Sometimes I feel like I'm not going to have my father for long. Whatever the validity behind the poignant feeling, it is one that leaves me powerless; with little to do but at the same time with a sense of obligation to do something about it. Like me, he is morbidly obese. Unlike me he has done little to change this problem. Don't get me wrong, I still struggle with my weight. I still go back to my bad habits from time to time. Sometimes it feels like I move 2 steps forward one day, and the next I move one step backwards. But the truth is that I'm still moving forward. Painfully slow but forward. The truth is that ever since I was diagnosed with Diabetes a couple of years back, I had lost a total of 46 pounds.
By the time I was diagnosed with Diabetes, my Dad was diagnosed with Pre-Diabetes. Back then, he was starting to gain a lot of weight. He was also starting to fall asleep at times when he shouldn't, for example, when driving. A few months later he was diagnosed with sleep apnea, which the doctor said was reversible if he lost the weight. He changed his eating habits for a few months, lost some considerable amount of weight, and was feeling much better. But he stopped. And gained the weight back, and then some. Much more. Unfortunately, being obese for him has a far greater negative effect than what is the case for me. He falls asleep whenever he is not active. He falls asleep almost everyday while driving to work, while being at mass, while watching t.v.. It is almost impossible for him to finish a movie. It is almost impossible for him to not fall asleep unless he is standing, or worse, eating. I've seen him on his days off work sleeping all day and night, waking up just to eat, then try to watch t.v. for a while, and falling asleep after a few minutes of trying.
He promised he would change all of this for this New Year. He told me not to worry. He even crossed his heart. But we are more than 3 months into the year, and still little to no change. He continues to gain weight. He is having trouble breathing. When he is trying to tie his shoes his breathing problems becomes painfully evident, as you can hear his throat blocking the air. Normally, he breaths as if tired, as if out of breath. I feel like he might not last in this state for long. Maybe I'm overreacting, maybe not. He could fall asleep while driving on the freeway, on his way of work. I have seen him do this, sometimes I had to wake him up while he was driving. I told him he shouldn't drive anymore, but he ignores my pleas. He could get a heart attack. He could develop Atherosclerosis, if he hasn't developed it yet. He is probably Diabetic by now. This afternoon, after a hearty BBQ lunch that we had with my family, we decided to watch a movie. He of course, fell asleep before the previews ended. He woke up looking for ice cream, served himself some and then proceeded to check something on the internet. He finished his ice cream, and fell sleep without finishing whatever he was doing on the internet. How much lower does he needs to go before he finally wakes up? How much longer until he finally listen? I thought all these questions, sad. "Enjoy you dad as long as you have it" said my mom, "There is nothing you can do other than pray to God for him to open his eyes". "Yes I know" I responded. I know because I also didn't want to listen when I was weighing 355 pounds. I didn't want to listen until I decided to listen and make the changes that I'm still struggling to master. What should I do? I honestly don't know what to do, other than watching him slowly deteriorate until, God forbids, he dies pre-maturely.