Thursday, August 09, 2007

Knowing Despair

Today, we met with Drs. Glass, Gonzalez, Jester, and Naguszewski; we learned more information about Dad's condition and its inevitable end. Not only did the first stroke continue to involve more of his brain, there was a second stroke that significantly impacted the basal ganglia; the end result is that there is no chance of Dad's recovery, no chance of anything more than the most minor improvement, no chance of a return to cognizance, no chance of even limited mobility...

The situation was even more bleak than we had initially envisioned, if that's possible. And it was clear that Dad's condition fell far below any minimum acceptable quality of life he had established in his living will; Dad was very specific in that document, giving us guidance and instructions as to what must be done if he found himself in the condition in which he is now.

We realize so little. It never occurred to us that Sunday the 29th and the early hours of Monday the 30th would be the last time our father would truly be alive. His body has continued to function since then, but the aspects that truly defined Dad were destroyed in that first stroke. It's taken us this long to fully understand and accept this; we've mourned for ten days while simultaneously hoping in the back of our minds that some miracle might occur.

I had thought that I had steeled myself against false hope, but the confirmation of Dad's condition was a crushing moment for me. Love is built on hope, and no amount of logic can prevent that.

Now we wait for Dad's body to fail as well. But we already grieve, and try to hold onto the memories of better times with Mom and Dad... and we find solace in the realization that two people who should have never been separated will be together once again.

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