Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A friend's father is dying*

Even big hospital rooms often can't hold the number of visitors dying people get without some having to cram themselves into corners or sit on radiators.
This is not true with the father of a friend of the Complete and Total Loser. There's plenty of room there.
The man is 58, a year older than the Loser, and is dying thanks to a life misspent. Cirrhosis. The Loser spent several hours with his friend yesterday, and therefore her father, who he had met briefly just once before. He slept for most of it.

When he woke, it was for the succession of hospital employees who came by, none with good results. 
The swallowing therapist determined that he would be unable to eat without aspirating, so food was out. A physical therapist tried to get him out of bed but he could barely manage sitting up with his feet over the side. 
People, all of them women, came by to tug him up on the bed and clean him and change his gown and sheets, or take vital signs. They spoke to him with clear, loud voices that penetrated his stupor enough for him to mumble responses.
The Loser's friend, is 25 years old and is great with him, speaking to him in comforting tones a little like one would to a child, which may seem wrong but his cognitive abilities are impaired enough that it's suitable. He wasn't sure of who she was and couldn't recall her name, calling her "Dad" at one point, which makes some sense as that's what she call him. He was defining her as the woman who calls him "Dad."
He has had little to do with his daughter and her sister for many years, having divorced her mother and remarried long ago. Before this time, she referred to him as her mother's "sperm donor." 
Now she has said that while visiting him last August she wanted to take a picture of the two of them together but didn't and regrets it. 

*He died October 13.

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