Bit of a rollercoaster right here the last couple days. As mentioned in my last post, my dad is not pregnant, which is great. The x-ray came back negative, so we all breathed a sigh of relief and I went home. Then we got a call from the head nurse that he might have a hernia. So we scheduled a doctor’s appointment for him the next day, then commenced turning apoplectic at the thought that he might have to have surgery. How the hell do you keep a relatively mobile patient with dementia from getting up and tearing stitches and generally hurting themselves? What effect will the anesthesia have on him? Will the dementia get worse? Are we hastening his death by putting his body through trauma? I have to go to NY for a wedding this weekend – what if he has surgery while I’m gone and something happens? Needless to say, I slept nada last night. Spent the morning reminding myself to breathe and pacing around the apartment. Then my mom called from the doctor’s office, and the doctor said that while yes, it is a hernia, it’s not causing him pain (he doesn’t flinch when she pushes it back in or moves his legs around), so we’ll watch it but not do anything about it. So no surgery. Yaaaaaaay! It’s been about 5 hours since the office visit and I’m just now starting to breathe normally again.
Making decisions for my dad is tough, because he’s not verbal and doesn’t understand what’s happening and can’t explain to you what he’s feeling or not feeling. And deciding what needs to be done for quality of life in a way that doesn’t prolong his life or shorten his life isn’t easy. I’m glad we got to dodge actually making that decision this time around, but it was a reminder of what the weight of his life feels like in our hands.