My father is the worst patient.
In the past few days, he has pulled out IVs, tried to get out of bed, and has been snippy and outright grumpy. He has argued with staff, snapped at us family and has been generally a pain in the ass. I’ve gotten rolled eyes, hand gestures, and grunts.
And if that’s me, I would hate to see what my mother has put up with.
Now, part of it could be the medication. And, it was a major surgery. He is also experiencing the withdrawal from nicotine. But, mainly, he hates hospitals and will do anything to get the hell out of there.
My father harbors resentment towards the medical field. Preventive care is not a phrase I have ever heard uttered from my dad’s lips. Doctors just tell him what to do, but not necessarily because it’s the best thing. He knows himself and ain’t no whippersnapper with a degree will tell him otherwise.
Hospitals “kill” people, even though he has seen me after two C-Sections and is aware of Mayita’s MRSA issue.
Believe me, over the years, I have slowly come to discover my father’s hatred. It’s just become worse over the past year. He got himself into a car accident (allegedly the sun “got in his eyes”) he refused medical treament. For goodness sake he was disoriented and the airbag deployed, but no dice. It was over a month later that he finally saw his primary care doctor and still refused to follow his orders.
It takes so much cajoling and prodding to get him to get a test done. This whole thing last October required so much talking from us daughters and his lovely wife that I was drained afterwards. Even then, he was combative and had to be restrained while in his bed. Dad even discharged himself early, against orders, because of “something wrong with the water pump at the farm.” I wish I were kidding.
I’m glad that he listened to us and accepted the first available date for the Whipple procedure (originally he felt the 13th was superstitious even though it wasn’t even a Friday). But, otherwise, it’s been difficult to reason with him. Because of his breathing issues, he needs a respiratory therapist and do exercises. Well, he bitches and moans about that. He wants food (ha), but kvetches about the feeding tube.
And all he wants to do is get up and move but after major surgery, you know what will happen when he tries to stand on his own. He’s still in ICU and won’t move until his O2 levels improve. But if you’re not taken the exercises seriously, how ARE you going to leave?
I have tried to be nice. I have put myself between Dad and staff, like Switzerland of the hospital. But even so, I have resorted to “Mom” mode like I have with my own kids. I have shaken my finger, changed my tone, and given the “Evil Eye”. He is not taken my change of personality happily.
I have to not take it personally but it’s hard. When your own parent chastises you for trying to help them, how can you not?