We lost our Dad Tuesday AM.
Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:11am

He'd been VERY ill for 3+ weeks now, so I've been caring for him down in FL while he was hospitalized and his release to rehab and then his subsequent re-hospitalization. On Thursday last, due to his deteriorating medical condition, I hired a private Lear jet Med-ICU-flight to bring him to my home in NH to live out his remaining days. Originally, we'd booked him a flight on a commercial jet to return up north with me and one of my sisters. One thing after another happened that demolished the best laid plans, so we were left with hiring the Lear jet and going with private payment to them. ($20K for the flight alone, not including the doctor, nurse, and two attendants-- OUCH. But he's worth every dime)

They landed locally and then transported him by ambulance around 4PM. I hired a private nurse to take care of his medical needs at my home. Between us, we got him settled into his bedroom here, attached his oxygen unit, and then he relaxed for all of 45 minutes before it was abundantly obvious to the nurse that he was VERY sick, far worse than originally believed. He was extremely confused and regressing to the past and seemingly oblivious to what was going on. He was even antagonistic, which is quite unlike him. I called for an ambulance and brought him to the local ER to be seen. He was admitted with extreme dehydration with a deficit of 2 liters and a raging UTI. Monitors also showed Vtach and an extremely erratic heartbeat consistent with serious electrical misfiring combined with fairly low blood pressure. It was immediately obvious that he was quite ill and belonged in a hospital, not at home. It was so disheartening to have him get to spend so little time at home and winding up back in a hospital. However, his doctors held out plenty of hope that he'd quickly recover, in spite of how sick he'd been with the CHF and a mild heart attack a couple of weeks ago.

Upon admission, doctors did everything possible to help him over the last 5 days, however, sadly, he died this morning, (Tuesday, Nov. 14) around 11AM, surrounded by many of his large, loving family members

Even with carefully monitored, conservative measures to rehydrate him and introducing necessary antibiotics & sucrose, ultimately, his kidneys failed, and then his lungs filled with fluid from the kidney failure. That meant that they had to discontinue the attempts to treat the dehydration and infection as it would have "drowned him" if they didn't. We already knew that his aorta valve was severely damaged and had caused a reduction down to 35% of the necessary space for pumping his blood. Add the heart muscle damage from the earlier heart attack and his heart was simply unable to handle the saline flood trying to rehydrate him or his normal oxygen requirements on top of the rapidly progressing kidney failure. He also had a major UTI, recurrent CHF, a hairline fracture on his hip from falling out of bed in rehab that caused excruciating pain, and the severe dehydration that exacerbated it all.

As it turned out, there was only one,extremely large, private room available at the hospital, and oddly enough, NO other rooms available at any local hospitals. So he had one that held upwards of 45 visitors of family who flocked there to see him and stayed all day long. At first I stayed all night with him alone or with my husband, but as it continued and docs had to discontinue all but pain relief and comfort measures, one sister and one of her sons also stayed with Dad & I all day & all night for the remaining days so he wouldn't ever be alone. We held his hands, used "lemon glycerin sticks" to keep his mouth hydrated. He was in terrible pain with a morphine drip that kept him almost unconscious. The price of lucidity was extreme pain so we opted to sacrifice lucidity to spare him as much as possible.

Like the rest of my family, I will always miss my Dad so very much, but at least he's with our Mom and our brothers again. He was unable to speak or purposefully communicate in any way other than a small smile, grimacing, or crying for the last 5 days, usually with his eyes closed, but around 11AM, his eyes suddenly popped open, focused, and then he scanned the room, seeing a few dozen loved ones, so he smiled broadly at those of us there, which was immediately followed by taking his last breaths and going to be with our Mom.

Citrus Memorial doctors had given him a month, maybe two to live because of his heart condition with the failing aortic valve, heart muscle damage from the mild heart attack, and the recurrent CHF. However, that was before the dehydration, kidney failure, & UTI. Unfortunately, due to the deadly combination of events that caused his severe dehydration, he only lived another 5 days after getting home to my house. But, at least he GOT home and got to see his remaining children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren, which is what he wanted most of all.

    • He looks SO good and not even remotely his age. Excellent Swedish genes, I guess? He was SO healthy until October 20th when he had a small heart attack related to congestive heart failure that he... more
    • THANK YOU everyone. I appreciate it so much. (nm)Sia☺giah, Wed Nov 15 10:51pm
    • Just saw this...HeavyHemi, Wed Nov 15 10:12pm
      I'm sorry for your loss. He couldn't of had a better way to live and leave life than with family.
    • Sorry Sia (nm)et, Wed Nov 15 9:11pm
    • Re: We lost our Dad Tuesday AM.yome, Wed Nov 15 4:44pm
      So sorry to hear this Sia, I pray that you and your family find peace and comfort during this time of sorrow.
    • I am so sorry, SiaTruthteller, Wed Nov 15 12:43pm
      Having gone through a similar situation with my FiL last year, I certainly can relate. What helps hubby and I is remembering the terrible pain he endured for so long and being grateful that he is now ... more
    • Sorry about your Dad. (nm)Merlin, Wed Nov 15 11:56am
    • My sincere condolences.Poppet, Wed Nov 15 11:20am
      So glad he got to come home for at least a little while and see all those generations. I think even when you know it's coming soon and they've had a good, long life, these things are just so damn... more
      • that cousins, uncles, aunts, and dear friends can offer to you when the time comes. It doesn't matter how old they are or how old you are or how long you've expected it. Just have a solid support... more
        • Yeah, that's going to be hard.Poppet, Wed Nov 15 1:54pm
          I've had a little hint, I suppose: my paternal grandfather and I were exceptionally close. But I had my folks to look to to deal with his passing. That's great advice (about pre-loading gri3ef), and... more
          • Beware the sharksPikes, Wed Nov 15 4:28pm
            I am an only child, and can offer only my experience- in what went right and where mistakes were made. Really there are no mistakes. There are ways and then better ways. When we emerge at the end of... more
            • Discuss their wants and needs NOW. Sia☺giah, Wed Nov 15 10:47pm
              Discuss end-of-life care options and wishes NOW. Discuss funeral arrangements and things they want done or NOT done NOW. Prepay funeral costs or at least do up a funeral PLAN that you can follow when ... more
              • AbsolutelyPikes, Fri Nov 17 12:39pm
                We did that, and even with plans in place, efforts by sharks praying to overcharge this and that, above the already agreed deals, attempting to play on sympathy, one of whom was a former occasional... more
    • I Cannot Imagine...Amadeus, Wed Nov 15 10:52am difficult it must have been to write your post after having gone through all that. Take your time and find good memories to hold onto. Many times we don't realize how lucky we've been until... more
    • Damn!Pikes, Wed Nov 15 10:01am
      I knew it was a dark time. Even when you know it is coming, it is a shock still. I lost both my parents, and know your pain. We're here to help and support if needed. Did your father have a... more
    • Having lost my Mom almost exactly 5 years ago, I know how painful it is. Being always the optimist, and trying always to see the positive side of things, I have always been grateful that I at least... more
      • He turned 98 in August last. Sia☺giah, Wed Nov 15 11:59am
        My family is HUGE. My eldest sibling is 26 years older than me, so there are grandchildren my age and my children have cousins old enough to be their aunts & uncles. Thank you for your kind words. I... more
    • I am sorry for your lossJeeves, Wed Nov 15 9:11am
      It sounds like you have a lot of good memories to keep, though.
    • WOW!PH👏🏾👏🏾EY, Wed Nov 15 8:08am
      I certainly do appreciate how you have the board to share in your loss. And for providing the exquisite details of how the loss of your father came about, the situation as it developed, and the short ... more
    • Very sorry for your loss, Sia.wondering, Wed Nov 15 7:52am
      Your account brings back vivid memories of when my Dad passed. I know how much you loved your Dad and your Mom. At least he was surrounded by his beloved children and is now at peace.