Blogging is weird.
I'm proud of where this journey has taken me thus far. I feel like I've arrived at a place where I'm truly writing to write. I'm writing for me and I've given up (mostly) caring whether what I have to say garners any attention. And yet, I do want to make sure that I'm maintaining an authenticity in what I'm writing. I want the people who do stick around to feel like they've gotten to know me just a touch better through my writing. I think I do a pretty good job of it. But the fact remains, I am only presenting a fraction of my whole self for the world to see. I'm not trying to hide, I'm just selective about what I share. As bloggers, I think we all are.
So today, I wanted to give a well-rounded glimpse into who I am, what my life really looks like and what matters to me. Today, I want to write what's on my heart.
Something pretty big happened this week and coming from a desire for either self-preservation or to keep things light and airy, I've neglected to mention it. But...my Dad is in the hospital.
If you've hung around here for any amount of time, you may recall me mentioning that my Dad had a stroke when I was younger. The stroke left him 100% disabled, with very limited speech and the right side of his body is completely paralyzed. The stroke was mostly likely caused in large part due to his existing diabetes, combined with a history of smoking and the stress of the divorce from my Mom.
Anywho, since then he has been a shell of the man I grew up with. But the part I usually leave out of this whole saga is the fact that even before the stroke, my father struggled with mental health issues. In my entire life, I've never known my father to not be struggling with depression. The stroke was devastating to everyone in our family, obviously and especially, my father. And when re-learning how to walk and talk became too frustrating and difficult, my father largely gave up hope.
|My Dad and I after his hospital trip in August 2013|
My father hates his life. And who can blame him? Every day is a struggle for him. The things we take for granted every day- having a conversation with the people we love, tying shoes, making dinner, do not come easy for him. My father wants to die. So he doesn't take care of himself. He doesn't eat well, he continues to smoke like a chimney and he doesn't manage his diabetes like he should.
Last summer, my father downed a package of Oreos, his blood sugar sky-rocketed and his service provider found him unconscious in his apartment. He was in the hospital for a week. On the day of his discharge, my sister and I picked him up, took him to lunch and helped him pick up is prescriptions. I bought ingredients and set to work making diabetes-friendly freezer meals that would hopefully last him awhile. The hospital had put a scare into him. He wanted to make a change. He ceremoniously threw out his package of Oreos and cartons of ice cream and I was thrilled.
Until weeks later, when I visited him again- the Oreos were back.
On Monday, my father was admitted to the hospital yet again. His blood sugar soared, he passed out and hit his head. I didn't cry like I did during his last hospital stint. The shock has worn off a little and now I'm just preparing for the inevitable downhill descent. Up until this point, my Dad, while slowly deteriorating, has been self-sufficient enough to manage living on his own. But if I'm being honest, this won't be the case for much longer. My father cannot take care of himself and will likely, very soon, be moved into a more intense assisted living facility.
I feel sick about the whole thing. I'm 25 years old and morbidly thinking about how much longer he has. I just feel too young to be thinking about taking care of my parents.
I don't know how to wrap this up. There's no tidy way to conclude. There's no way to really end it on a positive note. I just want to provide a more honest depiction of my reality and share what's on my heart.