Psalm 23 came to my mind again today while I was visiting my dad in the hospital, and again while I was going for a walk this afternoon, except that time, it became a prayer:
"Lord, let my Dad know that you will be His Shepherd, and that because of that, He shall not want. That You will make him to lie down in green pastures... lead him beside the still waters... restore his soul. Lead him in the paths of righteousness for Your Name's sake. Let him know that, though he walks through the valley of the shadow of death, he need not fear any evil, real or imagined, because you will be with him. That your rod and your staff will comfort him. That you will prepare a table before him in the presence of his enemies (enemies being Alzheimer's, and now, renal failure)... that you will anoint his head with oil, that his cup shall overflow. That surely goodness and mercy shall follow him all the days of his life, and that he shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever... help him put his trust in You."
After my last update, my Dad took a turn for the worse again. He began to get weaker, had trouble walking, and lost his appetite. My step mom had planned to take him to the doctor for a check-up, but last night he fell again at the Assisted Living home. He wound up at the emergency room where they determined he was in renal failure (sudden kidney failure) and was admitted. So the fall wound up being a blessing in disguise. His kidney function was at only 4%. Had it not improved, they would have started dialysis, but it rose to 10% during the night, which was a big relief for all of us.
The doctor believed that there might be some type of blockage causing the renal failure, so he has hope that it will be reversible. We will be waiting and praying.
This morning I couldn't get to the hospital fast enough to see him after dropping my daughter off at school. When I arrived in his room, he looked better than I expected. He was sleeping, but looked peaceful. My step mom and I talked for a bit, exchanged hugs, and she left to go take a break. Then he awoke when the skin specialist came in to check on a couple of spots on his skin, and stayed awake for a good while afterward, and I was able to visit with him. He must have been feeling at least some better, because he tried to get out of bed several times, which I had to firmly yet lovingly prevent. I also tried to make sure he was comfortable, and give him water to drink when he wanted it, from a small cup with a straw. I was also able to get him to eat a little applesauce.
When it was time for me to go pick up my daughter from school, my step mom still wasn't there. She had gotten held up by traffic. So I talked to the nurse, who promised me she would keep a close eye on him, and I dragged myself away. I felt better knowing he was asleep again when I left. Turns out he was just fine until my step mom arrived, and she called me later to talk about how my visit went.
I can't wait to see him again tomorrow. I would go back tonight, but we live too far away from the hospital.