Monday, September 5, 2011

This blog is dedicated to the last 74 days of my dads life, spent in hospital in 2006.

This was an incredibly difficult time for my entire family, and I don't think we realised exactly how difficult until it was over.

I kept a diary during this time - what started as just a simple record of each day, eventually became a desperate prayer and pleading for my father's recovery.

Consisting mostly of my diary entries (in italics). I will also add in emails that were sent and received (in courier), as well as my current feelings (in regular case) looking back at the events that passed. I hope that by sharing my reflection of the events two years on, this will become part of my healing process.

To read the blog in date order, start here

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Saturday, 16 September 2006

Dropped off parcels at the hospital. Spoke to the sister who was there the day dad came out of surgery. Didn't want to stay long. Vincent said that his mom is in the wards now.
Kerin made us a delicious chicken lasagne. Mervin said that him and Andrew will do us a security gate. Uncle Robbie came to visit and stayed late, chatting telling us stories of Dad and the good old days. Such a good laugh. Very tired, need a nice rest, we are all going to church tomorrow.

Thank you Lord. Thank you for the memories. It is all still a bit unreal. I miss my dad and want him to come home. I want my dad back. Please send him our love.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Friday, 15 September 2006

Woke up, unable to get out of bed. So tired. My body is wrecked. Went to make arrangements at Doves. They really take care of everything. It was quite difficult to choose hymns and write a message. How do you sum up a persons life in one paragraph? I do hope that all his friends put in messages for him. There weren't a lot of visitors at the hospital, but I know he was well liked. Dad, I really hope your funeral is beautiful. It is so difficult to plan something without going OTT and still make it special. I hope that it is what you would have liked. We are all still so tired.
No real family coming round and spending time with us, but I guess we have never been that way. Maureen Kelly & Rita luckily brought us food. Thank you Lord for the strength you have given us, but I am finished. I hope to get a good nights sleep.
Morag said that she strengthened my heart & solar plexus. Very kind of her.
Oi vey my brain is fried.
Got flowers, and phone calls from my special friends.

Thank you Lord. Please send angels to care for my dad.

After such a long vigil, we didn't know what to do with ourselves. So we planned a funeral. I just wanted to get past all the formalities of the situation. I wanted this all over with.
We made up hampers for the nurses to say thank you for everything they had done. We did not know how to just be.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Thursday, 14 September 2006

What a day. What a rollercoaster. Spent the day with dad. He fought all day, struggling with his breath. Aunty Kath and Uncle Brian spent a few hours with us. At about 5, 6ish Dad stopped breathing twice. His heart was still going strong though. We all sat around dad and told him that we were ready, he could let go, we love him, we are proud of him. We all cried and cried. He was struggling to breathe, and his breathe would stop, and he would open his eyes and see mom and gasp for air. He was staying strong for us. Then we went out for them to get dad ready for bed, the old ladies went back in and we stayed and chatted to the son and daughter of the bad lung lady. As the ladies left, mom walked them out and then Brad and Georgie went in. Dad was alone for a few moments and I think he took the chance. His heart rate dropped immediately and Georgie ran to get us. His heart stopped and we desperately sent Shaun to find mom. Dad kept his heart beating until mom arrived and then it was over. So quickly. He was too proud to let us see him give up. I remember saying, Thank you dad, thank you for everything! It was over so fast and I am so glad.
Dad is finally resting, he is flying without wings. Free from his body, free from pain and heartache and suffering. I am so happy for my dad. I too can rest easy now. I cannot comprehend how difficult life will be without my dad. It is all very surreal.
He is still so much a part of us and our lives, things are going to be too quiet. We really got on dad, didn't we? Despite our differences, I really enjoyed the time we spent together. Wasn't I lucky? I felt a special bond to you dad, but I think we all bonded to you for different reasons. I have never experienced anything quite like this and I don't quite know what is next. I can only thank the Lord above that all of us had time to prepare. It was so difficult seeing dad fighting, so, so strong. He just kept going, where he found the strength I will never know. But to know how sick his body was too, made it all so difficult to watch. For the end to be so drawn out.

Rest in peace my dad. We love you.
Enjoy paradise!

We are so tired, we are finished.

My brothers friend Shaun was kind enough to bring us dinner. We sat and ate in the waiting room with a brother and sister whose mother was in ICU too. She had severe lung problems and was unable to breath. We shared stories of ICU.
My dad absolutely hated being on a ventilator. And so he fought for every last breath and eventually it was his heart that gave out. And he was too proud to give up on us. He waited for a quiet moment when we had left him alone. He was too proud.
Death is a very strange and unsentimental. Immediately after my dad moved on, I could feel that he was no longer there and felt no attachment to his body, which didn't look like him either anymore.
We all felt a tiny bit of relief, we could exhale after so long, Dad would finally be okay. It was certain.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Wednesday, 13 September 2006

Sat with dad all day. Cried about what a good man he was, cried about how sick he is, how he keeps fighting. Cried when he saw Brad. Cried now when Georgie phoned to say that his kidneys have failed. My dad! Why this? Why? I never thought he would fight so hard to stay alive. Its hard sitting by his side all day, but it'll be harder when he goes. I love my dad so much. I am so proud of him. The priest gave dad last rites today. I don't remember much. Robbie made us cry. By the time the sun went down, I was spent. His bp is really low, but the deterioration is very slow. I thought is would go faster. I don't know if this is better or worse. Lord, please heal my dads pain. Please give us all the strength and guidance we need. Please can every Fisher on this planet have a good nights rest tonight, and wake up ready for another day. I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

I honestly thought that Dad would hold out only until my brother arrived. But I was wrong. I'm not sure what the medication was doing to dad but I kept talking to him the whole time. His eyes stayed closed most of the time only opening every now and again. When my brother arrived he spoke to Dad for a bit and showed him the parts he had brought for my dads vintage car. Eventually my dad opened his eyes, saw my brother and exclaimed, 'My son! What a pleasure!' We all just cried and cried. Throughout the day, old friends and family that I'd never seen before popped. All had kind words, some of them even told us to stay positive cos he might pull through. I just smiled - they had no idea the journey we had been on.
Although my dad had been a regular churchgoer for a good few years, he refused to accept Communion, until this final hospital stay, where he took Communion at every opportunity. So when the priest came to give Last Rites, it really felt so final. All of us standing around in a circle, saying the Lords Prayer for my dad.
That night again we planned on staying over at the hospital, but we were told everything was still stable and we could go home and rest.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tuesday, 12 September 2006

What a day. Dad was very calm about surgery. He understood what needed to be done.

Dr M said that there was nothing left to fix. Intestinal failure. As if he had cancer and it had eaten away his insides. Nothing more, medically can be done. They are treating his pain and keeping him comfortable. Before the morphine hit, he thanked me for always being by his side. We told him that we are so proud of him. He said thank you. It is so hard knowing that he is left to die, but his body is very weak from the op. Georgie rang from the plane, talking about 2nd opinions and not giving up. I pray that she can come to terms with this. Lord, please heal my dads pain, and fill his heart with love. Please Lord. I ask in Jesus name. Amen.

Subject: update
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2006 08:52:26 +0200

doc and his partner are operating this afternoon on my dad to try and
fix this problem once and for all. It's back to square one surgery-wise, but we have to do what we have to do. thanks for all the prayers and positive thoughts


I left work to sit with Dad before the op. I didn't bring the newspaper as I had always done, and Dad wanted one, so I got him the paper. I sat whilst the nurse filled in all the surgery forms and Dad read the paper. He had a new nurse that I hadn't seen before. Looking back, II think that they assigned someone new intentionally, because they knew what the day had in store. The nurse told my Dad that it was rude to read while he had a visitor, and he joked that 'this one likes to talk too much.' He was so brave going in, he understood that this needed to be done.
After he went in, Mom and went and sat by the lifts, thinking that we might miss the Doctor leaving after surgery otherwise. After a few hours we decided that they surely should be done by now and went looking in ICU. As we walked in the sister in charge called us into the office, where Dr M was waiting for us. We asked him how it went and he looked us with slight grimace, which oddly seemed like a smile at the time and said, 'Not good at all.' After further questioning he explained that this was it. There is nothing more that they can do. He can only describe it as intestinal failure, like heart failure. He said that Dad was not doing well under anaestethic.
I stayed calm. I had to phone my sisters and my brother and explain to them what was happening. I was too scared to go see my dad, what do say to someone who is dying? The nurse urged me to go inside. The anaesthetist was busy setting up my dads medication. They already had him on morphine, and one of the side effects is itching. My dad had already almost scratched his nose raw since he came out of surgery.
It made me feel sick inside to see the beautiful pristine dressing over his abdomen. It felt so obscene, knowing that inside he was a complete mess. They just sew you up and leave you to die.
I held dads hand, and spoke to him while he was still conscious.
I spoke to the sister in charge after my sisters had arrived. She said that she thought Dad knew. He had said to her the day before that if anyone comes to visit him even if it wasn't family, that they were to let them in.
We were planning on staying over in the waiting room. Georgie rang from the plane, she was so upset and outraged. She insisted that we were giving up hope too easily and hadn't looked at all the options. That there had to be a way. They would speak to the specialist in the morning.
I couldn't argue back, I understood how helpless they were feeling. But I was there, and I knew what I saw. This was it.
Eventually the nurse came and told us to go home and sleep. She said that Dads heart rate was still very steady and it would be a while before things started to turn. We should rest and be back in the morning.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Monday, 11 September 2006

Mills is operating tomorrow at 1pm

My 13th Bodytalk
- T4, middle back
- grieving heart
- spleen

Dads 3rd Bodytalk
- chemical debris, brain
- balance cortices
- musclo-skeletal links, whole body
- cellular, DNA, reprogram, build healthy cells
- support regarding fear of time (awareness of) recurring as he needs it
[not sure, too little time left, or time spent in hospital?]

Lord, please stay with my dad and keep him strong. Please help him recover quickly and without complications. Please help the doctor to finally fix my dad properly. Lord, please strengthen our whole family, and guide us through this difficult time.
Please give my dad the strength he needs to heal. He wants to get better and come home and he can do that with your help. I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sunday, 10 September 2006

Took dad the paper. Spoke to Dr M. He can only really tell once he is in surgery. But Dr R will be there, 2 heads are better than one. I am confident in Dr M and dad is strong. We are just being tested again, but our family is stronger than this. Lord, please prepare my dad mentally and physically for the week ahead. I know with your power anything is possible. Please give us all the strength we need to get through this week. Please keep us positive. Thank you for getting us this far. Thank you for your grace and mercy.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Saturday, 9 September 2006

Dad was sitting today when I arrived. Bought him a card on 'dads'. He had a good sleep tonight. This evening we waited for the visitors to leave and snuck the boys in for a quick hello. Dad got such a shock, I don't think there was time to take it all in. The boys are too gorgeous. Taylor says as we are leaving, 'I love oupa!' They are both such lovely children. I love them to bits.
Please please keep my dad in a good frame of mind. I know he is strong but please help strengthen him this week. Please help heal his body. Please give Mills & Raidoo strength and guidance to help my dad get better. Thank you Lord.

I left the card behind after my morning visit. Mom said that dad was quite moved by it. We always had a hard time openly showing our love, and I knew that this was the right time to try and communicate how I felt to my dad.
Mom and I were babysitting the boys. We spoke to the nurses and they agreed to let us bring the boys in to see dad. Hung around until visiting hours were over and then ran in with the boys, long enough to give him a hug. Dad was so surprised, but so happy to see them.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Friday, 8 September 2006

Georgie phoned. She is worried about signing a lease versus coming home. I can't say how things will play out, but I don't know if coming home is the answer. This is hard for all of us. I just pray that my dad will be allowed to heal.
Went to see Confetti after work with Jo. What a lovely movie. I like the mockumentry style. It reminds me so much of real life.
Dad was up till 4am this morning so they let him sleep today. He was more himself tonight. Less budgie sightings. Brad phoned and spoke to him. Lily is walking. I'm so proud of her.
Thank you for strengthening us each day. Thank you for listening to our prayers. Lord, please help heal my dad. Please guide Dr M to help the healing process in the best possible way.

Subject: update
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2006 08:12:03 +0200

Doc operated again on dad last friday (can't say exactly what he did,

he told my mom and she doesn't have a clue) but it was just something
minor to try help the 'intestinal fistula' (that is what they are
calling it now) to close up. It doesn't seem to have helped much.

Dads electrolytes are still out, they were giving him magnesium the

other day. He is very confused and now is seeing things too. Last
night I watched him watch a budgie (?) fly around the room.
Apparently he has been seeing a lot of bird life in the ICU. It's
funny, but it's sad and scary too.

Mom spoke to Doc yesterday, he described dads condition as 'so-so'.

The fistula has not healed on its own as he hoped and he can't rule
out that there is any further obstruction. He has said that next week
he will operate with his partner and open up completely again and
start from scratch to fix what they can. If they can. Otherwise they
will have to sew up and try and create a colostomy - but I've never
heard of a colostomy in the small intestine, so that must be the 'we
have done all we can' solution as I don't know what quality of life
that will allow for. I guess its more 'wait and see' and stay positive.

Otherwise, how are you all doing :-) ?



Sunday, September 7, 2008

Thursday, 7 September 2006

Had my interview at Mr Price today. Went well. Lori reminded me of Elisa Ferreira. I think we clicked well. They hadn't even looked at my CV and they seemed quite keen on me. Went well, except for me arriving at work with a huge Mr Price visitor sticker on my boob.
I am scared for my dad. Dr M described his condition as so-so, he had hoped the fistula would have healed itself. Next week both him and Dr R will op and start from scratch and see if there is anything they can do. This seems like the last thing they can and will do. I am scared. What if dad doesn't make it? What if they can't do anything. This feels like the end of the line. And it doesn't help that when I visit dad, he is having delusions. Seeing budgies flying.

I am scared. Lord, please give us all the strength to continue. Please help all of us, especially my dad and the doctors. Can you please heal my dad? Please heal his pain and suffering. Lord please send down the light of the Holy Spirit to fill my dad with love and healing. Please send angels to guide and watch over him and help focus on the healing that needs to take place. Please Lord.

Thank you for having mercy on us.

I snuck out for a job interview during the time I would have gone to visit dad. He said it was okay… That night he was telling us about all the budgies that were in the room. He was whispering as to not frighten them. I remember him pointing and whispering gently, 'there's a baby one…' We laughed. But it was scary.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Wednesday, 6 September 2006

Dad thinks he went home today. He said that the bed/blankets are hiding all his things. Earlier he lost a burger! Very confused and irritable, he fights with us because of the confusion. They are giving him more magnesium. Lord, please help my dads abdomen to heal so that he may start eating and get strong so that he can come home. Please Lord. Send down your angels with healing powers. Please help us. Please.

All Dads imagined stories were so amusing, because he was so sincere about all it. He honestly believed all these thing in his mind. And he would get so cross with us when we didn't take him seriously.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Tuesday, 5 September 2006

Dad had a dizzy spell (seizure) today during his physio. He doesn't seem to be remembering very much. He sounded like his speech was affected too. Almost like a slur. He saw ants at the end of the bed ad we couldn't convince him otherwise. I pray that these problems will get sorted out so that my dad can go into the surgical ward, start eating and get strong. Then he can come home. Please Lord, keep my dad strong and help heal him from the inside out. Send down the healing light of the Holy Spirit to fill his body with healing energy. Please have mercy on us Lord. Please help.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Monday, 4 September 2006

Good day at work, got a bit done. Things don't seem as bad as I would have thought. Dads doing okay. Damn bag keeps leaking though. Took dad some Lemos. Got a phone call for the Mr Price interview. Not sure how I feel. Will wait and see. Lord, please help my dad heal faster so that he can start eating and get strong and come home. Please help heal Esters infection. I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sunday, 3 September 2006

Met the girls for lunch at Pizzetta. Had a lovely chat and great food. What a nice day.
Visited dad today. The lump in his neck was a salivary gland, doctor prescribed lemons to help clear it. Dads looking good. I pray that he can start eating soon and won't be in ICU for much longer. Lord please help my dads body heal so that he can came home. I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Saturday, 2 September 2006

Plant Faire at Bot Gardens today. Visited dad this morning, slight leak from bag.
Tonight dad was looking good. He said that he is feeling so much better then last week, but has a huge lymph node on his neck (RHS). Otherwise he's fab. I pray that the op was a success and that dad will be home soon.

Met up with Claire, Tracy and Kevin for dinner. They have been dating for a year and have been thinking about marriage. Good for her. Nice evening, got a bit drunk, but anyway. Lovely to catch up again.

Lord, please help heal my dad. Your powers are truly amazing. Please have mercy on us. I ask this in Jesus name. Amen

Monday, September 1, 2008

Friday, 1 September 2006

Much better day today! Mom texted to say that dad was going into theatre in 30 minutes, but as I started driving she rang to say they were already taking him into theatre. But he came through fine. Now I just pray that the op is successful. Dad is looking better today then he has in a while. Looking strong. Nurse said that the wound started gushing and they have put a stoma on as well. I hope to find out what Dr M has done. Mom spoke to him but she still doesn't understand. Very frustrating. Thank you Lord for always listening. Please send the healing light of the Holy Spirit to bathe my dad with joy and love.

Subject: update
Date: Fri, 1 Sep 2006 10:48:21 +0200

dad has just gone into theatre, the opening in his abdomen has gotten

a lot smaller and the doctor wants to suture it up.

please send positive thoughts all you fabulous people



Sunday, August 31, 2008

Thursday, 31 August 2006

What a day! Had so much to do in one day. Got a lot of help from the girls in the studio. There was a bit of a beer debacle. But it all went off smoothly and there was so much food left. What a joke! Did a lot of cleaning.
Visited dad, was nice to see him. They are giving him magnesium at the moment. Dr M wants to operate tomorrow to close the wound. I pray that the op is a success and that dad has the strength to pull through. He has done so well up to now. Lord, please guide and strengthen Dr M to do his best work on my dad. Please look after my dad and bring him safely through surgery again. Thank you for getting me through today it was really difficult, but now its over.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wednesday, 30 August 2006

Visited dad today. He seems a lot better. He had the on and we chatted a bit. Ran around a bit today. The studio went out for lunch for Kerins farewell. Ate too much, drank too much and just felt ill afterward. Not nice at all. And then I get briefed on a heck of a lot of work for tomorrow.
Not quite sure how tomorrow is gonna pan out. I've gotten so used to the rug being pulled out from me, that when things go smoothly I am so afraid of it all going bad before my eyes. I am really scared that something bad is gonna happen. As if I don't deserve any pleasures in life. I can only pray that the Lord gives me strength and courage to face each day. I am so grateful for every day and all the small things we usually take for granted. I am so grateful. I know how quickly it can be taken away.
Lord please help my dad heal. He has already made such huge progress with your help. Please help relax that crick in his body. He seems to be bending over like a banana.

Thank you for the strength you give us each day, I would not be able to go on without it. Thank you Lord. I just want to cry with relief, yet I have no relief at the moment. I pray that tomorrow can go smoothly. I pray that dad can soon enter the wards. I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

Subject: Re: low potassium
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2006 07:32:49 +0200

To: b

Dads levels were still low last night, and his heartbeat a bit
erratic. He is still confused but slightly less so. I was able to have a conversation with him and he has stopped fighting with the nurse. But he didn't remember me visiting earlier in the day. He read his man u magazine as we were leaving.

Jocelyn will be coming to change his dressing today.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Tuesday, 29 August 2006

Dad not so aggressive anymore, but I can tell he is still confused. His potassium levels are not correct yet. I hope it normalises soon. Got him reading his Man U magazine. Heart rate is still going bananas. I pray that he gets a good nights sleep so that his blood pressure can come down. But he is sounding better. He didn't remember that I visited him earlier.
Lord, please help my dad heal. Please give him strength so that we can improve each day. Please help his electrolytes balance out so that we can focus on healing his abdomen. Thank you for always listening to our prayers.
Thank you Lord.

Subject: Re: low potassium

Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2006 07:33:59 +0200

I don't about surgery at this stage, he hasn't said anything. I'm not
sure how long it'll take for his system to come right, cos he really was not himself last night. He was argumentative and confused, wouldn't let the nurse near him to take his temperature. Really irritable, but not his normal irritable. Hopefully he is feeling better today.

On 29 Aug 2006, at 1:52 PM, b wrote:

Ja, just called the hospital nurse says that dad is very confused at
times,and that Dr M is very concerned of his condition,hopefully they get the right formula soon, has your body talk lady been able to help at all, try all keep focused and positive.

Subject: Re: low potassium

Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2006 14:03:50 +0200

To: b

He was less argumentitive this morning, but still confused. And very
nauseous. He keeps retching, but doesn't vomit. The tremors aren't as bad as they were, and he says he can feel his strength coming back.

She did a distance session sunday night, and then I let her know
about the potassium. She said that made sense and that she would do another distance session last night. Will text her again tonight.