I went to the hospice this morning and Nurse Amanda was just coming off her night shift. She said that dad fell in the bathroom this morning as he was getting ready for his shower. His BP was something like 88/58. That's low and it may have contributed to his fall. They did his BP earlier and it was normal but dropped significantly when he was standing. They got him up and he wanted to have his shower as if nothing happened.
When I got to his room, he was sleeping and he had a big bruise on his forehead so he must have hit his head pretty hard to have bruised like that. I kissed him and he woke up and said he was not feeling very well. He is looking frail now. I asked if he had his dhall and roti and he didn't. Jim went to get the bowl and utensils and I told him I would take care of the rest. I heated his breakfast but he didn't want to eat much. I put quite a bit and kept talking to him while he was eating and surprisingly, he ate everything. I made him a cup of tea and he drank that too. Yesterday he didn't want to eat much. He had his usual breakfast but only had a cup of the barley soup I made for him. Mom tried to entice him with some ice cream but he didn't want to eat that.
He is definitely eating far less than he was before and if I have to guestimate (okay so it's not a real word), I'd say he is eating about as much as Sabreena does in a day and she's 3. He is now losing weight and it will become more evident as the days go by. I also spoke to the nurses this morning about his progress and what we can expect in the next weeks. He has a Health Care Directive but I am not entirely clear as to what that means when it comes to his care so I asked them to explain what they would and would not do based on his wishes. It was a hard but necessary conversation and by the end of it, I felt like someone had punched me in the gut.
I helped him to the bathroom and made him sit on his shower chair at the sink to brush his teeth because I don't think he is strong enough to be standing for several minutes to do his mouth care. That worked well and I told him he is NOT to try to go to the bathroom or stand on his own. He is to call for assistance and he agreed to do that. I also told him that when he wants to stand up from a lying position, he has to sit for a couple of minutes or his BP will drop too suddenly and he'll fall. This is all the information that the nurses tell him but somehow it registers when I say it (I basically get the information from them and tell him).
He was all dressed in his shirt and pants (because I said a few weeks ago that he should reserve his pyjamas for bedtime) with his belt and all. He didn't look too comfortable with his belted pants so I told him that he could keep on his nice shirt but I would help him into his athletic pants so he would be more comfortable. He agreed and I helped him change into that then I settled him back in bed and rubbed some Glaxal cream on his heel and covered him. I kissed him goodbye and told him that mom and Indi would be there within the hour. I think he was asleep before I was out of the room.
On my way to work, I was trying to remember what he looked like when I was a teenager. My throat felt constricted because it was hard to remember this morning. Maybe when enough time passes, I won't see him the way he is now but more like the man he was.