My mom called me yesterday with concerns that my difficult child-Dad's health is deteriorating again. The main issue right now is his congestive heart failure. The swelling in his legs and feet is much better than it used to be, but his right leg is showing more signs of edema lately. He's been on oxygen 24/7 for a few years now (he's had lung scarring most of his life from possible childhood asbestos exposure and repeated pneumonias, and was a heavy smoker for 30 years), but my mom said he is now having trouble speaking loudly enough to be heard. He is having bladder incontinence during the day (we think this is a sphincter issue because he's okay when he's lying down at night). And his mental state is becoming unstable. His thinking is disorganized, he becomes confused easily and now he's talking about dropping all his medications for a week (last time he did this, he ended up in the hospital with a major potassium problem). Mom wanted to take him to the hospital last night, but he wouldn't hear of it. He has a doctor's appointment this afternoon and she's pretty sure they're going to have him admitted anyway, based on his current condition. I've accepted that my dad's days are severely numbered, and being the difficult child that he is and has been all my life, I'm not that broken up about it. More than anything, I'm concerned for my mom and the stress this puts on her. She says he is much easier to deal with when his mental status is compromised, but to tell you the truth, he wold be easiest to deal with if he just wasn't here at all. I know that sounds horrible to some people, but given the mess he's in physically and mentally, and given the mess he's made of people's lives over the years, days like today I think it would be better for everyone if the suffering ended sooner. So today, I'm praying for peace... for my mom, and even my difficult child-dad.