Many of my days this past week have led me to question what “together” really means.
As I mentioned last week, my dad became hospitalized on July 26 after a fall at his assisted living facility. My daughter covered the first hours after his admission (because I was out of state on business). I was there Wednesday through Saturday. My son and daughter-in-law were there on Sunday. I was back Monday through Wednesday. I took a COVID-19 test this past Thursday morning, and my plans to return to the hospital were immediately scuttled when I tested positive.
But the days I have been there, especially the ones this past week, he was relatively out of things mentally. Part of the time, he was hallucinating. I sometimes moved out of his line of sight, because I felt like it may have been more irritating for me to keep saying, “I’ll hand you that [drink, paper, toothbrush, whatever he was seeing] a little later” than for me to not respond at all.
I felt torn because I was working on my laptop some of the time (if he were fully with it, I imagine he would not be surprised by this … and I’m not implying my employer was not cutting me a break). I also (full disclosure) watched some movies and TV shows.
I do feel like it makes a difference for a patient, even if they aren’t cognizant of a loved one’s presence, for a family member to be in the room. (I also feel it makes a difference for medical staff to see that family members are around, both from an accountability standpoint and because sometimes they can just use another set of eyes.)
I suppose I may never know if he feels or felt this has been enough “togetherness,” but every health care journey seems to unfold in a unique way, no matter how hard we try to pin things down.
**Note: I realize I repeat some themes this week that I covered last week. It’s a free write, what can I say? This is what’s on my mind**
Welcome to this week’s Five Minute Friday. Our instructions, via coordinator Kate Motaung: “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.” (But I can’t resist spell checking, as you can imagine.)
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.