Angels in green scrubs

Feb 21, 2001
Dad's not going to make it long. He's gone steadily downhill for the last month. The medical diagnosis? Failure to Thrive. Sounded funny to me. What they say when you're old and just wear out. He won't eat, won't drink. Needs a lot of oxygen. He's been back in the hospital since Thursday. Tomorrow he goes to a nursing home to wait it out. He probably weighs about 90 pounds. Think Aushwitz. He still knows us, but that's about all. Got him to drink about a third of a can of "Boost" nuitrition drink tonight, about 80 calories. Put the straw to his mouth and he said "No".

"Pop, you've got to eat to live."

"I won't do it"

So I told him it was his decision. It's about the only one he can still make.

Went by this morning before work and told him "You're about the best dad a boy could have."

"Thank you" So he understood me. I needed him to know that. I was pretty red-eyed getting on the elevator.

Tell your mom and dad how you feel before it's too late. Hell tell everybody you love before it's too late.

But this post isn't about him, or me. It's about the nurses and aides. The blessed, sweet, comforting, diaper changing, ass wiping, pain stopping, patient, kind, honorable women and men that are the only thing thing that keeps a hospital from being sucked into fiery depths of Hell. The doctors may be arrogant and condescending, the administrators unfeeling, the clerks rigid, unbending, and totally inhuman, but the nurses, God love 'em, they give comfort and relief. And it's not because they are required to do it, or they're paid to do it. It's because they're good people and they love helping folks.

The sixth floor is the bad floor. If you go there, you're f**ked. Not many folks get better on this floor. So it's the toughest one on the nurses. As little stout Becky rolled my dad on his side to get a new diaper on him I told her "Thanks" .
"For what hun?"
"For this" and I looked down at my dad.
"We couldn't do it if we didn't love it"

They're angels.


Howard Wallace

Feb 23, 1999
Best wishes for your dad as he works out his karma.

That's one of the old classical ways to go out in the (Asian) Indian traditions. When it's time you just stop eating.

I share your perception of the nurses. I may be biased because Red Flower is a nurse practitioner. The job she just got will involve caring for the elderly in nursing homes.
Nov 5, 2005
Sorry to hear about your Dad Steve. I'm going through a similar thing with mine.
My Dad has been in the Hospital for a week now. He came down with that nasty cold virus going around. I had it the begining of December and it really wiped me out for a week. My Dad is 78, on oxygen full time and developed pneumonia from this crud. He's getting to the point where he dosen't want to eat and my Mom and I have to go down and make sure he does.
I watched him slowly waste away from 160 lbs to around 110 maybe over the last 2 years.

So, Prayers and Smoke for Steve's Dad and mine please.:thumbup:
Jan 30, 2002
Hey Steve?

I like your Dad.

A Good man.

Runs in the family apparently.
Oct 13, 1999
Smoke and prayers for your dad, Ferg. Have to second you on the nurses. They're often invaluable.

May 18, 1999
Y'all with good dad's are so lucky and I envy y'all.:thumbup: :cool: :D
It's a good thing I had a good momma or I may not have made it this far down the trail.:thumbup:
Smoke up for all the good and great dad's everywhere!:cool:

And I have to agree about the nurses. more than 99% of them are exactly like you say!:thumbup:
Jun 4, 2002
Sorry to hear about your dad Steve, but glad to hear good folks are looking after him. Stay strong, prayers headed your way.

Jul 30, 2004
Our thoughts go out to you and your dad, Steve.

I spent a lot of time in hospitals with my dad. Took family medical leave act from my job for weeks. I have no regrets. We parted on good terms.

and yeah, nurses are amazing, to do the things that they do and see in a day. How do they do it? A nurse close to me told me it is common for nurses right out of school to just go in the bathroom and cry. She has done it herself.

More than once, I think.

Nov 7, 2005
compassion, caring, and kindness. All of them wonderful things.

Sorry to hear about your dad.
Nov 26, 2002
Sorry you're going through this, Steve. Happened with my father, and more recently, my uncle. When it's time, it's time.

We're here, if there's ANYTHING we can do. We owe you, man. For many things.
Jun 9, 1999
Aardvark said:
Sorry you're going through this, Steve. Happened with my father, and more recently, my uncle. When it's time, it's time.

We're here, if there's ANYTHING we can do. We owe you, man. For many things.

Second that.


Got the Khukuri fevah
May 9, 2002
Prayers for you and your dad, Steve. "Failure to thrive" is something you don't hear much about. In this day in age we can pinpoint the cause of illness and death down to one or at least a few variables. IMHO, it takes a bit of the dignity and romance out of dying when you get to a certain age. Failure to thrive is for those are strong and wise and know. They might be scared, they might even be a bit bitter, but they are at peace. Clinging to life is not something that they need. In my absolutely ignorant take on this world, that means that your dad has lived a good life, raised a good family, and now feels the pull from something greater. God bless you and yours, Steve.

As for nurses, by God you have to be a special breed to do that job. People come to you sick, tired, dying, having the worse day of there lives, or just grouchy as hell. You have to meet them first, take their vitals, sometimes stick them with needles. You KNOW that they have filled out 17 pages of paperwork, sat in a room of sickness and filth, been ushered like a piece of meat, and have probably met with a doctor that strides like a god. As a nurse you feel compassion for this. You want to heal the pain that they feel. Every time that I have gone into the hospital scared to death, it was the nurses that made my stay somewhat of a good thing. Hospitals are filled with many of the things that you will find in the worst parts of the bible. Nurses represent the things that you find in the better parts.

Smoke and prayers for all that need them. There is always enough smoke to go 'round.

Apr 23, 2003
Prayers for your family, Steve. It does take a special person to handle nursing. Compassion is a gift for sure. I'm glad your family is seeing the best to care for your dad. That is special.

Yangdu Himalayan Imports-Owner
Apr 5, 2005
Prayers & smoke for your father, Steve
Jun 4, 2004
very sorry Steve.

Prayers for your family.

My wife was a nures aid, then a RN.

She cared for terminal cancer patients after watching her mom die at 56 of cancer.

She's my angel now.

Can't type no more...

Mar 14, 2000
Best wishes for both of you.

ferguson said:
Tell your mom and dad how you feel before it's too late. Hell tell everybody you love before it's too late.

I couldn't agree more.