Sunday, February 06, 2011

Update on Dad (Dood)
Hi family and friends,
Thanks for your calls on Feb 2 to wish Dad a Happy 80th birthday. Last year this time I was challenging him to see 80 and he made it. I've relayed all the calls to him.
Unfortunately his tumour was bleeding quite a bit the week before and he ended up in the Riverview Health Centre on Feb 1 (my birthday). We were supposed to have chinese food for dinner (at his request) so we ended up taking the party to the RHC. He was definitely not happy to be there and gave the nurses and staff all kinds of grief. I had to talk to him about that and also to tell him that his medical needs are now beyond what we can provide at home so we made the difficult decision to admit him to the Grace Hospice. I have attached the link to the site. so you can see that it's quite a lovely place.
I had the very difficult task of telling him that he was not going home (one of the hardest things I have ever had to do).
Mom and I went yesterday to meet the staff and see his room (room 3). I took some pictures and I must say, the place is pretty amazing. It's not home but I dare say that it's almost better than home because he'll have much more room to move about and we'll be able to stay overnight when we want to. He is being transferred over tomorrow and we'll be there to make sure that he is settled in. We can bring food he likes if we want to but they'll try to accommodate his dietary preferences although they don't know how to make dhall and roti or chicken curry or oxtail cook-up.
His room has a bed for him, a double hide-a-bed, an automatic recliner, a dinner table and two chairs, microwave, fridge, CD player, wall to wall closets, privacy windows (he can see out but people cannot see in) and a huge bathroom with a walk-in shower. All 12 rooms and common areas are on the ground level and commom areas include a beautiful 4 season sun room, a TV sitting room, a fireplace sitting room, a library sitting room, a small chapel, a card table (and definitely dominoes), a private lounge, a dining area, a commercial kitchen where food is prepared each day and 24/7 nursing, Dr and healthcare aides as well as volunteers.
I am thinking with the kind of pampering they do there and the anytime-of-day meal plan, I just might check myself in for a few weeks but I think it's kind of like the Hotel California (for those of you who are familiar with the Eagles song). As beautiful as the place is though, it's an end-of-life facility for people who have less than 3 months. But knowing my father and how he has managed to beat the odds many times over (forget about the cat with 9 lives; there is a new standard called the Dood, meaning that if you beat the odds as many times as he has, you're pulling a "Dood") he may be directing the staff how to mow the lawn in the summer so it looks like his own golf course quality lawn at home. There are three bird feeders outside his window and a hook for a hanging plant when it gets warm enough. We are going to try to stay over a couple to a few nights a week so he has company and we'll continue to take some of the food he loves to eat because he still has a hearty appetite.
I know several people left messages and are calling at mom's but it's not that she is being rude. She's just a bit overwhelmed this week so I have been running interferance for her. I will send email updates to you as I have any information because I know that you care about their well-being. Please feel free to send me an email anytime if there is something I can answer or you can call me at home. If I don't personally return your call, I will send an email (because I am saying the same things to people many times over). Take care all and thank for your love and caring.
Wishing you a good day...

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