My mother died in 2001. My dad was in good health at the time and had good mental faculties. He decided to set up his personal affairs so that I could take care of him if anything should happen. He drew up paperwork at an attorney's office for Power of Attorney, living will, and health care surrogate. All this without my knowledge, at that time. In 2004 he finally got around to telling me about all this and showing me where he kept everything filed and he gave me a key to his house.

In May of 2005, he had a massive heart attack. He was at home riding his stationary bike when he developed chest pain. He stopped riding, and the pain subsided. He got back on to finish his 30 minutes. The pain grew more severe so he stopped again and called me (I am a retired Firefighter paramedic). I called 911, and then headed to his house. He was in the hospital for 7 days and received a pacemaker. It was estimated that 65%of the heart muscle was damaged. He came to my house to stay for a while. It was a pleasure having him with us, he told my sons stories of his childhood, stories about my chilhood. It was just fun.

He decided to move back home on July 4th, so he could go back to work. I couldn't talk him into staying with us. (He was 74 at the time).

August 15th he suffered a massive stroke while driving home from work at 8 A.M. He wrecked his jeep into a telephone pole across the street from a fire station, at shift change. I met him in the Emergency Dept of the local hospital. He had some slurring of speech and right side weakness. While he was talking to me and the nurse, he had another episode. This was worse and more permanent.

He lived through it. It took a year of therapy for him to learn to walk and talk again. On my visits to the rehab center, he would cry and beg me to take him home. We talked about it. We talked to the doctors, therapists, and nurses and set some care goals. He was able to take care of himself in the bath room, feed himself, and talk. We brought him home to my house.

He has been with us since March 31st of 2006. The stroke caused personality changes. It now seems like I have a 78 year old spoiled 10 year old. He says mean things to people. Some days I am wonderful and can do no wrong. Other days, I am a liar and a thief, he says I got "those papers" so I could steal everything he owns.

This is an introduction, I will start to keep track of things here just so I don't get crazy. I need to talk to someone about it, even if no one is listening or reading. I guess its therapy for me.   

TyroneRipley TyroneRipley
51-55, M
1 Response Feb 11, 2010

I'm reading. I am anxious about when this day comes for me, assuming they don't both (my parents) die suddently. I can see either of my parents becoming incoherent; both their mothers did at the end.<br />
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I'd very much appreciate any of your thoughts on the subject. What you do, what you're thinking... I'm sure others would too.