What is there to say? My dad is in the hospital. It is terrible to see him so weak. My entire life, he has been impossibly strong. He never gets sick. He never has problems. He is the rock of our family. Watching him need us and need the doctors, it is just so draining.
There are a few things I’ve learned from this experience. My mom is much stronger than I ever could have given her credit for. Family feuds are rubbish and that fact can be proven when trauma manages to bring people together that haven’t spoken in years. Friends should always check in with each other and they should never wait until tomorrow to make that call they’ve been meaning to make to have dinner or coffee or to just check in.
I’ve tried to be as strong as possible for my mom’s sake and for my sister. I’ve tried to sit silently, and I’ve tried to compartmentalize as much as possible. I’m starting to lose it a little. I want my dad off the ventilator, now. I want him to sit up and smile, and I want to hear his voice.
I’m so glad that the fighting in our direct family is minimal. I have no words that I regret saying and I call and chat with my Daddy often about life and sports and everything under the sun. We’re close. I don’t know if that makes this more or less difficult.
Leaving the hospital feels terrible. Staying is, of course, not possible. I need breaks. We all need breaks. However, I can’t shake the feeling that every time I leave I risk never seeing him again. It kills me.
Last night I held his hand and as I sat there he looked at me and started rubbing the back of my hand with his thumb. It was the most comforting touch I think I’ve ever had in my life. I try to hold onto that when he’s struggling against the tube in his throat and the lines running into his arms. I try to remember that he’s fighting this and that he knows we are here and that we love him and that he loves us.
What do I do at this point? Wait. Waiting sucks and I suck at it.
I’m writing this from my dad’s room in the ICU. It seems that one moment he is doing amazing and I feel like this is almost over, and then he hits a rough patch. He’s miserable. He’s done being tied down. He wants out of bed. He’s so confused because the sedative they have him on is also an amnesiac. Every time he wakes up he isn’t sure why he is where he is or what happened. It’s hard to watch, but I can’t stop watching.
So, I watch. I wait. The nurses go back and forth checking things and changing things and explaining what they are doing to my nurse mom in words and numbers that make little sense to me. I’m grateful that I can at least watch monitors and know what the numbers mean. That helps a little.
I suppose now is a good place to stop. I’m drained, but I needed to get stuff out. I needed to be able to put words to the way I’ve been feeling. Contrary to the fact that I have a blog would suggest, I’m intensely private. I’m not good at sharing and I hate excess attention. I’ve been holding a lot in because of that and I decided it was time to try and get a little bit of it out.
It’s been days of hugs and commiserating words. They are all appreciated and I wouldn’t want them to stop, but I am losing my ability to cope with them without melting down a bit. Tomorrow is another day and hopefully a better day. Tomorrow I’m going to walk in and he’s going to be better enough that the pump can come out of his aorta and the ventilator can come out of his lungs. It has to be that way. I’m not sure how many more days of this I can stand…