Friday, January 25, 2008

Dying at home

My father is dying. i can hear him coughing in the other room. He has Parkinson's, he's been diagnosed with it for a decade now. i have been spending more time with him recently, in an effort to spell my mother who is his primary care giver.

He is lucky. He worked hard and was successful over his life and now the medical establishment, which is so easy to be critical of in this country, is working hard for him. Because he has access to resources. It is not fair, of course. But it is the system we have, and for him and those who care for him, we are thankful. i guess it is not lucky - it is smart.

We have never been very close. My father, like me, defines himself by the things that he does. He was an architect, founded a firm with him name. And spent the vast majority of his waking hours building the firm, designing and creating beautiful buildings and houses, like the one he lives in. The one i grew up in. The one i am sitting in right now.

He focused on this one passion, i focus on many.

1 comment:

Angie said...

i think you were right the first time. your father is lucky. it's possible to do all the "smart" things, and still get screwed by the american medical establishment.

even though he got good grades, serve in the Air Force, went college, ran a business, worked with kids, went church every sunday, worked 6 days a week for most of his life, was a pretty good husband and father.

he still got screwed because people shopped at Home Depot, so his business went under, and his house got foreclosed on, and so was his father's (my grandfather's), which he built with his own hands.

and get denied for a motorized wheelchair by the VA because he can still walk further than 100 feet, although it takes 20 minutes and he's panting at the end. and not be able to afford that expense, so live without it, even though it limits what little quality of life he has left.

your father, and those who care for him, are lucky. i am happy for you, and furious at the medical establishment on behalf of myself, and the millions of other people out there, who aren't lucky, we are't lucky at all.