Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ready to Write

A lot has happened since I last wrote.

Dad had been in and out of the hospital well over one month after he celebrated his 90th birthday.  My brother (Reluctant Heart) called with updates; I took frantic notes just as I’d done in the past.

This time, in addition to his existing major health issues like Congenital Heart Failure, Dementia, Incontinence, and everything else he’d come to live with in the past, a terrifying new landscape emerged: C. Diff, Pneumonia - and then - Seizures.

I spoke with Dad’s Neurologist; there was no sign of stroke, no fluid on the brain and no way to measure the damage done to Dad’s brain.  They ran several EEG’s, there was little, if any, change.  The only other thing they could do to find the cause (for someone Dad's age and with Dementia) would be a spinal tap.  I could not agree to make Dad go through that painful procedure.

I grew restless.  Reluctant Heart brother sounded hopeful over the phone since Dad rebounded after his first seizure, but that was it.  The seizure activity grew to where he could no longer talk on the phone.  I couldn’t stand it.  I had to go see for myself, especially with a heart and mind deeply etched with devastating Brain Injury experience, I was on high alert.

I couldn’t sleep.

I paced.

I stared out the window.  A lot.

Who was I kidding?

I wasn’t doing a darn bit of good here, I was already there; I might as well just get my body there too!  I took my Sister-in-Law’s Mom’s advice to heart about being helpful from a distance and thought she was right, but the inner message was unmistakable and unrelenting, I HAD to go.  No reason or excuse could override this crystal clear, deep sense of knowing.

Shortly before we left, my Rebel Heart brother had me on speakerphone in Dad’s hospital room, I told Dad I didn’t know how or when, but I’m on my way, I have to be there.  My brother said Dad coughed and opened his eyes a little; we believed Dad knew what I’d said.

I told Richard I needed to go, he could stay and care for the animals, but I have to go NOW.  He said whenever I want to go, we’d go.  I looked at the calendar, with appointments scheduled for the next couple of weeks and thought quietly about logistics.  Easy.  I’ll just postpone all my appointments to the first week in May.  Done.

Remarkable speed and focus getting the house prepared were on our side, we had a mission, and there was no way Richard would let me drive it alone.  Wise man!  :)  Richard asked a friend to look after the cats and horses, he told us to not worry about the animals…that was such a huge gift.

I called Dad’s Assisted Living facility since my Reluctant Heart brother told me he read that they allow family members to stay overnight for free.  I spoke with the Executive Director was gracious, kind, and understanding.  He welcomed us to stay and even have meals there if we wanted.

Instead of us heading out the weekend of April 20th, we left abruptly Wednesday, April 17th around 3:30 am!  The 12-hour drive was quite uneventful, for which I’m grateful.  A distinct lack of excitement was quite a nice respite.

We went straight to the hospital, I was eager to see Dad and completely unafraid of what I might see…

(To be continued…a lot happened over the last few weeks and I want to be sure to honor the insight, truth, and beauty in this story by allowing this message to unfold in its own time.  Thank you in advance for your patience.)  :)

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