Sunday, April 30, 2006
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
That's my mom. That should be her middle name. At a time when a family should pull together, she has to start up her same old shit (heaping abuse on her oldest daughter--moi).
My dad looked better last night when I went by to see him. Monday is such a long day for me. Work and then drive an hour to a class. Then after class, drive an hour home, so it was a little after 8 before I got back to town. By the time I got there, he was sleeping, so I just watched him sleep. He woke up briefly, held my hand, talked for a few minutes. I told him to rest and that I loved him and would see him soon. I kissed him goodnight and left.
So much has happened. We finally got him back to Madville last Friday. I called his neighbor (who happens to be a Dr.) and told him everything that had been going on. He asked me if I would like him to be Dad's admitting physician and I said would you please and he said I would be more than glad to and I am very glad you called me.
Note: Edited on 5/10
I decided to come in and edit this today...I can't bear to read it as is and probably should make a copy just because I may need to reread it some day, but none of what was happening then matters at all now...Dad is gone and nothing will bring him back.
I was the first to get to the hospital here to see him. He looked better and was much less confused. My mother didn't say much to me, but...
On Sunday, things really blew up. I got a call at 7:15 that morning from the charge nurse. She stated that my father had fallen out of bed at 2:30 that morning. He had not broken any bones, but he had some scrapes and a knot on his head. She told me she didn't want to call the family at 2:30 in the morning because he was not badly injured. I asked her that morning if she had called my mom. She said she had tried her a few times and could not get an answer. I asked her to keep trying. You see, what I know about my mother is this: she would find some way to make me look like I had done something wrong simply because someone from the hospital called me to tell me about Dad. How inane is that? I could say she's a control freak, but she's far worse than that. (next 3 paragraphs edited out)
So, sure enough, when I walked in my father's room on Sunday to see him, the first thing she did was raise up in her chair (she didn't stand), point Dad's comb at me and start telling me how I needed to keep my business at my house and not bother her or anyone who lived at her house. She wanted to know why I was called and she wasn't about my dad's fall. She said "Just who put you in charge or control...keep yourself away from us and *** Gordon Ave (where they live). I was trying to defend myself and keep my cool, but she has this way of making me feel like I am that frightened little girl again and I just get weak.
I did mange to say, "Well, let's just go to the desk and find out what's charted." Sure enough, they told her that they had tried her number three times first but didn't get an answer, so they called me. I then asked who gave them my number for a second contact #. They said that whomever was with my dad when he was admitted would have provided the number. Well, that someone was my mother. What could she do? She had been proven wrong and she doesn't take that very well. When she got back to his room, she sat in the rocker and just about broke his hair comb across her leg. Then she started rocking so fast I thought she was going to rock that chair through the door or out the window or to the floor below.
Now, if this same scene had happened to me and my husband was in the hospital, I would have been grateful that someone called one of my children. I would be grateful for any help my children were providing, but again, she's has not been grateful for one thing I've done through all of this.
I am grateful that I love my children so much--unconditionally--the way children should be loved. And I am grateful that they love me that way too, despite my flaws and the mistakes I made along the way. One thing they have never had to doubt is my love.
So, it is nearly impossible to go see my dad until after my mom leaves the hospital. She didn't say that she didn't want me in the room. What she said was: (this comment was directed to my youngest brother): "Isn't it so nice and peaceful when only you and I are here alone with Artie." My daughter and I were in the room at the time.
She also refuses to speak to my daughter now because my daughter stood up for me when my mother started in that morning. My daughter has been the only grandchild who has even attempted to bond with my mother. When my children were growing up, I never told them the things she said and did to me when I was growing up. I wanted them to formulate their own opinions of her. She never asked to keep them and rarely saw them, and I never asked her to keep them as I felt she had no interest in doing so. It was only as the two oldest children were entering their teen years that they started showing more interest in her. By then, she had calmed down a lot. I had tried to let go of a lot (and thought I had, but apparently not), and so I was somewhat more comfortable being around her. Again, only my daughter really cared to be around her. Now, my mother has sabotaged that relationship as well.
(Major edit after the above comment--hate to even leave that but I need to for a little while...it may go at some point too)
Well, that's all the emotional outpouring I can handle this morning. I just feel cheated. I feel she has commited the greatest wrong this time--keeping me from my father. I can't be in the room with her. I don't know how I am going to work this out. No one reads this blog anyway--I haven't even told anyone I have a blog (other than jz who came upon it by accident), but if anyone happens upon this and actually reads all the way through it, please light a candle, get out your smudge stick, chant, or say a prayer. For my dad's recovery and for me to find the strength to find a way to be there for him.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Left town at 5 pm on 3/26 for a 4 day conference in Nashville (about 2 hours south of here). Had been there an hour when I got the call that my father had been taken to the hospital for a possible stroke.
Went to my room and repacked my bags and headed home. Got a call as I was on my way home that the hospital was life-flighting Dad to Louisville, that he had suffered an ischemic stroke, and that if he made it at all, he would most likely have brain damage.
Got home. Got my mom and youngest brother and we drove to Louisville (about 2 1/2 hours NE of here). Dad was intubated when we got there, but his vitals were stable. They took his tube out that afternoon, he was assessed by the neuro stroke team and we sat and waited and waited and waited.
By Wednesday, the NS team came to us to tell us they had no evidence that he had a stroke, that he was having (or had had) a seizure (or more than one), and that they thought a viral illness may have set off everything.
I stayed with him this past Monday while my mom and youngest brother came home to get some things. He was much improved that day and I felt much more hopeful. Mom and my brother got back that evening and have been there since.
I feel so useless here at work. They are doing more tests today. X-rays because he has some fluid in his lungs and that may be all today. Thankfully, they took the catheter out--it was irritating him so badly and now he has a bladder infection from it.
I called the Rehab Services floor here and they said they could take him as soon as the doctor there releases him. We were told by a different doctor yesterday that he has had a series of small strokes. Why can't these doctors make up their minds? The doctor said Dad would need rehab for at least a month. We all just want to get him home.
He's weak, but he's such a very strong and stubborn man. I just hope he keeps up the good fight.
I can't focus here at work. I just keep seeing his face th day I left. He finally looked more like himself. I said, "I love you, Dad" and he said, "I love you, too, Sis." He's just got to get through this. He just has to.
How does that quote go?
When you come to the edge of all that you know, you must believe one of two things: that you will be given earth to stand on or wings to fly.
Something like that. I'll keep that in mind.