Stubborn Old Man! (Longish)

I need to vent about my father. I was going to put this in the mini-rants thread but as I typed it just kept getting longer and longer.

My dad has been in slowly declining health for about a decade now. Eight years ago his gallbladder ruptured. Eighteen months later he broke one hip. Then the other. He was diagnosed with MS when I was a kid, they don’t know if that’s progressing or not. He’s addicted/dependent on several prescription drugs. He’s only seventy, but you’d add about a decade to that if you met him.

Last month he went to the hospital because he was falling a lot and eventually couldn’t walk. Turned out he had a blood infection and a fractured pelvis. He also revealed he’d been refusing to eat because going to the bathroom hurt. My mother had noticed he’d been eating less, but short of shoving food into his mouth she didn’t know what to do. Frankly we all thought he was passively committing suicide because his religion won’t let him do it actively. He claims that’s not true.

He improved after coming back from the hospital, began to eat more and better food, seemed to be recovering from the fracture. He refused to move his bedroom downstairs or accept help other then my mother. (Hell, half the time he doesn’t even accept help from her.) She was nervous for a few days but when it seemed like he was improving she relaxed and started getting on with her life.

Well, the last two mornings I’ve gotten tearful phone calls from her. He’s falling again - frequently - and she’s not strong enough to help him up. She’s a nervous wreck and she already has high blood pressure, so she does NOT need this stress. I told her if he falls to call the paramedics and that I would try to find an agency that could find a home care nurse for him. As I’m doing research she calls me, he fell again, she can’t get him up, paramedics are on the way.

He refused to go to the hospital, said he wasn’t hurt. Fine, they put him to bed, mom called one of the agencies I found and got an appointment for tomorrow. He’s pissed about it, but for once she’s ignoring him. Got a call about an hour ago. He fell AGAIN! In the shower this time. She’s called the paramedics again and he admitted his hip hurt, so he’s willing to go. I suggested he not come home until we had a bed set up downstairs for him and hopefully a nurse set up to come help her. She agreed and is going to talk to the hospital about a transitional home or rehab place to put him in if they’re not going to keep him. He’s not going to like this, but today won our argument for us. There’s no way she can care for him alone in the current situation.

I should note that my dad is a certified asshole. He verbally and emotionally abused us all when we were kids. He’s mellowed a bit with age and illness, but still blames all his woes on my mother. Apparently, he wouldn’t fall so much if she’d stop getting in his way. He always knows best and none of us know anything. When I asked him what would happen if mom got hurt and couldn’t care for him he said, “Well, she’d have to get better and then take care of me again.” No thought to the healing period or the idea she might be incapable of it. He’s in his own ego driven little world and the rest of us are all just annoyances. The only reason I get worked up is my mother, whom I adore. I worry he’ll hurt her in one of his falls, or the stress will get to her. I’ve got fingers crossed we can actually get a care worker set up to take some of the load off.

Okay, that was way longer then I thought it would be, but I do feel better. Thanks for reading. And if anyone else wants to vent about stubborn old folks I’d love to hear stories.