I’m having a bit of a frustration right now – not only with work, but with family. Not my immediate family – they’re great. No, I’m having elderly parents vs. only child syndrome. My parents aren’t all that old – early 70’s. In the past couple of years, however, my father’s health has deteriorated quite a bit. Mostly due to the need for a hip replacement – really, both hips. He’s been having trouble with pain, losing his balance and falling, and as stubborn as he is, this isn’t good. He’s growly on a good day, let alone when he’s in pain. He’s also very independent and hates to have anyone fussing over him. He falls, then won’t let anyone help him get up. He’s 6’5″, so that’s a long ways to fall, and a lot of man to get up.
When I was younger but living away from home, my mom would whisper into the phone “Your Dad’s not feeling very well today. He has (insert ailment here). He would have a cold, or a touch of the flu, or occasionally something worse, but God Forbid he should want me to know about it. It was a secret that had to stay between my mother and myself or else Dad wouldn’t tell Mom anything. Weird, I know. Welcome to my world.
At any rate, he’s been having trouble now for a couple of years with his hips and has been in quite a bit of pain. After several doctors telling him he needs this surgery, he’s finally agreed to it. I’m guessing the pain has gotten so severe he can’t live with it anymore and we keep telling him if he doesn’t do something soon he’ll fall and break it and be forced into the operating room, or end up in a wheelchair. Part of this I think is fear. He was in the hospital about 4 years ago for some tests and told us then that it was the very first time he’d ever been in the hospital – he wasn’t even born in a hospital!
I’m frustrated because it’s so hectic at work right now and I won’t be able to get off to go be with them. The surgery will be a day and he’ll have to be in the hospital for about 3 days at least, and it’s a good day’s drive away from where I live. I’m feeling guilty because I’m not there, but know if I were there it would probably just make him more uncomfortable. Oh, I don’t know… right now my brain is just fried. Too tired to make any sense of anything except I feel badly for Mom, glad Dad is finally getting something done. Hoping it’s going to bring him relief, and wishing it was over.
Just having a family moment. Thanks for listening.