My Father - Caregiver, Care Receiver and A Man Who Never Stopped Fighting
by Sherry Morris -Wyatt
(Prescott, Ontario, Canada)
This really has been a bad year for Influenza. We lost my Father on December the 20th, 2012, to infection from Pneumonia. He had a really hard time with extreme Delirium and agitation.
I think I am still in shock from what I had to watch, I never felt so helpless in my life.
He had been living in local Long Term Care. He passed in our local hospital. On the third day he passed with the aid of massive doses of Haldol, Lorazepam and Morphine.
He had cared for my Mother for over six years, She passed from some form of Parkinsons or A.L.S. He kept her at home almost to the end, she only lived in long term care for three months before her passing on January 1, 2004, at the age of sixty three.
I had hoped that he would be able to enjoy some retirement but that never happened. He spent the last nine years in and out of hospital. He was treated for depression, broke both hips, diabetes, the list went on and on.
The medications were non stop, I could never keep up with the mental illness side. Endless E.C.T, that left him in such a manic state, only to crash harder each time. Leaving him with infection in his mouth that was so painful.
I am so glad that no matter how hard things became, I never stopped going. My husband was also a big support and really cared about my Father. I have so many conversations that I had with him.
Despite his illness he was
still doing his job, parenting. I learned so much about mental illness and how far behind it really is. They have to do more research. Develop better treatment and drugs. I could not believe that E.C.T is still the main treatment used every week, three times a week for most.
I regret that my Father suffered more so due to the fact that after my mother passed, he had a complete break down. He asked for a bed at our local hospital for he feared how his depression had taken control. He was denied, no beds. And yet they still continue to close our mental health hospitals.
Look around the world and some of the events that just happened, we need more hospitals built and better drugs to be found. The stigma needs to be lifted. My Father cried out for help for many years but the system did not always listen.
During my Fathers journey, he did lean on me, but he never stopped parenting, never stopped loving, never stopped being. In spite of his challenges, he continued to teach me about life, about strength, about how to be heard, about how to stand on my own. All the things he could teach, but things he couldn't always do for himself.
My Father was made of iron. The battle he fought - he didn't always win - but he never stopped fighting.
Bob was stronger than many would credit him for and I am proud to be his daughter.
Rest in Peace Dad, I love you and will keep you with me always.