Dad went in for minor surgery to have a cyst lanced. It was then the doctor realized there was a much deeper infection spreading through his body. Not surprisingly, Dad became infected with MRSA while staying as a patient in the hospital. This super bug is often hospital acquired and penicillin resistant. The staff required Dad to wear hand mitts to prevent him from pulling out his IV drip of Vancomycin. A low-grade fever meant he had to spend additional time in the hospital.
There is a grain of irony to this dramatic turn of events given that I have spent many months working on a MRSA prevention online project, immersed in the topic and visualization of the infection.
PROCEED with CAUTION: The next turn of events could be described as grisly in nature. Do not continue reading if you are sensitive to visually graphic content.
Dad had a peaceful final evening at the hospital. He seemed to be improving. But, just hours after being readmitted to his nursing home, Dad appeared agitated over dinner. They call it sundowning.
When escorted to the bathroom by a nurse, Dad ripped the catheter out of his penis. Blood went everywhere. It was worse than a fishing accident. The look of horror on the faces of the nursing staff spoke volumes as they left his bathroom. I am still shaken from what was relayed to me by my family over the phone.
When I saw Dad last, we found him strapped to an arm chair. His swollen bare feet dangled from his chair. He was wearing somebody else's dirty clothes; but he was communicative. He recognized us.
His goals at the hospital: to allow care and not to hit.
I was touched with a sense of tenderness for Dad, maybe in ways I could never express before he became ill, all the time focusing on his beautiful hands to give me for sense of comfort and continuity.