Listening to Our Elders
Dad’s labored breathing lands him back in the hospital
Here we go. Again. My sister and I went to visit our dad today and he was off, way off.
He’s had a cough and some wheezing for a week now— coupled with his anxiety, everyone said, “Let’s watch him, it’s probably allergies.”
Definitely not allergies.
Today he had trouble staying focused and finishing sentences. He was halfway between falling asleep and having a stroke. It was hard to watch.
He’s stable now but he’s in the ICU. We have no idea what’s coming his way.
I think so often we dismiss older adults when they tell us something is wrong. My dad went to the ER four times in less than two months last year—once for a fall and the other three were complete false alarms. He was so sure something was wrong, they did every test, top to bottom, soup to nuts and couldn’t find anything medically wrong with him — and he’s 95.
It’s been hard to care for him, even in assisted living, he’s needed so much attention and support.
We joke that he’ll live forever but we know he won’t. He’s slowing down, he’s not himself and for the first time today I had this wave of sadness rush over me because I know, ultimately what’s coming his way.