I've felt so disconnected from the world for the past two days that I really wanted to just sit down and write out the multitude of thoughts and emotions frolicking about in my mind. Let me just say: it's been a long two days.
On Wednesday afternoon, my Mom sent me an e-mail at work saying she'd gotten a message from my Dad's friend/In-Case-of-Emergency person that he was in the hospital. I immediately called her to see what the scoop was. My Daddy, who is disabled from his stroke 15 years ago and lives in an assisted living community, was found unresponsive in his home on Monday. Ugh.
His aid who comes to take him grocery shopping, help him with bills and check in on him three times a week found him after he'd been there for who knows how long. After repeatedly being told he needs to modify his diet, and after repeatedly being stubborn and not heeding the advice of the people who care about him, he binged on some Oreos and went into diabetic shock.
My sister and I both made arrangements with our employers to get the rest of the week off, and yesterday afternoon was our first trip to the hospital. Neither us have seen our Dad in a shamefully long period of time. So to our dismay, he didn't look great. But he didn't look nearly as bad as we were anticipating. He was sitting upright in his chair and it took him a second to process who we were when we approached the door to his room in the cardiovascular unit.
His hair hung limply and his legs were skinnier than mine, but he was being his typically sassy and stubborn self which was an enormous comfort. After spending a few hours with him and helping to answer the nurses' and doctors' questions (because his speech is incredibly limited), we left our numbers and told him to call us when he was close to being discharged.
He called us this morning at 10:30 and we hurried to the hospital where we proceeded to wait for about two hours while the extremely nice nurses went over his paperwork and discharge papers, took his vitals one last time and left him with a quick shot to the arm in the form of a pneumonia vaccine. We drove him to his local pharmacy to drop off his scripts (where he had a difficult time walking back to the counter without his cane), grabbed some Applebee's To-Go, went back to the pharmacy, were told to come back later and then went home to eat. It. Was. Exhausting.
When he had finally filled our grumbling tummies (we were getting mighty hangry by 2:30 PM), my Daddy volunteered to toss out the ice cream chilling in his freezer and the Oreos that had landed him in the hospital in the first place. I don't know how serious he is about eating more healthfully (he can be a bit of a pain in the ass sometimes), but I do know that this little episode of his really put a scare into him, enough for him to want to bid adieu to his sweets and bring on the broccoli.
I guess my intentions for writing his don't stem from a desire for anyone to particularly gain anything from it. More so from a desire to document my day so I can remember my Daddy when he inevitably leaves us, but mostly, so he can serve as an example of how I don't want to live with my life. My Daddy has demonstrated the importance of living a healthy life and is a living example of the consequences of someone not taking care of themselves.
Today has been such a mixed bag of emotions. Complete guilt that I'm so far removed from my Dad's life that I legitimately didn't know how bad things have gotten for him. A feeling of impending adulthood as Kelly and I had to stand up and be the people to take care of him, because we're really all the family he has. But mostly, I just feel utterly drained.
Today has been the longest day. And now, I'm going to go do this: