I am so emotionally drained right now.
My sister and I went to visit my dad in the hospital today.
I had heard from my stepmother and aunt that my dad had lost more weight and his skin was still yellow from the jaundice, but I was still shocked when I walked into his room. He was so skinny. Over the past few months his weight had dropped as low as 140 pounds, but I’m sure it’s closer to 110 now. His arms were as skinny as mine. His skin sagged from the loss of muscle mass. His hair was white, not brown with grey strands like when I saw him in January. The whites of his eyes were yellow, bright as a highlighter. His skin was tanned, but I’m sure that is a result of the jaundice as well.
When the physical therapist came into the room, it took my dad several minutes to sit up in bed, move to the edge, and pull himself up holding the walker. He walked a total of 150 feet in twenty minutes, pausing to sit in a chair at the end of the hall.
He was wearing a diaper which had to be changed by the nurse. He hasn’t eaten anything, as far as I know, in the past two weeks. In the three hours I was with him today, I got him to drink two sips of water, and a few sips of 7-Up. The nurse brought him medicine and vitamin supplements, but he had been complaining of feeling nauseous and threw up a few minutes later.
Despite him being so weak, the doctors are planning on discharging him later this week. There isn’t much more they can do for him. We are working on finding a substance abuse rehab center that will accept his insurance and offer the physical therapy he will require.
He knows he waited too late. He knows he almost died. He knows he still isn’t in the clear and there is a really big chance his liver might give up and stop working. I heard him tell the doctor that he knows he will die if he has one more drink. He knows.
It was so hard for me to see my dad today. I never imagined this to happen so soon. The whole time I was there I felt like I had to be strong. I had to smile, make conversation and hold his hand. I told him about my new apartment and how happy I was to have moved. He asked about C and how we were doing. The conversation would start to be normal, but then every few minutes reality slapped me in the face. Tears welled up in my eyes and a few fell down my cheek.