First, I want to say thank you to everyone who has expressed their prayers and support; I am thankful beyond words and I know my father would be too.
The conference call with the care team never happened. There was a miscommunication, and, long story short, Dad is now settled at long-term acute care hospital. It seems to be an excellent facility and I was able to schedule a call for tomorrow with his primary doctor. This long distance thing just plain sucks. If it weren't for my job and home responsibilities, I never would've left Dad's side. I'm just grateful that my brother can be there with him.
I'd like to share a little of my Dad's history to explain why I'm finding so much irony in his current situation. Dad was ordained as a pastor in the early 80's when I was just a toddler. In 1988, he left parish work and became certified as a chaplain, working in a large hospital setting until just a few years ago. I'm not clear on the particulars, but I know he began having difficulty coming to terms with how impersonal and bureaucratic such an environment was. He started working in an acute care/hospice setting and "specialized" in assisting patients and families with the bereavement process. In part, I think he was motivated by his experience with his mother's hospice experience and subsequent passing from inoperable pancreatic cancer.
A couple of years ago, he was a casualty of the economy and lost his job here in Texas. He struggled to find a new position, as he didn't want to go back to that strictly institutional type environment. After a long job search, he found a position in Montana and moved up there almost 2 years ago. Just days before the AVM ruptured, he was down here visiting, and at dinner one night, we had a lengthy conversation about work and how much he absolutely loved his job.
Now Dad is experiencing acute care as a patient, and we're trying to deal with all the "red tape" situations he always complained about. I struggle in communicating with his care providers; having worked in acute care and hospice for so long, my dad had developed specific ideas about level of care, quality of life, etc. for patients, and families, in those environments. Everyone seems so focused on keeping Dad alive that they tend to have tunnel vision when it comes to his care.
I look at my dad in his current condition and think back on all those conversations. Although I know recovery/rehabilitation is not impossible, I also know this is not what he would've wanted for himself. I am grieving for my father: not in the sense that I've lost him, but in the sense that he currently seems to be in limbo, and there's nothing I can currently do to change his situation or prognosis.
I apologize for such a long post; this is just such an awesome arena for venting my fears and frustrations, that once I start typing, I can't seem to stop. :-)