Saturday, July 30, 2011

Day 3 - remembering back

I wanted to journal this daily so it was fresh in my mind. It's been 6 days since my dad has been gone. My heart is sadder and sadder every day.
The last day his circulation got worse. We increased his morphine. The nurse told me at one point it was going up to 76 ml per hour; however, it went back to 24 ml per hour (max). One doctor would let me push the 'green button' to give him the 'shot' of morphine (4 ml per shot) and another doctor would not. Apparently it's illegal and the only person who can push it is the patient. When the patient is basically in a coma, how the heck do they expect that to happen. I realize it's all for legalities but when you have your father's best interest and know his wishes, I just don't agree. I know my dad, believe it or not, and there is no way he would have even wanted to live as long as he did the way he was.
The last 2 days, he was peaceful. I don't think he was in any pain at all. I was thankful for that. I know he would have rather of died at home, but where he was was the best place for him. In Fairbanks, they do not have hospice like we do in Arizona where a bed and round the clock nurses can be. The nurses at the hospital were amazing though. They were supportive, caring, compassionate, and understanding. I am very thankful for them.
The last day, I stayed by my dad's side as much as possible. I held his hand, I cuddled next to him and slept. I told him over and over it was ok to go. I told him to go with Grandma, to take her hand and go. That we'd be ok. I told him over and over how much I loved him and that I would I miss him so much but I know in my heart he will always be with me. That I am him, just as he once said. That I'm strong and will be ok.
There was a point in the evening that my dad stopped breathing for a long time, maybe like a minute but probably less, it just felt like forever. Feng thought he had died but I had my hand on his chest and could feel his heart beating. He began breathing again. I got up out of my chair and my cousin sat down in the chair next to him. I think panic set in because I knew she wanted time next to him as well. I would leave the room, come back in, leave the room, come back in. I went out to the nurse, Heather, and we finished paperwork that would need to be filled out once he passed away. At that point, another nurse came by and asked the last time he had been repositioned. It had been awhile so they decided to do it again. The three of us went into the room.
Everyone moved away from the bed, some went out of the room. I know Feng had left the room a bit earlier and went to the visiting room and cried. I helped the nurses reposition him and we put pillows under his feet to avoid bed sores. {He had started getting two spots, one on each foot}. My cousin went to sit back down in 'my' chair and I asked if she'd switch sides with me because it was the side I was comfortable cuddling with. She agreed. As I went to climb back into the chair, the other nurse who was helping very quietly called Heather's name. I looked at her face and knew. I looked at my father, he was not breathing. I quickly put my hand on his chest and there was not heartbeat. I buried my face into his neck, against his face, and cried. I told him over and over how much I loved him.
Heather listened for a heartbeat, she touched my shoulder and said "I'm sorry". Another nurse came in to pronounce him, it was about 10:20 pm on Sunday, July 24, 2011.
Someone went to get Feng, she came in hysterical. I couldn't handle it and had to get out of the room for a bit, I wanted to be alone, I wanted to call my mom. I grabbed my phone, left the room, and dialed my mom. She was asleep but said when she heard the phone ring, she knew. I had gone into the vistor's room and laid on the couch/bench they had. I must have stayed there for about 30 minutes, on the phone with my mom, crying. I also wanted to give everyone a chance to say good-bye to my dad. I wanted to be alone with him and curl up next to him and hold his hand one last time.
I finally went back into the room. I think it was only Pisano and I in the room, maybe my cousin as well. I don't remember. I just remember I curled back up next to him and cried. I played music, "Can't Help Falling in Love", because he used to sing that song to me. I played "What a Wonderful World" because we danced to that song at my wedding.
I remember going out of his room again, Feng's boys, Yu and Yan had come into the room to say good-bye again. I went and sat in the waiting room with Pisano, held comforted me. We talked, that my dad was in a better place and because I needed to hear it from him, I asked him if my dad loved me. He laughed and said that was a silly question. I explained that the last few years had been hard and how I felt so I just needed him to tell me. He said yes, he loved you. He said my dad was unique and made decisions that we may not have agreed with but that is what made my dad who he was. I agreed.
I had to sign some paperwork though at some point. I remember Feng kept asking what we needed to do. I told her to just go home and take care of herself, that everything had been taken care of. This I would recommend to anyone in this situation. Fill out as much paperwork as you can prior to your loved one dying. Once he or she passes, the last thing you'll want to do is sit down and figure everything out. From there, I went back into his room and cuddled again. His body was getting colder and colder. Pisano finally told me I could not stay forever, which I knew was true. So I said my goodbye and left.
I felt relieved that my dad had died because I did not want him to stay the way he was. I knew he wouldn't want it either. My heart just breaks though. I miss him so very much. Now that it's been 6 days, I feel like the pain is getting worse, things are setting in. The realization he is gone is there. Today, my heart really hurts and I do not want to get out of bed. I just want to sleep, I am exhausted. I miss my dad, I want my dad here, I need my dad.

1 comment:

chris+amber said...

Jenn, I'm so sorry for your loss. It sounds like your dad was a great man. I will keep you in my prayers. xoxo