Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for my little balloon of happiness to be shot down by the snot-nosed bully across the street, Reality.

Saturday afternoon my sister stopped at our house on her way back home to The Capital after leaving the family farm. I asked her how everything went the day before and she laughed humorously.

She then proceeded to share Friday’s activities.

My brother, Ray, who rents the farm, and my father, who is too weak nowadays to farm it himself, got into a scuffle. The facts are rather unclear as my brother isn’t talking about it and my father’s recollection is a bit fuzzy, shall we say.

You see, even though I’m quite judgemental about my MIL’s alcoholism, I really should focus some of that energy on my own family. My father is an alcoholic as well.

So as I was saying, Dad believes that Ray punched him in the side. At the hospital (oh yeah, wait til I tell you more on that), he told the doctor that Ray kicked him. The doctor asked if Ray had been drinking. Dad replied, “Hell no! I was.”

So now I’ll back up a bit. After the mystery kick/punch/fall…he came into the house and told my mother that he needed to be taken to the hospital. He didn’t feel right. He told her he was going to change clothes. Because a hundred years or so ago my parents fell out of love with each other, my mother didn’t believe him (which I find obscene as the man hasn’t been to a doctor since his carpal tunnel surgery years ago even though he’s in constant pain from one malady or another, and he’s a smoker….and of course the drinking….), so she just left him there to go to work. Just drove away while he was changing clothes.

My sister ended up taking Dad to the hospital.

Now that we are up to point of the hospital admission: they decided to keep him observation overnight and to watch any change in his urine because the first tentative guess was that he may have damaged his spleen. If so, a before and after comparison of his urine over several hours would verify. However, the next day, it wasn’t so much the chemical makeup that had the doctor concerned, but the blood in his urine. Copious amounts of blood.

An MRI was performed. His prostate was enlarged. My sister nearly scoffed when she was asked if he had had a recent PSA done. What was unusual is the size of his bladder. It was enormous! However Dad claimed he felt no need to empty his bladder. He never gets up in the middle of the night. So they inserted a catheter. More blood in the urine. His bladder had expanded to hold almost two quarts of fluid.

Two. Quarts. in his bladder. And he couldn’t feel it.

He is negative for prostate cancer. But they have no idea why the enlarged bladder and they still haven’t had the radiologist result out the images from the MRI (which was done Saturday a.m. and it is now Sunday p.m.). Probably Monday sometime.

We went up today to see him and just as we neared his room we saw a man in a gown walking with a nurse very slowly. His gray hair was mussed and his legs were as thin as a bird’s. He shuffled painfully down the hall. Mr. DD said it was my Dad. I said no way and I peeked into his room, which was a semi-private. The other patient said that the nurse had just taken him for some exercise.

When I stepped back out in the hall, the small, frail man was slowly heading back towards us. It was Dad.

The strongest, fastest, smartest man that was there when I was a little girl was gone. He had been eroded away by hard physical labor, booze and a loveless marriage to literally stand before me a mere wisp of what he once was.

Harsh Reality.

27 thoughts on “REALITY”

  1. So, it seems like the kicking/punching/whatever wasn’t the cause of the enlarged bladder but may have been the “lucky” incident to get him to the hospital so that it could be discovered?

    And, yes, I can empathize with the moment you realize your parents aren’t the young, strong people you thought they were. That happened to me last year, when I was looking at pictures of a family wedding I wasn’t able to make. And, there I saw them, white haired and old and frail. Quite the shock.

  2. i’m sorry to hear about this. My FIL is an alchoholic (my husband is too but he’s in recovery) and he just had open heart surgery. I know that was huge for my husband to see his dad, the man he always thought of as SOO strong, lying there so helpless in the bed.

    Now I worry that while they fixed his heart if he doesn’t give up on the booze his liver will be the next thing to go and that can’t be fixed with a bypass.

  3. Oh, sweetie. I’m sorry. I know it’s hard when you come up against the unmistakable evidence that your parent is human and getting older. I’m still shocked when I see my parents with all that gray hair.

  4. What a come-down from the balloon of happiness–and what a shitty landing. It is so hard to see your parents as they become when they get older, especially when they’re sick. And it’s easy to see them through the eyes of a young child most of the time, which just makes it harder to accept when reality whacks the rose-colored glasses off your face.

    I’m so sorry that he’s so sick, and I hope they figure out what needs to be done quickly.

  5. Death by alcoholism sucks. If it’s any consolation, my mother’s BF who eventually succumbed to the really bad shit that happens when you drink for most of your lifetime, survived his prostate cancer. I’m not saying your dad has cancer or anything like it, just that it’s not necessarily a death sentence if he does.

    Well, that was cheery.

    Nonetheless, I’m sorry he ended up in the hospital for such a dumb reason. Which…isn’t coming across quite how I mean it…but I hope you do know what I do mean!

  6. Doesn’t it make you think about who you are to your children? I remember thinking my parents eluded confidence, had all the answers, and were secure. My perception was shattered when I learned they are just people, like I am a person, stuggling to make it through life. Sure we have our challenges, alcohol has chiseled away at my father also, but my parents seem to have challenges that I never foresee myself having.

    But I don’t know if they saw it either.

    I like to think I make better choices. But do I? Or has not enough time surpassed for the result of those choices to play out? It the most difficult things that we refuse to see until they smack us head.

    I am sorry to hear that your weekend was stressful for this reason. I certainly hope they can find the cause of his bladder enlargement soon. Your parents relationship saddens me tremendously. I cannot imagine despising the one I love so dearly.

  7. I know this is hardly consolation, but thank goodness that he made it to the hospital! Maybe they can help get him back to a stronger version of the man you remember. Sorry you had such a rough reminder that aging doesn’t hide from any of us. My daddy is much frailer than he once was, too, but fortunately his sweet temperament is still intact. Hope your daddy gets the help he needs all the way around.

  8. It is harsh when you suddenly see your parent(s) as getting old. I remember the first time I realized my dad was getting old (it was after surgery in the hospital as well) – I was shocked. I felt like it had happened over night even thought I had likely been viewing him through my childhood eyes for many years. Sucks.

  9. I remember that feeling when I was losing my dad to heart failure. Such a small frame of a man where there once was a giant.

    Thankfully the aging process is so gradual that we don’t realize the changes as they occur in other people, just our own bodies, which is depressing enough.

    I’m sorry about your dad.

  10. DD, I am so sorry, what a mess.

    Sounds like a kick in the side and wee check = ?kidney blow thoughts.

    I assume, if the PSA is normal that your dad has what is known as BPH (benign hypertrophy of the prostate), but he may need a biopsy to be sure.

    The big bladder is most likely related to chronic obstruction because his prostate is in the road, but I assume that the MRi has something to do with ruling out a neurological cause in the back.

    DD, again, I am so sorry that all this has happened, I hope that he gets better soon,



  11. My dear DD. I’m so sorry your dad is ill. It’s hard watching our parents age; much like watching kids grow up, you don’t notice it until one day ::poof!:: there it is.
    I hope they find a diagnosis soon, and he gets better real quick.
    PS – take it easy with your stress level if at all possible. Hugs.

  12. Are you sure we don’t have the same father? Wow…you explaining him sounds eerily similar to my Dad. I’m sorry that reality was so harsh. I’ve been dealt my own share of it in terms of my Dad too. Hopefully they figure out the cause of the enlarged bladder. No need to explain to you that waiting for results suck.

You can say it here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s