Back in the 80's, I was always worried about getting stuck in quick sand. It didn't matter that I lived in Kentucky and quick sand wasn't really a thing, I would see it on some cartoon where the hero (or a villain) was getting sucked into quick sand and I was always worried that I would somehow end up in a puddle (are they puddles?) of quick sand, slowly sinking to my death. It didn't matter that they would always say that if you stayed still, you would sink slower. My brain knew that I was incapable of staying still for very long. I knew that if I was ever stuck in quick sand I would be turning and attempting to get myself out of that particular predicament until my head sank beneath the surface. Only then, would I be rescued by the likes of Indiana Jones, Wesley from Princess Bride or maybe even Thomas Magnum of Magnum P.I.
I had a very vivid imagination and I'm happy to announce I never had to use the part of my brain necessary to attempt to escape quicksand by myself (nor was I rescued by any of those heroes - my adult self is a little disappointed by not meeting those heroes, but hey- I'm still young even if they're older and shall we say, more distinguished). I always told myself that I thrive in chaos. I honestly think I do well when there's a lot of stuff coming at me that needs me to quickly come to a decision. I feel like I do well when people are hem-hawing and can't come to a decision and the decision falls to me. At the same time, though, I absolutely hate being the one to actually make a decision.
There have been many times throughout my marriage to Kacy where I would get upset because whatever was for dinner or wherever we were going to go, whatever movie we were going to watch on the tv would fall to me. How we were going to spend our weekends, vacations, etc. They all fell to me. I would get upset because I would want just one outing planned by Kacy - one date that didn't depend on me determining where we were going to go. While every so often I still feel that way, Kacy very succinctly explained it to me that if she did plan something for us to do and "got it wrong" that I would be upset. By "got it wrong" I mean plan something not quite as romantic or adventurous as I had in my head. These days I am pleasantly surprised when Kacy plans an outing. She planned our last anniversary and it was nothing short of amazing and romantic and wonderful.
Today, however, I find myself absolutely stuck between what I know I should probably do, what I want to do and what my dad wants and what my dad should do. I'm making decisions for him and I know what the right decision is, but I'm also trying to consider how he feels and what he wants and frankly, it sucks.
My Dad's blood pressure has been severely low this weekend. He is on a drug to bring it up (this has been an issue since we were in KY) but that drug just does not seem to be "cutting the mustard," as he's fond of saying. While he is above where the doctor said to be as far as going to the hospital, today we have been fighting to get it up to where it needs to be. I spoke with his doctor on Friday when this started and the doctor said if he went below 90 to take him to the ER. It has drifted down several times, but then comes back up to above that mark. It's borderline. My logical brain says that I should take my Dad to the hospital but my Dad and the side of my brain that wants to respect my Dad's wishes, says to just let him rest here at home and call his cardiologist tomorrow with the various readings we've been taking.
My Dad wants to avoid the hospital at all costs. He won't admit it, but he does not want to die in the hospital and he's afraid that if he goes to the hospital (with the exception of this procedure that we're waiting for the cardiologist to schedule in which they're going to try and get his heart back into rhythm) then he will probably die in the hospital. Personally, I don't want him to die in the hospital and I know for a fact that he doesn't want to die in the hospital either. If he had his druthers, he'd pass peacefully at the age of 90-something, in his sleep. If I had my way, I would find some way to keep him alive until it was my time to die and then we'd both pass peacefully, leaving the world at the same time, onto whatever adventure the after-life holds.
I'm sitting here now, though, getting ready to go out on a work thing, my Dad laying in his bed. I'm worried that he's not telling me something, his blood pressure very low, worried that it will go lower but I know that all they would do in the hospital is have him in bed, doing the same thing he's doing here. Talking with him, I can see the fear in his eyes. I can see that he's not telling me something, but I can also see that he would much rather be home, reading or in bed, taking a nap. I'm the one in charge here. I'm the parent, now. I'm the one that has to decide whether or not we go to the hospital. Part of me very much wants to take him to the hospital but part of me is wondering what's going to be different other than them poking and prodding him, giving him IVs that he doesn't like, etc. We're to the part of life for him where I want him comfortable and happy. That's the mantra: comfortable and happy. So, even though I have analysis paralysis, I default to the mantra: comfortable and happy.
I have to maintain the status quo and it's really freakin' hard. Because I worry about doing the right thing. It's like I'm stuck in that quicksand - no matter what I do I'm gonna sink. No matter what I do, my Dad is getting worse and there's nothing I can really do about it. And unfortunately, I don't think we can be rescued. There might be a bandaid that can be done, but I'm afraid that time is growing short. I'm also really mad that I can't have that one last adventure with my Dad because honestly, right now he isn't up to it. But that is another blog and/or therapy session.