this above all else - This is about your father. Not you, not your sister or her job, or the battle between you two. Your dad is in the midst of the fight for his life. You and your sister's battle is counter-productive to your dad's well being, not to mention yours.

Like Scouty suggested, as hard as it is, you need to rachet down your emotions and gain some self control. Like she recommends, you may explore the idea of a meeting of the minds with sis. Of course, you must manage your expectations - she may not be open to it. If that is the case, there is nothing you can do about it, other than control your own reactions to your current situation.

I know this for sure, name-calling (the "C" word used in your last post is strictly verboten here and everywhere!) and a battle of wills between you and your sister does nothing for you, her, and most importantly, your dad.

While it sounds like your father has received questionable care from his medical team and his hospital, ultimately he chooses where he wants to be. You can suggest and encourage, but you cannot make him do anything he doesn't want to do.

All this said, consider the line from the Serenity Prayer -

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

I wish the best for your dad, and I wish you peace and comfort in the midst of one of the hardest things you'll face in life.

Posts: 22
Joined: Jun 2007

You know, it's interesting that your sis is 'writing him off'. Someone passed on the advice to me not to 'kill my mom off' at every turn, because that is precisely how this friend handled every crossroad with her father up until his death. It sounded pretty harsh, but I really took it to heart. Unfortunately, you can't control anyone's actions except for your own. From your dad drinking water to your sister handing down posessions... I know that may sound frustrating, but it is true. Just today, you would've thought we were trying to land a man on the moon changing my mom's colostomy bag. That tension is a natural reaction. Is there anyone who you trust as a middle man? Can you privately explain to a nurse manager your concerns? Sometimes, they can step in and do wonders. I know that for me, my brother in law has been a huge help. My dad listens when he says things.

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