Saturday, February 20, 2016

My Dear Parents

Mom just called me again after her lunch of dry toast and a LOT of water and hot tea.  She seems to be experiencing a mini-version of what Dad has been going through.  My prayer is that she will not get any worse. At this point she is still able to eat dry toast, drink lots of fluids, something she has become very good at anyway since the kidney problems started, is sleeping well and her gastrointestinal distress has been minimal.  Now that she has had to report her symptoms to the front desk, she too will be in isolation in her suite until 48 hours after her last manifestion of symptoms.  She is so upset to be missing out on the special banana split treat tomorrow at lunchtime in the dining room and on the special Chinese meal being served on Monday, the special music  being provided that afternoon, bingo, etc.  How quickly my parents have moved from thinking they were happy recluses to incredible disappointment at missing any of the social activities in the complex.  The happy changes in them...at least when they are not fighting this dratted illness....are wonderful.

Dad's doctor reported to Mom that Dad did have a very minor TIA last night, but that all the brain and head scans show zero damage and his recovery from it is complete.  The doctor's biggest surprise is that, with Dad's heart issues and his own mother's history of stroke (the first at age 32 and the second one that took her life at age 62) he has not had TIA's or other more serious strokes in the past.  Good heavens, even I had a minor TIA at the age of 30 that left me with a bit of facial damage and that is showing up now at age 61 in the form of some forgetfulness of details.  So glad Dad has avoided such things happening when he was younger.

I am incredibly grateful Dad's TIA was not worse than it was and that Mom found him and woke him when she did. I am glad she insisted he be taken to hospital as well.  The woman knows what to do for him, that is for sure.

I am also extremely grateful Dad will be kept in hospital for several days to restore his electrolytes, confirm there is no damage from the TIA and give him a chance to recover from all the stress and dehydration.  I am grateful that Mom has this chance while in isolation at home to also get her rest with no interruptions by a needy spouse.  Once they are both healthy enough to be back together in their suite and out of isolation, hopefully they will get some down time between crises to enjoy life again for awhile.

So my husband and I have returned to living between the medical crises of parents for some time to come.  We went through it for awhile during his parents' old age and declining health and now it is time for round two.  

As much as Dad and I do not have much of a relationship, I do not wish him any ill, NONE in fact and I hope that when his time comes to leave the planet he will pass peacefully and quietly with no long term, bed ridden suffering.  Over the past year I have done a lot of meditating and soul searching over my relationship with Dad, over the kind of people we both are, I have had a ton of counselling and have come to more peace about the realities of life in a family that has so many secrets and lies.  For a long time I battled with pure hatred for the man, but the Lord has released me from that.  I still lose patience with him sometimes, and he with me, but as he ages and I age there seems to be more grace coming from each to the other. We are both grateful for that I think.

Losing Dad is something I needed a long time to prepare for and I have had that time now.  For a long time I thought that if we both just lived long enough then eventually things would be sorted out, forgiveness would flow and the transformation of the relationship into what we both always hoped for would happen.  It hasn't been that long since I realized that is not likely, not probable.  I cannot be who he wants me to be and he cannot be who I want him to be.  It never was possible at any stage of our lives and now I get it and accept it.  I don't know if Dad does, if he has ever forgiven me for living a life he didn't want me to live, but it doesn't matter any more...finally....I don't have to spend my time fruitlessly trying to please him after the fact.  He doesn't have to be anyone to me other than who he is either.  For me, counselling was a wonderful, freeing experience.

So, now I just hope and pray Mom will be okay and that over the coming week she and Dad can get their lives back to normal for awhile.

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