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Author: 5walker Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 150  
Subject: frustration Date: 1/31/2000 7:00 PM
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Well my Dad was hanging in there pretty well, till now.
He is 85 and was living on his own and driving, everything. Very independent. He went in early January for a hernia procedure--was supposed to be very minor, done outpatient, no anesthesia, and go home the same day. Trouble is, he hadn't been taking care of himself very well before that, i.e, not eating well, and he does have a number of other chronic health issues so they wanted to observe him for a day or two and they ended up keeping him a week. And things started snowballing.

He became very upset that he was in such a weakened condition after the procedure (which went just fine). He wanted to be "fixed" immediately and go home. He didn't like the food, and he didn't like how the staff didn't care for him the way he expected. He made the doctor let him go home after a week. I brought him home, and almost carried him up the stairs as he was still very weak. I made sure he had food for the next few days. The next day I find out he was taken back to the hospital in an ambulance. He couldn't even walk in his apartment after I left him. Found out he fell 3-4 times and called his landlord, somehow, each time to let himself in and help him up again. Of course, he didn't feed himself--probably never even made it into his kitchen. The next day he called the landlord to get him the ambulance back to the hospital.

So he's back in and now he's eating even less. He's very angry at being helpless. He's angry that he even had the procedure--which it turns out he didn't really HAVE to have-the hernia was really only a cosmetic problem. He just listened to one too many doctors who wanted to bill another procedure. He just thinks doctors are gods and anything they suggest should be acted on. So he's upset that he's so weak now and that isn't being "fixed" right away by the doctors. He wants to know what's wrong with him, why he's weak. I told him the clinical term is "starvation". I told him if he wants to get out of there, he just has to do what the doctor says WILL cure him: eat. But he has no appetite. He feels full after one bite. He doesn't like the way the food tastes. He doesn't get it that he has to force himself to eat, if he's going to get anywhere. He won't even eat his favorite foods which I have brought into the hospital for him.

So, now they've moved him to the convalescent care center of the hospital (less expensive). He's on an IV giving him nutrients and fluids. They give him several cans of a liquid diet (something like Ensure) which at least means he gets some calories. So, now he thinks oh, as long as he has those, he doesn't have to make the effort to eat anything himself. I explained he can't live on the Ensure and he'll only gain weight if he's ALSO EATING 3 squares a day. But he's still not eating and I'm almost besides myself. I got him a couple doughnuts from his favorite place. He chewed one bite and actually was then about to spit it out before I stopped him, and made him--yelled at him-- to swallow the D*** thing.

He is getting weaker. He isn't able to get to the potty chair or even sit up in bed without aid. I can't stand to watch this spiral. I don't know what to do and I can't make him eat or help himself. I just have to watch it all unfold, day by day. Had to vent.
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