Time Passing

Time is getting away from me in more ways than one. I'm sorry I haven't posted… I think you'll understand.

A week ago yesterday, my dad slipped and fell in their garage and hit his head on the cement floor. He was briefly knocked unconcious, but woke right away and as usual, refused to let my mom help him up. She called for an ambulance while he was out so they came and helped get him in the house but he again refused to go to the doctor. No surprise.

She said he ate lunch then, seemed okay, but as the day went on she caught him staring into space and eventually he got less and less lucid. She called the ambulance back, but by the time they got to the house he was unconcious. We got the call at 9:30 p.m. that she was in the emergency room and they were going to perform emergency brain surgery on him to relieve pressure caused by bleeding in his brain. He'd been on blood thinner and that complicated things and made his fall worse.

We drove down there as quickly as we could (about an hour away) and met mom and found out they'd be taking him into surgery about 11:30 – and that it was a 4-5 hour procedure. They'd warned mom that the prognosis wasn't good, but you need to take the chance. I found out later that when they brought him in one of his pupils was dialated which isn't a good sign – means there was pressure on the brain stem and that there will most likely be permanent damage. They just can't say how much. If he will be paralyzed, a vegetable, or what. They said there was a chance he could wake up after 36 hours, or because he is an older man (77) he may not wake for a week or more.

Surgery went fine. He's been on a ventilator ever since and has yet to wake. They put a feeding tube down his nose on the second day and he's been having fevers that keep going up and down – they're not sure what that is, if he has a touch of pneumonia or what. They've done some cultures to find out and started him on antibiotics a couple of days ago. He was scheduled to have a tracheotomoy (sp?) put in his throat on Wednesday, but that was before they started antibotics and they decided to wait until today (friday) to put it in along with a plug in his stomach for feeding. That way they can get rid of the nose tube and the tube in his mouth and upper throat which will make it a bit more comfortable for him. Also, they started some physcial therapy on Wednesday as well. Moving the life support to the neck will make physical therapy easier.

We've had cardiologists coming in as well because his pulse keeps fluctuating so badly. They think he needs a pacemaker, but we're not going there yet. The blood pressure has been regulated and they never did get the results of the parkinsons test – they were to meet with that doctor next month! Also, of course, they've been trying to thicken up his blood ever since the accident, too, which the neurologist wants and the cardiologist does not. Is nuts.

We got their puppy boarded at their vet the first day and their neighbors have been cleaning off their driveway and sidewalks.

I had a hard time getting mom to go home after the first day. We were at the hospital then until almost 4:30 to see his surgery complete and got him settled into the ICU. We then drove mom home (she lives right there in town, about a 15 min drive) and we headed home, exhausted. Almost home we got a call from the hospital. Dad's blood pressure had dropped dramatically and they called us back. After than I couldn't get her to leave, but at least got her to eat. It is very cold in the hospital rooms and because of his fever they'd even put a fan on him at various times that made it even chillier there. She spent the first night then with him and froze… not getting much sleep, so I got her to go home the nights since then.

I've been getting her to eat and go home to sleep, and making sure she takes her medicine. She has a cold and I keep telling her if she doesn't take care of herself there is only one of me and I can't be in two rooms at once.

I've been keeping extended family informed on a daily basis about what is going on and should have told you all sooner, but just couldn't seem to find the time. Yesterday we got a bad ice storm, then about 8" of snow on top, so I told mom to pack a bag and plan on staying there last night and I stayed home – and am home today. All the nurses and doctors have been very nice, but they can't do anything to change the situation… we just won't know anything until he wakes up. He has stimulus to pain, but that's all and my mom keeps clinging to the fact he'll grasp her hand – but the doctor has told her that is just a reflex and not to put too much stock in it. If they can tell him to release her hand and he does that, then he's getting somewhere.

On top of everything else, yesterday was my birthday. Oh, well… if there is any kind of positive thought I can have about this it is that he didn't die on my birthday – I seriously was dreading that possibility.

So, now you know what's been going on. Keep a good thought, please. It is one of those situations where I love my dad, but I really don't like my dad. As an only child I know there is a long road ahead for all of us – no matter what the outcome. Thank god my parents don't live in Arkansas anymore. That's one saving grace.

No Christmas cards this year (again)… not putting up the tree. I did put a few things out just to make the house a bit more festive, but it's going to be a pretty quiet Christmas, most of the kids won't be coming until the Friday night after Christmas as they were all to our house for Thanksgiving and I have to share them. Is okay. I may be at the hospital at least part of the day. Just taking it a day at a time right now. If I don't get back to say it, hope you and yours have a good Christmas and a blessed New Year.

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Middle-aged. Anti-social. Mom. Grandma. Town-raised farmer's wife. Iowan. Want more? Come read the blogs.

16 thoughts on “Time Passing”

  1. Sue, my thoughts are with you and your family. I’m so sorry. I know you love your dad even if you don’t like him much- doesn’t make this any easier to go through.

    Big love from Seattle.

  2. My best wishes to you and your family right now. I say this all the time to people who face this situation — sit down with your father and say everything. It doesn’t matter if he can hear or not, say it. Do the same with your mom. Don’t wait.

    I lost both of my parents very suddenly — my mom to a stroke when I was 16, and my dad died in his sleep one night when I was 35. I had no goodbyes, no last moments, and I get angry and sad about the things I didn’t ask or didn’t say. I tell people not to wait until those last minutes — get everything said as much as you can, damn the things you fear might happen. If you have to say goodbye, it’s better if that’s the only thing you haven’t said.

  3. I’m so sorry to hear about what’s going on with your family — my thoughts are with you that he wakes up soon and feels just fine. Fortunately, he has you and your mother around him.

  4. I can actually say that I know how you feel. When my dad almost died a year ago I was right where you are now. Stay strong & know you are in our thoughts and prayers.

  5. So sorry Sue…family crisis’s at the holidays always seem to magnify the stress on those involved. I hope you and your Mom keep your health up and I hope your dad does not feel any pain. I shall say a prayer for you and your family. pat

  6. Oh my goodness Sue… I am so sorry to hear this. What a frightening awful thing. I am keeping you, your dad, your mom and your family in my thoughts. Keep us updated. Hugs.

  7. This is a really hard thing to go through, but somehow we manage. I would get your mom a small electric blanket and let her stay there. She will want to spend time with him no matter if he is asleep all the time. Good thoughts sent your way.

  8. Sue..I’m sorry.

    You’ve been on my mind so much, lately, and I had a feeling something was going on.

    I pray that your Dad will heal, with no complications.

    Remember that you are loved.

  9. I am so sorry you’re going through all this right now. I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts and hope there are no complications for your Dad.

  10. I am so sorry to hear this Sue.
    Positive thoughts coming your way. (2008’s been rough eh?)

    Make sure you remember to take care of yourself in all this. Hugs.

  11. I never know what to say at moments like this.

    Everything that I try to type comes out feeling so cliche and over done.

    I’m sorry that you and yous are going through this, especially during what is supposed to be the season of joy and hope…..

    Be strong, dearheart. Be strong.


  12. Sue, I am so very sorry about all of this. {{Hug}} I understand what you feel for your Dad. Reading this post took me back a bit.

    My thoughts are with you and all your family.

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