Wonky's Land of Nonsensical Musings

Category: dad

That was the year

I originally had the idea for a blog titled “that was the week”.  OK I totally admit to stealing that title from Keith Eckstein who used to do weekly roundups on his old blog A Taste of Garlic. On an unrelated note to this post Keith has a new blog about his new life over at http://www.huelgoatdiary.com/. Anyway, I planned the post to be about what happened to me during the week. Seeing how boring my life is I decided to just talk about what I really wanted to talk about.

That was the Year

Almost a year ago to the day my Dad took his first of several trips to the hospital. Thus began a eight month saga.  During this time he made several trips to the ICU and spent his time in an assisted living facility (ie nursing home). I prayed. I hoped. I kept the phone with me always and tried to be prepared to hear the worst news.  If a weekend went by and I couldn’t get up to see him I felt worried. Thankfully he is back home now.
About this time last year my own health problems started.  I postponed going to the doctor for months as the situation with my Dad developed.   I finally did go to the doctor and got a diagnoses. While annoying in that it takes a long time to cure, it is not life threatening and trust me I had all sorts of horrible diseases going through my head. Funny enough not the one I was diagnosed with.  I had never even knew it was thing.  
Early in the year mine and my Dad’s health problems conspired to give me a horrible case of insomnia. It lasted for months.  For three or four days I would get about 4 hours of sleep and then finally my body couldn’t take it anymore and I would crash for several hours.  I spent most lunch hours curled under my desk napping just to make it through the day.  This insomnia was a very odd one.  I would go to bed and fall right asleep but wake up three or so hours later. I was awake but things weren’t right.  I just lay in bed with my mind just spinning like a train on greased tracks.  I remember that during march madness my mind would be playing basketball games in my head.  The insomnia ended suddenly.  It stopped after the first time I went home and saw my Dad back at home where he belongs.  
All in all, it has probably been the worst twelve months of my life. I am not saying this to get pity or have people feel bad for me.  I am not really down about it. It isn’t really in my personality to get depressed about things.  That only makes them worse.  I am more hopeful than I am down about what has happened.  It is what it is. It’s life. You move forward when you can. We have not been promised easy lives. Anyone who tells you life can be easy is trying to sell you something. 
Oh and just for fun, I got a letter form the IRS a week ago saying I owe them $1400.

How taking care of my Dad saved my vacation

I had a little vacation from work planned around July 4th. As my goal for this time, I wanted to relax, refocus, and recenter myself The first few days weren’t a complete waste but things were not going well. I felt agitated and nervous.  The days seemed to be going to fast.  I had originally planned on going somewhere like a cabin for a personal retreat but for reasons was unable to do so.  And I knew the last two days of my vacation would be spent helping to take care of my Dad.

Do to his private nature I won’t go into details, but my Dad suffers from a medical condition that leaves him basically bed ridden. So he requires the type of care consistent with that situation. I wouldn’t be doing this alone.  A wonderful care giver, shout out to Laurie, who helps take care of him would be there. Perhaps that was what was making me nervous.  I did have a horrible nightmare of him falling all over the place and hurting himself.

I drove up to help out.  The oddest thing happened. A sense of calm and satisfaction grew in me.  I found myself become not more relaxed per say, but more present and centered.  These feelings have stayed with me since I left.

I don’t know if only one thing or a combination led to this state of being. I didn’t really have to do much.   My Dad doesn’t do a lot of interaction right now. A lot of time was spent reading or watching tv. I also didn’t spend much time on the internet.  For some sadistic reason I like to read things that make me angry.  The common phrase yelled at my browser is “Stop saying stupid things!”.  But I know what I think really helped: the ability to show love to someone through simple physical care. It is a simple thing to wipe a chin or make sure his hair is combed, but these acts can express love and bring us together.  When I had to leave I told him I loved him and he said he loved me to. Many times in my life he has shown me he loves me through actions. I was able to do the same for once. 

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