Sunday, November 22, 2009

Not Going to the Doctor

Dad felt sick. He had a cough and felt tightness in his chest that was not only annoying, but sometimes forced him to gasp for breath.

Sister in Law came home early from work to take him to the doctor. “I’m too sick to go,” Dad told her.

She was upset—she and Caretaker were short of money as it was, and there was no pay for this time—but knowing Dad, she did not allow him to see her frustration. “Well, if you are too sick to go, then you really need to.” Sometimes reasoning with him worked.

“I can’t walk to the car. I can’t get my breath,” he said.

She thought a minute. “Look, I’ll set up chairs all along the sidewalk. You can just walk from chair to chair and take your time to get to the car. If you can’t breathe, you really need to go to the doctor.”

Dad shook his head. “Not going.”

Sister in Law allowed her frustration to show, just for a moment. “Dad, I really don’t want to come in here tomorrow morning and find you dead.”

“I’ll go tomorrow. Don't worry, I'm not going to die.”

So Sister in law cancelled the appointment, telling the receptionist that Dad would reschedule. He did, for the next afternoon.

He never made it. Caretaker came to take him to that appointment and found his body.

At least Sister in Law did not find him.


Kirkepiscatoid said...

Well, and you know, he did not want to go. I'm pretty sure he was ready to be with your mom at that point.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I think Kirke is right. He just wanted it to be over. It's hard on those he left behind.