Monday, January 9, 2012

When Life Throws You a Curve Ball...

Where have I been? It's really been quite the month. Sometimes I have the opportunity to "vent" in writing, but truly, I haven't had the chance or opportunity.

On the evening of December 6th, I got a call at home from my mom saying something was wrong with my daddy. She was calling 911. And I just want to take this opportunity to extend my sincerest thanks to Centerville Company 3 Rescue. You all are awesome.

I high-tailed it into the car and headed for their home. They live about 25 minutes from our end of Goochland County. I had just gotten home from the gym, dripping in sweat. Needless to say, I was a stinky mess. Forego the shower, changed clothes, and down I-64 I headed. My parents' neighbor was a fire and rescue volunteer for a while. He called me while en route and told me that Daddy had a hernia, and not to bust my butt getting to the hospital, that I had plenty of time.

I arrived at the ER at Henrico Doctors Hospital. I hate the ER....I really think I can handle being "sick" better than going to the ER. THREE hours later, a doctor examines my father. They give him medicine for the pain he was experiencing in his abdominal area, take an x-ray, and then make him drink some CT-scan radioactive liquid for 45 minutes. So, four hours later, they determine my dad has an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Couldn't we have gotten to this a little sooner?

Surgical team went into place almost immediately, and surgery took about 5 hours. We were told by the surgeon not to wait there (it was at that point, 11:30 at night),to go home and get some rest. I came home to find the three-year old running around our house like a chicken with his head cut off. It took me until 2 a.m. to get that child to sleep. He knew something was wrong with "Pop", so I couldn't fuss at the little guy. I avoided the sleeping pill for the evening, just in case Dr. Z. called and told me to get back to the hospital, that things were not looking good. At approximately 4 a.m. my cellphone rang, dad had made it through the surgery successfully and was now in ICU.

Another place I hate as much as the ER...ICU. I knew my visit with Dad on Wednesday was going to be a tough one. He had the vent going into his throat, the nurse was pumping him full of more meds than can be found in your local CVS store, and the bed was turning him every few minutes. He was in this state for a while. I took FMLA for four weeks to be with him, to assist with taking my mom to doctor appointments, to take care of my own family, and just try to find a way to "exist."

Dad made huge strides with his breathing, and within two weeks, was off the vent, and taken to a different wing of the hospital. No comment....I hate PSU at HDH and the nurses there. There was ONE out of all of them, that would take the time with Daddy, help him to eat, and make sure he was well-taken care of. Quite frankly, I was glad to see him go to rehabilitation. While I was apprehensive, I knew it was the best thing for him.

Dad is home and is progressing well. He has an occupational therapist, physical therapist, and a nurse visiting three days a week. He's exhausted by the end of the day, but is alive!

Thank you to my church family, Second Baptist. We have felt your love, and prayers. This for a man who believes in God, but is not religious. I have a feeling that will change in the near future. I told him that he needed to get on his hands and knees and thank God for every day!

As for myself, I have dealt with my anger....with mom's depression, dad's illness, and just the curve balls that life has thrown our way in 2011. I was watching a CMA special on TV before the holidays, and Amy Grant sang "Breath of Heaven". I sobbed my eyes out, got on my hands and knees, and told God how sorry I was for my anger. I know He heard me.

May the new year bring all of you peace, joy, and much happiness.

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