We know he has a tumor in his mouth but are waiting to see an oncologist and don’t really understand how fast the tumor can grow or its exact location. We understand the tumor has tethered his tongue and he can’t move it at all. In mid-August at his physical, I watched as the doctor had him stick out his tongue and put her hands in his mouth to see if she could find any reason he was slurring and found nothing. A month later, he can’t move his tongue and finds eating painful. Could the tumor be growing that fast and be blocking his airway?
My Dad agrees to go to the Emergency Room — our appointment with the oncologist is several days away and now my Brother and I are worried my Dad might choke to death before we even get to that appointment. I meet my Dad, Mom and Brother at the Emergency Room.
My Dad sits quietly, but my Mom begins to grow anxious and asks why we are here. She tries to talk my Dad into leaving. When we review the reasons we came with my Dad, he agrees to wait a little longer. My Dad is called and I walk with him back to see the Doctor while my Brother stays with my Mom. I tell the Doctor that he seems to be choking, recap the details of the tumor and mention that we haven’t seen our Dad take in more than a few sips of liquid in days. They put him on an IV as we wait to see if he’s aspirated.
The activity and change of scenery is difficult on my Mom and she is agitated. She starts talking loudly and rudely in the waiting room. My Brother brings my Mom to visit my Dad in hopes it will calm her down. Instead, she begins to berate my Dad and now he is agitated too. She demands that we leave and my Dad tries to get up but realizes he has an IV in his arm. My mom moves to pull it out of his arm. As I’m trying to divert my Mom, my brother goes to get Security.
We recognize that the change of scenery and getting bumped from my being my Dad’s advocate has tipped her scale and she is really off-balance. My Mom orders me to leave the room. Before I go, I make her promise me that she won’t pull the IV out of Dad’s arm. As I walk out, the nursing staff moves in as my brother arrives with Security. Thankfully one of the nurses is able to soothe my Mom and helps walk her to the car so my Brother can take her home.
I as sit in the hallway, the ridiculousness of the situation hits me and I begin to laugh I’m still chuckling as I walk back into my Dad’s room to continue the wait. Witnessed.