Observations on quality time with my 84 year old father, day 15

Observations on quality time with my 84 year old father, day 15:

• “A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest” – ‘The Boxer’ by Paul Simon

I don’t know if its life imitating art or the other way around, but my father, who boxed in his teens and twenties, and was always in and around the boxing world, never seems to fully grasp what the doctors, or in fact, any authority figure seems to tell him. On top of that, he will interpret it in a way that justifies his belief system or in some way is to his advantage. No matter what the hospital administrators tell him, he seems to think it means he pays nothing, and they in fact owe HIM money, in spite of them saying the opposite. Regardless of what any doctor says about my mother’s realistic options, he interprets it to mean she’ll have lifesaving heart surgery, although my sisters and I heard them say she’s too sick for any surgery. He’s convinced that one doctor confirmed his theory on why she got endocarditis (heart valve infection), thereby confirming his pursuit of a malpractice suit, while I stood there and heard nothing of the sort. My sister and I are constantly running interference between him and nurses, doctors and admins. One even asked, “Does your father have cognition issues?”

“…he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down or cut him…”

He’s a Freudian field day for a roomful of psychiatrists. I’d say he’s a full chapter in their text book but
then he’d want an agent’s cut.

• He said that he had a 1:30 doctor’s appointment today. Turns out it was yesterday. That’s one less thing on my “to do” list.

o Dad – “I forgot the doctor’s appointment was yesterday, not today. I’d forget my head if it wasn’t attached”
o Me – “Dad, maybe you should re-consider taking that prescription for your short term memory issues that had the possible side effects you were so concerned about?
o Dad – “What prescription?”

• He knocked on the door of my room and woke me up to tell me that his friend called and he’ll call him back. As if I care.

o Dad – “Why are you sleeping?”
o Me – “Because it’s late and I’m tired.”

Five minutes later he woke me up again to say the neighbor came back early and I need to get out of the parking space tomorrow. Then he woke me for a third time, wanting to know if I wanted a sleeping pill.

I don’t need a sleeping pill. I just need him to stop waking me up and I’ll sleep just fine.

© Curt Weiss 2014

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