This has been a very trying two weeks. Last week my father-in-law went into the hospital. He was being over medicated, we just knew we were going to lose him.
He had been going through some difficult times medically. For years we have been told that he had hepatitis C. He had received a blood transfusion back in the days before they tested blood like they do today. His problems were getting worse. He went to the doctor that morning, suffering from severe confusion among other dementia type behavior, his doctor said it was his progressed liver failure.
That evening, around 11 p.m. our youngest son felt the need to begin a prayer for him and to take a bible and a crucifix which had Joan of Ark kneeling at the base of the cross over to him. So we did. We spent some time with him as our son enlisted us into prayer.We set about to pray for him which set about an unusual series of events. The following evening, he took a turn for the worse, his confusion and erratic behavior had worsened. My wife was at work so I told my two sons to stay with their aunt while I went to get their mother, and told their aunt to call an ambulance.
My wife’s father has suffered from a, ahem, medically induced form of delirium. He now suffers from dementia. It seems, as we have been told, that he is a victim of overmedication of prescription drugs. The doctor prescribed him 180 hydrocodone a month. The strength was the highest dosage. This was given because of his liver condition from his hep c. Well, he had become “forgetful” as to what medication he had and had not taken. To make a long story short… He is now essentially a “burn out,” no longer able to care for his own personal needs. Prescription drugs are okay when they are given in moderation for the period of which they are needed, and administered as needed, but this just goes to show what can happen when they are taken haphazardly. His grandchildren will no longer be able to visit their grandfather as he should be. Our 7 year old daughter absolutely adores him. He is no longer the man he once was, more like a shell, he doesn’t comprehend social cues or is able to carry on a meaningful conversation anymore. Even the simple task of taking the dog out for a walk is a confusing task for him. He has become like an automaton.
It is a sad situation indeed. He lived with his older daughter, my wife’s sister, she is single, whereas we have a family. They shared the bills and were helping each other with their daily tasks. Unfortunately, even after repeated attempts from my wife, and assurances that she was indeed watching his medication, this occurred. We have battled with the two of them for years over this situation, to no avail. How do you make your dad do as you direct him to do? It is a very difficult task indeed. If you have a loved one who is on hydrocodone be very aware of the power this drug has over them. It is very powerful and addictive.
As the days go by I may choose to elaborate more on this situation as I contemplate what I should share. My older children are fully aware of the situation. My little girl, however, well she is an innocent. And as I have stated regarding the creation of this blog, it is more of a historical record for them more than anything else. I believe that secrets are a poison within a family. I am just unsure as to what is considered a secret and what is just considered respectfully being omissive at this point. She will always be able to ask, at which point either my wife or I, or even my boys, will be perfectly honest with her. Family, of course, is our own personal history and we need to have all of that information possible at our own disposal. What is considered dirty laundry if you air it in public? These are questions I must learn to answer for myself at this time.
With that, I bid you….Good Day!