The hardest day yet. That was today.
The whole clan was scheduled for an 11:30 meeting with the doctors today. I got there at 11:39.
Highway 17 is a bitch. There was a flipped car on the road on the oncoming traffic side. How does a car flip? I don't know, but as I watched the traffic build-up, I realized that some people were going to be trapped in that two-lane purgatory for quite some time. As the traffic jammed up, I saw a fire-truck and an ambulance fighting their way to the top of the traffic pile. Veronica later said that the flipped car was smoking. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of suffering through Highway 17, you have to realize that there is no way out of it. Once you sign on for the 20-plus mile stretch, you are basically stuck. You can't flip a U. You don't have much of a shoulder, and if you fuck up, you are flying into a guard rail. The cement boundaries are covered with screech marks. I mean, screech marks that say that people caught air before they landed.
So the doctors pushed the "care" route again. One actually spoke up and said that my father has less than a 5% chance of living. They pushed the "do not resucitate" again and again and again.
Here is the thing though, my mother doesn't see it that way. She want to fight it out. She has been fighting it out. She has all of the power. If she doesn't tell them that they have the right for a DNR, then they don' have it. The point that we realized today was that whatever she tells them, they will still push for a DNR. They want this. If she were to tell them "no" they would still push for it.
*now it is all retrospect, because I slammed a double scotch and went to sleep right after I posted what is above*
The long and the short of it was that everyone was there. Everyone was there and my father had a violent seizure. We had to make the snap decision on whether to give my father the ventillator(I spell this word wrong daily) or not.
I am for "comfort care" at this point. My sister is for "comfort care". I am not exactly sure where my brother is...but I think he is in the comfort care direction, based on my father's next bone-marrow test that will determine whether there is any leukemia in his system or not. My mother, however, still wants to fight it. So we had our moment. I told her that it was her decision, but that I feel that she is not ready to give up yet and so we might as well go for the ventillator. They told us we had 5 minutes to make a decision and we took 1o.
I saw my father within a minute of his seizure. He was breathing that paced, short breathing that an animal does on the side of the road after it has been smoked by a car. His eyes were open, and he was fully conscious as far as I am concerned. It was the "code red" and the doctors were everywhere. They shuttled all of the family out of the room and went to work.
My mother's order came through and they went in with the tube. They moved him to the ICU. I didn't get in to see him until 8 that evening. Lots of sitting around eating french fries and smoking cigarettes and talking shit until then.
Now my father looks peaceful. They have to keep him sedated enough so that he won't wake up and pull the tube out of his throat. I talked to him a bit. His hand moved. We are supposed to talk to him, apparently the hearing is the last thing to go.
There is athletic tape all the way around his head to hold the tube in place. There is blood in his mouth. There is blood in his nose. The ventillator is in, pushing the air into his lungs.
I just got off the phone with Casson (who was driving over the accursed 17). He says that my father's white blood count has doubled in the past 48 hours. he is on the rise somehow, and maybe that is because he isn't contending with all of that pain. Now that he is ventillated, he can take a more serious dose of pain medication.
The odds are sparse.
5% chance of making it.
2 of 100 patients that the ICU doctor has seen (in near my father's state) have actually gotten off of a ventillator. That doesn't mean that they made it out of the hospital though.
All I can say is that at least the pain is down now and the man can sleep. he can rest. he can rebuild himself. But I have to keep my hope in check. I have to keep it there because 5% is less than anything to really hang hope on.
Am I indifferent? No, I am just rather numb to it all. I need some sleep I think.
I need some sleep and another double-scotch.