Hello everyone, I am new here and just need some advice. Two years ago, I took my father to the hospital to have an umbilical hernia repaired. It was supposed to be a simple outpatient procedure. The surgeon came out and informed me that they would need to keep him overnight for observation because they had to drain a few liters of fluid off his abdomen. I was confused and the surgeon flipped through his chart and said, "it's probably a complication from his diabetes and liver disease." Well, needless to say I was shocked, mainly because I had no idea that he had either of the diseases. Later, while in his room, some Dr.'s from Internal Medicine came in to talk with him, and he made me leave the room! So, I have no idea what went on in there. This was very upsetting to me to be left in the dark. I am my fathers only child and he is no longer married to my mother. I was very distressed and scared, but I decided not to say anything to him because I wanted him to have a stress-free recovery from his surgery. He recovered and really seemed to be doing well, and I have never asked him about the diseases that he has been hiding from me.
It is now two years later, and I can tell that he is ill. I know he goes to the VA often. When I was visiting him last weekend, I sneaked a peak into his medicine cabinet and was amazed at the array of prescriptions that he takes. He takes high blood pressure medicine, but I knew that. He had medicine for diabetes, beta-blockers, medicine for cholesterol, diuretics, prescription vitamins, and anti-biotics that said they were for "fluid in the abdomen." There were others, I just cannot remember them all.
Needless to say, he has never discussed his health with me so I have no clue what the deal is. All of he research I have done on his symptoms leads me to Liver disease. My father is tough as nails and I know that he does not want me to worry or fret over him. He is the best dad in the world and I know he is just trying to protect me. My question is this: Do I continue to pretend that I am clueless to his health problems or should I confront him with this? I am scared that it would break his heart to find out that I know of his illnesses, as he is only trying to protect me. Are there anyone out there who has been in a situation like this that can help me?