My father passed away early yesterday morning, 15 December 2005. Today he would have celebrated his 65th birthday.
Initially the doctors thought he had obstructive jaundice but an ultrasound scan showed that there wasn't any obstruction in the bile duct. To be very sure, they wanted to do an ERCP, a procedure that involved inserting an endoscope into his body to take a "picture" of the bile ducts. On the scheduled day, Friday 9 December, his blood pressure plunged down and he became semi-conscious. A few days prior to that his liver function test results came back with bad reading and he was confirmed to have Hepatitis B. His liver was badly damaged.
On Tuesday, 13 December, he lapsed into a coma. The doctors told us to be prepared. We discharged him from the hospital and engaged a private nurse to tend to him. On Wednesday night, the nurse warned us that his condition had deteriorated. At about four-something on Thursday morning, my phone rang. My niece said to come over immediately. I "flew" to mum's. My sister greeted me at the door. "It's too late. None of us saw him go. By the time the nurse woke us up, Pa was already gone. He breathed his last at four-ten."
My father is gone. It was way too soon. I'd always thought he'd be around for a long time. I worried about his Parkinson Disease. It was diagnozed in September 2004 and I'd been taking him to UMMC for treatment. But the PD was the "red herring," the liver disease was the real killer.
I regret not being more proactive when my father first fell sick about a month ago. We should have checked him into the hospital earlier. The doctors said even if he had gone in earlier, it would have still had been too late because the liver condition was already chronic.
If only we'd known earlier. Ignorance is NOT bliss. Ignorance is DANGER when it comes to health.
My father has departed from this world. Way too soon. From now on when I pass by a red and white taxi, I will remember him and visualize him behind the wheel of his beloved taxi.