Just when things seemed better.

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they get worse. On March 5th my dad was flown to the hospital where I live, with what was initially described to me as a brain bleed. My dad’s been “losing” blood for going on 3 years, no one knows where it went, we’ve asked the doctors several times about if he could possibly be bleeding in his head, since this is the only place they’ve never checked. The doctors assured us that if someone was losing that much blood in their head, we’d know it. Well, guess what? We didn’t. And he was. So I met the helicopter at the hospital so he wouldn’t be alone while my mom drove the hour into town. After 5 hours in the emergency room waiting for a bed so he could be admitted, someone mentioned he’d had a stroke. Talk about shock, why didn’t they call it that in the first place? I guess he stopped using his right hand to eat a few days prior, and was dragging his right foot while walking, my mom took him to the dr. and they thought he was low on blood again so set him up for a transfusion. Why didn’t the dr. catch this then? Isn’t it something they’re trained to recognize? I can and am angry about that fact, but being angry isn’t going to change the fact that he’s now had a stroke. The weird thing is, I guess someone with that much blood on thier brain doesn’t act like my dad did, normally it’d be incapacitating. In him it wasn’t, at least not right away. When I met him at the emergency room he mostly seemed normal, by the following Saturday, he could no longer talk and wasn’t using his right side at all. Sunday they did surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain, they waited up until that point because he was having problems with his clotting factors, meaning if they did surgery prior, the likelihood he would bleed to death during was too great of a risk.

After surgery he was able to feel his right hand, I stupidly hoped that the minute he came out of surgery he’d be back to my dad again, he wasn’t. I drove home that night sobbing, angry and sad. But things have gotten better, the next day he could actually talk, not in sentences, but he could say words that actually made sense. He got frustrated and would babble and he didn’t always remember what words he was going to say but it was an improvement. The doctors talked about moving him into the rehab unit but we were told there was a waiting list. Two days later he was moved in there, he has to do physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. It’s hard for him, I know it is, It’s hard for my mom too, she’s left the hospital for one night since he was admitted. She won’t leave him and he doesn’t want her to leave. But it’s hard on her, it’s expensive too, so I’ve been trying to help out as much as I can… but it’s not a lot. I worry about her too because she’s JUST had surgery for colon cancer and has been plagued by symptoms of it for over 8 months now. This kind of living and stress can’t be good on her either, but she does it anyways, because she loves him. She loves him even when he gets made and accuses her of wanting to be rid of him, and even when he breaks down and cries because he thinks she’s mad at him because he had a stroke and can’t do the things he used to.

He’s almost my dad again, but there’s little things, he gets confused easily if too many people talk, it overwhelms him. He used to be great at math, now just the mention of numbers sends him into utter confusion. He’s still not walking on his own, he can’t go home until he’s able to do that. He’s just different. I think we all are. I am tired, I spend all day at work, most nights at the hospital until at least 7 or 8, and I’m going to school part time. I’m snappy, I’ve not told any of my friends save for one about my dad, or my mom either for that matter, because I don’t think they’d care or understand. And I just don’t want to hear it sometimes. I’m angry at people who have “normal” lives, who aren’t faced with all this. My brother and I fight, more than normal, because he’s “always been the one who had to deal with this” and I haven’t, at least not until this time. I work full time, he works 2-3 weeks on, 2-3 weeks off, it just wasn’t feasible for me to not work to help out if he’s home, but I guess I’m the only one who sees it that way. Early on, in a moment of frustration, I sent him a text, thinking he, if anyone, would understand. I got told basically that I’m selfish and I need to suck it up, and that he’s given up his whole life to care for them. Except well, you know… that whole vacation you were on when this happened. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame him for being on vacation when this happened. Just don’t make yourself out to be a martyr when you’re not. You haven’t given up everything, you go on vacations, you post on facebook about your booty calls, you act most the time like none of this is even happening. Do I mind helping out? no. But sometimes it gets a bit much, I’m dead tired. I worry about both of them, and I feel guilty leaving the hospital so I stay longer. My dogs, my fiance, they’ve all been ignored, it’s not fair to them, but I can’t leave. I feel like this is all my fault for not being there sooner. And I know it’s not, but it’s still hard to leave.

Friday is my mom’s birthday, she’ll spend it in the hospital with him. I got him a card to give to her, but he can’t even write, so I don’t know how that will work out at all. I guess we’ll try… that’s all we can do anymore.


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