Thursday, February 18, 2010

In Sickness and In Health

When my Dad was sick this fall, he spent days horribly confused and agitated.  He didn't really know my brothers and I, and the grandkids were all in some sort of muddled combination in his mind.  I remember stopping by to see him in the hospital and Mom was there too, as she usually was.  He was all fidgety and seeing things and sort of a mess.  Mom asked him, "Who am I Bennet?"  He got really quiet, looked right at Mom, smiled, and said, "Well, you're my one and only." Of course she is Dad.  You are so right.

It hasn't been easy watching them travel this road together. Though Dad is home now again, he has been in and out of the hospital some and each time he comes home, he seems a little weaker and needs a little more care. Mom is still trying to work full time, since they have their insurance through her employer.  I think she feels a constant emotional tug of war in the responsiblity as bread winner versus the guilt of not being home with Dad.

 I don't think Mom expected to be so fully entrenched in the role of nurse and caregiver.  She always hated the sight of blood or body fluids in general and this fall she was hanging home IV antibiotics every eight hours, flushing a PICC line using aseptic technique, and doing a darn fine job of it.  I don't think Dad, or any of us, ever fully understood what a sinister opponent Parkinson's disease would be in the final go 'rounds.  He has fought hard and well, whatever the outcome may be.

I don't understand it.  I can't make sense of why they have to go through this.   It really makes me angry and so very sad.  I wish they could traipse off to Hawaii for a week, or maybe just drive to LeMars and get a Bob's dog and a chocolate malt and some onion rings.  I really hope they can do that sometime this Spring. 

Mom will honestly tell you that none of this has been easy. It hasn't.  She will honestly tell you sometimes she gets impatient and loses her cool.  She does.  I think she has told me in those moments of frustration and despair that he isn't the same man she married.  Marriage vows don't really come with that guarantee, do they?  But I do know she would tell you he is still her best friend.  Her one and only. At least the feeling is mutual. 

 Mom, you deserve a medal of some sort.  Pretty sure there is not one big enough or gold enough to do the trick.  I don't understand it all, but I hope I can help you along the way. You're doing great and I love you both very much.

1 comment:

Mrs. E said...

You have to admire her! Bless her heart. This has to be so hard for you to watch, too. Thinking of your mom and dad- and all of you!